Man about town

Pleasant long work nights with new finance manager


The last one week has been so tough, and most of it has been a blur. We were closing our financial year and preparing the necessary accounts for review and approval by the board. My initial thoughts were that now that we have a new finance manager she would run the process from start to end.

However, a few weeks ago, the CEO called me into his office. As soon as I walked in he threw a document at me and said, “look at this, how can I present this?” I must say I do not like it when the boss gets into his funky moods. So, I stayed quiet and let him vent to his heart’s content.

It turns out that he is not happy with the quality of work from the new manager and wanted me to redo the deck of slides to meet his standards. I was not pleased with this direction because it meant even more work for me, but I knew that there was little I could do. So, I decided to accept the extra work.

To ensure I did not get anything wrong I insisted that we go through each slide so that the CEO could say exactly what he wanted. I was a bit disappointed that he was more into putting more fluffy stuff into the presentation.  

At the end of our slides reconstruction discussion he said, “well Josphat, you will be happy to know that at least all staff are getting a bonus this year, despite the terrible year we had last year. I hid my delight and said, “ that will surely be good news for staff.”  I think the CEO told me the bonus news as a ploy to make sure I overlook the fact that he has given me so much work and put me into a collision path with the new manager.

I was deep in my work when Lucy, the new finance manager appeared behind my desk. Lucy usually comes into the office late because she told me, “I have to work out and drop my children before I come to work.”  She asked me, “Josphat, are those my slides you are working on?” 

I was not sure how to tell her that I was only working on them because the CEO had asked me to. I fumbled for an answer before I finally said, “the boss asked me to try and make them look like last year’s since I am the one who put those together.”

This set her off as she complained that the CEO should have given her “straight feedback instead of going behind my back.” I had to stop her and tell her, “do not shoot the messenger, what did you want me to do?” She did not appear to cool off as she said, “well I will tell him what I think of this, it is not on.”  I could not believe it when she stomped in the direction of the CEO’s office, how I wish I had her guts.

Lucy walked back in my direction about half an hour later. She looked a bit deflated and, so I asked her, “how did it go?” She said, “not good. He really gave me some tough feedback and said that my slides were pedestrian.”  

To manage her feelings I said, “sometimes it takes a while before one gets the hang and style of a new place.” She said,“he asked me to watch you and work with you so that I can learn how to get them right.”This conversation led to long working sessions with Lucy where we would sometimes go home past 9 pm. I must say I have enjoyed working with her- she always brings fresh coffee to the office and has very interesting stories.  

On Friday last week, the CEO gave the nod to the slides and Lucy and I had a drink to celebrate. That is how I ended up getting home at 1am to find an irate Shiro. Who said, “you had to choose the one day when my mother is visiting for you to come late!”