Swing for the Heart

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That was Vancouver

“What are we going to do, Jenny?” laughed Ray, “I guess we will really start hiring. Can you believe it?”

“Not in a dream. If I told you that…”

“What do you want tell me, Jenny?”

“I’d rather not say, you might hate me.”

That, I would like to see, what it’s like to hate you.”

“You know, Ray, that I wanted to resign here? Quit.”

“How wouldn’t I! I could tell. You were shifting gazes and blushed and performed every task perfectly as I asked. I knew you were looking for something better.”

“And you didn’t say anything?” marveled Jenny.

“What was I supposed to say? I also knew you wouldn’t do it.”

“Then you knew more than I did myself.” She couldn’t believe it.

“You know why? Precisely because you were shifting your eyes and blushed. If you had been resolved to leave, you wouldn’t care. But you did care. You had a conscience, Jenny. And that’s what revealed and kept you here.” She stared and shook her head.

“Is it so obvious?”

“Jenny, the eyes, sometimes they’re not in the head but here…,” said Ray, tapping his chest.

“I really care about you, Ray.”

“Me? That means you must like the film Jurassic Park.” Jenny laughed and offered.

“Would you like some coffee?”

“I would, Jenny. And then I’ll call a company-wide meeting. Please, call everyone.” They both felt happy and satisfied. To stand next to strong competition and make it is not as easy as it may seem. It was just the two of them. At first it was just Ray, with his idea and courage, but soon he hired Jenny. Maybe it was too soon, before he could offer her the security of a prospering firm. The fact that both of them stuck it out together for ten months now, required loyalty, trust, hard work, foresight, endurance and sensitivity. And the ability to understand people. Ray was old enough to know that the goal for truly successful entrepreneurship is not the drive to make money, but the desire to offer excellent service. Not he who earns the most revenue, but he who succeeds as a human being and withstands even tough periods, all the while providing quality, can call himself truly successful. Yes, many of those also have capital. Ray liked the truly successful, he respected them. That was the kind of person he would one day like to employ as well.

Jenny brought two coffee cups and pulled up a chair.

“Is everyone here?” Ray looked around theatrically.

“I think so, boss.”

“Excellent. So let’s begin. Jenny, I want to publically thank you for the outstanding, truly exceptional work you did in Vancouver. That turned out great. I’m thrilled that I’m able to offer you a raise. By a dollar fifty per hour. Starting from the first of November. I’m not doing it to keep you on a chain here, but because you deserve a raise and you literally earned it. I will give you a testing question. Do you know why you did so well over there?”

“Because HeartGong is an excellent company.”

“Of course, that’s the right answer. But I have another one. Those presenters who were there only to raise their profits and to count the clients they would gain; those who primarily focused on money, they let it show, you know? You went into it with a personal enthusiasm and honesty. As though you were offering a cake you’d yourself made. For the guest to enjoy it. That’s the key! And you have it, Jenny. Those waiting only for money were bored at their booth and it showed. When you come across someone who feels the way we do, please let me know. Even if he looks like a bum. I will hire him. I’m really happy, Jenny.” Ray took a sip of coffee and continued, “hmm, hot but good. One more thought and then I’ll stop yapping. So that you know why you stayed at HeartGong. Those who measure the quality of life and of people by money, are…” he tapped his chest, “…empty in here. That’s how it is.” Jenny watched him and thought about his words. He speaks well, that Ray. At first she was afraid of him and now she wouldn’t change him for another boss.

Ray turned his laptop screen towards Jenny.

“Take a look. Hospital St. Bernard, seventeen valves; Brant Clinic, eighteen; General Hospital Sir Dowell; twenty-seven; Ultimate Health, seven – it goes on and on. Fowler’s Research, eleven. That’s your work. All your accomplishment from Vancouver. Cardiostimulators, that alone is the modus operandi. I don’t want to distinguish how many of each kind, but that’s important too. Primary Centre, nineteen; Sir Dowell, take a look, you see? And here, here Miracle Fountain Centre seven. How you achieved that, I don’t know. I am really happy about the oxygenators, too. That’s a great breakthrough. That truly signals a new position in the market. Then the stents. I really appreciate it, Jenny.”

“I don’t know what to say, Ray, you’re making me blush.”

“But I’m not making anything up. Those are real orders. I would like to ask a favor. About each hospital and each new client, please find out what you can. So that we know who they are. How they present themselves, how they’re received by medical specialists and the public. That way we will get to know our customer, you know?”

“I will do that, not a problem.”

“Yes, I’m talking about peculiar facts, even. Whether they advertise searches for lost dogs, or, on the contrary, if they are full of rules, orders and restrictions. Everything.”

“I have promotional materials about almost everyone, but that’s probably not what you are looking for.”

“Yes and no, Jenny. I’m interested in all the unusual stuff.”

“Then you would’ve enjoyed the closing reception at the conference. They were playing jazz and people were dancing; everyone was there, presenters and participants, all of them mingling and having a blast. It was a fantastic evening. But wait, actually I have some photos.” She ran off and Ray took a sip of his coffee. It wasn’t as hot anymore and tasted better than ever. He folded his hands behind his head and waited for Jenny to bring her pictures.

“Here they are, thirty photos altogether. There’s a bit of Vancouver in there, too, I just had them developed.”

“Let me see.” Ray took the package and began studying the pictures, one by one.

“This is Stanley Park,” offered Jenny. Pictures like from a calendar.”

“Did you go to the aquarium?”

“No, I only saw it from outside. The park is gorgeous. The entire city is bewitching. And this, that’s the party.” Ray carefully examined each photograph.

“Here, this is the jazz band,” Ray looked at the photograph more closely, moving it towards the light. Right next to the podium was standing a man, somewhat isolated from the rest of the crowd. It was evident that while the rest of the attendees paid attention to each other, laughing and sipping their drinks, this man stood immediately next to the stage and attentively watched the band.

“Do you know who it is?”

“Yes, so I do have him after all. That’s the guy who moseyed around and then grabbed your business card.”

“That’s him?”

“Yes, yes. Every day he wandered around there. The one who, as you said, may have been interested in a job.” Ray nodded.

“You don’t happen to have his business card, do you?”

“No. It didn’t feel appropriate to ask him for his. I would feel pushy.”

“That’s true. So you’re saying he will call, Jenny?”

“No, you’re saying it.”

“Oh yeah, I’m saying it? So we will see, if he calls or not. And we will see if you’re saying it or I’m saying it.”

“What?”

“Excellent coffee, Jenny.”

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