DENVER (MDWRKS) - It’s crunch time and businesses are preparing to wrap up the third quarter of 2018 and look forward to their full-year sales projections. This is the moment many teams will look back to redefine strategies, optimize processes, and ultimately start planning out the forthcoming year. It’s at this time as a small-business owner that you can really reflect on the positives and negatives of the year thus far and adapt for the future.
Balloon Lagoon, a local helium and balloon animal vendor operating out of ModWorks coworking space in Denver, Colorado, participates in this process. CEO Rudy Stein gathers his intimate team of 10 employees every year to brainstorm new ways to optimize their time, cut back on distractions, and get the most work done in the upcoming year. To kick off this idea discovery session Rudy likes to make sure that the first thing the team does is plan a day-long meeting to discuss the next year’s meeting schedule.
“The team loves it!” Rudy tells me excitedly, “We try to get all of our meetings planned in just one day, but, we will extend it to two if need be.”
“So, during those possible two days, who’s selling balloon horses?” Balloon Lagoon’s top-selling inventory item since the Broncos super bowl win in 2016.
“We can’t start moving if we don’t know where we’re going,” Rudy says with a smug smile.
He thumbs through a Rolodex of local eateries while completing his interview with me, attempting to find the right type of brain-food to promote fun as well as forward thinking. Rudy punches in the numbers on his blackberry for ‘Health Nut’, one of those hip, new vegan places. He walks away to a private conference room to gaze at the Denver skyline whilst asking for gluten-free pita bread.
I join the mastermind behind Balloon Lagoon in the expansive conference room and listen in as he rattles off his displeasure for ‘Health Nut’s inability to produce a vegan-friendly charcuterie platter. Rudy promised me an opportunity to sit in on the impending meeting to discuss meetings -- to see what real planning and execution looks like.
The digital clock on the hanging flat screen across the meeting room from me slowly ticks past noon. I double check my own wristwatch to confirm this as Rudy explained earlier that the meeting was to take place promptly at 11:45. He continues to jabber on the phone and by this time I believe he’s gone through several more vegan establishment in an attempt to get his meat and cheese board sans animal products.
After patiently waiting for him to close the call, I venture back out into Modworks Coworking Space towards Balloon Lagoons rented, private, and fully furnished office. It’s here I find one of their employees playing solitaire on his laptop. When I approach he quickly tabs over to a blank excel sheet with the words “Important Document” in bold Comic Sans in the header. I pull out a vinyl chair next to him and question him about his company’s annual meeting review.
“I love it,” Helium Account Executive Stephen Brass
“Is that why you’re in here playing solitaire right now?” I inquire.
“I’m working on an important document,” Stephen says matter-of-factly while pointing to the header of the excel sheet he’s pulled up. I let out a sigh and circle back to their dedicated conference room. When I arrive Rudy is beaming with his legs resting on the top of the glass conference room table, his face painted with a look of accomplishment. He’s seen me
“You must stay!” He says cheerily.
“Is the meeting starting soon?” I say with impatience in my voice.
“No, we’ve postponed the meeting until tomorrow, but, I’ve finally ordered our vegan charcuterie board!” He says while spinning his dated blackberry from side-to-side.
I decide to stick around to indulge in this impossible treat Rudy has promised me. The young, dreadlocked, delivery driver dropped off the catering for the afternoon. I eagerly watch as Rudy slowly removes the metallic top to reveal the contents and -- it’s just a pile of nuts. I take this realization as a metaphor for Balloon Lagoon and decide to leave the coworking space for the day.
Read the first part of our satire series here! Be sure to share these funny, everyday office problems with your friends and co-workers!