I wore a jacket and tie. I opened the locker, put my watch on my wrist, and looked in the mirror.
I was myself, and I thought there was something different from when I was at my old company. Of course, there were some changes on the surface. The clothes were changed from carry-on merchandise sales suits to custom suits with high-priced fabric, and my white wrist was also equipped with a shiny Rolex. But not only that, my chest seemed to have gotten a little wider, and my shoulders seemed to have grown. It was probably because of confidence.
‘It’s definitely different from when I was at work.’
At that time, I was stuck for a few pennies, I was pinched by the boss’s eye, and I was in a shabby frame of my shoulder. In a social position, I had locked myself up because of the numbers in my account.
‘Now that I think about it, I didn’t have to…’
I regretted it, but it was already gone. The me from then was gone, and there was only a new one. I mumbled, hitting my cheek twice, “Okay. Han Sang-hoon. Let’s do well.”
While I was doing that, the bell of the studio rang.
He came just in time. I walked up to the front door and opened the door. Outside, secretary Seo Ji-hoon was standing.
“Are you ready, boss?”
I nodded. “Yes, let’s go.”
It was my first day of going to work, not to a company of others, but to a company of my own. Not as an employee, but as a president. I took the elevator down to the basement parking lot with secretary Seo. There was my Porsche. I pressed the key.
Ppivik! The door opened with a sound.
As I was walking toward the driver’s seat, Ji-hoon said, “Wait a minute, boss.”
“Do I have to drive, as a secretary?”
I laughed and said, waving a car key with a shield pattern, “You want to drive this, don’t you?”
Ji-hoon said with a smile, as if his heart had been caught, “That’s true, but wouldn’t it be fair that the secretary should drive?”
Come to think of it, it made sense. When I moved somewhere, I had to look at the stock market, whether it was HTS or MTS.
“I think I’ll need one of those if I try to do business. You find a car among the domestic cars, which a young CEO can ride in…”
“For business purposes, I will drive a domestic car. Don’t you think people will hate a young man who drives a foreign car?”
“Yes… boss,” replied Ji-hoon, slightly disappointed.
I said, sitting in the driver’s seat, “Don’t be too sad. If you are with me for five years… no, three years, you will drive a Porsche.”
“Do you think so?” Ji-hoon asked, with a slight look on his face.
“Yes. When did you see me lying about the money?” While I was saying that, I suddenly remembered.
“Oh, that’s right,” I said, pointing to the front drawer of the passenger seat. “Open that.”
Ji-hoon opened it. Inside was a box shaped like a cubby. I pointed at it and said, “That’s yours.”
“What is this?”
I looked at him and asked, “What, did you forget?”
Ji-hoon opened the box. There was a shiny watch in it, a watch with a capital R.
“It’s a Rolex. I told you I’d buy you one after this. Have you already forgotten?”
Ji-hoon said, alternately looking at the watch and me, “No, I didn’t forget, boss… I thought it was empty talk then. Really.”
“I keep my word.” I smiled and stepped on the accelerator.
The Teheran Road unfolded as it came out of the studio parking lot.
I said one more thing as I raced down the Teheran Road, “Three years from now, Porsche. That’s not an empty promise, either.”
It was about ten-minute drive. I arrived at a building located in Samseong-dong. I took the elevator and saw the sign, “Invictus Investment” on the 17th floor.
Our company’s name was on the line. The company name was Latin for invincible and undefeated. I took a deep breath in front of the company. Then I opened the door and walked in. When I entered the company, all the employees inside stood up and greeted me.
“How are you? Mr. President!”
Greeting by many people, I felt a strange sense of deja vu. When did I see something like this? Come to think of it, it was definitely a scene I had seen in my dream.
I should add another example of a dream that I had had in my sleep. I shook hands once, walking around the office.
“Good to see you, Kim Joon-soo.”
“Thank you, boss.”
“It’s nice to see you, Shin Ji-yoon.”
“Yes, sir. I’ll work hard.”
“It’s good to see you, Ms. Kim Ji-soo.”
“I am glad to see you, sir.”
Right now, it didn’t take long because there weren’t so many people. The last person to shake hands was none other than Vice President Jang, a man who had done this all on his own.
“You’ve done a great job. I’ll continue to look forward to it.”
“What do you say? Please take care of me, Mr. President.”
After my personal handshake was over, I spoke to the staff with Jang on the left and Secretary Seo on the right. “It’s nice to meet you. Everyone, I don’t know if you believe this story, but I was a normal office worker like you a few months ago. So I know what you want and what you’re thinking while you’re at work.”
The employees stared at me at my words. Most of them had such a look. ‘Is this real?’ Most of the people who followed Jang must not have known about me yet.
I went on to say, “When I think about it when I was at work, I was really forced to do it. It was a very hard time. I was working hard, but my salary was small… There was nothing coming back. All my time at work was painful. So I’m going to have to at least motivate the employees of our company. That’s what I thought. That motivation is not different.”
I took the Porsche key out of my arms. Like people in investment companies, everyone seemed to recognize them.
“This is it. It’s money. The right and means of power are granted to individuals in a capitalist society. I want to motivate you with money. Certainly, I don’t want to say empty words on my lips. I’ve heard them a lot when I was at work, a ‘family atmosphere’. But do they swear at their family members, have them work overtime, have them compete with one another, and have them drop out? Does that make sense?”
Some employees laughed quietly at what I said.
“That’s why I hate such words. I started to like numbers instead of words. I’ll just tell you with numbers only. Words are clever, but they disappear after we hear them; however, the numbers on the bank account are obviously left without telling a lie. Isn’t it so? Everyone?”
They answered all my questions, “Yes!”
“When someone does a good job, I’ll always talk in numbers rather than words when I honor him. Sales, operating profit and net profit are favorite words, right? I’ll think of each of you as my own subsidiary. If I have a subsidiary that makes good sales, operating profit, and net profit, I will give you enough dividends accordingly. Do you understand what I am talking about?”
Everyone answered loudly because their faces were bright. That was good. Enough reward for the good guy would be my way of operating the business from now on. I was sure these people would benefit if they would carry out my orders right.
“Then. Please work hard from now on. I’ll watch. Thank you.”
With the clapping of hands, voices were heard.
“Thank you, sir!”
“I’ll work hard, Mr. President!”
I came into my seat, the boss’s office, listening to the applause. Secretary Seo and Vice President Jang followed me in.
When I heard the door of the president’s office closing behind me, and the applause died down, I sighed loudly, “Hi-woo!”
It seemed to be the first time since being elected class leader in elementary school. I asked Secretary Seo with both hands on my chair, “Did I do well, Ji-hoon?”
“Yes, boss. That was cool.”
“That’s a good word. There’s no word that’s as popular as dividends to the people of an investment company,” Vice President Jang, who was next to him, added in.
I sat down with a grin. “How’s it going anyway? What about the acquisition of CKD Entertainment?”
Jang said with a nod, “Everything is going smoothly. The in-talk has been agreed on, and all we have to do is talk in detail. That’s in our favor. Do Chan-ki wants to sell it quickly. Time is on our side.”
I thumped at the table with my fingers. I should be careful about the sale of stocks or real estate that came out in a hurry.
“He wants to sell it quickly… Do they have any accounting problems, or…?”
“I was worried about that, so I definitely checked. It was neat and tidy.”
Then it was not bad. Although CKD Entertainment declined significantly due to its Chinese business, it was at a reasonable price when considering indicators such as its assets and industry PER.
‘Even if I would buy it a little expensive… I could earn more.’
I said to Vice President Jang with that thought, “Yes, then, I hope you can negotiate well. Tell me as soon as you’re ready.”
After Jang closed the door and left, I turned around in my chair. The view here was just as good as my studio building. A little different was that this was a business line where companies were clustered, compared to the Gangnam Station, where many commercial buildings were located.
Visible out of the window were the trademarks of KL Construction, Hyundai Bank, and Woori Life Insurance. I sat down in my chair looking at them and said, “Hey, Ji-hoon.”
Ji-hoon came up to me and said, “Yes, boss.”
I pointed my finger at the most visible building of Woori Life Insurance and asked, “How much would that be?”
I laughed. I didn’t ask him to understand. It was just that the companies on the side of the road were all like items in the stores, so I told him. Invictus, the name of our company was created during the Roman Emperor’s reign. In its literal sense, our company would be the one of the emperor that boasted no defeat. This seat I was sitting in right now would be the emperor’s throne. I sat in the emperor’s throne and looked out for a while, at things that would soon become my territory.
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