Keep It In The Family – Episode 28

As had been the case ever since Martin and Joyce had fallen in love with their house and made it into a treasured home, the kitchen table was the centre of all activity, and this time the activity was what amounted to a council of war against Radley’s. The house had always been the family’s refuge and now it was the one place they knew they would be safe from prying eyes and ears.All differences forgotten, Adam, Rosie and Paul were in a tight cluster, Adam and Rosie listening attentively while Paul told them as much as he knew about the other firm’s dirty tactics.“I don’t know how, but they’ve got hold of a list of some of your main customers and have been undercutting you on every job. Of course, not everyone will switch. You have such a great reputation that most of your clients will stay with you no matter what offers are on the table, but enough have been taking the bait to hurt your balance sheets, I imagine.”Rosie and Adam were nodding, Rosie trying not to think about the hasty phone call home asking Jodie to keep an eye on her brother till their dad came home. It was bad luck that he was on a late shift at the paper.“That explains why we lost the likes of Smith and Brown, and Textol, so abruptly. I never understood it,” Adam mused.“But they’re making cuts in other respects, too,” Paul went on, to raised eyebrows from the other two. “Dangerous respects, if you ask me.”“What do you mean?” Adam urged.“Well, I’ve seen the service schedule on the trucks. They’re not spending as long in the workshop as they used to. I’m not saying essential work isn’t being done, but it’s rushed, and they’re using cheaper parts.”“Hmm, you’re right: that’s dangerous. The pounding those trucks take on the road, you can’t afford to cut costs. Bottom line is, it’s your drivers’ lives at stake,” Adam said.“Exactly,” Paul agreed. “Some of the drivers are pretty unhappy. But it’s like the bosses are only interested in the profit figure on the balance sheet.”Rosie shook her head, her brow furrowed.“A few of our drivers have gone over to them. I’d hate to see anything happen to them. They’re family men.”The three dwelled on that worrying thought for a few moments.Rosie shook her head.“I just don’t get why old man Radley has suddenly turned into the baddie of the piece. He and Dad always were rivals, fair enough, but it was respectful and kind of honourable. It was never like this.” But then she straightened and eyed the two men.“But whatever’s at the root of it, how do we fight it? We have to come up with a business plan.”Meanwhile, Freya had taken a tray of coffee and biscuits through to the living-room where Joyce and Sarah were talking about a different kind of plan.“We need a marketing strategy,” Sarah said, giving Freya a grateful smile as she took a mug off the tray. “You know how you’ve turned things around at the coffee shop? It’s no different from that really, it’s just on a much larger scale.”“I see what you mean,” Freya agreed, sipping her usual Earl Grey. “Well, at the coffee shop I started with the basics, which was the menu. If we do the same with Willson’s, what’s first?”Sarah considered.“The company name?”Joyce’s hand fluttered to her throat.“Oh, but your father . . .”“Don’t worry, Mum.” Sarah was quick to reassure her. “Everyone knows Willson’s and our great reputation is built on that name. But I wonder about our logo: ‘Willson’s Will Do’. Don’t you think it’s a bit half-hearted? We know we mean it to say that we’ll do anything, but someone could read it as we’ll just do until something better comes along. You see?”


Used to make posts more anonymous, eg a criminal case where you don’t want to expose the actual journalist.