Chapter 189 – Celebrate Too Early
The students who came in after Chen Li started typing a long message on the class group chat, afraid that Chen Li might hear them. They didn’t dare to use voice messages, so they painstakingly typed each word one by one.
After they finished typing this message, the class group fell into silence. It wasn’t clear if they were reading the message carefully or contemplating something. The silence persisted until the school bell rang, and no new messages appeared.
As the class was not too long, and they listened attentively, after the class ended, the previously quiet class group finally received a new message: “I have something to do on XX Road tonight. Does anyone want to join me?” XX Road was a road leading to the entrance of Q University, which was also a route that Chen Li had to take when coming to Q University.
Many people in the group understood the implied meaning of this message, and responses started pouring in:
“I’m in, let’s go together?”
“I have some errands to run today, didn’t expect someone else would join. Now I won’t be bored going alone.”
Many people replied, all sharing the same thought that it was Chen Li’s first day going home by himself, and they were concerned about his safety. They all wanted to lend a helping hand, but they knew they couldn’t be too obvious about it. So, after some discussion, they decided to take turns discreetly.
Of course, Chen Li remained unaware of this discussion among his classmates.
After leaving Q University, Wei Chen hailed a taxi and headed to Changfeng Group. When he arrived at Changfeng Group, it was just the start of the workday, and Wei Chen could be considered punctual.
Today was the first Monday in April and also the quarterly meeting of Changfeng Group. After arriving at his office and organizing the materials needed for the meeting, Wei Chen hurried to the top-floor conference room.
He ended up being the last one to arrive at the meeting room, but he wasn’t technically late.
Wei Chen nodded to the people at the meeting and took his seat. Across from him sat Deputy General Manager Li Mingchang, who seemed quite pleased, perhaps due to the positive discussions with Max’s Marketing Director during the past week. On the other hand, Zhou Tongpeng appeared calm, but his slightly trembling legs revealed his true emotions. It seemed like things were going well for him.
“Director Wei, you’ve been quite busy lately!” Li Mingchang remarked with a hint of sarcasm in his smile.
Everyone present knew that Wei Chen had spent nearly a week away from the company, trying to establish connections with Max. As the Marketing Director of Changfeng Group, it was only natural for him to seek Max’s cooperation and make Changfeng Group the exclusive agent for Max in the country. Wei Chen’s hard work in this regard was not without reason.
However, the people present also knew that in the past week, it was Zhou Tongpeng and Li Mingchang who had been receiving Max’s Marketing Director. Even when Max’s Marketing Director went to inspect other companies, Zhou Tongpeng and Li Mingchang were always with him, and they hadn’t seen Wei Chen.
So, where did Wei Chen go to establish connections with Max’s people? Did Wei Chen personally make a trip to the United States in the past week and meet with Max’s Chairman?
Facing the inquisitive gazes of others, Wei Chen remained composed. He sat calmly in his seat, waiting for the meeting to begin.
Quarterly meetings always had the same few topics, and this time was no exception. They reviewed the performance of the previous quarter and the performance of each department, setting goals for the next quarter. These were all typical discussions, but they had to be done every quarter.
Of course, besides these routine topics, there would also be commendations and criticisms. Not every department managed to meet their targets in the previous quarter. Wei Chen’s Marketing Department, on the other hand, was consistently praised every month, and this had become quite routine in the eyes of the attendees.
Nevertheless, during each quarterly meeting, they still looked at Wei Chen with admiration because maintaining growth every quarter was a remarkable achievement.
Wei Chen’s abilities were evident to everyone.
This quarter was no exception, and the performance had once again improved. When the attendees saw the numbers, they had become somewhat numb to the consistently positive results. When would the Marketing Department’s performance not improve? That would truly be surprising.
After all the usual procedures were completed, the meeting didn’t end. It continued with discussions about Max’s business. This was a significant matter because not only Changfeng Group had its eyes on Max, but any capable company in the country was also eyeing a piece of the Max pie.
Some people had even heard rumors about Max entering the country and inquired with Changfeng’s top management about when they could purchase Max vehicles.
So, the project with Max was a must-win for Changfeng Group.
However, before the discussion could gain much momentum, Li Mingchang stood up under Zhou Tongpeng’s signal.
“In the past week, we accompanied Mr. Tom, Max’s Marketing Director, for an inspection of the Chinese market. Mr. Tom was full of praise for our group and believed that cooperating with us is the best choice. However, Mr. Tom is only Max’s Marketing Director. He just returned to the United States yesterday and indicated that he would report the situation to higher-ups. I believe the likelihood of Changfeng Group becoming the exclusive agent for Max is very high.” Li Mingchang not only said it was very high but also added, “Mr. Tom has received many benefits from us. It wouldn’t be right if he doesn’t speak on our behalf, and it wouldn’t be following the rules.”
As Li Mingchang uttered these words, his gaze drifted casually toward Wei Chen, with a hint of scrutiny and provocation. This achievement was hard-won after a week of collaboration between Li Mingchang, Zhou Tongpeng, and Mr. Tom. Wei Chen, no matter how much he traveled in that week, couldn’t possibly have found a way to contact Max’s people!
Li Mingchang was quite confident in his own assessment.
Wei Chen did notice Li Mingchang’s gaze, but he didn’t react in any way. When their eyes met, Wei Chen politely nodded to Li Mingchang, as if he didn’t consider this matter significant.
Wei Chen’s attitude made Li Mingchang feel like he had punched a soft pillow, completely lacking in force.
Li Mingchang thought to himself, ‘I want to see how you, Wei Chen, will maintain this demeanor after we secure the contract with Max. Don’t show any envy when it happens. The impact on Changfeng’s performance from this deal will far exceed the cumulative performance growth you’ve brought since joining Changfeng!’
Li Mingchang’s targeting of Wei Chen wasn’t entirely baseless. Firstly, Wei Chen was aligned with Zhuge Feng, and soon as he joined Changfeng, he used his abilities to wrest away many benefits from Zhou Tongpeng. Naturally, Zhou Tongpeng held a grudge against Wei Chen, and since Li Mingchang was on the same boat as Zhou Tongpeng, he naturally didn’t have any fondness for Wei Chen.
Secondly, Wei Chen’s arrival had complicated Li Mingchang’s position as Deputy General Manager. Previously, that position held substantial power, overseeing the Sales and Marketing departments along with several others. However, due to Wei Chen, Sales and Marketing had merged, and they now reported directly to the board, bypassing Li Mingchang as Deputy General Manager. His real authority had been significantly reduced, and the position had become redundant. Li Mingchang even felt that if Chairman Sheng Jiaqi didn’t want to tilt the balance between the two sides, his current position as Deputy General Manager would have been eliminated.
Lastly, since Wei Chen joined the company, he had consistently achieved outstanding results, while Li Mingchang, in his role as Deputy General Manager, hadn’t made any significant contributions. Privately, people had started comparing him to Wei Chen.
Li Mingchang didn’t mind losing out in terms of age and appearance to Wei Chen; after all, he acknowledged that Wei Chen was indeed young and handsome. But when it came to competence, being diminished privately by others was something Li Mingchang couldn’t accept.
Taking all of this into account, Li Mingchang was nursing a grudge. People fought for their dignity, and Li Mingchang was determined not to lose to Wei Chen again. So, this time, he continuously lowered his posture to let Zhou Tongpeng take him to meet Mr. Tom, Max’s Marketing Director. He also humbled himself in front of Mr. Tom, all in pursuit of winning the Max project.
In the end, he was reasonably satisfied with the outcome. At the very least, when Mr. Tom left, he had guaranteed that Max’s exclusive agency in China would go to Changfeng Group.
As a result, at this current meeting, Li Mingchang felt extremely confident, even eager to see how Wei Chen would react to failure.
Zhou Tongpeng allowed Li Mingchang to revel in his success. After all, Max’s project had almost become a sure thing for him. Having been overshadowed by Wei Chen for so long, it was only fair for Li Mingchang to celebrate his newfound success.
Sheng Jiaqi observed their expressions and found it somewhat amusing. They dared to act so confident when nothing had been finalized yet. Were they really not afraid of a harsh reality later?
“Director Wei, can you tell us what you gained last week?” Sheng Jiaqi disregarded the two people who were secretly celebrating on the other side and directly addressed Wei Chen.
However, when he asked this question, there were some silent laughs in the meeting room, and some even thought that the chairman had lost his mind this time.
What could Wei Chen have gained last week? Mr. Tom from Max had been accompanied throughout by Vice Chairman Zhou Tongpeng and Deputy General Manager Li Mingchang. Wei Chen couldn’t have made any progress in contacting Max Group. What kind of results could he have achieved?
The chairman had unexpectedly brought Wei Chen into the conversation, seemingly wanting to make Wei Chen the laughingstock of the group.
People contemplated left and right, eventually arriving at one conclusion.
It seemed that Wei Chen had failed to secure the Max project this time, which had displeased the chairman. Hence, he wanted to teach Wei Chen a lesson by publicly highlighting his failure. Wei Chen was no longer the chairman’s trusted assistant, and the chairman was willing to make an example out of him this time.