Just a short snippet this week. I’m at a writers’ conference in Las Vegas! Yes, Las Vegas. Who would’ve thunk it? Anyway, here’s a snippet from the first chapter of the fifth book in my comic sci-fi Carrie Hatchett, Space Adventurer series. The book’s so new, I don’t even have a title for it yet.
Carrie has unexpectedly found herself the owner of the company she used to work for. She’s worried because she doesn’t think she perform her role of Transgalactic Intercultural Community Crisis Liaison Officer at the same time as running a company. In this scene, she has turned to her long-suffering bestie, Dave, for advice.
The smokers who were hanging around the back door of Carrie Hatchett Enterprises melted away when Carrie appeared. She realised that if she did want to beat an escape from the building, she would need a different method. Dave opened his large black umbrella against the thick drops of rain that were beginning to fall.
“You know,” said Dave, “it might be better if you didn’t approach me like that at work. You’re the boss now and I’m just one of your call centre workers. People will think it’s weird.”
“Yeah, maybe you’re right. Another downside to my surprise ownership of a company. Dave, I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know the first thing about running a business.”
“But you can learn. You can be really smart sometimes.”
“What do you mean, sometimes?”
“I just mean…” He coughed. “I mean, that, sometimes, you…”
Carrie looked up at him from under a frown.
“Oh stop it,” said Dave, giving her a shove and pushing her out into the rain.
“Hey,” Carrie exclaimed as her untameable hair became instantly wet. Chuckling, she stepped under the umbrella.
“Seriously, I could do with some of that smartness right now,” said Carrie. “I don’t even want to go back to my office. I mean, what do I do? What do company owners do all day? I never figured it out. Never thought I’d have to.”
“Actually, I don’t know either.”
They both paused as they tried to figure out the answer.
“Have meetings?” Dave offered.
“If I call a meeting, I’ll have to speak to everyone as if I know what I’m doing. It won’t be long before they all figure out that’s far from true.” Carrie sighed. “I’m worried that if I do anything, I’m going to mess things up. Everyone’s relying on me for their livelihood. I can’t take the risk. I’m just going to have to sell the company.”
“Don’t do that. That’s the worst thing you could do.”
“Carrie, every boss I’ve ever worked for has been awful. Just nasty, egotistical and terrible towards their staff. Now that you own the company, we have someone nice to work for. Someone who actually cares about us as people. You remember what it was like working here before we changed the time line.”
Carrie did remember. She recalled the young woman sitting where she used to sit, fielding the complaints and sending customers down a rabbit hole of never-ending frustration until they finally gave up. Maybe she could do something to make her job easier. Before going on her last Council assignment, she’d put together a list of suggestions that would increase customer satisfaction. She thought she could remember most of them.
“Thanks, Dave. That’s really kind of you to say that. And it’s true. I do care about the people who work here. In my previous life, they were my friends. Maybe there are some things I can do to make Carrie Hatchett Enterprises a great place to work.”
Read another Carrie Hatchett, Space Adventurer snippet here.