Chancellor (Episode 1)

Chancellor Trucks and Logistics was placed on a signpost close to the road. One would pass thinking much is not happening in the company but there was a lot going on beyond the trucks parked in front and the small bungalow. The environment of the trucks and logistics company was eerily quiet outside. 

The company had been existing for a few years now and was situated in a neighborhood of middle-class people, and while they drive to their respective homes in their old model cars, they never pay much attention to the company and its building and its trucks parked at the front. Nevertheless, some of them notice the small compound of the building, the small building itself with a backward slanting roof, and they wonder if that’s all that make up the company. 

The owner, Chancellor, and a few of his workers saw the company beyond the smallness it posed to the outsiders. This was the reason why they sought clients outside the neighborhood. Clients coming from far would appreciate the details of the company better than those closer. Chancellor ensured the marketing his company and brand carried out focused well on people living away from the location of the company.

Then, there would be no one to say, “This place looks small, you sure your company can handle what we need?” Or, “I would have really loved to try you out but your trucks aren’t just enough and they aren’t big to handle my goods.” When did the size of the trucks matter or the number of trucks matter in conveying sizeable goods, not as if the goods were really big?

Chancellor breathed out as he banged his office table. His eyebrows were down in worry. He moved his office swivel chair about constantly, his mind unsettled, his mind running wild. Even his office was small and not well designed. It had made him lose a client or two or three. It saddened him.

Once, a lady, whose husband was incapacitated by health to continue running his business, came one summer putting on a thick and long coat. She had this sad look that mourned boredom and death. She had impatiently looked the office over, looked at Chancellor, and said, “Such a dinghy office for such a fine gentleman.” That’s how she never became a client and never came back. 

Another lost client–a middle-aged chubby man had come grinning, making jokes, talking excitedly to everyone, and when he sat down, Chancellor thought he would get him to do business with them. After all, he was all excited and seemed very happy. The client took a complimentary coffee and remarked that the office was unsuitable. “God damn that man!” Chancellor barked under his breath. He kicked in the air. 

At that moment, his secretary knocked on the door. “Yes,” he said. “Come in.”

Felicity, a bespectacled young and blonde lady came into the office. She was in a tight and long black skirt, and a flowery green long-sleeved shirt. She was an always smiling lady, flashing her white set of teeth constantly. This is the reason he had employed her, maybe her being the secretary could change things. Well, her infectious smile and pretty face, and good manners, couldn’t do much. 

Felicity’s heels smacked the ground really hard and noisy with a good sense of authority as she approached her boss. She got close that he could smell the rose scent of her perfume. “They are ready for the meeting, sir,” she said. 

“Are they?” Chancellor asked as if he was jolted from his thoughts. That’s the fact, though, because he was jolted from his thoughts. He has been too deep in his thoughts since the severe drop in the company’s revenue was revealed to him. 

“Yes, sir,” she replied calmly. “They are in the boardroom when you’re ready. Your file for the meeting has been placed where you would sit in the meeting.”

“That’s good, Felicity,” he said. He looked away from Felicity, at the window, and he saw two children working on a bicycle close to the road. He looked back at Felicity. “Thank you for the information, Felicity, you can go now.”

Felicity walked away, her heels still tapping the floor hard and its sound hitting his ears. He loved how she walked authoritatively, filling the area with her command and all. Felicity had simply stepped out of his office when the thoughts running wild in his mind returned. 

How is he going to save the company he worked so hard to build? How is he going to patch up the company that was gradually falling and tearing apart together? His company was like a thick paper he had struggled to cut a tree for, and produce, and now it was tearing apart. He is yet to find a glue to keep them together, and he possibly needs a magic wand to make it perfect after putting it together.

He was exasperated. He raised his head and placed on his seat, fatigued. He could remember how he had come into the business because of his love for trucks and doing delivery. Science and technology was his first love but he had fallen in love with trucks and delivery when he worked at Steve Trucks and Delivery. He loved that people appreciated them a lot for doing the delivery and gave them lots of tips. 

He had gone into the business having this mindset. He borrowed money from his Dad and bought his first truck–one fairly used truck. He started doing delivery for the few friends he knew who were into business, and then his Dad’s friends. He suffered a lot then, he did some of the loadings and offloading, and he worked alone tirelessly. 

He breathed out and stood up. He walked close to the window, the two kids were still working on their bicycle. He wondered what was wrong with the bicycle, and he wished he was still a kid, free from all this trouble. He gave a sigh and walked out of the office.

In the boardroom, the other people there stood as he walked in. They greeted him and he greeted them too. They were three vital workers in his company: the marketing manager, the general manager, and the operations manager. They were all gloomy because they knew the reason why the meeting was called. Who won’t be moody when the income of the company is falling way below what is expected? They were all sad this was happening. 

Chancellor sat down. He picked the file in front of him, opened it, and scanned through it. The documents there was the income report of the company, the analysis of the strategy of competitors, and much other information regarding how to improve the income situation of the company. The financial report of the performance of the company in the last quarter had been troubling. 

Chancellor dropped the file, cleared his throat, and began to speak. “Thank you, gentlemen, for your attention and commitment to the growth of this company. I appreciate that.” He paused. “You know, most of you came in to work for this business when the harsh times were over. Of course, the business is in no way big yet. However, it was doing better when most of you were employed here than it is performing right now.” 

He paused again and looked around to see if he would get their reactions. They were indifferent to what he said but were looking at him and paid great attention to him. He took a deep breath and continued. “Our business in the recent time has been failing, and it is worse in the last quarter; the financial report is horrible. We didn’t even make enough income to pay all our workers. We don’t get many requests as we used to. The few requests we get don’t carry many goods and the distance is not enough to make us get good gain. What could be the problem?”

He looked around, at his managers, they sat calmly, forlorn, miserable even. He could read their faces and guess that they had been expecting this meeting to come. Possibly, they were even surprised that he had not called the meeting earlier when the income started falling. Well, whatever they were thinking, he finally called the meeting, they should try and bring up solutions to these problems or else they were out of business. 

The marketing manager was the first to speak in his baritone voice. Chancellor had considered the voice vital when he employed him. Good for convincing customers. Good for leading the marketing sector of the business. Good for radio jingles. Chancellor also liked the marketing manager’s style of speaking, it was slow and deliberate, like he chose his words carefully, and presented them in the best tone, grammar, and arrangement. 

* What will happen next? How will they solve the company’s problem? Discover this in Episode 2.

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