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Hazards of a Weak Free Wi-Fi Signal

Day in the life series: 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.

By Dennis Jones


For the Head of People and Recruiting, yesterday had been exhausting. Thrilling but exhausting. Sure, it wasn’t every day that your team got to launch a major company-wide initiative, one backed by the CEO no less, but he wondered if the CEO hadn’t inadvertently opened Pandora’s Box. “What would come of it all,” wondered the Head of P&R, as he relaxed in a coveted train seat. He was taking the commuter train earlier than usual from his urban home to Krempe’s suburban campus.

He thought that he’d prepare for the day by perusing his email. Even at this early hour, his inbox was usually fit to burst, reflecting personnel complaints from around the global organization. But even by those standards, he was completely taken aback when he logged in. He couldn’t count how many emails he’d received from the CEO overnight. And to compound it all, in the last hour, even the CFO had chimed in. This couldn’t be good.

The last email he saw, time-stamped only a few minutes ago, read, URGENT: Engagement thing blown up, need to do video immediately. Well, that kind of email would wake anyone up.

He wondered if somehow the CFO had learned about the crisis in Software Development, but that didn’t strike him as likely in the least. Also if he had, he couldn’t imagine that infighting among a bunch of Engineers would generate that level of panic in his boss.

But he had a bigger problem. How on earth was he going to do a video call on this train? Just checking his email had taken long enough, as he’d been on a weak free Wi-Fi signal. He’d turned Wi-Fi off in frustration and just pulled from his data plan, which wasn’t working that much better. The cell signal wasn’t very robust. Would he have to physically get off the train at the next stop and head to the nearest coffee shop?

During the short stretch of his panic, he hadn’t noticed that he’d received a new email, this time from the CEO herself: Subject: Emergency meeting in two hours.

What could be going on?

See what happened next.