To Catch a Queen
By Eric Rivera
!(If using mobile device, turn sideways)!
I walked faster as I looked down at my watch, I had five minutes to get into the building and up to the ninth floor. Mom would be proud of me, I was early.
Greedy Gurus was quickly becoming the most successful investment firm in the city. All of the business graduates from Concrete University wanted to intern here. Only two people were picked to interview, myself and a girl from the University’s other campus.
I approached the building and admired the structure. The windows were so clean that they looked blue, and the awnings over the windows were dark green. I walked inside of the building and greeted the receptionist.
“Hello, my name is Clemenza Casanova, I’m here for a 2 O’clock interview with President Kano.”
“Yes, Hello Clemenza. Kano has been expecting you.”
“If you turn right, you will find the elevator that you can take up to his office on the ninth floor.”
“Okay, thank you.”
I arrived on the ninth floor with two minutes to spare. I looked around and saw large pictures of foreign currencies mounted all over the wall, this company is clearly money motivated. As I walked down the hallway, a man emerged from one of the rooms. It was President Kano Capone. He was a little taller than me, and he had a short buzz cut with a distinct slash over his left eyebrow.
“Hello sir, you must be Clemenza.”
He greeted me.
“Yes I am, it is a pleasure to meet you Mr. Capone.”
“It is a pleasure to meet you as well Clemenza. I have been expecting you. Come, step into my office. Did you bring a copy of your resume with you?”
“No sir, I did not. I sent it in before I arrived.”
“Always bring your resume with you on interviews my boy. Or at least bring a pad and pen to take notes and show your interest.”
We walked into his office and he handed me a pen and paper.
“Thank you sir. I am sorry for…”
“You are not sorry, never say that. You may apologize or ask for forgiveness, but never call yourself sorry. This brings about low self esteem.”
“I apologize sir.”
“That is quite alright my boy, you learn quickly.”
This interview was more intense than I had anticipated, but to be honest I should have expected nothing less from the number one investment firm in town.
“So Clemenza, I read on your application that you are interested in a financial leadership position here at Greedy Gurus. Tell me my boy, what are your strengths, and weaknesses?”
“Well to start off, I am self motivated, I work hard and I have exceptional interpersonal and social skills.”
“Exceptional interpersonal and social skills you say? Please elaborate.”
“I can empathize and relate to people well, this allows me to communicate effectively and accomplish tasks together with my coworkers.”
“Okay. Thank you. Now let’s talk about your weaknesses.”
“Well, I would say that my biggest weakness is my desire to please everyone.”
“Hmmm, and how is that a weakness?”
“Sometimes pleasing people is a thankless job.”
“Indeed it is. But if you can benefit from the pleasure of another, receiving a ‘thank you’ is no longer necessary”
“Benefit from the pleasure of another?”
“Yes, If your employer is pleased with your performance and decides to give you a raise, would you still need a thank you?”
“No, but wouldn’t the raise itself be thanks enough?”
“Precisely. So the point is that if you cannot benefit from pleasing someone, don’t bother to do so.”
“Oh… that makes sense..”
“Come, follow me. I’ll take you on a little tour of this place.”
Tour of the Towers
I followed President Kano back to the elevator and he pushed the button for the 10th floor.
The doors opened and I could see a few guys wearing green polo collared shirts walking around.
“Excuse me gentlemen, please say hi to Clemenza. Clemenza Casanova, a possible recruit.”
Many of the guys just stared at me and the girls smiled. The crowd of about 50 people all seemed interested in me.
I could see a large board near the ceiling. The sales leaderboard showed the number of accounts sold by the month, as well as the projected value of the account income. Vanessa Pecunia was ahead of the 2nd place sales associate by 10 accounts and four hundred thousand dollars. I couldn’t help but notice her name.
“Come, I will introduce you to the sales trainer.”
I followed President Kano to this hallway that lead to a few different offices.
“Vanessa doesn’t really get to make as many sales now that she started leading the sales training class, but she still has managed to remain our top seller for three months in a row.”
We walked into Vanessa’s office. She was on the phone but she looked up at us and her icey blue eyes glistened as she acknowledge us.
“Baby let me call you right back, this is important.”
She quickly hung up the phone and stood up.
“Hello, this is Clemenza. He is interviewing for one of our sales positions.
“Oh, Awesome. I look forward to seeing you in class, if you make it.”
“If I make it?”
I responded before thinking.
“Come let’s go see my brother.”
He guided my shoulders towards the doors.
“Thank you, miss Pecunia.”
“No, thank you sir. Good look kiddo.”
We got back into the elevator and President Kano pushed the button for the first floor.
“My brother is my keeper.”
“He runs our cyber security for all of our data and he physically secures the building with a few trained guards.”
Snow Capone was known throughout East Manhattan and the Bronx, New York as a crime family leader. His older brother, Kano Capone, had bailed him out of a serious RECO case filed by the FBI. Kano Capone was one of the richest men in town, he hired the best lawyers and influenced the judge’s decision on tossing Snow’s case out. This only seemed to make Snow more dangerous.
We arrived back on the first floor and walked towards the back of the building. I saw a large sign over double doors that read “Security Office”. President Kano pulled out a card and slid it down a small machine. We walked into the office and I heard loud rap music playing.
“Where are you!?”
“In the breakroom!.”
We walked towards the break room and I saw all sorts of snacks on the table as well as two TV’s in the hallway. The music turned off. The breakroom itself was huge and it had 4 TV’s inside of it. I also saw two punching bags near the corner as well as a small boxing ring. A door opened from a few feet away from us and Snow walked in. He had a tank top on and his arms were covered in tattoos.
“Hey put a shirt on and come talk to one of our applicants.”
Kano spoke to Snow sternly.
Snow quickly walked towards the ring area and returned with a white tee shirt. Kano pulled up three chairs and we sat down around this small coffee table.
“His name is Clemenza Casanova.”
Kano introduced me.
“A Casanova? Wow I didn’t think they were still around.”
“What’s your father’s name?”
I looked down.
“Aye chin up son.”
I looked up and made eye contact with him.
“Why do you like the Sales department?”
“Well I enjoy the art of sales.”
“The art of sales?”
“Yes, the game of making the point.”
“Haaa haa haaa, agreed.”
“Can you fight?”
“Sure, I can throw hands pretty decent.”
I’m not sure why he would even ask me a question like that. This dude was making me nervous now.
“As part of your training for any department, you must also obtain a certification from the Security department.”
“Yes, Snow is our Director of Security.”
“How long is the training program?”
“Oh it’s only one week, and it’s paid.”
“How did you hear about us?”
“Well you guys have been blowing up especially in the business field. In my accounting class at Concrete University. They have charts that monitor business growth, Greedy Gurus is the only company on the chart that has grown and stayed in the green for all three categories. Everyone talks about this place now.”
Kano and Snow both smiled.
“Well we’ve made some discoveries and utilized them to the fullest potential.”
“Come I have one last department to show you.”
I stood up. Snow and I shook hands and Kano lead me back to the elevator. We got in and he pushed the button for the last floor. Floor 12.
“Hey, good job back there with Snow. I know he can seem a little abrasive at first.”
“Yeah, that’s okay though, I understand.”
“Okay, so there’s one last person I want you to meet and that’s Charlie Christopher. He is the head of our service department. He basically manages the building when I’m not here.”
We arrived on the 12th floor and Kano lead me down the hall. The hallway opened up into a large call-center styled floor. I could see many people walking around and a tall man standing in the center writing on a dry erase board. We walked over and kano introduced the two of us.
“Good afternoon President Kano.”
The man said.
“Good afternoon Charlie. This is Clemenza, he’s a candidate from Concrete University.”
“Hey, Concrete University usually produces great candidates.”
Charlie Christopher wore large round glasses, a white button shirt and black slacks. He had these nice gold suspenders on that said ‘Greedy Gurus’ on them. He had a very friendly face and seemed kind.
“I look forward to hopefully utilizing my skills and knowledge here at greedy gurus ”
“Yes, I had one graduate from Concrete University who ended up doing extremely well in the sales department right Kano?”
“Yes, Vinny Franklin. He graduated 2 years ago. We hired him right after graduation and he’s been doing exceptionally well since then.”
Unfortunately I do remember him. He was the President of the most prestigious fraternity on campus. A group of over-privileged, pretentious, silver spoon-fed bullies.
“Yes I am familiar with him”
I say calmly.
“So, Clemenza what do you think so far?”
“I like the structure”
“What I focus on is service. One of the reasons why we have advanced beyond our competition in recent years is because of our unmatched service. We specialize in customer care, the sales team loves us.”
“Once you start making sales, you appreciate the work of your service team. When something goes wrong with a product everyone blames the salesman.”
Kano shook his head and smiled.
“You looking to join the sales team?”
“Kano, another one? You can’t run the woods with money, when you hire some service dogs?”
“I beg your pardon, Mr. Christopher?”
Charlie looked off to side, he struggled to hide his frustration.
“I have an upcoming project. I’m going to need all the salesman I can get. Remember, the jungle is a game of sales.”
Chapter 2 coming next week.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
for suggestions and comments.