Tony descended the stairs into the living room where his visitors sat waiting for him.
“Good evening Mr Brown.” One of them with a thick Hausa accent greeted as they all stood up to welcome their host.
“Good evening gentlemen.” He replied as he stopped before them and shook hands with them. Numbering up to four in total. “Oh! We have a woman with us.” He said dreamily as they all bursted into laughter.
“Good evening sir.” The young lady dressed in a white shirt and black trouser greeted taking the billionaire’s hand in hers.
“Are you a woman or a lady?” Tony in the mood for jokes asked.
“A lady gradually becoming a woman.” She replied and everyone laughed again.
“After two kids?” One of the men asked amidst laughter, only then did Tony notice the ring of her fourth finger.
“Let’s get to business. Please sit.” He said pointing to the couches they had stood from. “I believe you must have met Kike Brown.” He said as he pointed at Kike who sat in another living room.
The visitors all greeted her and she replied with a
“Where’s Malik?” Tony asked no one in particular.
“Here sir.” Malik’s voice came on as he rushed into the room with a laptop computer in hand.
One of the men stood up and began his presentation.
“We have been able to achiever our set goal within two weeks during which we monitored the activities around SJC, as well as their partners and I can categorically
tell you we’ve won their partners over to our side and they are ready to play ball.”
“What are their terms?” Tony asked.
The only woman in the team stood up and began; “It is a case of using what we have to get what we want. Even though it is not a win win situation, we still got about 70% win and 30% loss. As we all know, SJC deals with four main industries which are, rubber, textile, furniture and a sugar mill. As we gathered, SJC is a consumer in the face of the producers of these raw materials and the best way to bring them down is by
turning their suppliers against them. Now, their major timber supplier has agreed to give them substandard planks for the next six weeks and we will pay two
million per week. The latex industry has agreed to put extra time into refining the latex, simple maths. To produce anything strong from latex, the raw latex must
be refined once, but now, the suppliers have promised to refine the latex twice before sending over for the next three weeks. This is a backdoor deal, so, we will
pay their team of laboratory experts two hundred thousand weekly. In the case of the cotton supplier, it is being imported, so we couldn’t do anything. The
sugarcane supplier is going to mix ant infested sugarcane with the good ones. Primarily, the infested sugarcanes are used in the production of brown sugar,
now mixing them together, the result will be brown- white. A brown-white sugar gives everybody the thought that the sugar is expired and slowly, they loose
consumers.” She paused to see the reaction of her audience, basically, Tony and his PA. She smiled when she saw the curious looks on their faces.
“We experienced a bit of problem with their consumers because they are too many, but a major consumer of the furniture industry is your company sir, withdraw your purchase and watch them crumble. Other customers will withdraw when they begin to see changes in their outputs. I rest my case sir.” The young lady sat down.
“Can all these be undone easily?” Tony asked.
“Yes sir.” They chorused.
“Good! Malik, play them the clip.”
Immediately, Malik turned the laptop screen to face them and the looks on their faces was priceless. “In case any of you tried to play smart, I have your balls in my hand.” With this, he stood up and exited the living room leaving everybody dumbstruck, including Kike who immediately went after him.
She caught up with him just as he got to the balcony.
“Why are you doing this? SJC is not in a competition with us.” She asked.
“I’m doing this for you.” Tony replied as he lit up his cigarette and drew in the flames which he subsequently puffed out.
It was time for another presentation, and this time, it was presentation to review the activities of the company in the last thirty days. Bunmi Jose as usual presided over the meeting and was deputized by the Vice president, while the secretary to the president’s office took down the minutes and proceedings.
Addressing the house was the welfare manager and his presentation was titled; FIRST OF ITS KIND. He was rounding up the presentation as he had spoken about
the latest decision of the welfare team to provide more security to life, property and above all, to the jobs of every staffs at SJC despite having a little amount of money at the start of the month.
“For the first time in the history of our great company, the suggestion box located at the entrance into every department as well as the factories were found empty and the biggest of them all is the commitment of the factory worker who spoke through their boss, Mr Janson. After the successful review of their salary scale and the approval of the board, all thanks to Mr Collins, they have vowed to put in their best every time.
Little wonder our production ranked at maxi, as of 11:59PM yesterday.”
He raised a few more point which further drew applause from everybody in attendance and all of his points had one or two things to do with Collins. He either submitted the request or called the management’s attention to the request.
By the time it got to Collin’s turn to present, he was feeling on top of the world already, and amidst a loud ovation which was started by the HR, he stood up.
“Permit me to stand on existing protocol as I move to brush through in summary as the full report has been submitted to everybody’s mailbox.” He began. Since he started work, he had ensured that he kept in touch with every department, little wonder, he presents summary during presentations while the full report has been sent to everybody.
“You are always doing summary.” Rukayat joked as everyone bursted into laughter including Collins whose eyes immediately darted to Bunmi’s who as usual had a frown on. She has been in that state for the past three days, since she discovered he(Collins) refused to honour her call because he was with Rukayat and her cold behaviour has been noticeable. Even when the Vice president of SJC told Rukayat to say the opening
prayer when the meeting started, Collins could swear on his life that Bunmi never said AMEN to any of her prayers. Collins knew he had offended her, especially when he displayed a nonchallant attitude towards the official car loan system he was awarded. The rules of the company says after three months of service as a manager, but Bunmi boycotted the rule and ensured that he was given the form to apply for an official car,
less than twenty-seven days of service to the company. He had rejected her gesture on the ground that he would work for the required three months before applying for an official car, and Bunmi had reacted angrily.
“Production at the start of the month was not that effective according to statistics showing on the screen, but I dare tell you that each of our industries recorded uniform growth as the month progressed. Production stood at 78% when I came in in the overall, that is all the industries. Over 400%, rubber peaked 73%, textile at 80%, Sugar peaked 89.1% and furniture was at 77%. The first week, respectively, the industries recorded, 74.5%, 81.5%, 90.6% and 78.5%, the second week, there was no noticeable growth as we embarked on the restructuring process, even though production was the same as the first week, our sales increased as we sold all our stock. The third week, production increase was at, 75%, 82%, 91% and 79% respectively, the last week which end tomorrow, growth stood at 75.1%, 82.1%, 91.1% and 79.1% respectively. Meaning, production increase in each industry over a period of four weeks stood at 2.1% the third highest ever recorded in the company and the first time such was recorded during a
production manager’s first month. Other managers set a benchmark after almost six month, but I set mine in thirty days and today I pledge to work more harder to record and beat the production increase record for a month which is currently 3.0%, achieving that in a month is not a problem for me and then, I will call it COLLINS BENCHMARK FOR PRODUCTION.” He paused as the applause grew louder than his voice. His eyes darted over to Bunmi, this time she was all smiles as she clapped happily.
“God, be blessed.” He murmured as he rounded up and returned to his seat.
Thirty minutes later, the meeting dissolved after the president had challenged everyone of them to do more to take the company higher.
Work has ended for the day and Collins as usual had signed out for the day, now heading to the parking lot where Rukayat was waiting to drive him a considerable distance near his apartment as she has done in the last few days during which Bunmi denied him free ride to and fro. Even though Rukayat is not responsible for driving him to work every morning, at least, he is grateful that he won’t have to wait for hours at the bus- stop after a very stressful day at work.
“Hop in handsome.” Came Rukayat’s voice as she opened the passenger door from him.
If there was one thing he loved about the lady, it was her composure while behind the wheel and look while driving, one can not but conclude that the car was specially made for her, to suit and compliment her figure.
Just as Collins made to enter the car, Bunmi’s Hyundai drove and stopped beside them. Collins didn’t even notice she has changed her car.
“I will drive you.” She said to Collins who immediately restrained himself from entering Rukayat’s car.
“Well, I offered to drive him first.” Rukayat replied.
“Sorry to burst your bubble, he is my boyfriend. You can only drive him when I’m not here.” Bunmi countered.
Rukayat smiled as she fastened her seatbelt. As if on cue, Collins shut the passenger side’s door and immediately she ignited the car.
“A nice ride you have there Bums.” Rukayat remarked as she sped off immediately.
Collins faced his girlfriend who was smiling at him like she just won a lottery. And without being told, he walked to the passenger side and made to open, but the door was locked. Bunmi smiled even more as she spoke to him for the first time.
“Don’t let your pride destroy what we have built. I apologize to you at every slight mistake I commit. You should do the same, especially when your offence is a grave as this. Apologizing doesn’t portray as a weak man, but as a man of peace.” She advised like a mother would advice her son. “Actually, I am headed for a meeting in town, so I won’t be able to drive you, but at least, Rukayat won’t drove you either. See you on Monday.” With this, she sped off like in a speed of light.
Collins stood in confusion as he weighed his options. He looked around the wide parking lot, the cars had tremendously reduced and he wasn’t willing to ask other people for help. “Maybe calling Rukayat to help will do.” He thought and just then he heard someone call his name. Alas! It was Roland.
“Come on in.” He urged and without thinking, Collins hopped into the mini truck which belonged to the company’s production department. “You shouldn’t let women bother you that much Oga Collins, but you have to learn to relate with them.” Collins said as he signed out at the main gate and immediately swung unto the main road. “You can take one of these mini trucks and use as your vehicle, pending the time that you get your own car.” Roland advised.
“Can I?” Collins asked.
“There are three of them and they belong to the production department, you are the boss there, they are under your care.” Roland explained.
“I’ll think about it.”
“Oga Collins, I think you are taking Miss Bunmi’s gentility for granted. I understand the need to make friends and relate with people, but not anywhere near your woman. Rukayat has history with men who have worked here, Miss Bunmi is aware of that, but she wants you to do what is right. If Miss Bunmi is the jealous type, she would have sacked Rukayat a long time ago, but she didn’t, with the hope that you’ll change. And as it stands, you can’t do without Rukayat, you supervise together, do production works together, enter conference rooms for meeting together,leave together, everything where Miss Bunmi can see you. Be careful.”
“But I have never flirted with Rukayat, not to take of cheating on Bunmi with her. Even Rukayat, even though she flirts, she has never seduced me. We are just friends, that’s all.”
“I understand your point of view but women see every female friends of their men as a potential rival. Miss Bunmi will one day react angrily and you won’t like it. Do what is worth doing. Miss Bunmi or nobody else.” Roland concluded as he stopped to observe the traffic light which just turned red.
“You are not even married. What do you know about women?” Collins asked moments later, but Roland ignored him, after all, he had passed across him message to him.
To be Continued