‘Is he angry?’ he asked the secretary and smiled at her, as he was passing by her desk. She did not reply. She was looking at her desk and she was busily moving some papers from one side to another.
He knocked on the door, but there was no reply. Yes, his boss was angry. He opened the door and walked in.
When he entered the room, his boss was sitting on his chair with his back to the door. He had his left hand on his desk and he was looking out the window. He did not turn, when Jack closed the door. He did not move his hand, either. He did not move at all. He just kept looking out the window.
‘Please, sit down,’ he said.
‘I would like to stand, if I can,’ said Jack.
‘Sit down,’ repeated his boss, and Jack took the only free chair in the room.
‘Tell me, Jack. How long have you been working for this company?’
‘It’s been almost two years, sir.’
‘So, you’ve been with us for less than two years, correct?’
‘Yes, that’s correct.’
‘What is your current position, Jack?’
‘Sir, you know very well what my current position is. You…’
‘Yes, Jack, of course, I know what your position in this company is. But I want to hear it from you.’
‘I work as a project manager, sir,’ said Jack quietly.
‘Oh,’ continued the boss. ‘So you are a project manager. Good. And could you refresh my memory, please? When you came to our company, did we hire you for the position of a project manager?’
‘No, sir, you didn’t.’ replied Jack.
‘No, we didn’t. You were hired as an assistant to the office manager. You were helping Susan, behind the door, to put files on the shelves. That was your job half a year ago.’
Jack was quiet. He knew that he was in a trouble, but he didn’t know what the trouble was.
‘How did it happen, Jack, that you became a project manager in such a short time?’
‘You offered me that position, sir,’ whispered Jack.
‘Bingo! I made you a project manager, Jack. But the question is: Why? Why did I do that?’
Jack was looking at the floor. He was quiet.
‘I did it, Jack, because I liked you!’ said the boss and turned around to look at Jack, while he was speaking to him. ‘I did it because I saw a potential in you. I did it because I could see that you were good and that you could do something with your life, if you had an opportunity!’
Jack was quiet. After a short pause, the boss continued: ‘How many projects are you currently working on, Jack? Two? Three? Maybe four?’
‘One,’ said Jack in whisper.
‘And which one is it, please?’
‘Speak up! I can’t hear you, man!’
‘It is project “Lorka”, sir.’
‘Lorka, you say,’ repeated the boss after Jack, and then he leaned back in his chair. ‘Lorka.’
After a little pause, he went on: ‘You see, all your colleagues are working on three or four projects at the same time. You have only one. What do you think, Jack, why are you working only on one project?’
‘I have only one, because Lorka is very important for our company,’ said Jack quietly.
‘Is it, Jack? And how do you know that? How do you know that it is very important for us?’ the boss kept asking his questions. Jack didn’t answer.
‘Jack? I can’t hear you!’ said the boss. He was looking at Jack all the time.
‘You said that it was very important, when you asked me to work on it,’ answered Jack. He was looking at his shoes now.
‘Very good! That’s exactly what I said. And what else did I say, when I was giving you this project, Jack? Can you remember?’
‘You said that I should come to you immediately, if I have a problem…’
‘ANY problem, Jack! I said ANY problem!’ his boss interrupted him. Then he went on:
… to be continued…