Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ripple Short Story Series

I love story telling. If you have ever seen me speak, had coffee with me or stopped me in the street, I usually always have a story to tell or an analogy to share. Stories make things real. It helps people understand important elements by engaging them in a way that simple instruction, boring speeches, or "how to" guides simply do not.

In keeping with my love of story telling I thought I would play with my fictional writing a bit and share some of my stories to get you thinking about Rippling and connecting in a different way. My only ask...if you like the stories I plan to share (from time to time), feel free to pass them along to others, comment about them here on the BLOG on join our Yahoo group and share your thoughts there.

Crash in Reality

His life was in a shambles. His ears were still ringing from the shattering of his career. He was moving but life suddenly seemed to be slowed to a crawl. His heart was beating so fast, pounding as if desperate to escape the confines of his chest.

The job was all that defined him. How could he go home and face his wife and his kids? Oh the kids he thought to himself as he felt a bead of sweat form above his brow and the inkling of a tear suddenly reappear. He hadn’t thought of them, at least not initially. But now as he drove home still shallow in the stomach from the news their smiling faces suddenly haunted him. They had been so excited to tag along with Daddy to his business trip that it was all they had talked about since school let out. It was to be their family’s first shot to see Disney World and now the training, the job the prospect of seeing those two little guys standing in complete awe of the Magic Kingdom was suddenly gone.

He drove on knowing full well he better get it together. He would have to put on a brave face on for Nancy and reassure her that everything was going to be alright. Help her see that their life was only going to be temporarily upended but in his heart of hearts he knew. Life had taken a sudden left turn when his boss had called him into the office and announced the layoff. No warning, no heads up just a cold calculated truth and a handshake of regret. Years of loyal service to the company had been suddenly extinguished like the flicker of a candle suddenly blown out by an unexpected wind. Only the scent of smoke remained dispersing in the air, the minor remnant of what once was. What he once was.

Thom, his loyal friend and drinking buddy had warned him. “Mike you need to get out there and meet people, build your network just in case.” Apropos advice it now seemed. His breath quickened. If only he done what his friend had so many times asked him to do how today’s news might not be so devasting. He would at least have options. People he could call…people he could count on. But alas he had not followed his friend’s advice; downright ignored it in fact and occasionally made fun of it with their mutual friends over beers. Thom and his network he would laugh with his buddies, why bother? What a waste of time and effort. Maybe in hind sight it wasn’t. Who was he kidding? It absolutely wasn’t. His heart sank. What would Thom say now? What would they all say?

The monotonous tone of the tires hitting spaced cracks on the freeway lulled Mike, he was awake but he wasn’t fully there. The rhythm of the road seemed to sing him a song of despair and outright failure. He knew deep down why he had made fun of Thom so many times. He was fearful of the unknown. He was scared of what meeting new people might mean and the effort that it would take. Fear had held him back. Fear and arrogance! He had always maintained publicly and privately that he was secure in his job, why did he need to network? What good could come of it? Networking was for sales people not executive level players like himself. He had made it, his career was set.

A pot hole shook him out of his distracting thoughts, pounding him awake like a bolt of thunder. The reality of why he should have listened to Thom, gone to those events, made those connections washed over him like a soggy uncomfortable blanket. He should have done those things because of what had just happened to him this very day.

Mike knew. Mike always knew.

He pulled onto his street and saw the boys playing baseball in the front yard. Nancy would know something was up as he was home hours before he should be. With a deep breath he reached up and loosened his tie and felt the lump in is throat.

Daddy was home. Daddy was now unemployed.

© Steve Harper


MagnumVox said...

Story telling is an art, craft, and teaching tool as old as humanity itself. Your doing wonderful things, may friend! Ripple on!

Anonymous said...

How in the hell has someone not discovered your amazing talent? I don't mean to impune your book or anything but you should be the next BIG WRITER not self-publishing. Just an opinion.

I am a fan of your book having met a girl on a plane (Trista something from NY) who first recommended it to me. Started reading your BLOG and I have to admit I wasn't hooked until recently. I just didn't see the connection thing as being a big deal. Like you say in your book or I read it on your BLOG, men sometimes are slower on the uptake then women. I am proof of that.

Bottom line I enjoy reading your stuff. This fictional story could have been my life a few years ago. I lucked into the job I have now but I wasn't listening when my friends told me to network. Wasn't listening and was left cold without any options when the axe fell. Your story was a chilling reminder of my life.

Steve thanks for what you do. I know someone somewhere is going to discover the masses need to know you. And I will sit and smile because some "random connection" from an airplane told me to check out the Ripple guy.

Now there's my Ripple Effect!

Mike Mendoza

terri said...

You are an incredible story teller. I felt every emotion the main character experienced.

Steve Harper said...

Thanks to Magnumvox and Terri for their comments. You both humble me with your friendship and your support.

Mike all I can say is WOW! Thank you so much for an amazing email. I still can't get over the shock of hearing how people discover the book. On a plane....that is just plain cool!

I would love to chat more if you ever have time. Drop me a line on my website at or email me.

Thanks everyone for making my week!

Ripple On!!!