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Wise Planetary Help

(From the Desk of George Barnard)

They are the Midwayers, Planetary Helpers, or Spirit Guardians. They have a way of making some willing people do things for them, but they also have a way of making other people listen.

Their 11:11 AM and 11:11 PM time prompts that are known worldwide are their ‘trademark’ courtesy calls. They are responsible for their actions to the Seraphim, and since every human on earth is under seraphic watchcare, the Midway workers are likely to impact on any human life in any place at all.

They are the wise Celestial Opportunists.

"Too Many Irons In The Fire."

By 1969 we had utterly outgrown our city working space and we moved into a bigger factory in a suburban industrial estate. When building commenced, ours was the only custom build structure in a sea of meadowland. By the time we were set up and running again, we occupied one of four factories with nothing else but half a mile of prime pasture all around.

Strangely, and no doubt unfortunately for them, the three neighboring firms were all in the same business of heavy engineering. They had also moved out from a location close to the big city, necessarily into a smaller market, and as bad luck would have it; they were now sitting right on each other’s doorstep. One, or perhaps two of them, would probably not survive for long. Maybe all three would end up down the gurgler.

Short Andrew Wittenberg in coveralls, and tall Derek Sorensen in his classy Italian suit – two of our neighboring engineers – were inspecting our place. Sorenson was horrified by the sheer diversity of the work we carried out, my paint-splattered jeans and Tee-shirt, as well as the number of people we employed, but Wittenberg was delighted to be free to look around.

"Diz iz most imprezzif, George!" said the German.

"Too many bloody irons in the fire," muttered the Swede.

"But this is how we all amuse ourselves!" I told them both.

The Interview.

They were back in my office now, supposedly for them to interview me for my possible admittance to a service club.

"Vot iz your philosofi in bizniz, George?" the German asked.

"Give the people what they want," I told him. "Never involve your crew in less than ten major, varied projects. Teach each of them at least three trades. Start them all young when they think they can do anything, and they’ll find they really can. Pay them tops, and expect a lot. Don’t buy anything on account, and also collect your checks on delivery of the goods. This way your checkbook is as good as a day-to-day balance sheet. Minimum bookwork."

"Can’t be done…" interjected the Swede.

"Oh, no! I didn’t know it won’t work any more after nine years of us doing just that," I suggested.

"Vot elz?" the German insisted. He was enjoying himself.

"Don’t allow any of your projects to get any bigger than twenty percent of your annual turnover, no single customer to get bigger than three percent of your annual turnover. Spread your risks. Keep looking for new markets, drop all customers lacking a semblance of humor, and never forget the most important thing; we’re all placed on this earth to entertain our fellow humans."

"Get your customers to come to you," I carried on. They’ll drive ten miles or more for a good joke, and when you’re too busy to go see them."

Suddenly I added, "There’s a lot more fun in producing a million small gadgets and collecting twenty cents profit each, than in building one big thing, making a hundred thousand bucks, and spending the next three months waiting for your next big job to come along."

Andrew Wittenberg looked to be in a trance. Then he was thoughtfully biting his lower lip, whilst I was wondering where that dumb information had come from.

In no way was it part of company policy! We fabricated some really big items, as well as taking on the repetition work by the truckload.

Did I say that? I wondered. I did! That was rubbish, and an outright untruth.

They left, presumably to recommend their club might accept me as a member.

I had to wait three more years to find out exactly what wise guys made me say ridiculous things like that.

And who had also made the German listen so intently to those words.

When those three years were up, Andy Wittenberg owned two factories, his and Sorenson’s, and he was making millions of useful gadgets of all kinds, and the third engineering firm was doing just fine.

The Midway Opportunists had sublimely done their ‘subliminal’ job.

© The 11:11 Progress Group END