Chapter 205 Getting Interesting
For an enterprise to develop until this stage, Cao Da had evidently gone through a lot in the past 20 over years. He probably fell critically ill two years ago due to extreme mental and physical exhaustion. Afterward, he had a sudden realization and began to see that some things were not as important, which was why he stopped fussing over the little things. This caused the company’s management to become chaotic and the development of the company came to a standstill. Many of the staff became demons and monsters that betrayed the company while reaping benefits from it.
But today, there was such a perfect opportunity right before his eyes, which was why Cao Da decided to enter the game again. This time around, he was not fighting for himself, but for his children to live a carefree life.
After saying the words ‘let’s start the meeting now’, Cao Da directly picked up the few documents that Yu Qian had previously passed to him and threw them in front of everyone. Following which, his face fell and he started scolding them harshly, “I’ve only been gone for slightly more than a year and you guys started to not take me seriously! This is the semi-annual report after auditing. Performance has fallen by 40% and profits had plunged by 60%! I don’t know how you guys have the decency to sit here. Tell me what’s going on exactly! I’ve seen the reports from each department and subsidiary company. You guys all know very well who’s doing what. Now you guys tell me what exactly is going on. Lao Zhou, you start first. I handed the company to you and you made it become like this. You must give me an explanation, right?”
Cao Da scolded them overwhelming anger. They finally understood what the purpose of this sudden call for a meeting was for. It seemed like after two years of staying silent, Mr. Cao was now starting to calculate their debts. Everyone was too afraid to say anything and did not even dare to let out a sound.
Mr. Zhou’s face fell as he stood up to pour out his sufferings…
In the next two hours, Qin Sheng sat there quietly as he observed Cao Da conduct a scolding session. He also observed what the executives said and what their facial expressions were like. He could not help but silently try to figure out who was really innocent and who was guilty.
Qin Sheng initially thought that Cao Da had a soft character. Now, he finally understood what he was really like. When scolding someone, he really went all out to embarrass the person. He might as well dig their graves for them too! Those who were being scolded dared not talk back.
During lunch, Cao Da brought Qin Sheng to a restaurant downstairs. After choosing a quieter seat and drinking some water, Cao Da then said, “Don’t think that I scold them too harshly today. You can rest assured, this bunch of people will be careful within the next short period of time. But so long as I continue to not care too much, it will be just a matter of time before they return to their original state. Hence, in this period of time, try to look around when you’re free and you might catch them in action. Your chance will come when they return to their original state. During then, I will remove these pests completely and never allow them to go unpunished.”
Qin Sheng had not even filled up the paperwork for employment and he had already listened to Cao Da’s scolding session that lasted the whole morning. He finally understood the whole situation. One must switch between being firm and lenient in order to catch those who might expose themselves. Otherwise, even if Qin Sheng had gone, he would not be able to notice anything for no one trusted his abilities.
“These people are all old co-workers who have been with me for many years. The entertainment and F&B industry especially take up a large percentage. Don’t look down on the small nightclub. It serves a startling amount of customers in a year. A tiny change can result in a shocking amount of profits,” Cao Da explained to Qin Sheng.
Qin Sheng said thoughtfully, “Mr. Cao, I’m sure you’re well aware of who’s betraying the company and who’s really serving the company, but you’re just not in the right position to point it out?”
“You got it. Some of them are backed-up by shareholders. Some of them are fearless, and some of them are just trying to slack and get by. Hence, it is much more suitable for you to come out,” Cao Da replied.
Qin Sheng sighed, “You’re pushing me into the fire pit.”
“This is the only way for me to know if you have the capabilities, if you’re really like what Lao Zhuang said. Otherwise, why would I keep someone that’s just going to waste my money?” Cao Da said covering up. He was straightforward but it was also the truth.
Qin Sheng said cheerfully, “Since I have you behind my back, I’ll be your gun.”
“Okay. You don’t have to attend the meeting in the afternoon. Fill up the paperwork first and let the secretary help you to get familiarized with the whole company’s departments and what the subsidiary companies do. At night, you’ll accompany me to an alcohol setting.” Cao Da did not elaborate much. As long as Qin Sheng understood what he said, he would know what he had to do.
After lunch, they returned to the company and rested for a while. Qin Sheng did not attend the meeting in the afternoon. He only heard that Mr. Qian had rushed back while Mr. Sun, who was filming in Hengdian, was still not here.
Yu Qian was in the meeting with Cao Da. There were two other secretaries in the company. There were only two in the past, but after Cao Da stopped taking care of things, there were much more things to handle, which was why they hired another secretary to help Yu Qian take care of the small things. This was because Cao Da controlled the company remotely, many things required Yu Qian to do it herself and she really could not finish all of them.
The two secretaries were a man and a woman. The woman was only hired last year. She was a fresh graduate that graduated less than two years ago and she still showed signs of inexperience. After getting Qin Sheng to finish the paperwork, she brought him around to familiarize with the various departments.
Finally, he brought him to the office and introduced to him the management personnel of the company, as well as the person-in-charge of each department and subsidiary company. Last but not least, she introduced to him the business of the subsidiary companies as well as other things.
After they were done, it was already time to get off work. Lao Li came and gave Qin Sheng a car key. This was requested by Cao Da this morning. It was a very ordinary car, a Honda Accord. For Qin Sheng, it was a mode of transportation and would make his commute easier.
However, Qin Sheng did not have the chance to drive the car tonight because he had to accompany Cao Da to drink with clients tonight. This was also Qin Sheng’s first official task.
This time around, Qin Sheng took the wheel. Cao Da did not bring his driver Lao Li along and asked him to get off work earlier. Lao Li never held a grudge. He had served in the army for many years and was considered a distant relative of Cao Da’s. When Cao Da’s business was first moving on to the next stage, he needed a driver and his relatives suggested Lao Li to him.
The place they were going to eat at was at Meijiawu. It was a more famous private restaurant-club that was patronized by big shots. It only served friends in the same social circle and did not open its doors to the public.
On the way to Meijiawu, Cao Da told Qin Sheng that the person who was treating them to dinner had failed in his business years ago and almost went bankrupt. However, he was very experienced. Afterward, the business was revived again. Maybe because luck comes and goes, for the past two years, everything had been running smoothly. Today, his company had just started operations and this dinner was a celebration with some of his good friends in the circle. Cao Da was one of them.
Cao Da also told Qin Sheng that there was also a highly-respected old man that was attending the dinner. The old man used to hold a very high position. After retiring, he went to the provincial CPPCC. He would always land safely even when walking on thin ice. He gave the man a lot of help in reviving his business but they were only acquaintances.
Cao Da was very particular about the details in all the things that he did. Since there was going to be guests that were older than him, he deliberately arrived earlier. This was basic manners that he would abide to, no matter how big his business might be or how high his status was.
When they arrived at this nameless private restaurant at Wujiamei, Qin Sheng parked the car and said cleverly, “Mr. Cao, I’ll wait for you outside.”
Qin Sheng knew that as an insignificant worker, he was not qualified to join the meetings between big shots.
However, Cao Da laughed and said, “No worries, just follow me. I didn’t ask you to come so that you can drive me home. There are many things to learn in any kind of meal gatherings. You can take the chance to learn.”
After hearing this, Qin Sheng was more or less surprised. However, since Cao Da had already said it, he could only follow and enter.
The waiter led them to the private room. The big shot that was treating the dinner had also just arrived. The other guests were all on their way. Cao Da erupted into laughter and said, “Mr. Liu, it’s been a long time!”
“Lao Cao, I thought that you wouldn’t come today, I’ve asked you out so many times,” said the big-sized Mr. Liu as he smiled and shook hands with Cao Da.
Cao Da laughed and said, “This is one of my nephews, he insisted on following me to see the real world. I let him come and run an errand today, to help us serve tea and pour wine.”
The private room was very big. One side was the lounge while one side housed a big round dining table. Mr. Liu’s assistant was also there, so he did not mind at all. “Sure, sure, sure. Lil Song, take good care of Mr. Cao’s nephew.”
Mr. Liu turned around and said to Cao Da again, “I think you only brought him along because you’re worried that you won’t be able to go back home if you drink too much!”
The two of them had a very courteous conversation. Qin Sheng knew better and left to sit at the lounge. He nodded politely at the young man named Lil Song. He guessed that Lil Song was probably Mr. Liu’s secretary or assistant.
Cao Da and Mr. Liu were seated first and the guests arrived gradually. At this moment, Mr. Liu received a call. Judging from what he heard, Cao Da guessed that the important old man had arrived and was asking for the specific location.
Cao Da smiled and suggested, “Lao Liu, why don’t we go down and welcome Elder He?”
Mr. Liu ignored him and said casually, “Let me help everyone to order first. I brought all these alcohol today, they’re all good ones.”
Cao Da was slightly pissed when he heard that. He got up alone and went out to welcome the old man. Qin Sheng had been staring at everyone at the table and did not let go of any small detail. Hence, he quickly left with Cao Da.
On their way out, Cao Da muttered, “One should never forget who he is.”
Qin Sheng did not respond.
A few minutes after they arrived at the courtyard, the old man’s designated car arrived. It was an ordinary Passat.
Cao Da quickly went up to open the door for him. The old man got off the car slowly. Although he looked calm, his gaze showed that he was a little surprised. After all, Cao Da was the only one that came to welcome him.
Qin Sheng studied the old man. He was indeed old. His hair had all turned white and his face was full of old age spots. He was already hunching his back as he walked.
Cao Da chatted with the old man casually while walking towards the private room. Both Qin Sheng and Cao Da’s heart tightened when they heard the old man say that he was still a little not used.
After entering the private room, Mr. Liu and the other four guests all stood up immediately to welcome him. Everyone stretched out their hands and said courteous words. But standing not far away, Qin Sheng saw Cao Da smiling as he stepped aside and gave them the spotlight.
Mr. Liu was very caring towards the old man, but it was obviously a generic move that was very much unlike his earlier respectful attitude. Qin Sheng sensed this small detail.
Everyone took their seats.
The old man sat down at the important seat naturally, followed by Mr. Liu. Cao Da signaled for his friends to sit down while he sat at the not-so-important seat.
The talking commenced along with the drinking. Mr. Liu and the old man naturally became the center of the topic. Mr. Liu talked more than he did on usual days while Cao Da smiled and said nothing because he was slightly surprised at how this bunch of people could adapt to the situation so quickly. Cao Da kept on talking about the old man but he did not say nor ate much.
Qin Sheng noticed these too.
When the waiters served their soup, they placed the first bowl in front of Mr. Liu. After all, in order to work here, they must have eyes for such things. They knew that Mr. Liu was the star of today’s show and did not care much about the old man seating at the important seat.
At this moment, Cao Da subconsciously signaled the waiter to give it to the old man. However, Mr. Liu received the bowl of soup naturally. Both actions happened almost at the same time.
Things then got awkward. Sitting not far away, Qin Sheng could not help but feel that this was getting interesting.