Gu Yanting: “……”
Both of them breathed a little faster, and obviously Gu Yanting’s breathing was heavier. The two of them were panting on the phone a little awkwardly, and occasionally they would pant in the same rhythm, which was quite embarrassing.
Tang Yi was a little angry for no reason when he hung up the phone earlier, the “talk nicely” and “don’t suffer a big loss over a small thing” that he had thought about became bullshit and he felt uncomfortable unless he paid back in kind.
Gu Yanting choked for a while and was silent for a while with mixed feelings.
“You just called, is there some problem?”
Tang Yi: “Sorry, the signal is not very good, what did you say?”
Gu Yanting: “Are you looking for me for something…”
Tang Yi: “The signal is not very good…”
“Are you okay?” Gu Yanting helplessly raised his hand to press his burning forehead, his tone suddenly softening. With this stance Tang Yi was refusing to talk to him properly, which made him feel less tense but more helpless. There was silence again on Tang Yi’s side, and Gu Yanting didn’t mind. After a low cough, he suppressed the discomfort in his throat and whispered, “These two years, you…”
“Dudududu–” Tang Yi hung up.
The next day Tang Yi gave the phone number to Yan Ke early in the morning. Yan Ke had lived up to expectations these two years, setting the new ER record for contract signings and becoming the youngest general manager of ER’s marketing department.
Seeing that Tang Yi had no intention to introduce him after giving the phone number, he couldn’t help but ask: “This client…”
Tang Yi glanced at him. Yan Ke froze for a moment and said quickly, “I’ll take care of it.”
How to start sales when you only have the customer’s contact information was the first lesson of their initial induction training, and it was also Tang Yi’s original training content. The intention was to train the marketing department’s staff to gather information and explore the customer’s needs. In the early days of the company, this method was a great success, but as the company’s reputation grew and the number of clients increased, this method was gradually eliminated.
Tang Yi glanced at Yan Ke, then smiled, “You can communicate with the other party about this. If you find it difficult, let Lao Cao help you.”
Lao Cao was Cao Zhengxuan, Tang Yi’s deputy when he was the marketing manager. He was a very honest person, working as a deputy for many years. He had no real power in his hands and had not won any orders. He was obviously older than anyone else, but doing the most thankless job.
Tang Yi was someone who remembered the old days. When he was promoted, he also gave Lao Cao a boost, but Lao Cao always received a fixed salary and a full attendance award, so although his position became the deputy director, in the eyes of everyone he continued to be a thankless coolie.
Yan Ke waved his hand hastily, “I don’t need Deputy Director Cao, I can do it myself. ”
Tang Yi nodded, but afterwards he still asked Cao Zhengxuan to go over and help run the errands. As he watched Cao Zhengxuan’s unassuming face pass by in a flash, Tang Yi was dazed for a moment and suddenly remembered what Shen Fan had said yesterday about the Zhou family.
Zhou Hao’s father was Zhou Dongchuan. The Zhou family was regarded as a century-old family in C City, but Zhou Dongchuan was a very inconspicuous member of that generation. He had many brothers, and the business of the family was divided among them, leaving him with the part the size of a fingernail.
Zhou Dongchuan, a small man with the same facial features as Lao Cao, had a completely different temperament.
He was extremely ambitious. When he was young, he felt that he could not hold onto his property, so he decisively sold it to his brothers and then went south with the cash.
At that time, reform and opening up(1) had already taken place, and the economic development of the northern and southern cities could be decades apart. Zhou Dongchuan developed in a big, bustling city, doing everything from picking up garbage to running a clothing factory and then a toy factory, and after they all went out of business, he started a taxi licence company.
He was not short of money, and the experience of running a factory that collapsed and then running another factory that collapsed again also made him understand that he was not suitable for industry. So he threw all his money at the licence plates, and for that purpose set up a small car company to specialise in acquiring taxi licence plates from various companies.
He made a good grab, and soon after stocking up, the price of the licence plates rose sharply. Zhou Dongchuan saw the opportunity to let go of them quickly, making a profit of tens of millions. The licence plates were so lucrative that during that period Zhou Dongchuan had made a lot of contacts. He took one bite and moved on, leaving the big pie behind for the local mafia bosses who already had their eyes on it.
He then took a significant portion of the money he earned and rewarded the nobles who had given him the green light and helped him in both government and business matters. Shortly afterwards, with the continued help of the dignitaries, he gathered a few PhDs in economics from prestigious universities and set up a capital operation team.
This capital operation team was very good at self-promotion, but had little intention to make careful plans for the companies that came to them. Their aim was just to earn a large commission. Under Zhou Dongchuan’s instructions, they were able to exchange one shot for another, victimising many companies that were eager to expand; but of course the profits they made were also astonishing.
What Zhou Dongchuan did had nothing to do with industry. After making huge profits, he quickly retired and returned to C City under the pretext of recuperating long before the capital market system was properly established. Not only did he wash his hands of the business, but he also ran several charity projects.
Few people in C City knew anything about him, except that he had been out there, fighting the world since he was young and had surprisingly made a better living than his brothers and cousins. Most of his brothers were caught up in internal battles; those who were capable went out on their own, and those who weren’t were driven far away. The only ones left were the victors, who were highly skilled and ruthless.
Zhou Hao never got involved in the Zhou family’s business, and instead, like his father, specialised in capital operations.
The Zhou family’s bloodline seems to have a natural knack for capturing opportunities, and when Shen Fan talked about it, he sounded a bit envious. While he also acquired several technology companies, overall his results could only be said to be mediocre.
On the contrary, when his main business that had been in decline came under Tang Yi’s control, the latter was able to revive it and won a number of government contracts. When Shen Fan gave Tang Yi this subsidiary, he meant it to be a compensation of sorts but now Tang Yi was paying him substantial dividends in return.
When Shen Fan finished speaking, he sighed, “Tang Yi, if you really get together with Zhou Hao, it will be tantamount to entering the gate of the capital empire.”
Tang Yi was taken aback for a moment, “Let’s talk about it in another way.”
“In case he goes bankrupt, I’ll have to support him.” Tang Yi smiled, “Please don’t worry, leader, I will be loyal to the company and never have second thoughts. I won’t leave whatever Zhou, Wu, Zheng or Wang(2) comes to poach me.”
Near noon, Yan Ke came over to report on the progress and said that the person in charge of the other party was suffering from acclimatising, had a cold and was now in the hospital, and the meeting time would be postponed for two or three days.
Tang Yi frowned slightly in anxiety, turned and asked him, “How big is this order?”
Yan Ke indicated a number with his fingers, not a small one.
“I’ve already sent someone to buy something nice to go visit.” Yan Ke said, lowering his hand. “But the other party said he knows you. Does Mr. Tang want to go over there?”
Tang Yi worked very hard at work. He started from the bottom of the business and hadn’t been able to fully delegate his authority even when he reached the position of the boss. He never grabbed the important orders and often rolled up his sleeves and toiled personally. Shen Fan reminded him about these things several times. After all, there is an essential difference between the position of the boss and the middle-level management. Employees don’t need you to drive. You just need to know how to hit with a stick and give a carrot. Just clean up your act with your senior executives and be obedient.
Tang Yi never listened, and only later did Shen Fan realise that there was inevitably a personality factor involved. Tang Yi was a very guarded man, and extremely insecure in addition to that. He would rather do things on his own and talk to clients in person than sit in the office and lose his ability to earn money in the gradual pampering.
The first time he found out about Tang Yi’s insecurity was when Tang Yi went to his house. Shen Fan bought Tang Yi a gift for his first meeting with Big Beauty, so Tang Yi gave him a fountain pen casually. He thought it was as simple as that, but later when they became familiar, Shen Fan found out that Tang Yi specially bought the outfit to wear to his house in that mall.
Tang Yi had a little instinctive desire to please as well as wariness towards people and things around him, and his skill in catering to others was becoming more and more refined. It was impossible to say whether this was a good thing or a bad thing, and there were many details that were unnoticeable unless one paid close attention. But as a cheap brother who appeared halfway, Shen Fan would still feel distressed.
However, distress was his business as a brother, and as a superior to a subordinate, he could only ask Tang Yi’s plans in accordance with the usual practice.
When Yan Ke saw that Tang Yi was pensive and silent, he felt a little strange but still bent slightly in a disciplined manner and waited for Tang Yi’s instructions.
A moment later Tang Yi gave a reply, “I won’t go over, everything will be done according to the usual procedure.”
Gu Yanting sat on the bench in the hospital corridor, looking at the hanging bottle for a while. He had a sudden fever in the middle of the night, and after waiting until dawn, he saw that the fever had not subsided, so he had no choice but to come to the hospital.
The hospital was full of people with colds because of the change of season, so he was arranged to sit on the bench in the corridor twice. When a pretty girl came over to visit him with some things, Gu Yanting was listening to an old man talking about how his wife always got hugged by the old man from the opposite building when she went dancing.
The pretty girl had obviously never been at the hospital before, so she stood in the corridor for a while and didn’t know what to do. The benches were full of patients, Gu Yanting’s row was all male, and there were also a few elderly uncles on the opposite side. She was wearing a little floral skirt and high heels and didn’t dare to sit anywhere. Nurses would occasionally push the trolley in the middle of the corridor. The little beauty would shrink to the left for a moment and then to the right for a moment, unable to say the prepared words.
“Mr. Gu, I am from ER…”
“Come and sit down.” Gu Yanting raised his eyes and looked at her.
He originally had no intention to let her stay. In public terms they were contractual parties. The other party sent a beautiful woman over to visit the sick; the intention couldn’t be more obvious. In private, he was not interested in women either, and it would be uncomfortable for both sides to look for a topic to talk about. But this little beauty obviously came with a mission, and if he didn’t say anything, she might just plan to stand in the corridor indefinitely.
“You can call me Chen Xuan.” The little beauty saw Gu Yanting move to the right to make room for her and was busy trying to start the conversation and smiling as she sat down.
She was new to the company, and before she left today Mr. Yan said that the client was very important and told her to have a good chat with him for twenty minutes before going back. Although Chen Xuan was inexperienced, she knew that the above meant for her to make good use of her face, and that successful people nowadays liked simple girls, not necessarily having any nasty thoughts, just sincerely appreciating and liking them.
She just didn’t expect this Mr. Gu to be so young and handsome; even better looking than Mr. Tang in the company.
Chen Xuan sat down on the bench and smiled at Gu Yanting, “Are you hungry now, Mr. Gu? If you are, shall I go get you some porridge?”
Gu Yanting looked at her and chuckled, “No, I’m not hungry.”
When Chen Xuan saw that the other party had dimples when he smiled, she froze for a moment. When she returned to her senses, she was eager to keep talking, somewhat embarrassed, “Ah, then if it’s convenient for you, I’ll invite you out to eat after the infusion.” She paused and carefully looked at Gu Yanting before saying, “Our leader has an assignment for me, since I’m local, to take you to try the food in T City. I was thinking of eating something light, I don’t know if it’s okay.”
“Oh?” Gu Yanting raised his eyebrows, “Which leader of yours? Mr. Tang?”
“Ah, no, it’s Chief Yan.” Chen Xuan froze for a moment, “You know our Chief Tang, ah?”
“Yes,” Gu Yanting nodded and sighed with a smile, “I’m an old classmate of your Chief Tang but your Chief Tang’s life is much more comfortable than mine.”
“Well, yeah!” Chen Xuan covered her mouth and laughed, “Our Chief Tang is the only one in the whole company who is busy dating every day!”
- Program of economic reforms in China in ~1978-1989
- Surnames in a row from “The Hundred Family Surnames”