Chapter 211 – Just Late

When Lu Wei received Wei Chen’s message, he felt a little complicated.

He knew Wei Chen always considered the bigger picture. The entire marketing department striking without informing Wei Chen felt somewhat inappropriate to him. The result might put Wei Chen in a difficult position.

However, as he looked at the furious faces in the marketing department and saw their active response to the strike proposal, Lu Wei’s rationality faded away. At over forty years old, he found himself filled with fervor.

He had anticipated that once Wei Chen learned about the strike, he would immediately call them back. So when he saw this message, Lu Wei wasn’t surprised, just conflicted.

Go back to work?

If they did, what would be the point of their strike today? But if they didn’t, would Director Wei be treated fairly?

Lu Wei thought for a long time, took a screenshot of the message, and sent it to the group.

Every employee from the marketing department was in the group. After seeing the text message sent by Wei Chen, the group remained silent. After a few minutes, someone finally spoke up.

[Should we go back to work?]

[Don’t go back, why should we go back? They didn’t feel guilty when they treated Director Wei, a hero, like this, so why should we feel guilty when we go on strike?] This message received agreement from many, the long-lost fervor making them both angry and passionate.

Amidst the radical voices, a rational one finally emerged —[But, will anyone misunderstand that it was Director Wei who asked us to strike? I think the reason why Director Wei was promoted and relegated secretly this time is because someone wants to mess with Director Wei. If we still go on strike, will it be detrimental to Director Wei?]

​[I think so too. Maybe our doing this really caused trouble for Director Wei? On the contrary, I feel that we already believe in Director Wei and believe that he has a way to get himself out of the predicament. We should stand behind him and support him silently, instead of crossing over him, thinking we are doing his best, and overcoming obstacles for him.]​ After the initial impulse, when reason returned, their thinking became deeper.

After these two messages, many fell silent.

Even the initially radical individuals slowly regained their rationality. Thinking that their strike might not change the outcome significantly and might even put Wei Chen at a disadvantage, many started to waver.

“Let’s go back to work,” Lu Wei messaged.

This time, no one opposed. Some had already started packing up, preparing to leave.

“Yeah, let’s go back to work.”

Seeing that most people in the group chose to return to work, the few who were still unsure reluctantly agreed because they also agreed with that rational statement.

Their strike this time might have been satisfying, but for their Director Wei, it was not necessarily advantageous.

*

In the conference room of Changfeng Group, as Chen Yunzeng was the last to arrive, the senior executives began discussing and planning how to deal with the collective strike in the marketing department.

Firing these people was definitely not an option.

Under Wei Chen’s leadership, the marketing department had long become a solid force within Changfeng Group. They were efficient and yielded high returns. Giving up this team was absurd. In a short period, Changfeng Group couldn’t find a team that could rival their efficiency. Moreover, dismissing everyone in a department was unrealistic for any company. So, the focus of this meeting was on how to call them back and give them a significant blow, making them realize that the company’s rules were not to be easily challenged.

Chen Yunzeng did not participate in the discussion throughout, resembling a victim, silently waiting for his fair treatment. Although he didn’t display any pitiful expressions, the looks from the crowd were filled with sympathy.

However, sympathy aside, this might also be a test for Chen Yunzeng. If Wei Chen was orchestrating this, could Chen Yunzeng withstand the show of authority that Wei Chen presented?

While the discussion in the office was at its peak, there came a knock on the door. When the door opened, a crowd of people stood outside, all colleagues from the marketing department.

The executives inside, who were discussing how to bring them back, were dumbfounded at the sight of all the marketing department employees.

Lu Wei glanced at Wei Chen and nodded subtly, indicating, “Director Wei, we’ve all come back as per your wish.”

Wei Chen also nodded back at Lu Wei.

Lu Wei stepped forward and bowed to all the senior executives present, saying, “The manager of the marketing department, along with everyone from the marketing department, has come to apologize.”

“Apologize? What wrong have you done? Everyone decides not to come to work, do you even consider the company’s rules?” Huang Hua, the deputy general manager, was the one to question.

In reality, he hoped that the employees of the marketing department wouldn’t return for the whole day. Then, he and others could collectively blame Wei Chen for inciting the strike. After all, these people went on strike because of Wei Chen, and even if it wasn’t directly his doing, he would have to bear the blame.

So when he heard about the collective strike in the marketing department earlier, besides being shocked, he was also delighted. Finally, he had caught a handle on Wei Chen!

However, at this moment, Lu Wei wore an innocent expression and said, “Deputy General Manager Huang, I admit being late was our mistake. But if you want to attribute this strike to us, then I’m sorry, we refuse.”

Huang Hua didn’t expect Lu Wei to respond like this. He stood up abruptly, pointing at Lu Wei and angrily said, “Then explain to me, why didn’t any of the employees from the marketing department come to work today?”

“Deputy General Manager Huang, first of all, I need to correct your words. We didn’t ‘not come to work.’ Otherwise, where would you see us now? Then, let me explain why we were late today.” Lu Wei had prepared for the worst and wasn’t intimidated in front of all the company’s top executives. He spoke confidently, “The reason we were late is that one of our colleagues in the marketing department had a birthday yesterday. The marketing department has always been united, so we all went to celebrate this colleague’s birthday together. When so many people gather, it’s hard to avoid some drinking. During our conversation, we naturally discussed the unfair treatment our Director Wei has been receiving. It upset us, and we tried to drown our sorrows in alcohol. In the end, we drank too much, which caused us to oversleep and be late for work.”

Lu Wei’s words were partly true and partly false. There was indeed a colleague’s birthday yesterday, and they did gather, but they didn’t drink. In the end, they discussed how to support Wei Chen, leading to the strike this morning.

As Lu Wei finished speaking, Huang Hua retorted, “Nonsense! I have never seen a group collectively being late for work because of a late-night gathering. A strike is a strike, what excuses are you making?”

“Deputy General Manager Huang,” a deep voice rang out, and despite its calmness, it carried an air of authority that made Huang Hua involuntarily turn to look at the speaker—Wei Chen.

“Deputy General Manager Huang, what is the company’s definition of being late?” Wei Chen pushed his glasses and asked without much emotion.

“Being late within one hour after the start of work is considered tardy, and being absent for more than one hour after the start of work is considered absenteeism,” Huang Hua didn’t know why Wei Chen was asking this, but he was captivated by Wei Chen’s authority and asked the question as posed by Wei Chen.

“Does the regulation specify how many instances of tardiness are allowed?” Wei Chen asked again.

Now, most people understood why Wei Chen was asking this. They glanced at the time and realized it hadn’t been an hour since work started, so they knew it was impossible to heavily penalize the marketing department this time.

Chen Yunzeng still remained silent, seemingly a bystander observing everything around. Even when Huang Hua looked at him desperately for help, he didn’t feel anything.

Yes, the timely return of the marketing department employees had deprived them of the opportunity to tarnish Wei Chen’s reputation.

What a pity, such a shame!

Huang Hua didn’t receive a response from Chen Yunzeng, so he had to say, “No.”

“Thank you, Deputy General Manager Huang, for clarifying that for me,” Wei Chen said. His tone remained even, but it made Huang Hua suddenly realize why he had unquestioningly answered Wei Chen. Their positions were equal, and in terms of authority, Huang Hua was even superior to Wei Chen! Realizing this, Huang Hua’s face turned red, and even his oily scalp seemed to take on the hue due to his anger!

Wei Chen didn’t care how angry Huang Hua was. He looked around the office and said, “I presume everyone has heard Deputy General Manager Huang’s explanation regarding lateness. I just checked, and when they arrived at the meeting room, it was fifty minutes after the start of work. In other words, if they had already clocked in, they were simply late. I believe everyone here agrees on this point?”

People nodded; what could they disagree with? Wei Chen had presented the policy—coming to work within an hour meant tardiness. They also had no evidence to prove that the colleagues from the marketing department were planning a strike. After all, everyone had come to work.

“In that case, there’s no need to proceed with this meeting,” Wei Chen concluded. The meeting had been urgently convened because all the marketing department colleagues had gone on strike. But now, as all of them were just late, the meeting was unnecessary.

“Yes, let’s adjourn.” Sheng Jiaqi, sitting in the front, smiled and said, “You all can go back to work. Just make sure not to drink during working hours next time.”

Lu Wei quickly acknowledged, “Yes, Chairman. We won’t do it again.”

As Lu Wei finished speaking, all the comrades from the marketing department dispersed, and the crowded room soon emptied.

“Alright, alright, you all can leave too. Go back to your tasks. Stop worrying unnecessarily,” Sheng Jiaqi said, still smiling.

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