Chapter 4 : The Clever Businessmen
The next day, I visited the chimpanzee owned by Mr Lipin.. perhaps to get a little clue if there was any.. He was sadly chained to a tree.. I was told that he was rather unpredictable since the departure of Mr Lipin. As usual he became aggressive upon my presence.. perhaps because I took over his owner’s place. The security guard knew what to do to calm him down. He gave him a can of beer… and later a stick of cigarette.. and the chimpanzee put on his show.. drinking and smoking calmly while other visitors around him laugh.. sure it was funny at first but later it turned out sad for me thinking and knowing now that Mr Lipin drinks too much perhaps.. a sign of under pressure..
The Grand Unity hotel is spread out by one-storey building across a large piece of land. Surely it uses far too many light bulbs to illuminate it’s walkways and corridors. Each day the maintenance guys requested budget for buying new light bulbs which blew overnight. It cost us like 100 units of light bulb per day.. mainly due to the instability of power supply. Most houses and buildings have their own generator to overcome power problem.. One night.. I caught them by surprise! What happened was.. they changed the light bulbs at night.. putting some bad ones throughout the corridors and keeping away the good ones.. The next day they asked for money to buy new bulbs. Imagine if 1 unit cost USD1.00, one month it could easily reach USD3000!! Upon receiving the money.. they kept it.. there was no such thing as buying new light bulbs when they just simply replace the good ones they kept overnight back to their place.. Ahah!! good businessmen ha..? So.. this process had been going on for quite sometimes.. Then the kitchen.. I asked them to buy food for the restaurant.. but they dropped by their houses to supply food to their family too.. the food which belonged to the hotel!! more businessmen.. Then the front office.. guests were given rooms without receipts!!… The night Club was a little different.. The manager got me occupied showing his correct and perfect billings at the end of the night while his staff were busy removing drinks from the bar into some hiding places.. to be taken away later… As day went by.. I met more and more businessmen around the hotel.. To a certain point.. I thought I was going crazy..
I tried to figure out why wasn’t there any sense of belonging in anyone there.. I simply cound’t find the answer.. Many of them tried to tell me the nasty things about others.. All the way through.. I was a listener.. One thing for sure.. I couldn’t sack anyone because that was an order! After all I didn’t intend to do so.. coz I was there to help them..right? Yeah right.. What I did was.. to exchange their positions regularly.. always putting the guys who didn’t get along with each other to work together coz I thought that would help them keeping an eye on each other.. That strategy worked well for me.. I managed to cut losses.. repair damages.. paid bills.. and keep money for the hotel..
One year went passed.. I had to work 16 hours a day.. just to keep an eye on every department.. catching businessmen.. moving their positions.. teaching them some basic things blah blah blah.. They really made me worked my butts off!! I didn’t give up making programs to make them work as a team.. the happiest moment for them was when they were told that our parent company would pump in money.. to upgrade the hotel to a 5 star.. so.. our architect and interior designers were called in to prepare for the upgrading works.. which would be officiated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia then.. Dr Mahathir Mohamed..
The exciting day finally arrived.. The hotel wasn’t refurbished yet.. however the announcement of the refurbishment would soon be made during Dr Mahathir’s visit to the hotel!! There were people everywhere at the airport.. waiting for the largest aircraft that would land at Conakry airport.. and that was Boeing 777 owned by Malaysian Airline.. carrying Dr Mahathir and over 300 numbers of businessmen planning to invest in The Republic of Guinea..!!
To be continued… DjRay