Pei Ze: “Jian Yao, briefing in five minutes. Conference Room.”
“Thank you.” Jian Yao gives Pei Ze a smile. She makes a quick trip to the rest room.
In front of the mirror, she makes sure she looks presentable. She takes out her lipsticks and does a quick touch up. Her clothes look straight and not wrinkled. Good. She takes a deep breathe and straightens her back. She gives herself a ‘Bo Jinyan’ type haughty professional smile.
Very good. Perfect. Looks dignified.
– Okay. I am ready. She walks out in her heels, and heads to the conference room.
There are five people sitting around the large oval table. Pei Ze and Dan Shen Wei are already there. There are another three men whom she has not met before .
Jian Yao finds an empty seat. Before she sits down, she gives a small bow: “h.e.l.lo everyone I’m Jian Yao. I am the new a.s.sistant.” Jian Yao smiles toward the crowd.
The man sitting beside her is the first to stand up to shake her hand: “”Hi I am Zhou Qin.” He is in his mid thirties. He looks average, but he has a pair of sharp eyes and a contagious smile. He looks like an experienced sales person.
The other two men also stand up. One of them is called Qian Yu Wen, in his early thirties, medium height, slim build, with dark skin. He has a stern look on his face. He gives Jian Yao a firm handshake. The other man is Mai Chen. He is a cute young man around the same age as Jian Yao. He smiles gently to her: “Welcome to the team.”
All pleasantries are over. Pei Ze walks to stand behind Jian Yao. He rests his hands on the back rest of her chair and leans down: “ ‘Lau Zhou’ and ‘Lau Qian’ are the senior sales manager. ‘Xiao Mai’ is the Operations a.s.sistant. Like your previous division, we work together as a team, so communication is very important.”
(Note from TB: You probably know this. But just in case – In China, colleagues and friends often don’t call people’s full name. Instead, they would use “Lau” (usually when it’s an older man) or “Xiao” (when the person is younger than you) plus their last name. i.e. Mai Chen is “Xiao Chen” and Zhou Qin is “Lau Zhou”.)
Jian Yao thanks him. Pei Ze replies: “It’s my pleasure to work with a pretty girl like you.” Then he returns to his seat. Others laugh, with the exception of Shen Dan Wei. She is looking down at her notebook.
Everyone is seated, The room becomes quiet. They wait.
Jian Yao thinks to herself. She has met everyone in the division except for the Department manager Lin Yu Xuan and the mysterious new director.
A woman around thirty years old walks in, It’s Lin Yu Xuan. You can tell that she is a career woman, dressed in a ladies suit. Her eyes rest on Jian Yao: “Jian Yao?”
Jian Yao stands up immediately: “Yes. Nice to meet you, Manager Lin.”
Lin Yu Xuan smiles, she answers politely: “Mmm…”
Pei Ze smiles and asks “Manager Lin, who is our new director?”
Lin Yu Xuan replies: “He’s on his way here. He was just talking to the Chairman.” She turns and looks down the corridor :”Ah, here he is.”
Through the frosted gla.s.s panels, they see a tall figure walking leisurely towards the entrance.
The moment he enters, Pei Ze gets everyone to clap and welcome him.
Then Jian Yao sees the same handsome face that lives just downstairs from her.
Everyone has a big smile on their face. Only Jian Yao looks stunned.
Jian Yao now understands the ‘vain’ comment made by the young girl during her farewell lunch.
– Can someone tell her why Bo Jinyan is here?
Manager Lin introduces: “This is Bo Jinyan, our new director. We are honoured to have him join the team. I’m sure our division will go from strength to strength under his leadership.”
Everybody applauds again. Even the grim beauty Dan Shen Wei seems to like this new director. She has a look of approval in her eyes. Jian Yao fixes her eyes on Bo Jinyan, but he looks pa.s.s her as if he does not recognise her. ,
Just this morning they were having breakfast together. He didn’t even give the slightest hint that he will be here.
Everyone takes a seat. Each employee makes a brief self introduction to the new director.
When everyone has finished, Manager Lin says: “Director Bo will be responsible for the overall strategic and business direction. From now on, all of you will report directly to me. The Chairman does not want Director Bo to be bogged down with the routine tasks.”
Everybody nods. Jian Yao is suspicious. Business direction? It’s not his expertise.
Manager Lin asks: “Director Bo, would you like to say a few words?”
“Alright.” Bo Jinyan says. He takes a pause and looks around the table slowly. The place is so quiet that you can hear a pin fall to the ground.
He starts to speak: “I don’t like beating around the bush. I am only going to be here temporarily. You do not have to befriend me. I have no energy to deal with each one of you separately. I have my way of doing things. You have to respond to my every demand, but I will not respond to yours. We will live in peace. And at appraisal time, you will all get an A for performance from me. Thank you.”
The room is quiet again.
– Temporary? What is he trying to achieve here?
The Customer 3 division is an elite team. They never expected to have to deal with someone who is so brutally blunt. But after a moment to take in Bo Jinyan’s speech, they applaud in unison.
Manager Lin is still slightly taken back by his speech, To smooth things over, she speaks with a calm voice: “Director Bo, since we have not been able to recruit a secretary yet, Jian Yao, our new a.s.sistant will serve you until we find someone else.”
An indifferent looking Bo Jinyan: “That’s fine.”
Manager Lin looks to Jian Yao: “From now on, you report directly to Director Bo.”
Meeting has ended. They return to their office.
The table for the Director’s secretary is located outside his office. She sits down and see Bo Jinyan walking towards her.
People are watching. Jian Yao keeps an expressionless face.
He walks past the table, taps the side with his fingers: “You. Come in.” And he goes into an oversized office.
Jian Yao takes a notebook and pen and walks in after him. She hesitates, then decides to shut the door behind her. .
The crowd outside is finally able to relax.
All the company chairs have castors on them. While sitting in his chair, Pei Ze glides over to Shen Dan Wei’s desk. He takes a glance at the Director’s office: “The poor little beauty. Where did this arrogant guy come from? ”
Shen Dan Wei replies: “Really? I think he’s cool.”
Pei Ze looks at her and laughs out loud. He looks up, surprised to find that Qian Yu Wen looking at him quietly. Pei Ze looks away, starts whistling, and glides back to his desk, Everyone goes back to work.
Bo Jinyan is sitting at an expensive black solid work desk. He sits in the leather chair and stares at the computer screen.
Jian Yao walks to the table. She throws the note book and pen on his desk: “Explain!”
Behind the screen, Bo Jinyan mumbles: “Your inescapable fate as my a.s.sistant ……”
Jian Yao: “BO Jinyan!”
Suddenly, a light knock at the door.
“Come in.” Bo Jinyan lifts his eyes to glance at her. A smile has appeared on her previous angry face like magic.
It’s Mai Chen. He has two security guards with him, carrying some office furniture. Bo Jinyan smiles. One of the guys asks: “Where do you want us to put them?”
Bo Jinyan puts his hands behind head, like he is resting on a pillow, and casually answers: “ Anywhere, as long as it’s somewhere within my range of vision.”
Jian Yao looks at him. “Don’t tell me you are here for some undercover operation. You disguised as a director and transferred me here so I can work for you?”
Bo Jinyan: “I’m glad to see you are using your brain.”
She can’t believe this.
“Bo Jinyan, how can you do this to me?” she asks: “You should at least check with me first to see if I am willing to help you?
Bo Jinyan’s smile freezes.
Jian Yao continues: “Do you know how much I value my job? This is an area of work I want to pursue in. You don’t like other people to intervene with your investigations. I am the same. I want a stable and safe job. But what will become of me in the future? You would have left the company but I am still going to work here. How will my colleague treat me? What would they think of me “O be careful. Don’t talk to her. She’s a spy” Or if the next time you need to solve a case in Mongolia, you expect me to quit my job and follow you there?”
Her face is getting more and more red. She’s only been here for a few months. She has worked hard to settle into the company. But Bo Jinyan is going to ruin all that. He has no right to dictate what she will be doing.
She walks to the door, and suddenly remembers, her desk has been moved inside his office. She has nowhere else to go. She sits down at her desk and turns her back to Bo Jinyan.
After a while, she has calmed herself down. She begins to think.
• What am I going to do now? Should I resign? But where will I go from here?
Clearly the Chairman and Manager Lin knows Bo Jinyan’s ident.i.ty. Perhaps after she solves this case, they can help cover for her, so no one else in the company will know. She will return to her original post.
At this point, someone knocks on the door. The tapping goes on for a while. Bo Jinyan just keeps silent. Jian Yao clears her voice: “Please come in.”
Pei Ze pushes open the door. His hand is carrying two coffee cups. He gives a charming smile: “A mocha and a herbal tea. Is that ok?”
Jian Yao smiles and stands up: “Thank you so much. How much is it?”
Pei Ze laughs: “Don’t mention it. My pleasure.” He turns to Bo Jinyan: “Bye.”
Bo Jinyan really is a man of his word. He ignores Pei Ze.
Pei Ze closes the door. Jian Yao puts down the cups on her table.
Bo Jinyan: ”Mocha, thank you.”
“Come and get it yourself!”
Soon, she hears him standing up and walking towards her. She keeps her head down. He says in a sooth gentle voice: “your job will not be too affected by this case. I will solve it very quickly. Think about it. A case as complicated as the killer machine only took me 5 days to crack. This is a piece of cake.”
Jian Yao feels a little more rea.s.sured, but she keeps quiet.
A pair of hands appear on either ends of the table. The amber cufflinks on his sleeves reflects the light from the table lamp. He leans forward. His face is just inches away from hers.
“Sorry for being blunt, but what is the purpose of your job? Taking some goods from one location, transfer them to a different location and sell them at a higher price. Is that what you will tell your grandchildren when you are old? How much cargo you helped transferred in your lifetime? Or do you want them to know how many lives you have saved?”
Jian Yao looks at him. The two faces are separated by less than 30cm, she can almost see her own reflection in his eyes.
Somewhere in her heart, a chord is struck lightly.
Jian Yao turns her face away.
“Nonsense.” She says: “It’s logistics, economic development, an indispensable part of keeping the society prosperous.”
Bo Jinyan loosens his grip off the corners of the tables. He walks back to his desk, taking his cup of mocha with him. He takes a few pieces of paper from there and walks back to her desk: “Okay, Miss logistics, can we have a look at the information on the case now?” He puts the pieces of paper on her desk.
She opens the files. There’s a photo of a young lady, wearing a suit, in her early twenties. She looks at the next doc.u.ment. It’s her CV. w.a.n.g Wan Wei, aged 23, a.s.sistant of Customer 3 Division. Her predecessor.
Bo Jinyan makes a comment: “You and her. The two of you look alike. You are both pale and thin.”
Jian Yao ignores him. He continues: “It’s not death from natural causes. It’s suicide.”
– Jian Yao thought Bo Jinyan only deals with cases involving vicious serial killer .The death of a white collar office lady? This is not the type of case he would usually take on.
She asks: “Is she an agent from the Ministry of Public Security?” What’s so special about her?
Bo Jinyan: “Do you think the Ministry has nothing better to do than to send their agents as porters, I am sorry, logistic workers?”
Jian Yao: “……So, what’s the reason…?”
She is confused. Bo Jinyan’s phone rings: “Ah well..” He takes a look at Jian Yao: “She’ll eat anything. Bye.”
He hangs up. He says to Jian Yao: “We are going for dinner.”
Jian Yao asks: “With Whom?”
Bo Jinyan: “A woman that brings me nothing but trouble. Why else do you think I would accept this ‘kindergarten level’ case?”
Jian Yao is curious.