Corporate Corporate

    - Happy New Year! Happy New Year! - came from around the corner, where the large hall of the restaurant, rented for a corporate celebration, was located.

    Sergey stopped, leaned against the wall and thought again. Go to the corporate office did not want to damn. The last time he attended such events was ten years ago, and then he became disappointed in them. Since then, he has become very skilled in inventing the reasons why he cannot come to the corporate party. He still attended Saturday days with grief, but his colleagues' drunken faces were unbearable. At this time, he was pinned for one reason only - the owner asked.

    After a little more thought, and remembering his promise to Kurchatov, Sergey gathered his shoulders, pushed off the wall, walked around the corner and found himself in the hall. He looked like it should be - multi-colored long garlands along the walls, heaps of balloons, an artificial Christmas tree, mysteriously flickering with small light bulbs, and of course the big Cube logo - in the form of a cube, of course.

    Most of the tables were already occupied by people, the faces of some were given in by the crimson, despite the fact that the corporate party had not officially started yet. Sergey looked around the room, looking for a place to land. How are they taken here? Sit where you want? Or is everything distributed like a wedding? Finally, Sergei's gaze fell on the table where Tatyana was sitting alone. Having smiled at something, Sergey resolutely moved towards her.

    - Free? - He asked, coming close to the table.

    - I do not know. - Tatiana shrugged. - I just came, the table was free.

    - Do not you mind? - Sergey began to push himself a chair.

    - Not. - indifferently answered Tatiana.

    - Happy New Year! - It came from the corner of the hall, where the cheerful company of men from production was located.

    - Shit with smoke. - Sergey spoke quietly.

    - What? - Tatiana asked haughtily, raising an eyebrow.

    - From the letters of the phrase "Happy New Year" you can make the phrase "Shit with smoke." Even the number of spaces is the same.

    - I see. - answered Tatyana and turned away.

    Sergey shrugged his shoulders and began to study everything that was on the table. There were a few plates of snacks, servings of some mayonnaise salad, and a bottle. He did not even look at cheap semi-sweet champagne - tea, not a lady. He turned a liter bottle of vermouth in his hands, thought for a few seconds, put it back in place. He stopped at whiskey - so-so, of course, cheap, but better than vodka. He took the lid, got ready to open it, but stopped.

    - Tatyana! He called loudly. - I'm a newcomer here, tell me, is it all for good?

    - In terms of? - she turned.

    - Well, it seems to be the case that people throw themselves off on a booze. This is all who paid?

    - Company. Drink, do not hesitate.

    - Okay thank you! - Sergey sincerely delighted. - Sorry, if that! I can be said for the first time!

    - I don’t understand what you are doing. - through teeth hersed Tatiana. - You have the last day. Today? Or will you come tomorrow?

    - I will definitely come tomorrow. - Sergey nodded, already pouring himself a whiskey. - Do you splash anything?
    - No thanks. - Tatiana turned away again.

    - C'mon for you. Well, you do not like me, and booze something? New Year, hey!

    - I do not want, Sergey. - Tatiana turned and stared at Sergey.

    - Want to.

    - Not.

    - Yes.

    - Damn, how did you get with your childish stupidity. - Tatiana prepared to turn away again.

    - Tatiana, well, please. - Sergey begged. - Suddenly, we see you for the last time? Then you will regret that they refused.

    These words acted in a strange way on Tatyana - she looked at Sergey for a while, then looked at the bottles, sighed and spoke.

    - Okay. Let's martini.

    - Vermouth.

    - What?

    - Martini is a brand, and drink is vermouth. By the way, here is Cinzano, not Martini.

    - Yes, you are an expert.

    - I'm from the village. - Sergey has already opened a bottle of vermouth.

    There was no suitable glass for vermouth on the table - well, this, in the form of a wide cone - and Sergei, after some thought, poured it into an ordinary glass. He handed it to Tatiana, picked up his pile.
    “What shall we drink to?” - asked Tatyana.

    - I do not know. For a new life!

    - It fits. - Tatiana nodded and swung no less than half a glass.

    - Yo ... - Sergey reached out.

    - What? - As if nothing had happened, Tatyana asked.

    - Knowledge of drinks is nothing, but the experience of their use ...

    - Come on, you. - Tatiana waved her hand. - Drink, why keep it something.

    Sergey drank. Whiskey was pretty good - the aroma was so-so, but the taste was rather soft. The drink pleasantly warmed up the throat first, then the chest, and finally, after a few seconds, the feedback worked and brought warmth to the head. Sergey could not resist, and smiled.

    - You are just like a contented cat. - finally Tatyana smiled.

    - I love whiskey. Not a lot, but one or two piles, on a long winter evening, when it is cold outside, outside there is a blizzard, and everything is fine at home, the flames are burning in the fireplace ...

    - You live in an apartment, what kind of fireplace?

    - Damn, you can't even dream? I do not drink. Only on holidays.

    - And I drink! Every evening!

    - Yes? - Sergey rounded his eyes. - You can’t tell ...

    - And what do you say to me? - smiled and, as it seemed to Sergey, Tatiana blushed a little. From vermouth, or what?

    - Well, you look great. Whoever thumps a lot, once gets war paint - the skin deteriorates. Or red, or blue, or black, or any rash appear. And you - nothing.

    - Thanks, of course. - Tatiana was embarrassed. - But I'll tell you one secret - a foundation.

    - There is no secret here. - Sergey shook his head. - I see that you have a minimum of foundation on your face. If there is any.

    - Well, yes, no. Thank you, Sergey. Nice to hear. I thought you were just ...

    - What?

    - Yes, so ... Okay. - Tatiana was silent, raised her glass and drank the remnants of vermouth.

    - Where will you work? She asked.

    - In one good company.

    - Just as a CIO?

    - No, deputy director, something like that.

    - Mmmm ... - Tatiana drawled. - Like a raise?

    - Well yes.

    - Congratulations. Splash me some more.

    Sergei obligingly filled the glass, but did not pour himself. Tatyana, without thinking, banged the whole glass.

    - Eh, stop. - said Sergey. - Corporate has not started yet, and you have already ...

    - And what for me. - Tatiana shrugged. - I will get drunk like a pig and go to sleep. I have nothing to do here.

    - How nothing? You are the director of personnel. What, no scenes and competitions will not be?

    - Will probably not know. Master of ceremonies will be, I just organized, I do not participate myself. Tired of jumping like a monkey, I just want to relax and unwind.

    - Clear. - Sergey nodded. - What will you do in the new year?

    - The same as in the old.

    - Will you continue my ideas and initiatives?

    - Not.

    - Why? Well you, like, this ...

    - What?

    - Well, they were for me. They said, "I want it too."

    - You never know what I said there. - Tatiana shrugged. - Pour me more.
    Sergey thought a little, but still picked up the bottle and poured a full glass. Tatiana sipped half, lowered the glass on the table with a loud bang and sighed heavily.

    - What are you sighing?

    “Yes, I don't know ... I'm mad at you.”

    - On me? - Sergey portrayed surprise. - For what?

    “For believing you.” Follow you. And now I was at the broken trough. - it was evident that alcohol had an effect on Tatiana. - You are like ... Provocateur! They stirred everyone up, including me, they showed everyone a way, a way out, a new goal, and they themselves stupidly dumped them. Like Lenin, who escaped through the Gulf of Finland.

    Tatyana's voice grew louder, and drunken notes sounded quite clearly in him. The eyes glittered, the pupils gave away red, the cheeks played a blush, the movements became harsh.

    - Why are you smiling? - Sergey really smiled. - You find it funny? What should I do, huh? Tell me, you are our wise guy.

    - First, let's calm down a bit. Secondly, do not distort the facts. I have never called anyone for me. I am a programmer, remember?

    - Yes, of course I remember. - Tatiana threw up her hands. - Since this all started. I am a programmer, the rest is shit, and only I know what to do.

    - But I never said "Tatiana, drop everything, and come with me." So?

    - What's the point, so? You are like a little, Sergey, the right word. You are completely unaware of responsibility for what you are doing. People believed you, they are ready for change, some even took irreversible steps, fixing their eyes on you, and what about you? Bring down?

    - Tatiana, once again - I did not call for anyone. If someone believed, and was wrong, I have to do with it? By the way, what irreversible steps?

    - Never mind, it doesn't concern you anymore. - Tatiana raised her glass and drank the remains of vermouth.

    - Well, all the same ... Tell me to realize my responsibility.

    Tatiana sighed heavily, lowered her eyes and began to look at the table. Sergey had no choice but to stare there.

    - Okay. - a little quieter said Tatiana. - I had a serious conversation with the director.

    - Nikolai Ivanovich?

    - Yes, we have one director.

    - What were you talking about? And when?

    - Yesterday, after training. I, like a fool, was inspired by your strategy, and when talking with him, I began to describe how great we worked with you before, and how much benefit we can now bring to the enterprise by developing a new personnel strategy and integrating it into yours.

    - Well, the normal topic. - Sergey nodded. - And what is wrong?

    - Not so that he recommended me to forget. And about strategy, and about you, and about all these nonsenses. He said that all this crap (this is his own expression) is just the dust that you let into the eyes of the owner, knowing his weaknesses and unhealthy love both for you and for various strange methods.

    - Interesting. - Sergey smiled.

    - You are interested, but I no longer. I tried to argue with him, to defend your ideas, but he made it clear that none of this would happen. Even scrum, which you once implemented in the design department, will be canceled.

    - Why?

    - Nikolai Ivanovich said that Scrum - by the way, he calls him Scrum - is a newfangled technique, suitable only for startups, where programmers in dirty T-shirts sit. And the theory of restrictions that you promoted at the training is just a bubble, inflated, like the ego of its creator, who imagined himself the savior of the world.

    - Poor Eliyah ... It's a pity, he has already died, and he cannot argue with you ...

    - Yes? Dont know. But it is not important. The director said - only this is a secret - that I am very pleased with your dismissal. Of all the techniques, practices and similar nonsense, he recognizes only the message to Garcia. In the same place, as he said, there is a paragraph about you.

    - Which the? About the dude in a tattered cloak who is all upset and can't do a damn thing?

    - Exactly ... Wait, are you familiar with this text?

    - Yes.

    - And what do you think about him?

    - And you?

    - I first asked.

    - Okay. - Sergey smiled. “I think this is a great example of creating a cult out of nothing.” How many years have passed? A hundred, no less? And still minds excites. Leaders, mostly.

    - I think there is a lot of truth.

    - Many who argue. But it is “there is a lot of truth”, and not “there is one truth”. Do you understand the difference?

    - Not really, to be honest ... Oh, chot, I will slow down with a martini ...

    - It's time. - Sergey laughed. - You have it, take a walk, or dance.

    - What for?

    - Metabolism disperse.

    - What the hell is this?

    - I do not know. - Sergey shrugged his shoulders. - I have a sister doctor, and her husband - too. Once they arrived in the village, went to visit their father, vodka pouted there, and went back.

    - back?

    - Well, to mom. They are divorced.

    - Ah, got it.

    - I was not covered much, but he was straight. On the street, winter, fifteen degrees, reached the house, and he says - I will go to disperse the metabolism.

    - What did you do?

    - Ran down the street, back and forth, probably for half an hour. Then he came - he really felt better.

    - What is the meaning of something?

    - Well, how do I know? - Sergey smiled. - Let's call him, find out.

    - Do not. What did you say about the message?

    “Ah, yes ... The Epistle to Garcia is a manifesto of stupid-headed leaders who think they know what to do and how to ache, and only about one thing - the performers are bad. They are eternally dissatisfied, they demand something, they cannot just take it and do it.

    “Well, that's the truth.” In part, at least ...

    - Remember what events this story revolves around?

    - No, to be honest ...

    - Around the war for the independence of Cuba, between Spain and the United States. What do we, over the past hundred years, tell the story of that project?

    - What?

    - He was meaningless. The United States gained control of Cuba, and then it profukal, thanks to the efforts of Fidel and Che.

    “Wait, what control ... You said the war of independence ...”

    - Tatiana, well, you're like a child. The United States in the history of only one war for real independence participated.

    - Oh, I understand. You mean that guy was wasting a message to Garcia for nothing?

    - Yes. And history has confirmed this. Then, in the context of what is happening, in the massive propaganda about the great war for higher values, such as freedom, this text sounded, probably, quite impressive. But in fact - just another division of the world was going on, and under this sauce thousands of people died, for the sake of some ephemeral interests of some Spanish colony, and they needed an example, like Stakhanov.

    - Stakhanov? Is that a miner?

    - Yes. Do you know how his feat took place?

    - Not.

    “They drove everyone out of the mine, gave Assistant Stakhanov so that he would not be distracted from the main job, feed him and let him sleep, well, he did fourteen norms. Like. Just created an example.

    “Okay, I get it.”

    - Good. So your director is worn with this message, as with a written bag. He pretends that he knows something, that he is D'Artagnan, and the rest - well ... Not D'Artagnan. And when all around will begin his assignments, without a murmur, without hesitation, to carry out, reality will show what they are worth. Well, he will dump then, in a new company, where he will again complain about the message of Garcia.

    - Just like you ...

    - No, I always work by myself. Remember the introduction of our corporate ordering system?

    - Well yes.

    - Remember what ended?

    - Not in the details ... It seems that performing discipline has risen, up to one hundred percent ...

    - What does this mean, in the context of the message to Garcia?

    - I do not know ... Wait ... That is, all the staff attributed the message to Garcia?

    - Yes. And what is the result? For the company, I mean.

    - I don’t know, it’s really nothing.

    - Now you understand?

    - Yes. But this, it seems, already does not matter.

    - Even as it has! - Sergey exclaimed. “It was you who accused me of deception, like I took you after me, and then I left.” It is not me, but such messengers, or how they are ... The messengers to Garcia are deceiving. They say - you just do what I say, and everything will be fine. Only they will be fine, not you.

    - Yes, I understood that. - sighed Tatiana. - Our conversation ended pitifully.

    - How? He fired you, or what?

    - No, but I made it clear: I am either with him, or looking for a new job. And if with him, then without you, in every sense. He wants nothing more to hear about you, your ideas and strategies.

    - What did you say?

    - What could I answer? - Tatiana raised her voice. - You quit, there is no point in holding on to you, won't you take me with you? I agreed with him.

    - And you Brute? - sarcastically smiled Sergey.

    - And I, Caesar. Ideas ideas, but to live somehow is necessary. Survive, more precisely. You will go on traveling around the world, and I will stay here, collect shards.

    - Are you sorry?

    - Pf, here's another. - Tatiana snorted. - It would be about what ... No, it was certainly fun, but the tale is over. There will be a steep manager out of me.

    - What?

    - Well, Nikolai Ivanovich said so. What I have the potential, you just need to get involved in less crap, and learn to manage normally.

    - This is how, let me ask?

    - Set tasks and control execution, for example.

    - Oh, I see. And pull people when the task is not completed on time.

    - Including. - Tatyana nodded.

    - And you like, agree?

    - Why not. - Tatiana shrugged. - If you need to be a cool manager, I'll be it. Especially if you pay for it.

    - It seems to be called mimicry.

    - Yes, I do not give a shit, as it is called, Sergey. - Tatyana answered irritably. - I agree with you with my soul, and I understand with my mind that you are right, but you leave, and that says it all. Pour me some more!

    Sergey smiled mysteriously, but fulfilled the request of the ladies. He looked at his empty pile, became thoughtful, but nevertheless decided and splashed himself, too.

    - Well, for mimicry, as the main way to survive in a corporate environment! - Sergey picked up a pile.

    Tatiana also raised her glass, clinked with a pile, spilling a little vermouth on the tablecloth, and in a gulp drained the glass. Sergey, knowing that you shouldn’t relish the second one - the sensations are not the same - also threw his whiskey in one gulp.

    - Here we say - mimicry, mimicry. - Tatiana started. - In a clearly negative context. And if you figure out what's wrong with that? It is a natural mechanism created by nature itself. Why shouldn't we use it?

    - But who will forbid you, worms. - Sergey smiled.

    - Well, let me, sing to me about personal opinion, independence of judgment, your way and other heresy, which will help you to stay quickly without pants.

    - I will not sing anything to you. - Sergey shrugged his shoulders. - Everyone decides. But life will pass, and you will see that you are mistaken. In the nature you mentioned, mimicry as an ability has evolved for thousands, if not millions of years. Because the habitat was constant, and in similarity, merging with it was a specific and useful meaning. And then - work. Do you have her account?

    - Well, let's say the third.

    - And you still have no thirty?

    - Such questions can not be asked.

    - Ah, yes ... You will change a few more works in your life, and you will mimic each one. Here is the answer honestly, when moving from one company to another, did the conect competencies come handy to you?

    - What?

    - Damn ... Well, the competencies, skills, habits and rituals that you have mastered in one company in order to survive there. When moving to another, were they helpful?

    - Well, rather, no ... Although ...

    - I'm sure not. The real work experience, useful and necessary - yes, it always comes in hand, that's why it should be included in the dismissal package.

    - Where?

    - Well, in your baggage of knowledge and skills, which is always with you. And the ability, sorry, to wear ostrich feathers in the ass, because the director loves so much, is hardly useful. And the nastiest thing - no one will ever appreciate your mimicry. Moreover, the new director will hate you fiercely, if only you speak about his predecessor, ass feathers and the like. By the way, you have already felt it, right?

    - Are you talking about?

    - Well, about your conversation with the director. He shouted to you that he does not want to hear anything about me and my ideas.

    - So I mimic yours? - Tatiana was surprised.

    “Damn, you don’t say that to people, but they’ll think about something ...” Sergey was embarrassed. - To be honest, yes. You didn’t participate in any changes, just pretended that you like my work, goals and methods.

    - What does "pretend" mean? - Tatiana was indignant. - I would love to work with you, but you are a fucking programmer, loner!

    - Well, this is mimicry. - Sergey smiled. - No changes, no sense, and ass - in feathers.

    - Listen, Sergey. - Tatiana continued to resent. - I won't let you ...

    What Tatiana was going to not allow there, we will not know, because Kurchatov entered the hall, or rather, burst into the room.

    - Friends! - began the owner, going on an improvised scene. - First of all, Happy New Year!

    There were noisy applause, shouts, whistles, glasses and piles lifted, someone even jumped to his feet.

    - But before the main, entertainment program begins, I have an important announcement. - continued Kurchatov, when the noise subsided a bit. - More precisely, even two.

    Kurchatov was silent, maintaining a theatrical pause. The tables with the peasants continued to buzz, and the office desks died down and began to listen carefully.

    - First, we have a new director. - said Kurchatov, and smiled. - Guess who?

    Silence hung in the hall, even the men settled down. Not even a whisper was heard. Sergey glanced at Tatiana - she was sitting straight, as if she had swallowed a piece of reinforcement.

    - Okay, do not guess. I will be the director! - shouted Kurchatov.

    Noisy applause was heard again - even more powerful than when Kurchatov appeared in the hall. An inaudible, but physically felt, sigh of relief swept over the tables.

    - And Nikolai Ivanovich? - asked from a place Marina.

    - Nikolai Ivanovich decided to continue his career in another company. - the owner answered with a smile.

    “Wow ...” Marina mumbled. - Why is it he, it is interesting to know, this decision was made?

    - We will not go into the details. - answered Kurchatov. “This is not important, because everything has already been decided, Nikolai, probably already on the plane, is flying back to Moscow.” I sincerely wish him good luck in his career. But even more I wish good luck to another person.

    It seemed to Sergei that Kurchatov had already gone too far with his theatrical pauses. But do not make him a comment?

    “Okay, I won't torment you, otherwise the champagne will cool.” More precisely, warm. So, friends, I have good news - Sergey stays with us!

    Tatiana, who was trying to appease her sentiments with a sip of vermouth, choked and coughed. Sergey did not find anything smarter than patting her on the back.

    - Everything is fine? He asked quietly.

    “Bitch ...” said Tatyana for some reason. - Not you, Sergey, but in general ...

    - I see. - Sergey smiled.

    - And not just remains! - continued Kurchatov. - He will be my deputy! Or assistants, or advisers, whatever! The bottom line is that he will be the second person in the company. Or, if you like, not the second, but the first - on a par with me. I, as it should be the director, will be engaged in operational management, and Sergey will deal with our systemic problems and the implementation of the strategy.

    Applause began to be heard in the hall — at first, timid, solitary, then the noise began to intensify until it turned into a general din.

    - From now on, the word of Sergey is my word. Sergey, how did you say there?

    - What did you say? - shouted from the spot Sergey.

    - From a movie of some kind of quote that everyone should help you.

    - Oh, you about this ... - Sergey got up from his seat, and said loudly. - Every citizen, of any rank, is obliged to provide the bearer of this full and unconditional assistance. It seems so.

    - Better not say so! - Kurchatov clapped his hands, and the hall supported him. - Sergey and I have set a very ambitious goal for the company - to triple the profit in three years! I know that skepticism will take hold of you now, but I am sure that everything will work out! More precisely, I am convinced that we must believe and strive, work, develop, and everything will work out! Even if we do not achieve this specific goal, we will succeed! Sergey, say something?

    - Not. - shouted from the spot Sergey. - You already said everything you need. The rest will decide in working order, after the holidays.

    - Well. - threw up his hands Kurchatov. - As you say! All my friends, I finished my speech, giving way to our beautiful master of ceremonies! Christina, please!

    Sergei lost interest in what was happening on the stage, and directed all his attention to Tatiana. It looked a bit strange - whether the alcohol worked, or the unexpected news. She sat with her head down, visible signs of an emerging depression on her face, twisting an empty glass in her hands.

    - Well, Tatyana. - Sergey said cheerfully. - Mimicry is canceled?

    Tatiana smiled weakly.

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