a guest Dec 3rd, 2019 86 Never
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- Script crumpled within my quivering hands, I felt the omnipotent sun beat upon my back. Trekking through the harsh, arid landscape, I arrived at my destination one door down from the scent of freshly-cooked sausage and egg of Mom’s house. I knocked. Rang the doorbell. No answer.
- “What d’you want.” Caught off guard, I answered my estranged neighbor with a “uhhh… hello, sir” and “Are your children available?” Maybe not the best way to begin a recruiting pitch. Nevertheless, I continued with my shpiel. “As founder and CEO of Beadzify, I am seeking some talented youth to join our team in manufacturing more designs for the upcoming selling fair First Friday in Mesa. This is a fixed term contra”--I left that house with my posse of three.
- Back at home, I separated each of my workers into specific jobs--assorting the beads into their colors, placing each bead onto the tray according to the design, ironing the final creation over parchment paper. Chest out, I conducted my symphony of three--guided their movements, their proper ironing to make the pixelated SpongeBob pristine. My voice heightened with each pattern ironed and bead placed, as I imagined myself surrounded by curious customers at First Friday, only to have my intensity thwarted by that all-too-soon lunch break.
- In my eyes, break was a time to discuss revenue and production; to Mom and the crew, it was quite the opposite. I remember Mom bringing out an assortment of cold cuts and cheeses and setting them on the table. Perhaps out of jealousy, I pulled Mom aside and half-whispered, half-shouted, “Mom, you’re eating into my profits!” She couldn’t keep a straight face.
- I bade my group--each carrying their $30 cut--farewell after a frustrating and nerve-racking, yet historic day, for me. But it was only after lying on my couch staring at not my stack, but our stack of designs that soothed and amused. Although the same feisty, self-made middle schooler that night, I was moved. Moved by witnessing the power of the division of labor, moved that collaborating rather than controlling benefitted myself and my community--the neighbor's kids got their paycheck and left inspired, Mesa got their Perler Bead fixing. Needless to say, my employees--no, collaborators--and I have shared a lot of salami and cheddar cuts since then, as we design, place, and iron beads in unison to meet our next market deadline or customer order.
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