The saga of Hedger Corp, told in weekly installments. (Catch up here.)
We had a busy week, and it started with a weird delivery from UPS: a giant box.
Grandma Bernice wondered if it was her first-place trophy from a recent Video Game Tournament in Las Vegas. She’s mastered several video games since we issued her a computer.
But no. Through a mix of deductive reasoning and reading comprehension, the employees figured out that the mysterious box was for Derek.
Derek opened the box, and an avalanche of colorful bricks poured out. It was his “Build Your Own Office” construction set! Finally!
But there were no instructions. Derek wondered… would building a private office be more difficult than he thought? Should he just build a cubicle wall? Or maybe a little chair?
As he pondered this, the interns started making use of some spare LEGOs.
Unfortunately, Derek is not a natural builder. After laboring all morning to construct the smallest of walls, he was exhausted.
He decided to take a break and get some coffee. As he rounded the corner, he was shocked to run into Ann and Sue, who apparently not only stole some of his LEGOs, but also knew a thing or two about construction.
Derek’s mood further deteriorated when he ran into Bob, who had built a charming one-room bungalow.
Worst of all, Derek’s nemesis, Techie Smurf, had constructed a tasteful three-bedroom home. And he was selling it for what would no doubt be a tidy profit.
Derek hit rock bottom.
Sensing Derek’s despair, the employees made a big fuss over his little wall. Yay, Derek! Great job, buddy! His spirits were somewhat lifted, even though deep down he suspected it was all just an act.
This celebration was cut short, however, when I ordered the security guard to gather everyone in the hallway.
While the staff hung out there, being about as productive as usual, I cleared out all the LEGOs and got the breakroom ready for a big announcement.
Then I summoned everyone back in and told them the good news: I had found a corporate sponsor!
It was Trader Joe’s, a specialty grocery store based in the U.S. I told Trader Joe’s they could slap their name on every last inch of the office — even on Bob if they wanted. Which they did.
The deal was that Trader Joe’s could blatantly promote their brand everywhere, and in exchange I would get a sugar-free lollipop and a Trader Joe’s sticker that I could wear on my shirt.
What? I’m not the best negotiator, OK?
Anyway, the cubicles were sponsored, too. This was difficult for Sue, who was on a strict no-carb diet, and didn’t need to be reminded about Trader Joe’s delicious French toast.
Employees were especially excited to see the Trader Joe’s “Tasting Hut,” a staple in the grocery stores. Bob sampled the watermelon juice, but immediately regretted it. He tried to casually dispose of his (still full) cup, but things got awkward. The Tasting Hut guy was on to him.
Later, the Trader Joe’s wine rep dropped off 20 cases of wine. And that pretty much ended our eventful day.
Next: After all this nonsense with LEGOs and wine, it’s time for the staff to get SERIOUS. That’s right: productivity retreat.