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Summer Job: Chapter 5

Dov Haller

Hershel had been running the camp for 50 years and it worked. Yes, they were losing money, but the kids had fun.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016



"My shver worked hard, all of you worked hard, and this company has never been in a better place,” Dovi Gelber said, his grin greeting everyone up and down the long table. “Change doesn’t mean we’re not doing well, it means we’re strong enough to try new things.”

“Who’s ready to be bold?” Gelber said, raising his voice a notch.

“Oh, gosh. Is he pushing the used K-cups thing again?” Chaim whispered.

Braunfeld tittered. Abramowitz, a hard-working chassidish fellow on Chaim’s left, snorted.

Early on, Dovi Gelber had earned the respect of the entire staff by replacing the old hot water urn with a gleaming Keurig coffee machine, a sleek black-and-silver appliance that made the small kitchen appear sophisticated. He’d set up boxes of K-cups in all colors and flavors. “Now,” he proudly exclaimed, “no one will have to slip out for a ‘real coffee.’ We have our own little Starbucks right here.”

Then Gelber had ruined it by hanging up a sign in the kitchen requesting that staff members try using each K-cup twice before disposing of it. He’d quickly backed down, removing the sign the next day, but Chaim had never forgotten it.

Dovi didn’t even look in his direction now, continuing his speech.

“By bold, I mean we need to think differently, to be open to trying creative ways to reach clients, discovering new ways to service them.”


He paused. “Okay, now I’m also thinking about changing the name of the company.”

The room went totally silent.

As if on cue, Mendy Colman laughed. “Don’t look so nervous, everyone.”

He held up his hand. “We chose Merit Financial all those years ago just stam. My neighbor had an office supply business called Merit and I liked the name. Dovi’s right. A little more personality won’t hurt. It’s a good idea.”

He’d spoken and happily returned to listening mode, clearly content to have someone else running the show.

Dovi nodded humbly. “Ideally, I’d like the concept to come from the people around this table, the men”—he stopped and looked to the corner, where Estie from insurance sat—“and women who give their heart for this company. You guys feel the business, you know what we are and why we’re unique…”

“So, like, you want us to give ideas?” Heshy Geller, a timid young salesman asked. “Like, right now?” He laughed nervously.

“Nope,” Gelber said, folding his arms across his chest and pursing his lips. “We’re going to have a contest.”

Even Chaim Reimer was quiet.

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