I was running some kind of operation. I’m not certain if it was a small business or a unit of some larger organization; that never became clear. The place of business was sprawling and dark. I didn’t have many people working for me, perhaps a dozen. Things were stable and running smoothly, but tight.
A tall white man came to the place, looking for the manager/owner, which was me. He told me that he owned a business down the street. He expected a great deal of business in the coming days. Spillover business would be coming to me; he wanted to ensure that I was sufficiently manned for the rush. I bristled, brushing him off, telling him, we’re fine and it’s not his business. He went away for a bit but returned with the same message, imploring me to listen to him.
So I listened, thinking while I did, that I was already stretched thin. Putting more people on one shift would mean moving them from another and perhaps overtime. I didn’t want to risk overtime and schedule changes if this business wasn’t going to materialize, because I would take a loss.
I asked him, “How many do you think will come here?” He replied, “Forty-eight.” My workers were listening. Forty-eight struck us all as a significant amount. The other man told me that they would probably mostly order smoothies. I asked him more questions: what time of day was this rush expected? Would it be all at once or stretched out? He said that he didn’t have that information, that those were good questions, that he would need to check that and get back to me.