Wednesday, 19 July 2017

33. Right Man For The Job

Everyone has a unique skill they are really good at. As I have grown as a business person I have learnt to focus on getting the right people for particular jobs and often avoid crossing roles. it saves on so much time. It is not that I do not appreciate multi skilled people, my regular staff are all multi skilled team members that can handle several roles in our system. However there is always a time you need an advanced level of expertise to do a specific job fast and efficiently and this is where I often get a special team of people. For a couple of years I paid so much for little loses that came up as a result of inefficiencies in our system and production. Once we got where our problem was, we had experts come in and fix the problem. What would have taken my regular staff a half a year to sort out was done in less than three weeks. They were not the regular guys you would hire. since then 'The Team' as I call them has been growing. ...

Having let her sisters refresh before they meet at her house for dinner, Elan goes to the bar area of the hotel and waits for Dela. It’s been a while since they met each other and they are glad to have some time to chat. The two, having had a close working relationship, had established a routine of briefing each other of their different perspectives on the previous day’s happenings, and business environment. Dela always had the 411 from what their major competitors were dong thanks to her chairing the PA Association. They both have missed their morning talks.

While Dela often briefed Al he had a different routine and source of information - his boys at the club. Often by the time he mentioned anything to Dela it was more because he needed a sounding board he could trust.
They catch up for a while before they move on to discuss business. Dela passes on Elan’s tablet to her while the waiter serves their drinks.

Dela, ‘James installed some software said he will explain to you when you meet’

Elan, ‘Ok, interesting.’ However she is more concerned about why Dela really needed to see her so urgently, this was not urgent. She could have picked it on Monday. Dela liked to spend her Saturdays with her sons – it was all the time they actually had together to discuss their business especially if she was not attending one wedding or the other. 

‘You sounded anxious when you called and you really look worried right now. What’s wrong?’

Dela, ‘Well I could be worrying for nothing but I thought I’d just bring it to your attention. Yesterday there were some people hovering around the house. I believe I have seen one of them around this hotel as well.’

Elan, ‘What do you mean hovering?’

Dela, ‘I first saw him the day I came to check on your sisters when they arrived. He was at the parking lot. Then I saw him yesterday in a vehicle that had been parked beside the street at your house. It was the same van I think, black or dark blue - it was rather was dark both times’

Elan, ‘Is this yesterday when you were coming for the party or leaving?’

Dela, ‘When we were coming. What got me worried is the vehicle was parked in the dark – it was like they were watching the compound.’

Elan, ‘They?’

Dela, ‘There were three may be four people. It may be nothing but I wanted to let you know so we can decide whether or not to talk to security.’

Elan, ‘Hmmm! So you have not told James yet - it could be nothing but it could also be someone with ill intent.’ She sighs and summons her head of security on phone. ‘James? I am at Lekki Suites and Apartment hotel. Please come over.'

James, ‘On my way Mum. Give me 20 minutes?’

Elan, ‘Sure’ James was a snappy guy, kind of like her. Specific, precise to the point. Often their phone conversations were o more than 10 words though hours with Dela. ‘He should be here in about 20 minutes. Did you see the person when you were coming now?’

Dela, ‘No. I looked through the vehicles in the parking lot but did not see anything. Does the hotel have another parking?’

Elan, ‘No, so most likely they are not specifically trailing me. Anyway instead of guessing let’s get James to get some facts then we can move on from there.’ They continue talking about Dela’s sons and their businesses and how they are doing hardly noticing the time pass by.

James finally comes, a tall, slender but well-built guy in glasses. He is dressed in a sweater despite the hot Lagos weather as he spends a lot of time in a cold server room. He looks pleased to meet Elan as it is well over a month since they last spoke and longer since he saw her – at least face to face. He has a respectful aura around them though one can obviously see he is fond of both ladies. He carries a laptop bag, wears little but expensive technical accessories; a smart watch, camera ring, and a bracelet with enough data for him to work from anywhere and hack most business, banking and security systems. But that is not how he uses his intelligence now, though there was a time the idea of hacking a bank just got his adrenaline rushing – before Elan both the business and the woman. 

Elan, ‘Hi James nice to see you! How have you been?’

James, ‘Very well Ma. He sits down as they joke about his warm clothes and ask him if he wants a drink which he gladly accepts.’

Elan, ‘Let’s grab something to eat as well. I am already hungry and James I am sure you have not eaten a thing since morning. Bachelor, I know how you are – once you get in that server room you are lost in your own world. How are the guys?’

James, ‘They are great. They have been a great addition to the Elan technicians as they are better qualified. I have been able to develop a number of new software, caught up on repairs and services with them. We will be back on schedule by the end of the week.’

Elan, ‘Sounds good. That means no more monitoring for pilferages and therefore more productive time as all that is automated and we can focus on more intelligent and innovative work. You put me in the loop?’

James, ‘Yes, Ma and I also added an app on you tablet.’  

Dela’s phone rings and she steps aside to speak to her son before coming back to excuse herself. Having conveyed her message having much to add to what will happen moving forward she leaves; her elder son has just come back from a long business trip and he can’t reach his brother.

Elan, ‘Desmond is back? Hope he was successful. Do say hi and remind him of our meeting Friday.’

Dela, ‘I sure will but you really don’t have to. With the babies, you have a lot on your plate -’

Elan jokingly justifies her mentoring. ‘Oh they don’t incapacitate me! And he may be the one who passes on what I teach him to my children so there is no loss. But let him know the venue is my house not the office’

Dela, ‘Oh, ok will let him know. Thank you very much ma’ Dela hugs both Elan and James, picks her bag, and leaves.’


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