It was another normal, full day and as usual I had plenty of work piled up when I reached my office. As head of department of human resources, I had a plethora of paperwork and had to handle any complaints regarding workers and employees. On top of that I could hire and fire people. Now, that's a plus side for sure.
"Good morning Kathy. Tell me my schedule for the day, please." Kathy nodded. She was an efficient, quiet and quick secretary. "Miss Joanne, you have an interview session from half past nine till lunch. Then at 2 p.m. Mr. Morrison wants to see all department heads for the monthly meeting. Finally at half past three you have the 'complaints round' that you have everyday." I nodded. "Thank you. Oh, Kathy, could you get me the file I gave you yesterday, the ……." So my day had started.
Three hours later I'd interviewed 7 out of the 8 candidates sent to me, and I felt I had to take a break else I'd cramp up. None of them would work out. I don't even know why they even applied to a great, competitive firm like this. They weren't cut out. Taking a minute, I did some breathing exercises my yoga instructor had given me. Then rubbing my temples I rang Kathy to send me the last candidate. Alas, I was without hope.
A young man entered my office. "Good morning, Mrs. Kelly. My name is Jake Luna." The new candidate said. He was overly anxious and oozing with confidence. "Hello, Mr. Luna. I'm Miss Joanne. Mrs. Kelly is not here today, so I'm going to interview you. Unfortunately for you, I'm a tough nut to crack unlike sweet Mrs. Kelly." Jake was smiling less by this time. "Let's start. Mr. Luna, what do you want to do?"
"I want to help in the production because there's a lot of capacity for improvisation here."
"Huh, typical answer. You have quite a lot of experience. You've worked in five different companies for about five years; two of them in good companies. Why did you choose Riviera? Do you know the gist of this company?"
"Well, I know that Riviera produces furniture and expensive Persian-like carpets. It was founded fifteen years ago and has grown amazingly quickly and is the most successful manufacturing company in the country."
"Yes, that's right, Mr. Luna. Let me tell you more about its history. It was founded and started by with Gregory Yorker, his friend Vincent Jordan and Vincent's brother Ralph Jordan. They started it as a dream."
"True, but Miss Joanne, media has reported that there was another person along with the three of them. An unknown person, believed to be woman."
"Yes. True. Good research. But you didn't answer my earlier question. Why do you want to work here?"
"I chose Riviera because I wanted to work in a fantastic company, that has great reputation and to be associated with it will be fantastic. I want to make a difference. Like I told you earlier, I can help the company reach their full productive capacity."
"Hm, fine. A slightly prepared and textbook type answer, but I believe you. Well, you'll know if you're in or not by the end of the day. Good morning Mr. Luna. Please do shut the door as you leave." My voice was firm. "Good day Miss Joanne." He replied and scurried out of my office.
Barely a minute later someone knocked on my door. "Enter," I said. Katherine entered. She was my colleague, albeit one level below me. "Who was that handsome young man who just scurried out? Joanne, you need to stop scaring everyone who comes looking for a job here. You're a tough nut to crack." She said. I gasped. "That's exactly what I told him! What do you want Katherine? I've a really long and busy day ahead of me, and it's barely just started." She sighed. "You need to loosen up, you know. Anyway, I came to say Mr. Kenze told me to tell you that you need to let go of a couple of people." Saying this she handed me a sealed envelope. The list of names of those people who had to be fired was sent to me from Mr. Kenze in a sealed envelope, always. Mr. Kenze, Mr. Yorker's assistant.
I looked at the list. "Hmm, just two names this time. Last time it was ten. Wow." Katherine commented. "Bob and John. Wonder who they are." I murmured. "Bob would be John's secretary. John's the production head. Apparently they stole money from the company and stuff." Katherine explained. "That's why the interviews for production personnel!" I exclaimed. "They're going to make Kim head and they have a post vacant for production personnel. They don't know as yet. Shall I send for them, Joanne?" I nodded and she left.
Both of them came together. Looking at them I remembered when I'd interviewed Bob (recently) and promoted John myself (again recently). "Good morning to both of you. Have a seat." They were tight-lipped. A good sign. I sat patiently, waiting. Waiting for one of them to crack. There were a dozen reports on my desk. Counting to five in my head, I picked up one and started reading. In a matter of mere seconds I was so engrossed in the report that I'd forgotten Bob and John were there. Plus, the report was interesting.
"Ms. Joanne, I demand to know what's going on. I have a lot of work piled up for me to tackle!" Mr. John exclaimed, breaking the silence. I looked up, startled for a second. But I only smiled. "Mr. John, I only think its fair if you return what's rightfully the company's, then get back to work." I said calmly. "What are you talking about?" He demanded. "Return it, John. If you can't both you and Bob will have to go." I stated again, being dangerously calm.
It was Bob who cracked. "We didn't do it, Ms. Joanne. At least I didn't want to do it. I was forced in to it by my boss here!" Bob whined. "Shut up you rotten fool! Joanne, don't believe what he says about the money." John said. "But what money, John? I didn't say anything about money." I said innocently. Too late he realized his mistake. "Where's the proof though, and why accuse us of all people? It could have been you, for all we know?" He demanded. Quick as a whiplash I passed the report I'd been reading to him, along with a CD. "Read the report, and have a look at the CD. You can keep them, burn them or whatever. I've made copies of them as well as the original. Unless you can fork up $15 000 million, I suggest you both leave calmly and quietly." Bob bowed and scurried out of the room. John just sat there as I picked up another file.