Chapter 35: Fourth part / Chapter 5

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 27



Nicole either wanted to call Pierre first or wait until he called her. Things that happened next in her career surprised even herself. Banque de Morales themselves sent her an invitation to an interview in one of the German branches. The letter ended:

“Albert Stolz. The general director.”

Hardly readable signature.

The next day, Nicole arrived there in her white sedan. The seven-story office building was located opposite the former Catholic seminary, which is now given over to small shops. The seminary building of five floors was smaller than her office, but there were high windows and different architectural solutions.

Arriving for an interview, Stoltz asked about knowledge of languages. Nicole replied that before obtaining German citizenship, she passed two European tests, from which it follows that she speaks French at the level of C2 (highly literate) and German at the level between B2 and C1 (moderate).

“Well, good performance,” answered Stolz in German. “Do you have basic English? It is not needed at the conversation level for our company, but may be required at the level of certain terms.”

“I have basic English,” Nicole replied, “but I did not pass the European tests in this language.”

“That doesn’t matter. It would be good if you express yourself at work. Besides, there are generally two, if not three, tests in English. European and British, at least.” He handed her a piece of paper. “How many words do you understand here?”

Nicole saw: ‘assets, depreciating assets, liquid assets, working assets, automation.’

“These are not very complicated terms,” she answered. Not being an Englishwoman, Nicole saw ‘assets’ in only one place: the office of Masterhead Studios, that’s what some three-dimensional models of tracks or cars were called. Understanding the language depends on the context of the work itself. Theoretically, anything can be called working assets.

“That’s good. Tell us about your own financial experience when you were the Economic Risk Assessment Specialist.”

She repeated what she knew, but not quite in the original order. Nicole mentioned a weird furniture store; not just the furniture itself, but spare parts from it, where the financial performance was good, but the maintenance staff was looking for wheels from the chair for half an hour.

Gratte returned to this store, putting on her head a white cap and taking off her glasses, combing her hair up so that they would not recognize her. She tried not to talk because they could have remembered her voice. She stood for three hours, examining one window or the other. One of the sellers asked if she needed something specific, or if she was just looking. Nicole nodded instead of an answer.

A grey-haired man of about fifty came and asked if he could buy a lock for the door and order an inset for the lock here. One of the saleswomen at the checkout said to him that the cutter should be sought independently. Their store sells but doesn’t provide construction services. Nicole squeezed her left hand into a fist and held it near her chin, trying not to laugh so that she would be noticed. Is a lock inset a construction service? No, even her stepfather-alcoholic Alfred Bourget knew how to do it.

One young married couple confused this so-called furniture store with something else. They asked for the wall’s wallpaper, but they are not sold here. A thirty-year-old woman was interested in a window cornice, but it wasn’t there either. In three hours, they didn’t sell the goods to three randomly selected customers.

Nicole concluded that this was not because the number of people at that evening around 5 p.m. Then it was a difficult day, they arrived there not in the morning, and not in the afternoon, but from another office. Paul called them and redirected them; they agreed to meet already with some other businessmen. But in the morning, these employees sell no better than in the evening. The store is not so small—will they sell these goods for twelve months?

She told what she felt, except for her stepfather—an alcoholic. She added about Austin and his butcher shop and then retold about two medical clinics.

The first medical clinic was a massage one, the person who introduced himself as a head doctor was quite convincing at the conference. When they arrived there themselves, they found two rooms with non-core doctors: a gynaecologist and a dentist. There were no clients there, but the turn of women was out of five for massage. The head doctor wanted an advertisement on billboards: only relatives and acquaintances of doctors came there, but there were no random patients, which wasn’t profitable enough.

“How did this story end after the transfer to the Settlement Department?”

“I do not know. I did not work in the Settlement Department, and I do not have access to their negotiations.”

“I would suggest that these people optimize part of the budget for advertising, and part—to expand the clinic itself. Several massage therapists and one dentist, one gynaecologist—this is so ridiculous.”

“There was a small building. It’s easier to open a second clinic in another place or move. I don’t think it was part of their budget.”

Nicole did not believe in herself. How can she discuss simple French thing ‘your people in your place’ in such a serious German language, a la ‘a man took up the clinic.’ Yes, he created it mainly for his friendly doctors; he is not interested in profit, investment, as well as the building. She tried not to mention that she did not want to approve the application with him.

Gratte immediately felt that the German spirit of the branch of the same company was different from the French, already at the interview. One thing remained unchanged: making profit in the company, this is the case everywhere.

“Tell us about the assessment of the dental clinic. You were lucky in medical organizations.”

“The clinic is good, it brings profit. They wanted to purchase medical matrixes and instruments. There was something wrong with one of the experts. Dr Josephine Sel. I went there for dental treatment, I was once beaten in the jaw by teenagers. Girlish things, you know. Now, some of my teeth in the area of impact began to decay, but did not require removal.”

Dr Sel said that one of my teeth needs to be drilled. The previous seal was already there. It will be necessary to drill deeply. She tried to do everything quickly, not to waste her time as if she doesn’t want to do her work. After I went to another doctor, Dr Henry, she told me that “there is no need to drill very deeply.”

Then Dr Henry mentioned that once a weird client came to Sel, a man of about forty with a very rotten, dilapidated tooth. He said that, if possible, it’s better to do without removal and put a seal. Dr Sel, not saying that this was already impossible, drilled him to the living nerve. The man beat her in the operating room, drew a drill and threatened to drill something in her mouth. The French police arrived, he was detained.

Since then, Dr Sel has acquired a rude, sick, not very ‘medical’ character of her work, to put it mildly. She always does anaesthesia, she always says that it will hurt, she always offers to pay for anaesthesia. She always drills with the largest diameters.

“What does it mean to ‘pay for anaesthesia’ if I have already made an appointment with a doctor? Did she ask for bribes?”

“No, in French clinic anaesthesia cost a separate price. For example, you go to the therapist. This fact does not mean that you will recover if you do not buy the recommended treatment.”

“Of course, it is good that you monitor the quality of the work of doctors,” said Albert Stoltz, “but from your story about the dental clinic I did not learn anything that says about your economic experience.”

Nicole did not say about the pervert masseur, especially since the pervert there was not the doctor who worked in this clinic, but his friend from a completely different area of Paris. The competence of their masseurs was in doubt, but only another doctor can prove it.

“After some time, Dr Sel was fired. A girl of about 18 came to her, she has completely young teeth. She traditionally says to her that the drill will be very painful. Most likely your hole is too big, you must pay immediately for anaesthesia. Supermassive Black Hole, do you understand? It turned out that in addition to the total price of anaesthesia, she still extorted something like ‘added price’. That is, she asked for money into her pocket. In other words, Josephine got a good job. Someone wrote a complaint about her, then she was fired from this clinic.”

“Have you approved the loan to this medical organization or not? After that, they stopped demanding money for anaesthesia in addition to the cost of a visit to the dentist?”

“No, they didn’t stop, but without Dr Sel, the anaesthesia became cheaper. Usually, people don’t talk about money, but it seems that when the girl got through to some manager, he told her that anaesthesia wasn’t worth it.”

“Presumably, you worked as an ordinary employee in the case of this dental clinic, and probably already made decisions in the case of massage therapists, Austin’s butcher shop?”

“Yes, exactly,” Nicole said half-truth, half-false, as she usually did. Besides, an attempt to write a set of recommendations for writing a story about their companies does not completely draw on an ordinary employee. But Paul Sitto didn’t have a full-fledged directorial power there. No one, except Pierre Morales, can manage the business.

“This fact is not written in the resume, it’s weird,” Stolz said.

Perhaps the German branch of Banque de Morales will be better than the French, with full promotion and so on. And most importantly: without this idiot Pierre, or with his lesser influence. Nicole now worked in one of the German branches of the bank. Pierre called in the evening after the interview. It was interesting to find out what he needs at this time.

“Remember the girl. If you moved to Germany, it does not mean that you are now can do anything. You can only work at my bank.”

“Why not?”

“You can’t work for others!”

“Because of your crap, I am now on the blacklist in Germany?”

“No. Look, you emigrated to Germany, right? Correct. Do you have a matriculation certificate?”

“Of course, what is the problem?”

“Your French economic education in Germany does not work. Not a single employer in terms of economics will be impressed by your French diploma in economics. And you cannot return to France: you are on the blacklist there.”

“I can get back in five years.”

“Not soon. Now you have a choice: either work for my bank in Germany or let Michael fully support you. There is another option: of course, you can work as a waiter, but not in the banking sector.”

“How complicated things are going on. Did you blow up my flat on May 9th? Do you know that I have French documents?”

“It was anyone, but I did not participate in it.”

She became the Financial Risk Assessment Deputy Director because Nicole’s experience was not in doubt. Soon, Gratte met her new employees, at least not of the whole department, but of those with whom she had direct contact. The direct head of Nicole was Albert Stolz himself.

There were several new employees with whom she often crossed paths. The first employee was a small brunette Diane Jones, who moved from the UK. Nicole has been surprised many times. Why is she so lucky to come across British women wherever she goes? At first, Rachel from that forum. Yes, she didn’t see her face even once, but Nicole thought she was fine. Now there is Diane Jones in the German branch of the bank with which she will work with.

The second important employee was fair-haired, as in her case, Christina Weber, German. She immediately made friends with her because she told Nicole about cases of domestic violence. Gratte supported Weber, saying that she faced similar problems, although it’s not so important who, where, and under what conditions. Nicole wasn’t enthusiastic about her stepfather, although he didn’t rape her sexually, to tell about Pierre was a matter of state security. Moreover, in the German branch of his bank.

Another was a Russian man in Germany, a brunette named Oleg Bystritsky. He’s fond of playing the piano (Nicole thought about another musician after Signe d’argent in France, because Raymond played the guitar), his parents moved to the GDR from the USSR. They didn’t return to Russia.

He said that the world is too cruel, it lacks love. About six months later, Nicole folded a full portrait about him. He lives with some kind of hamster, is not going to get married. Maybe he won’t do it in his life at all. Most likely, Oleg lived somewhere in the countryside when his father or grandfather often killed livestock for slaughter. He wrote some kind of science fiction prose about the fact that in the world of the future men are arrested for the murder of a hamster or a hare, and it seems Nicole understood why he says this one.

Overall, he seemed adequate. But he had a little ‘house aggression.’ He criticized people who buy or rent housing not with their own money, while living in Germany permanently or relatively permanently, and are not guests.

“Tell me, Nicole, with whom do you live in the house?” asked Oleg.

“With my family. I have a grandmother, mother and younger sister, who goes to fifth grade.”

“You see,” Oleg concluded, although she didn’t understand at all what he claimed. “You are not like that. You are not like these pigs. They come to the ready things, marry the oligarchs, and then do all kinds of crap with other people’s money. In particular, wrecking a car that they did not even buy. You are above it. If you moved from France with your family, then you earned a living from your own home.”

“Yes, of course, I moved. I’m not an occasional guest in Germany for one or two years. Mais comment?” (“but how?”)

“What things do you always add in French?”

“Nothing special. I wanted to say that you are absolutely right.” Several times after work, Nicole had dinner with him. She did not ask Michael for permission, although she said that a person with that name worked at Banque de Morales. It was after such sorties into the restaurant that she understood Oleg better. His philosophical arguments about violence in the world and lack of love, as well as his economic theory that the best is always given to the ones who work the least.

Submitted: May 13, 2020

© Copyright 2020 RomanBoukreev. All rights reserved.


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