Dial Fidgets

Started by Javia at Aug 15, 2020 7:03 AM
March 21, 1924
284 Views
21 Posts

Mavis 'Ginger' Jones

Businesswoman and accidental Radio Personality
290
?Years Young
23 Posts

"Ladies, do you ever worry about ... personal delicacy?"


Taking her hand, he shook it gently, "It's a pleasure, Mrs. Jones. Why don't you show us around first?  It will probably be easier for you to talk about the place and tell us your future plans."

Mavis realized that it would be an embarrassingly short tour, so she started with the main event, which was the broadcasting room. She’d moved the schedule around a little bit so that she could show them something impressive at this time, which was a broadcast of a musical play. Thus, when they sneaked into the place, it was crowded with a four actors bundled around the microphone and a slightly augmented band playing either background music or accompanying songs.

By dint of the nature of the room, they couldn’t speak when they were in there, but after observing a few minutes, she led them back out again into the corridor.

“As you can see, it’s pretty tight in there, but really a bigger space isn’t that useful because you have to be near the Microphone to get a signal through” she explained, in case they thought that she was looking for investors just to get bigger rooms. She then led them to a dreary office where phone calls were made, bills paid or sent out, paperwork moved about. She usually worked in here with the others but today, of course, she had her special ‘manager’s office’ just off the main room. That room was usually where they kept various props for sound effects.

Today both of the two part-time office girls were in, to make the place look busy.

“Good morning Mrs Jones!” they both stood up and chorused, just like she’d coached them. “Do carry on with your work girls.” She directed them. “Oh Mrs Jones, Grimwood Fertilizers have been on the telephone again, asking to sponsor one of our shows.” One of them piped up, and then sat down, glad that she’d remembered her lines correctly. “Thank you, Maisie, I’ll call them right back this afternoon.”

That wasn’t a lie, Grimwood were interested, Mavis just wanted to make sure the two would-be investors heard it.

“Please come into my office, gentlemen” Mavis continued, leading Richards and Peabody forward and into the little room, complete with table and three chairs. Peabody had been wrong about Mrs Jones having her lawyer there. She would have had him there, but couldn’t really fit him in the room.


Eric Richards

Businessman
114
?Years Young
22 Posts

To be successful in business, you have to be ruthless.


Eric had been in some small offices over the years but this one took the cake.  He had to suppress his smile as he watched Chester manoeuvre his way to the one of the two chairs that were situated on one side of the desk.  Chester was a good man and a good friend, so he didn't want to make him feel any more uncomfortable than he was probably already feeling.

Once he had taken his seat, Eric leaned back a little and heard a large creak coming from the back of the chair.  Not knowing how long the chair would hold out for, he moved forward.  There was no denying that the place needed money desperately and he had to commend Mrs. Jones for not being overly eager and pointing it out.  One thing he hated was people who forced their agendas upon him.  Subtlety was more admirable in his opinion and Mrs. Jones seemed to be doing a good job of it.

Clearing his throat, he looked directly at her, "Now that we've seen the station, I would like to know more about your future plans and why it's important to you."


Mavis 'Ginger' Jones

Businesswoman and accidental Radio Personality
290
?Years Young
23 Posts

"Ladies, do you ever worry about ... personal delicacy?"


Clearing his throat, he looked directly at her, "Now that we've seen the station, I would like to know more about your future plans and why it's important to you."

“All right” she nodded and proceeded to hand each of them a mimeographed sheet of paper with some basic facts and figures about the business.

“This illustrates our annual turnover and our sources of revenue and expenditure. As you can see, the bulk of the revenue comes from selling advertising space on the air and the expenditure is on staff, utilities and most of all royalty payments for some of the material we use, mostly musical royalties.” She pointed out.

“At present our transmitter can reach the inhabitants of Miami, including Lemon City, Coconut Grove, and Allapattah, that’s about 30,000 potential listeners, of whom around twenty to twenty five percent own or have access to a radio set.” She rattled on, it was clear that she knew her stuff.

“In the next three years both these numbers will double. What I propose is to move operations from here to quarters in one of the new high-rise blocks in central Miami, a more powerful transmitter on top of one of those buildings would actually increase our range out as far as the Everglades. That will attract bigger and better sponsors for our programmes. Your company , Mr Peabody, is our greatest sponsor at the moment, as you can see, the others lag far behind.”

She knew businessmen would appreciate the cost and value of office area and hard solid equipment, it was the next area of investment that she needed to convince them on.

“So, assuming we can get the money to invest in new accommodation and equipment, we will need an even bigger investment in what we call A and R, that’s Artistes and Repertoire. At the moment we have to concentrate broadcasting between 8am to 11pm. Outside of that time, we literally have nothing to broadcast. Radio is a hungry medium, gentlemen, it demands new material all the time. My plan is to have a station that will broadcast for longer hours, over a greater area, with a clearer signal, with better and better shows and more and more lucrative advertisers.”


Eric Richards

Businessman
114
?Years Young
22 Posts

To be successful in business, you have to be ruthless.


As he listened to Mavis, Eric nodded and perused the sheet of paper he been given.  He was still waiting to hear the answer to the part of his question.  Over the years he had met with many people who wanted him to invest in whatever they were spruiking and one thing he knew was that if the person was really passionate about what they were selling, they would be less likely to take off when things got bad leaving him with a worthless investment.

Hoping that Mavis was one of those who had the gumption to stick with her radio station because she wanted to, he waited patiently for her to finish.  When she had done so, he smiled, "You've done your research and I commend you for your knowledge of the business.  However, what I really want to know is why this radio station is important to you and more to the point, how do you feel about spending the next few years of life pursuing this type of business?"

He paused, before going on, "I only ask this because I would not only be investing my money into the radio station but the person who runs it as well."


Mavis 'Ginger' Jones

Businesswoman and accidental Radio Personality
290
?Years Young
23 Posts

"Ladies, do you ever worry about ... personal delicacy?"


“You've done your research and I commend you for your knowledge of the business.  However, what I really want to know is why this radio station is important to you and more to the point, how do you feel about spending the next few years of life pursuing this type of business?"

Mavis frowned. “How do I feel?” What was this, a job interview?! She might not be really ginger, but she had a red-head’s temper, and these questions about her personal feelings around the radio station, which were, quite honestly a little mixed, were starting to make her blood simmer a little. Not boil, yet, but definitely simmer.

He paused, before going on, "I only ask this because I would not only be investing my money into the radio station but the person who runs it as well."

It was a job interview then, of sorts. She’d been so used to being in charge, nearly two years of it, making decisions, telling everybody what to do, carrying the whole weight of the world on her shoulders, working like a dog to keep a roof over her head, to keep a roof over everybody’s head at the station. To have this privileged, rich man wander in here and order her to justify herself? Why, she’d tell him exactly what he could do with his...

Luckily, the steam which was just about to explode from her ears was given a valve by Peabody’s rotund laugh which suddenly barked out.

“Ha, ha! Yes, come on Mavis, prove to us that you can continue doing the job that you’ve been doing so well for the last couple of years, and then you can tell us pair of conniving money grabbers to prove that we’re not to a pair of conniving money grabbers!” he laughed.

That’s what you need when the unstoppable met the immovable: a little soft padding in between. Today, Chester A. Peabody III was that soft padding.

Mavis took the opportunity to metaphorically 'count to ten', and instead of allowing anger to control her, she used the energy that was buzzing through her to step up to the plate and say it like it was.

“All right. The truth is, Mr. Richards, that I don’t want to continue running this place: it’s using me up. I want to be a part owner, with a shared overview of the development of the station, and continue to do my show, because I’m good at that and it rakes in the money…”

“That’s my money!” Peabody murmured, nodding to himself.

“… but a couple of hired monkeys can actually manage the station on a day to day basis. It’s just that, at the minute, we can’t afford to hire the monkeys. Now, if this deal hinges on my slaving away for you as manager for next hundred years, then we might as well stop wasting our time right now and I can put all the junk back in this ‘office’.” She said, waving her hand around the over-sized cupboard in which they were seated.


Eric Richards

Businessman
114
?Years Young
22 Posts

To be successful in business, you have to be ruthless.


Eric nodded.  This was more like it.  He now knew what the stakes were and he could now make a decision based on facts.  Getting her to say what she felt opened the door to what she really wanted and he was pleased.  A part owner she wanted to be then a part owner she will be. For himself, all he was interested in for now was getting any profits that this station could make.  If, at future date, he wanted to change any part of the deal, he would.

"All right, Mrs. Jones.  You've been honest with me and now I shall be with you.  I like the idea, if Chester is willing, of a three-way partnership. An equal partnership that is and as part of the deal we should all have the option to buy the others out if we wish to do so.  To put it frankly, I'm not interested in the day to day running of the station, as long as it makes money. You know what you're talking about and I like that in a business partner.  Someone who knows what they're doing and won't run it into the ground."

Looking directly at her face, he smiled, "Sometimes a conniving money grabber, has to take the direct route to get where he's going, even if offends.  My apologies, ma'am, for doing so."


Mavis 'Ginger' Jones

Businesswoman and accidental Radio Personality
290
?Years Young
23 Posts

"Ladies, do you ever worry about ... personal delicacy?"


After that diatribe, Mavis expected Richards to stand up and walk out, but instead, amazingly, he seemed pleased with what she’d said.

"All right, Mrs. Jones.  You've been honest with me and now I shall be with you.  I like the idea, if Chester is willing, of a three-way partnership. An equal partnership that is and as part of the deal we should all have the option to buy the others out if we wish to do so."

She nodded at that, but hoped it wouldn't happen. She didn't want to be left in a minority position against a 66% share holder.

"To put it frankly, I'm not interested in the day to day running of the station, as long as it makes money. You know what you're talking about and I like that in a business partner.  Someone who knows what they're doing and won't run it into the ground."

“So … that’s it?” queried the woman out loud “We have a deal?!”

Chester chuckled. “Well, there are a million little details to iron out, but we have people who will do that, no doubt you have a business lawyer to represent you? Well, he can fight it out with our boys – my boys and Richards' boys will be fighting it out with each other, too, it’ll be quite the melee: and at the end of it all, the result will be what we just agreed, a three way split.” He laughed again, shaking his head. Business was just one big game of chess, this one was just unusual in that there were three sides instead of two.

Mavis shrugged, she had somehow assumed that they’d be in conference for hours, it was all over too soon in a way. “Well, you certainly get to the point in a hurry, Mr Richards!” she found herself saying.

Looking directly at her face, he smiled, "Sometimes a conniving money grabber, has to take the direct route to get where he's going, even if offends.  My apologies, ma'am, for doing so."

She smiled, half excited about the result of the meeting and half relaxed, at last, that she didn’t have the sole responsibility of the station weighing down on her shoulders. “I’d heard your reputation as a straight talker, I’d probably have been slightly disappointed if you’d been too gentle with me.”


Eric Richards

Businessman
114
?Years Young
22 Posts

To be successful in business, you have to be ruthless.


"Well, I hate to disappoint," he answered, "Especially, someone as charming as yourself."

He looked over to Chester, "Well, I guess that's it until we get this sorted out.  After, we sign the papers, I would like to you invite you both to my place, for a celebratory dinner."

Turning his attention back to Mavis, he smiled again, "If that is agreeable with you."


Mavis 'Ginger' Jones

Businesswoman and accidental Radio Personality
290
?Years Young
23 Posts

"Ladies, do you ever worry about ... personal delicacy?"


"Well, I hate to disappoint," he answered, "Especially, someone as charming as yourself."

“Why, Mr. Richards, flattery will get you everywhere!” she replied gaily, not taken in for an instant.

He looked over to Chester, "Well, I guess that's it until we get this sorted out.  After, we sign the papers, I would like to you invite you both to my place, for a celebratory dinner."

“Oh, splendid!” beamed Chester, “It’s an age since I’ve seen Maddie and Liz!” Realising that it was inexcusably rude to talk about people Mavis didn’t know, he added “That’s Eric’s daughter and aunt. Oh, Maddie is a charming little girl, you will love her!”

Turning his attention back to Mavis, he smiled again, "If that is agreeable with you."

“I would be honoured!” she agreed, with genuine interest. The infamously cold businessman had a loving family tucked away someplace? This should be interesting to see! Also, on a very prosaic level, it would be nice to have someone cook for her. There was nothing more depressing that having to come home every night to an empty house and prepare a meal for one in the very same kitchen she used to prepare those wonderful meals for her husband and their friends. Some nights she couldn’t even face making a meal. She just had the sauce.


Eric Richards

Businessman
114
?Years Young
22 Posts

To be successful in business, you have to be ruthless.


"Well, that's settled then.  I'll expect you both for dinner on the day we sign this agreement.  Hopefully, we can get this all sorted within the next few weeks."

Standing, Eric looked around again at the cramped room, "The first we definitely should do is get a bigger office, if only for Chester's sake."

Looking down at his friend, he smiled, "Always nice to see you but I do have other matters that I need to attend to.  Don't forget to remind your wife, that Liz expects to see her at that garden party the Winslows are having next week."

Turning his attention, to Mavis, he smiled, "It's was a pleasure doing business with you Mrs. Jones.  May it continue to be so."

After making his final farewells, he left the building feeling in a very good mood.  A successful business deal always made him a bit more energetic, which was well considering what he had planned for the rest of the day.