Chapter One: Pink Slips

16 Nov

We’ve decided to organize the chapters of The Potluck Project© by month.  Each chapter will portray one of the first twelve months spent conceiving, planning, launching, growing and managing our new business.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten quite a kick doing a digital archeological dig through old files, emails, Facebook posts and so on regarding our early conversations about creating a new venture.  Many of those will likely make their way into the book.

So the first month – October 2010 – is titled “Pink Slips.”  As you might suspect, that was the month when two-thirds of our Potluck Partners learned they were being let go from their jobs as a result of the parent company’s decision to close this regional office.  Hey, it’s just business.  Organizations must and do make these decisions all the time – whether for strategic or financial reasons.  But it’s a tough pill to swallow in the midst of a prolonged recession when jobs are tough to find. 

Right after our folks got the news, we did the obvious – gather at the Freemason Abbey (a local restaurant and tavern) over drinks and hors d’oeuvres to absorb the shock, worry about mortgages and tuition payments, and even do a bit of venting.  In some respect, the Freemason Abbey embodied the possibilities in front of us.  For it stood as a church and gathering place in downtown Norfolk (Virginia) for more than 130 years.  When that phase of its purpose was over, the Abbey was converted into a successful local tavern, where people still come to congregate and break bread together.

The kernel of an idea was planted that day:  let’s not look for jobs, let’s create our own.

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