154 Treasure Trove of Information
Next day in the office of Neo Software, as Dawn waited for Hans Müller, she was contemplating whether to take Daryn with her to Wyatt's Manor or not. She wanted to go back to see it, to feel it, and at the same time she didn't want others to insult Daryn. Daw knew how sarcastic they could be, and behind those smiles their minds worked overtime to hatch devious plots. In order to divert her attention, she started looking at the Company's finances. It seemed strong and she thought of expanding its operations by focusing on different areas of development. For that she started to research various options and opportunities. Her reverie was broken when her secretary's phone buzzed.
"Ms. Dawn, Hans Müller is here."
"Send him in," she said excitedly and placed the phone back on the cradle.
The door opened and a middle-aged man in a blue shirt, brown pants and polished brown shoes walked in. His golden hair was combed back neatly and his golden moustache was dense. The deep-set blue eyes had lines of experience on the side.
She got up from her chair to shake hands with him. "Good morning Mr. Müller," she said and gestured to him to sit on the chair in front of her desk.
A tight smile appeared on his face as he shook her hand graciously. He sat down, crossed his leg and looked attentively at her. "Randy told me that you were looking to fill a position for your procurement office at senior level."
Dawn came to the point straightaway. "Mr. Müller—"
"Oh! Please call me Hans," he said with a nervous smile.
Dawn nodded. "Haaans— The thing is that we kind of did a background check about you. And we came to know that you had worked for The Starfish Refineries. I believe you were their Procurement Officer?"
"I was their Chief Procurement Officer," he corrected her.
"Hmm. Well, that's impressive," she hummed. "We also found out that you were laid off along with fifty other workers and officers."
Hans raked his fingers through his hair as his blood rose to his neck.
Dawn added, "Not only that, at the moment you have filed a case against The Starfish Refineries."
Hans shifted in his seat. "Shit!" he muttered. "Yes, I have," he said in a breathy voice. He knew that this was something that could scare his potential employers.
She sat back and continued, "So would you like to tell me what was it that went wrong?" Dawn had to pressurize him into spilling out everything by luring him into a job and at the same time warning him that the case that he had filed would make her think twice about hiring him. She had to bait him to come out with everything. "You have to tell me everything."
Hans hesitated. This was something personal, but if he kept it a secret from his new potential employer, she would suspect him further and whatever chances he had of getting a job would get washed. The Starfish Refineries was a big company as compared to The Neo Software. But the fact was that he wasn't getting any job offers. When Randy approached him, he was joyous and so was his wife. He needed this job. His gaze darted around the room.
Dawn understood that expression and said, "Don't worry, there's no one other than me. You can speak freely."
Hans looked at the folded hands in his lap. He took a deep breath and said in a low voice, "I was working very comfortably under my previous Vice President, Ms. Rose over there. I don't know why but she was transferred to a different division all of a sudden about two years back and Ms. Anne took over. She is the wife of the Chairman David McDow."
Dawn's eyes narrowed. Why did her aunt take over as the Vice President of the procurement office unless—?
He became quiet. He uncrossed his leg and leaned forward a little. "I used to travel a lot for company's work. Sometimes I used to travel during weekends and also worked overtime when needed. Under Ms. Rose I got extra payment for my overtime, but the new Vice President—I think she got greedy. She stopped paying overtime to all those who qualified for it. They made me work a lot but never paid accordingly. I filed a complaint with the HR department, but the HR Manager told me that since I was a salaried man, if the company wanted me to work for eighty hours a week, I had to without expecting any compensation. It pissed me off." Anxiety clearly manifested on his face. He got uncomfortable.
Dawn offered him a glass of water. He gulped it down.
She asked, "So you went to file a case against them? I don't believe you." She wasn't convinced that it ended there. There was definitely more.
He spilled the beans and alleged, "Ms. Dawn, that Company is into facilitating bribes in order to win energy contracts in other countries through illegal and unethical practices. It is under government scanner because of several bribery and corruption cases.��
Dawn raised an eyebrow. The whole thing was getting interesting. "How do you know?" she asked. She put her elbow on the armrest of her chair and supported her chin in her hand. Her heart was pounding against her ribcage.
Once again Hans raked his hair. This was the most difficult part to speak out. He pursed his lips as his chest became heavy and a line of sweat appeared on his forehead. If he didn't come clean, if he didn't reveal, his thin chance of getting a job here would vanish. "I can tell you everything, Ms. Dawn, but you have to promise me something in return." With the way she was asking, he could sense her urgency. He wasn't a rookie in this field.
Dawn tilted her head. A dark expression appeared in her eyes. They became cold. "Mr. Hans Müller, you are in no position to throw deals at me. If you want to reveal something, it's fine, otherwise I am not interested." She needed to know what he had to say, but she couldn't buckle to his dominance. The conversation had to go the way she wanted it. "So either you can answer my question or you can leave. But unless I know everything about you, I can't offer you the job."