When I was five, I opened my shop. I was selling home berries. A dollar for a kilo. Back than our neighborhood knew nothing about non-organic food. All the products we had were organic. My family was holding three hundred square meters of land filled with various representatives of the vegetable world. We had apple, peach, and cherry trees. Blackberries were growing next to strawberries; tomatoes were showing off their bright color before potatoes, while walnut trees were the silent guardians of that kingdom.
Every summer, my mom and I were picking up strawberries. The loose warm soil with the red dots needed limitless attention of the sun, water, and loving care of my mom. Once my childhood friend Bruce started selling berries just across the road. His father built him a shiny food corner with the fanciest furniture. They were selling the best imported fruit in our town. Yet every weekend, people were lining up in our garden to buy fruit and berries in the old wooden boxes.
Uvocorp started their business in 2006. Unlike Mr. King, the company owners did not wake up one morning with ‘I have a dream’ idea. After all, the commerce era dictates its own rules. No matter if you are running a small family business or building a large enterprise, you need to have that ‘something’. You need to have zest. Uvocorp is not Apple. They are not selling innovative unique products. They do have competitors in the academic writing niche. So what is the hook? What is that element? The care for the people.
I have never been a fan of working for a rigid corporate structure; it gets too heavy, and I start losing interest. Uvocorp makes me feel flexible and open-minded. Twice a year the management sends the questionnaire with that sort of questions what you like about us, what you feel might be improved, rate the performance of every department, etc. Surprisingly for me, it was not a one-way dialogue. From time to time, you will see the popped up news ‘we added that feature’, ‘we improved the bonus scheme, ‘welcome the new rating system’, and so on.
All of a sudden, my flow of thoughts was interrupted by a ‘pff’ sound from a man sitting in front of me.
‘Oh my, looks like I entered Disneyland.’
‘What is it now?’
‘Remember that song,
I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world,
Life in plastic, it’s fantastic?
You remind me of that character now, Jenny. This company, they are not the only one. I know there are other companies that offer better deals for writers.’
‘Oh yeah, what are they?’
‘Well, you know…other companies. You register on their website and start working right away. Mentors do not take away your money, and you barely communicate with the management. No…how did you call it?.. writing guides, tests, samples, and all that stuff. You just work.’
‘Do they have Mentors?’
‘Nah. Why do you need them anyway? Just do your job.’
‘What if I start doing a sloppy work?
‘So…why do you even care? Money is money, Jenny. When I was working for that company I was telling you about before, the pay was good. I mean really good. It was covering all my internship expenses’
‘Why did you leave that company than?’
‘I did not. They fired me’
Poorly written papers…I thought they never checked them. But one day they just fired me. They simply could have taught me, you know. How to add that introductory sentence…’
‘Right. And how to put those little numbers at the end of the page…’
‘Whatever, footnotes. Anyway, that was a big loss for them. I am way too busy to spend time on learning. The world is spinning, Jenny. If we don’t catch up with time, we lose’.
There we were. Two childhood friends sipping coffee. Talking about everything and nothing at all. I am happy I found my path in life. Fingers crossed that one day Bruce will find what he has been looking for since the day I met him. Rosy-cheeked freckled boy selling berries right across the street.