This is a translation of a Japanese novel. You can read the Raw here.
This is a work of fiction, with depictions of violence such as death of many people at a time. It is not suitable for readers under 15.
Hey everyone, I hope you’re doing alright!
Sorry I haven’t been focusing too much on this project, still having to focus on my rent and all cause the whole thing with my country’s borders locking down has been causing major problems. But this novel is awesome, it’s almost criminal to leave it untranslated.
Anyway, here’s the chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Chapter 21: Big shot manager Lucas
The IT company managed by Lucas has been bringing relatively good results.
Maybe because Lucas succeeded in bringing in some of his computer-loving alumni, it seems the employees have been performing well.
Given that Nigeria is seeing a remarkable economic growth, there is a lot of demand in this type of industry.
My advice did not fall on deaf ears. Lucas has done a good job securing a proper power source, creating a comfortable internet environment, and using the latest PCs and workstations. This all worked into reducing the stress of the employees as much as possible, and raising the overall employee satisfaction. This will, in turn, raise customer satisfaction.
It’s been established through studies of business administration that there is a clear correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. It’s common sense.
But Japanese companies always turn a blind eye to that fact.
I’m talking out of experience.
According to a survey done by America’s largest software company, making your employees use outdated, more than four years old computers in the workplace can make your company lose around 350,000 yen a year per employee.
Large companies in developed countries might laugh at that amount of money, but here this can be worth twice the annual salary of each employee. And I’d say that’s a big enough sum to be worth taking seriously.
Some companies take pride in their backward ways, bragging about things like “We still use windows xp in our company” like they’re achieving something through their misgivings, but there is no real need to follow their example.
Being a good manager means dealings with the small details that pop up and pile up.
Nigeria doesn’t lack university graduates to begin with, but the country’s unemployment rate is still high regardless.
And what happens when you don’t give the country’s brains the right opportunities?
They either go find a job overseas, or they straight up give up on their chosen field in favor of pursuing more simple jobs or something in the primary sector. Some of those people who decide to stay in the country even opt for criminal activities.
A notable exemple of said criminal activities are those so-called “Nigerian letter” scams done through e-mails.
But maybe in certains cases, the people who dirty their hands with said jobs do it out of desperation.
Well, their crimes aren’t limited to computers. There is a variety of those activities in the country, and they can go all the way out of the border.
As for Lucas’ alumni, they’re considered as being a part of the country’s elite. They’re more of the hands-on type rather than the chatty type.
I think I made the right call. The IT company only had 6 people at first, and through diligence and cleverness, that number turned to 40 in just half a year. Of course, the company’s generating enough money to handle having those 40 employees, as well.
In less than a year, Lucas’ company has become a solution provider that businesses, big and small, rely on.
And no matter how high the demand for that kind of work in the country, this is no simple achievement.
In addition to the the outsourced development contracts they’ve been getting from Mibu through me, Lucas’ company has mostly been creating Electronic Commerce and PR websites for businesses, and building them integrated accounting systems.
This sort of work make it so companies don’t have to build unique software one-by-one for each customer. We’re well into the 21st century, there is no longer a need for that inefficient one-by-one working method that gives rise to death marches and drives workers to taking their own lives.
In japan, to this day, companies lean heavily into making their own employees start development from scratch and try to maximize the amount of money gained in relation to man-hours of labor.
This sort of approach mostly works out when dealing with already well-established concepts, for which you can find free packages here and there.
So, at the end of the day, the most important job for a company like Lucas’ is to cover what those free packages can’t do.
This requires them to have the communication skills to understand the demands of clients who can’t quite word what they want, the ability to design a UI that the user can comprehend, and the security handling capacity and service capability to keep the servers up and the like.
The one matter that might be slightly troublesome is passing the contract procedures by clearing houses.
That being said, there is one weak point shared by all the employees that Lucas brought: communication.
But since they’re painfully aware of their shortcomings, they earnestly asked Lucas to put the highest priority on hiring smart project managers and designers once the company would expand.
Lucas heard their request and immediately emailed several university professors who had helped him in the past, who then quickly sent back the coordinates of some of their graduates.
Thanks to this, he was able to hire some of the graduates who were fitting candidates for the project manager and designer positions, and gave them the necessary training.
They were apparently able to grasp the necessary knowhow surprisingly quickly, maybe thanks to the easy-to-understand American textbooks that were imported for them.
On top of that, they gained experience by sitting at the discussions between the company and Mibu’s development team, and they all eventually learned enough to be able to talk to Ichikawa on even grounds.
They learned Ichikawa’s unrivalled methods in the blink of an eye, in order to pinpoint specific problems, suggest solutions, arrange the work flow from establishing the requirements to the actual development, securing necessary resources, managing budgets and schedules, and more.
They soon became able to act as consultants at a developed country’s level on the overall processes reigning behind IT projects.
Lucas is one lucky manager.
Having good employees and a good working environment to top that off is quite fortunate.
Moreover, thanks to Ichikawa and I, he also has the advantage of having guaranteed, stable work, and was able to reach this point without having to worry about money.
On the other hand, the regular flow of sending the results of the development and implementation for inspection and only sending the bill once the results are confirmed to be good by the client does not really fit the country’s culture.
There have been more than a few customers who played dumb when it came to paying, or were reluctant to pay because advertising websites weren’t attracting as many customers as they wished.
When the company tried closing their servers in response, someone set fire on their data center, and when the company tried taking a client to court for payment instead, a project manager almost got poisoned.
All these threats have led Lucas’ company to always do background checks on clients before accepting jobs such as building websites for them.
Given the situation, any company would settle on solely working with trustworthy businesses, but that’s easier said than done in Nigeria; After all, it’s by far one of the least trustworthy countries when it comes to online transactions.
By the way, that one trial has been delayed by the judge for three months because of summer vacation, training and family circumstances. That’s the kind of country we’re dealing with here. This left our sides lawyer, Lila, quite pissed off, but there was nothing she could do on this one. If she tried to press the judge, he might become hostile and start applying illegal means out of spite. .
WIthout me knowing, Lucas has had to fight all those’ sorts of fellows off.
He’s been surrounded by immoral people from early childhood, so he felt those turns of events were only natural, but he was still more than a little shocked when his life was in actual danger.
He apparently was even shot while driving my bulletproof Benz that he’s been taking for his personal use.
This is a problem that manifests in many developing countries. They appear to have all the traits of a developed country, but they can’t truly get themselves there.
They might have a parliament, a proper constitutions, an administration of justice, but in most cases, all their administrative bodies are just empty shells for power.
So it’s no surprise that members of parliament and other government officials never act as the honorable ‘public servants’ they’re supposed to be. The second they get the post, they fall into corruption to further their own interests. They hide crimes, erase people, and I’m assuming none of that is ever documented or put on paper.
Some bank tellers steal money from the counter and run away, and it’s an everyday occurence to see someone build their house one someone else’s land without any repercussions because they’re related to a police chief.
The one definite difference between the corruption that can be seen in developed countries and the corruption here is that, in their minds, they don’t understand why they shouldn’t be corrupt.
What’s wrong with using the power that come with my privileged post for my own interests? Nothing. Rather, what’s wrong with that chap who doesn’t want to use his power? That guy’s an enemy. Let’s kill him.
People can end up being murdered for not pertaining in these shady activities, which is why corruption will never disappear from the country.
In these countries that have yet to become ‘ripe’, the fundamental base of morality is religion.
But in this particular country, religion was used as a tool to justify the government’s structure rather than as a guide for the standards of human conduct.
Obviously, once religion became a tool to maintain the governing structure, it also became a tool for briberies and corruption. The more people there will be and the more the industries will grow, the more profit there will be to be made from religion.
The government’s can even use their devotion to religion as a pretext to exploit people and justify violence.
And so, because religion in this country is a device to acquire power and money, there is nothing that defines the core of morality for the people, there is no bottom line. Thus, they’ve come to live as their desires dictate them to.
The reason the administratives bodies and the government in general did not get involved in the gold debacle at Ijebu Igbo was that there was too little to gain for the officials themselves from taking control of the situation.
Why would they bother with gathering gold dust when they get paid tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars per months by oil companies alone?
The reason I never really paid attention to the bad aspects of this society so far was that everything Mibu and I did was fundamentally harmless to anyone.
At that point, I had no idea that that wasn’t going to last.
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