Before Nate could enter his office building, he had to run the gauntlet of sun worshippers basking in the glow of a warm summer morning.
“Hello, sir,” said Pardeep. She and Olaf were sitting on a bench near the fountain, typing on their laptops.
“How are you today?” replied Nate.
“Do you have a second?” asked Pardeep.
“Me and Olaf were talking. In the winter we have snow days, right? Why don’t we have sun days in the summer?”
“We do. They’re called summer vacation,” joked Nate.
“That’s not the same thing. I’m talking about a day like today when it’s way too nice to work,” explained Pardeep.
“That would be most of the summer. Right Olaf?” said Nate. He nodded at Olaf.
“There’s always a lame excuse not to work,” said Olaf. “What we want is a legitimate excuse.”
“You know,” said Nate smugly, “This isn’t the sort of thing you should talk about with your boss.”
“We disagree,” said Pardeep.
“You’re the ideal person to talk to. You’re the only one who can make a decision on the subject,” added Olaf.
“It would be a waste of time if all we did was talk to each other about it,” said Pardeep.
“Always work your way up to the decision maker. That’s a secret of effective salesmanship,” said Olaf.
Nate folded his arms. “So is give and take. Let’s say I hypothetically grant you a sun day. What do I get in return?”
“High morale of your staff,” said Pardeep.
“Staff morale is already high,” countered Nate.
“Political capital. We’ll owe you one,” said Olaf.
“Now you’re talking. But what about lost revenue from absentee staff?”
“We always have our phones. We’re never out of reach,” said Pardeep.
“And don’t forget the extra time we spend in the off hours maintaining the network, repairing the systems,” said Olaf.
“You’ve never complained about our compensation for those times before,” said Nate.
“We’re not complaining about them. It’s because we’ve proven ourselves flexible, we’re hoping you’ll be flexible with us,” said Pardeep.
Nate thought for a second. “I’ll give your a sun day, but only if you answer one question.”
Pardeep smiled. “Okay.”
“Why are my IT people better negotiators than my sales staff?”