Break-up Chapter 38

As Tang Yi expected, the news that both the director and the project manager of ER had “disappeared” spread swiftly, and before the morning was over, the company received a number of concerns and inquiries from the customers.

There were all sorts of people with this mindset, and with their interests driving them, there was no need for Tang Yi and Ning Zeyu to distinguish between false feelings and false intentions. They could only plan for the worst.

At ten o’clock in the morning, the company urgently summoned the entire management to discuss countermeasures. At the same time, the various competitors who originally came for the Huayuan order also spread the news back to their respective base camps. All sorts of rumours ran rampant at once, and many competitors were very unreserved in showing their gloating faces.

The original strength of ER was not worthy of such attention. At the beginning ER did well for a while but then, because of internal factional fighting, the company’s management was affected. Before Shen Fan took power, the software business was still viable, even though, except for the T City side, the other branches reported losses almost every year. This was also one of the reasons why Shen Fan cut all the main business down to the subsidiary.

This move made many competitors secretly snicker. Changing the direction of the company is like changing blood. ER’s new business might be doing well or not, hard to say, but it was bound to be eliminated from the software business. Who could have imagined that half a year later they didn’t see ER leave the market as they had hoped, but instead, the people of the T City branch began to grab orders nationwide like wolves and tigers.

They later learned that Tang Yi, the helmsman of the T City company, came from a sales background, and he himself was in a state of wolf-like madness at work. At the time when ER had not yet reformed, the market was internally divided into five regions, including Northern and Central China, and the T City gang could only hang around in their own region. Now that the regional restrictions had been lifted, these wolf-like sales teams suddenly began to lurk everywhere, killing in all directions.

In the beginning, the wolf cubs of ER were simply unscrupulous, pulling in as many small and large orders as they could. Many companies didn’t look at the small orders, such as a small set of OA systems for 10,000 yuan. For ER, it was a fragrant bun and the customer was treated like an ancestor. These projects didn’t shake the status of the giant companies, but for a subsidiary company of this size, such sales were very impressive.

While everyone was shocked by the state of sales of ER, Tang Yi had some secret concerns — their company relied on high commissions to feed these young people with strong sales power. Under such a policy, everyone would rack their brains to pull customers into the company, without considering the implementation and after-sales affordability.

The company had twice expanded its recruitment of technical staff on a large scale. However, the maturity cycle of technical staff is long and not many of them are able to start working immediately after being recruited. The rest of the staff came for the high salaries, and there were many who were just waiting for another job. It was easy to have problems if follow-up services couldn’t keep up. However, blind expansion was not a good strategy either. Tang Yi had just discussed this issue with Ning Zeyu. Who knew that the two pillars of the technical department would run away before the plan was ready.

Obviously, someone was making trouble, but what scared everyone in ER at this moment was that they didn’t know who the opponent was, didn’t know the ultimate goal of the opponent, and didn’t know if there were still core staff who were “about to leave” in the company today or even “spies” planted by the other party.

Not many people spoke at the emergency meeting. Ning Zeyu finished speaking briefly and concisely about the current situation. When it was time for everyone to talk freely, the meeting room fell into a dead silence.

Tang Yi sat in the top position, his face flushed with a high fever and his lips a little abnormal in colour. He leaned back in his chair, and after the meeting had maintained a long silence, he swept his gaze around the room solemnly. The attendees all kept their heads down. The urgent situation Ning Zeyu spoke of earlier didn’t seem to have touched them. The only thing everyone did was to shrink their bodies a little more when Tang Yi’s gaze turned to them.

Tang Yi didn’t say anything. The original anger and tension in his heart as well as the various anxious and irritated emotions were suppressed by this dead silence. Apparently compared to the uproar outside, the participants of the meeting should have been united but were actually cowering, which was even more surprising to him, and he suddenly wondered, “If I don’t say anything, will someone make a sound?”

Tang Yi was sincerely grateful when Shen Fan handed over the branch to him. Shen Fan was unabashedly kind to him and blatantly used the company to compensate his cheap brother. When Tang Yi took over, he thought he was capable enough to take charge, and while he walked into the job with great enthusiasm, he was also thinking of giving Shen Fan a sheet full of correct answers. 

Because Shen Fan had spoken to him before he officially took the reins.

Shen Fan said: Big Beauty had long proposed to let you sit in this position, but I didn’t agree at the time. The reason was that I felt that as a manager, you were still a bit short of the mark.

Tang Yi asked him where he fell short.

Shen Fan smiled and said: trust. Your desire to control is too strong and your trust in others is not enough. This makes you small, unable to let go, and unable to do much.

The description of Tang Yi’s character was always full of words “arbitrariness”, “arrogance” and “self-importance”. He had a difficult life and a miserable childhood, yet as an adult he rarely met with setbacks. This caused him to be quite confident in his own decisions and often wary of others, so most of the time the meetings he held were a formality. Tang Yi would listen to the grievances and opinions of the senior management, but never adopt them.

Shen Fan laughed at him at the time and said: you should be careful not to become a loner, it’s too cold on the top.

Tang Yi didn’t think so then, but now, sitting in a conference room where the air conditioning was turned up but no one spoke, he finally felt the so-called cold.

The cold ran from the tips of his fingers holding the pen to his heart, contrasting with his hot forehead. Tang Yi looked around with a stoic expression, and suddenly a thought came to him — I let down Shen Fan.

I let down the company, I let down my men, and perhaps, I let down Gu Yanting.

This thought made Tang Yi lose his concentration for a full minute, and when the people at the meeting noticed that something was wrong and secretly glanced at him from the corner of their eyes, he finally came back to his senses and smiled lightly.

“Mr. Ning shall make a list of all relevant items and send it to my office in fifteen minutes. The after-sales department shall do a good job in answering the hotline, recording all incoming calls and collecting all responses in a timely manner. The work of the sales department does not have to stop…”

He arranged all the work in an orderly manner, as if the company had just encountered a perfectly ordinary problem. The crowd was slowly affected by his aura, and when the meeting adjourned, their faces were no longer full of the apprehension they had when they arrived.

Only after everyone had left did Tang Yi stop Cao Zhengxuan, the deputy director.

“Lao Cao,” Tang Yi glanced outside and narrowed his eyes. At this moment, he looked like an alpha wolf facing an enemy, and his gaze gradually became gloomy. He breathed out slowly and closed his eyes while speaking.

“Keep an eye on Yan Ke for me.”

Tang Yi didn’t go home at noon, so he gave Xiao Yang the key and asked him to go home and take a look at the unfortunate dog.

When Xiao Yang came back, he brought two boxes of medicine and said that the little guy was very well behaved. He even secretly hid behind the sofa when he saw Xiao Yang enter. He knew how to protect himself.

Tang Yi knew Xiao Yang had the intention to make him laugh and curled up the corners of his mouth in response.

He hadn’t eaten at noon and had no appetite when he had a cold, and now when he was provoked by this fuck-up, two more fever blisters instantly appeared in his mouth.

He swallowed a few pills, and when he saw Xiao Yang still standing in the same place very uncomfortably, he suddenly asked, “What do you think about me as a person?”

Xiao Yang was taken aback for a moment and hurriedly said: Mr. Tang is very good, courageous, capable, attractive and caring about his subordinates.

What Tang Yi wanted to ask was whether he was too dictatorial, but it was difficult to ask this question. Besides, the response you get when you let your subordinates judge you is not informative in any way.

Xiao Yang frowned and hurriedly changed the direction to: Mr. Tang, you are tall, long-legged, handsome, and personable. In the future, you will definitely have a beautiful wife and kids… This was not what Tang Yi wanted to hear at all. He pinched his brow and finally let Xiao Yang go. After Xiao Yang left, Tang Yi walked around the office twice and eventually fell asleep on the sofa.

In the afternoon, things finally made progress. At present, there were four or five companies that were making the most trouble. The projects were not large. The after-sales department specially mobilised a team to deal with this emergency, striving for things to be suppressed at the level of customer service.

The team was also quite smart, and after Tang Yi pointed at the basic attitude and bottom line, the girls with sharp tongues and gentle voices stopped the flood of the complaint calls. ER had not yet reached the delivery date of the project, so strictly speaking it was not a breach of contract, and such things as the progress of the project could only be considered a reminder; after all, there was no contractual liability for breach of contract in this regard.

In the next few days, the two sides began the tug-of-war phase of wrangling. Apart from rearranging the progress of the projects, Tang Yi and Ning Zeyu could only ask headhunters to start hiring technical staff with high salaries to fill in the gaps as soon as possible.

Tang Yi’s cold dragged on and on, and during this period he called Shen Fan to tell him about the current situation, but after half a second of silence, Shen Fan only replied that it was okay. Shen Fan’s attitude made Tang Yi feel that something was wrong, but at this moment he didn’t have time to think about it. He and Ning Zeyu in advance screened out a few large companies that were bound to be affected and took the initiative to invite them before the other side came to their door, eating and drinking with them in order to get as much grace as possible.

The attitude of the heads of these large companies was initially very cold. After all, a number of other software companies had already contacted them during this period, saying that they were ready to provide them with better services. Not to mention the fact that they would receive triple compensation according to the contract if ER eventually broke the contract.

It was just that Tang Yi was full of sincerity when he invited them, mixing the red and the white every time he drank. Everyone also remembered the time when it was not easy to be young. The sight of Tang Yi, the boss of the company, with a fever, still coming to beg people so humbly, every time having to drink himself under the table, also could not fail to move a compassionate heart.

At the end of the last session, Tang Yi was so drunk that he could barely stand up. When Ning Zeyu came over, his eyes were red and he choked up as he handed Tang Yi the additional terms and conditions that the other party had just signed. They set the task when they came. Tang Yi managed to drink and make friends, and carried the contract with him, waiting for the other party to sign it while drunk. Ning Zeyu could not bear it several times and wanted to call an extra drinker to help but Tang Yi stopped him and just smiled.

What he said was simple and straightforward: now we are begging the others. The more miserable we are, the happier and softer the other party will be.

At this moment Tang Yi also seemed to know that the task was completed. He leaned back in his chair, stared at the cursive signature on the contract and gave a short chuckle.

Ning Zeyu went over to help him, and Tang Yi suddenly sighed as he leaned over.

He said, “Lao Ning, I was actually wrong.”

Tang Yi started to lose sleep these days. Even when he was drunk as hell, he would find it difficult to sleep again when he woke up in the middle of the night.

When the company was in crisis, he set up the most effective emergency plan as soon as possible, which kept the situation from continuing to deteriorate. The small companies had gradually calmed down and the impact on all aspects of the company had also been minimised. 

However, Tang Yi was the only one who understood that the matter was not over. After over-selling, the company’s backlog of problems finally emerged. Today it might be the postponement of one or two companies’ projects, and tomorrow it was very likely that there would be a violation of the contract.

Sooner or later, all these problems would erupt, and what made him tired today was that they could have been avoided. The reason why the company had come to the situation it was in today was merely the result of his own arrogance.

For the first time, Tang Yi began to feel what the world falling apart was like.

When he broke up with Gu Yanting, his world had only collapsed at one corner, and he had put the blame on Gu Yanting at the time, believing that the corner had been undermined by Lin Rui.

In the dead of night, he would also reflect on whether he had been a little too forceful but he didn’t dare to think deeply about it, for fear that he would go soft after thinking too much and then find himself an excuse to be cheap.

In the past two years of his indifferent persistence, he had repeatedly used the success of his career to convince himself 一 you see, arbitrariness and tyranny are sometimes manifestations of ability. Since I have the ability to control it all, they just need to obey.

Now that the cause that supported his philosophy finally went wrong, Tang Yi realised that his powerful and domineering world didn’t need to be undermined at all; it was a mistake in itself.

The next day Tang Yi arrived at the company early, and Ning Zeyu came to his office and chatted for a while. Both of them had lost two pounds of flesh in the past two days, but they breathed a sigh of relief when they thought that at least a few big hidden dangers had been solved.

When Cao Zhengxuan knocked on the door and entered, Ning Zeyu had not yet left, and both of them froze for a moment.

Tang Yi gestured for Cao Zhengxuan to close the door and said as the latter turned around, “It’s okay for Mr. Ning to be here, go ahead.”

“Okay,” Cao Zhengxuan agreed and handed over a service contract, “Mr. Tang, there’s a problem with this contract.”

“What?” Ning Zeyu was shocked and rushed over like an arrow.

“There’s a problem,” Cao Zhengxuan repeated, “The company’s standard contract was changed before it was signed, and this contract has multiple points against us, one of which is that if the software is implemented one day late, ER will compensate for the entire software cost.”

Ning Zeyu was frozen as he looked at Tang Yi, only to see the latter leaning back in his chair coldly.

His reaction was obviously a bit calmer than Ning Zeyu’s. He curled his fingers and tapped twice on his raised knee, and concluded in a low voice, “So, Huayuan’s project was a trap.”

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