Man on Wire
Man on Wire is an idiom that primarily refers to acting very carefully to avoid either of the two opposite extreme situations. Many times, people find themselves in difficult situations that need making good decisions and acting carefully. In such situations acting in favor of one side might bring about wrangles with the other side that has not been favored. I was at one time “man on wire” when I had to decide on whether to overprice the goods in my company to make a profit or pricing them so low that no profit would be made at all.
At that point of my life, I was the managing director of a company that deals in selling cereals countrywide. When I was promoted from being the finance manager to the managing director, because of my hard work and commitment in the company business was booming. I took the role of managing the company at a time when it was a monopoly; it was the only company dealing in buying of cereals in bulk directly from the farmers and selling it to retailers in small quantities. There was a ready market for the cereals, and since there was no competition, we determined the prices at which the cereals sold in the market. The company practically enjoyed the advantages of being a monopoly and made good profits.
As years went by things started changing. The government started intervening and setting laws which we have to abide with. Our profits got taxed, and maximum prices for which goods were to be sold were set for every product that we supplied in the market. Moreover, other companies started getting into the market and robbed us all the benefits that came with being a monopoly. Unfortunately, famine hit the country and only a few places that were highlands and received good rains harvested cereals that were not even enough to satisfy the demand that was high.
The cereal companies now had to maneuver to buy cereals that would cater for the demands of the market. Since my company had been in the market for a much longer time, we easily bought cereals from the large scale farmers that we had connections with but at exorbitant prices. Owing to the high prices in the market, some of our competitors in the market either bought little cereals or nothing at all. My company again came back to its feet and enjoyed being the only supplier in the market.
The only problem that we were facing now was setting the price for selling the products. Selling the cereals at the prices we sold them at in the previous months would see the company make losses while selling them at high prices would see the company make profits but that again would conflict it with the government. All eyes now were on me, being the managing director of the company I was the man on wire. Making either of the two choices that we had would put the company in conflicts.
I had to make a firm decision that would see the company make profits and not be in conflict with the government. After in-depth consultations with shareholders, a decision had to be made. I then approached government officials in the ministries that dealt with agricultural and financial issues. Convincing them took a lot of time than we expected. Finally, we reached an agreement that enabled the company to sell at a profitable price and not be in any conflicts with the government.