Monday, July 12, 2010

The Bars Don't Box Themselves



There are days here at Element Bars that I call All Hands on Deck days. All Hands on Deck days happen at every start-up I have ever worked; at Element Bars on a All Hands on Deck day all able bodies need to report to the bakery to help box and ship the bars. It's a great sign for the company because it means we have lots of orders to fill but when we're rushing to meet the 5pm parcel pick up it can get pretty hectic. . . . .

"GET OVER HERE NOW! WE HAVE MORE BARS THAN WE KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH! I CAN'T EVEN FIND CHRIS THE BAKER IN THIS MASS OF ALL-NATURAL TASTINESS" Is how I wish Jonathan (founder of Element Bars) called us over to the bakery. But, he is always polite and composed like he was last Friday . . . .

"Hey Tom, if you aren't too busy do you think you could come on over to the bakery and help us box up some of these bars so we can ship them out? It shouldn't take too long." I calmly answered yes but upon hanging up the phone frantically grabbed my hairnet and took off out of the office screaming "OUT OF MY WAY I HAVE TO GET TO THE BAKERY."
Boxing bars and taping them shut is a humbling experience. . . for me and I start each day with an extremely low self esteem. My hands are clammy in the midst of a driving blizzard and putting me in a hot bakery only makes things worse. For those of you picturing Lucile Ball on the chocolate production line, stop. Even in the most frenetic situations, we never eat bars, as a matter of fact, every bar is already sealed and in a box. It's my sealing it that gets frantic: tape sticks to my hands, sweat pours from my brow and inappropriate language escapes my mouth.

On Friday, as always, all the bars were boxed and shipped to the right addresses. But I wanted to write this, because All Hands on Deck days are what make small companies exciting. Here at Element Bars, the Marketing Director, CEO and VP of New Product Development all are all great at their jobs . . . . and great with a tape gun.

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