We had a great year for sales in 2017, through no fault of our own. Credit was basically free and every big customer was spending big money on inadvisable capital investments. Naturally, the sales forecast for 2018 more than doubled down on the optimism, because obviously that would go on forever, right? The goal was $1 billion. Instead, we fell a little short of 2017’s numbers because the free credit was drying up.
At the 2019 national sales meeting, all of the presenters said we’d be shooting for $1 billion again. Gotta hit that big, round number! Then the CEO lady came on stage. This is the one who sucked the founder’s dick and everybody knows it. Her previous job was secretary to the founder’s son, so there isn’t even plausible deniability.
The only thing she’s good at is creating a culture of fear. Under her direction, people would disappear from their jobs on a weekly basis. HR was known to scour security footage until they found an excuse to fire someone who’d aroused her ire. I knew one guy, personally, whose company car telemetry they analyzed until they could plausibly accuse him of pulling over to smoke. He’d had the audacity to wait outside the CEO’s office to talk to her directly.
Anyway, she comes up onstage and gives an 8th-grade level presentation before doing her big reveal: TWO. BILLION. DOLLARS!
Stunned silence, as you can imagine. She hadn’t told a soul she was going to double the sales forecast. I think she was expecting applause for the audacious vision. The remainder of the speakers played damage control. A week later, no one spoke of it. The sales forecast was quietly revised back down to $1 billion.