Because I have hit a proverbial wall on writing topics, I am using a writing prompt today to get my brain moving.
Here’s the prompt: “At work, you have been getting a post it note on your desk every morning that says, “Why did you do it?” You have talked to your boss, the night cleaning crew and your co-workers. No one seems to know who is putting the note there, or why. You decide to work through the night one evening, in hopes of catching the person.”
William took another sip of coffee from the Starbucks cup he had in his hand. It had already been a long day going over all the financials of the small company he ran, and it was promising to be a longer night. Finding a solution to the financial problems of the company he ran that allowed him to maintain control and avoid bankruptcy was proving to be elusive, but finding out who had been leaving him the notes was going to be solved tonight. He couldn’t stand not knowing something, and this situation over the last week had been driving him crazy. He had asked everyone–from his subordinates to the night cleaning crew to even his boss, and no one knew. No one knew who had left him the notes which stated, ‘Why did you do it?” Well, he was going to find out tonight.
The hours wore on. He finished his coffee and tried to get a little more work finished, but found he couldn’t concentrate. The advice of his directors to take a little more risk kept floating through his mind. One of them had even said earlier that day, “You know, we wouldn’t be in this situation now if you had accessed the credit line and hired more people six months ago.” William shook his head angrily. The director didn’t understand. It was a matter of control. Every time control floated out of his hands, he felt paralyzed, felt the situation getting away from him. Risk was not something he liked at all. He knew this was from his days in the financial industry many years ago, but had never been able to shake the feeling.
A sound came from behind him. “Woo, woo.” He turned in astonishment to see the words, ‘Why did you do it,” written on the wall in red with the ghostlike figure of the owner of his company floating beside them. William gaped at the sight. Peter Milton was reclusive. From what he understood, the man only showed up at the other office once every couple of months to sign paperwork. Since he seemed to be waiting for a response, William stammered, “What…what do you mean?”
The ghostlike figure floated over to him. “I never meant for this company to fail because of fear.”
Standing up from his office chair, William tried to think of a response. “I don’t know…what you mean.”
“I believe you do.” He shook his finger in front of the terrified man. “When I formed this company, I wanted it to help people. To help people, you must take risks like the story in the Bible where the wealthy man gave his servants bags of gold.”
“Story from the Bible? Bags of gold? What are you talking about, Mr. Milton?”
“It’s in Matthew 25. Look it up. The solution to your problem is right in front of you.”
William awoke with a start. He looked around the room and didn’t see any writing or anyone that looked like a ghost. Sighing with relief, he thought to himself, ‘It was all a dream.’ Then he saw a piece of paper. He turned it over and saw the same words again. Jumping with a start, he realized that the conversation had been real. William hurriedly pulled his Bible out of his desk and looked up the Scripture he had been given. It was just as Milton had said. Two of the servants had earned extra bags of gold for their master because they had taken risks while he had been away while the other had been afraid and just hidden the bag of gold. He put his head on his desk. The third servant was just like him, and he realized what Milton had been trying to say. William hurriedly wrote a note to his receptionist and left the office.
The next morning he walked in with several boxes of donuts and left them in the break room. Ignoring the astonished glances of some of his employees, he went into his office. Moments later, Mark, one of his directors, walked in. “Are we really about to hire ten more people?”
William grinned, enjoying the other man’s discomfort. “Yes, we are. And some of them will be placed under you.”
“Okay…why now, Sir? You didn’t want to hire anyone when I suggested it six months ago, and now the money flow is not all that great.”
He shook his head. “Doesn’t matter. Gonna access the credit line for this one. It’s time to take some risks. Playing it safe hasn’t done us any good.” William motioned for Mark to shut the door. “Let’s talk about what this is going to mean for your department.” As the other man moved to shut the door, William’s mood was lighter than it had been in months. The fear and paralysis were gone, and he knew he was doing the right thing for himself and for the people who worked for him.