July 20, 2011

007's Brother's Email


Man my life is so boring. My life isn't that exciting, but let me see if I can spin a narrative which makes it sound as cool as your lives.

Early on Monday morning, I boarded a small JetBlue aircraft. The air in Manhattan was thick, as if it was anticipating the rough terrain ahead. As my little plane pulled up on the tarmac at my destination, I realized I was stepping into a place few had gone to before: Pittsburgh. The name itself is synonymous with adventure and the unknown.

I rushed into my little taxi, swerved onto the crazy streets full of traffic and arrived at my client's office. I was working in the business that runs this town. Some say it's reach touches every person in this place, forgotten by the rest of civilization. It affects the lowly street sellers and the fat-cat politicians. It's what makes the world go round. It's... health insurance.

Monday morning was crazy, the minute I arrived, I rushed into a steering committee meeting. Sweating bullets, I reported our progress to the senior clients. These men in dark suits run the firm, and some say this whole town. Two members of my team were down and sick I said, so progress was slow. But we now knew how to attack the problem. We would focus, I said, on two key customer segments. Retirees and small business. The client went ballistic. What about medium businesses they asked? Isn't there demand in that segment? Aren't we leaving money on the table? No, we told them, it would just be too expensive. The IRRs wouldn't make sense.

After a full day of meetings, I retired to my small shabby hotel. It was called the Renaissance, and tended by a nice guy called Tommy. I could hear the bustle of streets below... Would I ever make it out of Pittsburgh alive?

007 - that explains why you haven't been returning my phone calls.

Hope all is well!

[007 in Africa's Brother]

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