You’ve got to be kidding me, Fatima thought to herself as she received the e-mail from her boss. She reread the e-mail hoping that something would change on the screen: “Fatima, I need you to prepare a presentation on what our company has done in the past year for Mrs. Jorgensen. She’s old, keep it simple. Leave out any of the complex material because it will probably just bore her anyways.—John.”
Fatima joined R & R Consulting right after Anthony Jorgensen, the founder and CEO, had passed away. While Penelope Jorgensen inherited the major stake in the firm and was still listed as the firm’s CEO, the day-to-day running of operations was given to John Preston, the chief operating officer.
Fatima stared at her screen and wondered to what extent she should follow John’s advice and “keep it simple.” She’d only met Mrs. Jorgensen twice, but she’d always seemed to be pretty knowledgeable about the inner workings of the firm. Sure Mrs. Jorgensen wasn’t an expert in the field, but should she be treated like a helpless little old lady? Not only is that sexist, it’s completely ageist! On the other hand, John’s words may have been chosen poorly, but maybe all Mrs. Jorgensen really wanted was a quick snapshot of what’s going on here?
Fatima sat in silence for a few minutes, opened up PowerPoint, and just stared at her monitor trying to figure out the best way to proceed.
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