SOTUS S: The Third Year and the Office Worker

SOTUS S, Lover’s Rule No. 12: Don’t create unexpected events

Ten minutes seemed like ten hours to the staff in the Purchasing Department, all of them watching the glass doors, waiting apprehensively for something to happen. Finally, Manager Danai pushes open the door and comes out to report the results.

“Gentlemen, the problem with the production of plastic frames has been solved for the company!”

“Really, Phii Danai? Won’t tell us that little Kong is the one who contacted the new supplier?”

Somoo turned incredulously to the intern who had followed the group out but Danai nodded in the affirmative. Earth immediately asked excitedly,” Who’s the new supplier?”

“Siam Polymer Group was relieved to hear the name of this large plastics processing plant, as it was expected to have the capacity to meet their requirements.

“The chairman, Mr. Krirkkai, will be happy to produce the missing plastic frames but we’d better get the information to him directly to the company.” Todd was the first to step up to the plate for this important task where every second counts.

“Let me deliver it. Since I’m the one who started this project, please let me finish it.”

“And please let me go with Todd. I’ve been in contact with the company, so maybe it’ll help a little.” Arthit has also stepped forward to go along.

“Okay, I’ll let you two take over this task while Earth, you go down the production line and check the quantities, so there are no mistakes and Somoo, just go and draw up the contracts, I’ll send you the information.” The head of the department believed in the potential of his subordinates and he made the assignments with such conviction.

“I’m counting on you.”

“Yes!”

The staff in the Purchasing Department agreed in unison and then dispersed to perform their duties.

“I’ll get the bus keys, then we’ll go together,” Todd said as he left his desk. At Arthit’s desk, there was also a man sitting and waiting.

“Phii Arthit, where are you off to?”

Kongpop saw the seniors come in to get their bags, so he stood up and asked about them.

“Later I’ll go to the company you contacted. They want full details of the material.” Arthit put all the information together, not forgetting the samples of the plastic frame but there was one doubt that he never cleared up.

“By the way, do you know that company? Why did Mr. Krirkkai agree to produce for us?”

Siam Polymer Group was the first company Arthit had thought of but since it was Sunday, no one was available to take over the job.

Kongpop said evasively,” Because…”

“Hey! It’s all done, let’s go!”

Todd shouted from the door of the department office, so Arthit put aside his doubts for a moment and turned to walk out.

“Phii Arthit” his shirt was tugged by a force.

“When talking to Mr. Krirkkai, Phii Arthit has to behave well, because Mr. Krirkkai likes people who are serious. Also he can’t help want to being pampered like a child.”

Arthit was confused by this strange advice but he had no time to ponder over it, for Todd was shouting at him, so he hurried out of the office, leaving his doubts and Kongpop behind. The bus turned in and stopped in front of Siam Polymers, the glass walls of the office building dark in the late evening darkness of almost eight o’clock, the beam of light from the car’s headlights appearing to shine brightly. On reaching his destination, Arthit unbuckled his seat belt and before he could open the door and get out of the car, he heard the driver murmur “Mr. Sun”, a nickname he had not heard for a long time, along with an apology.

“Well, I’m sorry, before I, um…” Todd didn’t get his sentences together for a while, which forced Arthit to cut in.

“It’s okay, I owe you an apology too. Actually, we’re both just worried about the company.”

“Yeah.” Todd laughed as he remembered the childish quarrel.  The two of them had settled their differences and were now friends.

“Let’s go in then.” The two close companions got out of the bus and headed straight for the office building. But the first hurdle was the security guards.

“Excuse me, are you two the guests from Ocean Electric that the boss is expecting?”

“Yes.” Arthit’s impressive and very strict security boss Saman gave them a way out.

“Come in, then.” The direction they were given was not towards the glass building but deep in the back of the office building, where a villa was hidden. It’s a neat little three-story white modern building, with brown wooden corridors, surrounded by large and small landscaping trees, covering the villa in shade. Despite the fact that the owner of the house was a billionaire industrialist, the place was so elegantly decorated that it implied warmth and a sense of ease. Arthit and Todd followed them into the villa, where a man was waiting on the sofa.

“Boss, your guest has arrived.” The serious face still glowed with respect.

“Good to see you again, Mr. Arthit.” The chairman greeted the familiar man and Arthit immediately raised his hand in salute.

“Mr. Krirkkai, hello.” Then he turned sideways, so that the other man could see the man who had come with him standing behind him.

“Mr. Krirkkai, let me introduce you to Thanaphat.” The student didn’t shake hands as usual but raised his hand as a sign of respect.

“Hello, my name is Thanaphat Kengphaisanpanich, I’m in charge of following up this project. Anyway, thanks again for your willingness to help us.”

“You’re welcome. All right, let me see the details.” Mr. Krirkkai got straight to the point, as usual. So Todd handed over the information, explaining the problems with the plastic frame of the electric oven, while Arthit provided additional information from time to time. The chairman, using his experience and authority, went over the information and studied the plastic frame samples for several minutes before finally nodding his head and giving the go-ahead.

“I’ve decided to start production for you…”

“Thank you so much!”

Arthit and Todd spoke in unison, their eyes filled with joy, as if someone from heaven had pulled them out of the abyss and brought them back to the light.

“As for the documents and the contract, our company will send them to you in the morning.” Arthit immediately informed Mr. Krirkkai about the process but was interrupted.

“It is all right, Mr. Arthit. I will just come to your office tomorrow and sign the contract.”

“Yes, our company will take care of everything for you”, Todd said. Todd confidently showed his sense of responsibility as the project manager. After the business meeting and not wanting to disturb the benefactor’s resting time too much, the two visitors planned to leave immediately.

“Then we’ll take our leave.” Arthit and Todd gratefully raised their hands to Mr. Krirkkai once again and then got up and returned to report the good news to the waiting Purchasing Department.

“Got to thank that intern, right, Kongpop? How did he do it?”

On the way out the front door, Todd muttered something to himself. The entire Purchasing Department had called all the suppliers and no one had ever come across a company that had gotten the job done so easily.

“I don’t know.” It was a mystery that Arthit would not want to find the answer to, nor would he delve into, nor into the strange words that Kongpop had spoken before he set out. In the next moment, however, the answer was before him, for Todd, who was walking ahead, suddenly stopped.

“Hey? That’s…”

At first Arthit didn’t know what Todd was looking at, until his eyes slid over and caught a medium-sized photo hanging near the front door.  It was a family portrait taken in a studio and was softly lit. Mr. Krirkkai is very well dressed in a suit; seated with him is a middle-aged woman with a clear, elegant and gentle face, presumably his wife. Behind the chair there were two girls, about seven or eight years older than Arthit, with sweet, motherly looks. The last one was a young boy, wearing a white shirt like a school uniform, tall, with clear eyes, a smile on his handsome face and a gently raised mouth that drew his attention.

“I see. Kongpop is Mr. Krirkkai’s son.” Todd’s words seemed to echo from the distant sky. And Arthit immediately realized that he was not the one to reach out. After calling Manager Danai to report the results, the head of the department told the two subordinates to get some rest to refresh themselves for the next day’s work. Todd then turned the bus around and took the passenger back to the hostel. Although the bus had been parked for a long time, the passenger was still staring out of the window, showing no signs of moving.

“Mr. Sun, are you okay?”

Hearing someone speak to him, he snapped out of his trance.

“Ah well, I’m fine.” However, his answer was clearly the opposite of the truth.

“If you are tired, go home and get some rest, see you tomorrow.” Arthit nodded to his colleague who was worried about him at the end of the sentence, then picked up his bag and got out of the car.

The young man watched Todd leave until the car disappeared from view. He looked up to the balcony on the fifth floor, where his own room was dark but the room next to it was illuminated. Arthit took the elevator, walked up the stairs, stopped at the door of room 507 and started to knock but finally withdrew his hand and decided to walk silently into room 508. That morning, Kongpop went through his usual routine. He got up at six, got on his motorbike and went out to buy breakfast, he ordered pork porridge and fritters to go with it, not forgetting to bring one for the sleepy man. He showered and dressed, glanced at the clock and saw that the hands were getting close to eight, so he picked up his breakfast bag and knocked on the door of room 508.

“Phii Arthit, are you up?”

There’s no answer and he’s probably still sleeping. So Kongpop picks up the phone and dials, then waits for the call to be answered.

“Phii Arthit, it’s time to get up.”

“I’m already out.” Kongpop was surprised by this answer but when he looked down at the doorknob, he realized that there was a padlock silently locked on the door.

“I’m getting on the motorcycle, that’s all” and then he heard Phii Arthit talking to a third person who was supposed to be the motorcycle driver: “I’m going to Ocean Electric.” And then the call was disconnected.

It’s going to rain today and the guy who’s always late is leaving an hour earlier than usual. But when you think about it, there are only a few reasons why Arthit would behave so strangely. If he either wakes up early, he hasn’t slept at all. And Kongpop noticed that it was snowing just as he thought it would. Because Arthit, who usually treated him like sunshine, was today as cold as ice.

“Phii Arthit, Phii Yong asked me to give you the documents and here are the fries I bought for you.” The intern gave the documents and the bag with the fries to the purchasing engineer, who assumed that the person had not eaten anything since morning.

“Well, thank you.” Without taking his eyes off the screen, his hands were still tapping away at the keyboard, not reaching out to pick up anything.  Is the food summation program not working like it used to?” I’ll leave it here then.” So Kongpop was going to put the bag of information and fries on the table next to the fish tank.

“Mr. Sun, has the information from the production department arrived yet?”

Todd chimed in to ask what was going on.

“Ow? Kongpop.” But as soon as he saw who was standing there, he came straight over and shook hands, “Thank you so much for yesterday.”

“You’re welcome, I’m just trying to help as much as I can”, the intern responded humbly before turning the paper over to him,” This is what you’re looking for from the production department, isn’t it Phii Todd?”

“Right, right.” During the conversation, the man sitting at the next table remained silent. But this time Kongpop had figured out that there was something he wanted to say but the situation didn’t seem quite right.

“When Arthit is free, just give me a call.”

“……” There was no” accept” or” reject” in response. The ignored man left the Purchasing Department. But after the tall man disappeared, the indifferent snowman was startled by the ringing of the phone in the office. Somoo picked up the phone and turned to report: “Mr. Krirkkai from Siam Polymers has arrived!”

The entire Purchasing Department was thrilled to welcome the guest and Todd led the way to greet him.

“Mr. Sun, let’s go together.” At that moment, Arthit felt as if his whole body was filled with ice, so much so that he couldn’t even move his feet. Arthit, like the other members of the Purchasing Department, sat comfortably at the same table, not daring to make any noise even when breathing, for fear of ruining the focused atmosphere of the contract signing meeting. But since they had prepared all the documents well, it didn’t take long for the directors of both companies to sign the contract. Mr. Krirkkai meticulously reviewed the terms of the contract and signed it without any mistakes.

“That’s it, from now on, if you have any questions, just contact me, I’m always happy to work with you.”

“We would have liked to do business with you but without your help Mr. Krirkkai, it would have been much more difficult for us than this”, the chairman Mr. Pairot also immediately told the other side.  The principle of business is” buy and sell”. Although Siam Polymers and Ocean Electric had to buy from Siam Electric this time, the two companies were also able to buy from each other. Mr. Krirkkai smiled and said humbly: “It’s not a big deal, our two companies were good business partners in the past and you have been very kind to your son.”

“Kind?”

Mr. Pairot, the chairman of the board, frowned and wondered when Ocean Electric had done such a good deed, until he further explained, “Nowadays, my son is doing an internship in your company.”

“Your son is?”

Not only was Mr. Pairot surprised to hear this but Somoo and Earth also looked at each other, as not many people were aware of this.

“Mr. Krirkkai’s son, who is now interning in our production department, is called Kongpop.” Danai explained. Because when Kongpop called and asked the company to contact Mr. Krirkkai, some people knew the truth and he was one of them.

“Now that you’re here, if I’m not intruding, would you allow me to visit him?”

Mr. Krirkkai, who is a father, asked about this.

“Of course! What’s the bother, I’ll take you there later.” The chairman, Mr. Pairot, was about to get up, when he was stopped by a guest in an honorary suit.

“Mr. Pairot, I hope you won’t get tired, later I…” stopped my eyes on the young man who had been sitting silently during the meeting.

“I will just go with Mr. Arthit.” He was already so nervous he couldn’t breathe and hearing that almost took his breath away and it took him a moment to pick up his flimsy, wilting voice.

“Okay. Okay.” Although Arthit didn’t know why Mr. Krirkkai had picked him specifically, he tried to control his nervousness and led the guest towards the production department to do his duty. However, the chairman of the board did not take him for granted and even opened up to him on the way, inviting him for a chat.

“Has Mr. Arthit been working here long?”

“It’s been almost a year.”  He swallowed quietly and the more he forced his voice not to shake, the harder it became.

“Well, it wasn’t that long ago. So where did you graduate?”

This was the first time he didn’t want to give the name of his college, because Mr. Krirkkai then unexpectedly asked, “Huh? The same college as my son. And which college did you go to?”

“I went to engineering school.”

“My son went to engineering school, too. Did you ever meet my son when you were in school? Did you meet him in time to become his senior brother?”

“We’ve met, Kongpop was my junior for two years.”

“So, did you like it?”

Arthit’s heart almost stopped beating when he heard this but immediately realized that he was mistaken.

“I mean, do you like working here?”

“Oh, yeah, yeah.” He breathed a sigh of relief, feeling sorry for himself for worrying so much. Calm down, Arthit! So he quickened his pace, “After turning right, it is just ahead.” The purchasing officer led Mr. Krirkkai to a halt in front of a workshop with a glass wall on one side. The entire production line of the factory could be seen through the glass, where a large number of workers were concentrating on their work, while one man was strangely monologuing about something. Kongpop is standing next to a conveyor belt, studying and inspecting an electric oven. Although he can only look at it from a distance, you can still see the look of concentration on his face. Soon, he’s called by Yong to ask about something, so Kongpop hands over a pile of paperwork to his predecessor for inspection and the production engineer looks over it, nods and says it’s fine. Although Kongpop is only a trainee, he performs his work skillfully, just like a regular employee. Mr. Krirkkai, who is also a father, was deeply proud of what he saw.

“Mr. Arthit, thank you for bringing me here.”

“I am honored,” Arthit observed a partial resemblance between father and son, except that Kongpop’s personality was more boyish, which made Mr. Krirkkai groan.

“Look at him now but you know what, he’s actually very disobedient.”

“How is he doing?”

He didn’t try to stop him from saying that but actually, he knows Kongpop’s disobedience well and he just wants to hear what the people around him have to say.

“I wanted him to do an internship at my home company but he insisted on getting more experience outside, so he could use it to develop his own factory. When I saw him like this today, I knew he’d grown up a lot and if he’d stayed with me, he probably wouldn’t have worked so hard.”

“No, Kongpop is a very passionate man, not only in solving immediate problems but also in taking responsibility. Well, he has helped us a lot.” Arthit spoke positively of Kongpop based on what he had seen and heard. But he realized that he was talking too much, as a family member who knew his son better than he did and he stopped talking at once. However, he saw Krirkkai’s eyes softening.

“That would be wonderful.” And then he started to leave, “Well, I’d better be going too.”

“Aw, won’t Mr. Krirkkai go in and meet with Kongpop?”

“No, I don’t want to interfere with his work but it’s all good. Anyway, thanks again for showing me around, Mr. Arthit.” And finally, I gave him a request: “Kongpop is in your hands.” Arthit was stunned, he looked at Kongpop who was still concentrating on his work, unaware of the two of them.

“Yes.” Although this time his voice didn’t tremble, his heart was pounding fiercely.

“When Krirkkai sir said that nong Kong is his son, I was really shocked. Why didn’t Arthit tell me?”

As soon as he returned to the Purchasing Department, the lady at the desk next door asked him about it.

“I only learned about it yesterday.”  Kongpop never mentioned this to him and he never asked. He only knew roughly that Kongpop had two sisters, that one of them was married and had given him a niece and that the family had an industrial business. Other than that, no more details are known. There is no need to find out if Kongpop told his parents that he had a boyfriend, because even he, himself, did not tell his family.  I wonder if the family would accept it if they knew that their son likes boys. If the story is based on a soap opera or a novel, it might be a Happy Ending but in reality, no one can guarantee that everything will be as it seems in the dream. It’s only natural that the more something affects the people around you, the more baggage you’ll carry. Especially now that Kongpop’s status was almost elevated to that of an important figure in the company, it made Arthit realize the difference between the two of them on a different level and reminded him of the saying -” In business, connections are extremely important.” On the other hand, if you don’t use them properly, the “good results” can also become “bad results”.

“Hello everyone! I was on a business trip to China and even though my flight was forced to be delayed for a few hours, I rushed to the office right away, intending to give you all a souvenir!”

The assistant manager with the thick eyebrows finally showed up in the Purchasing Department, carrying a bag full of gifts in each hand but no one responded, even twisting his face to the side, not even looking at him.

“Aw, what’s going on? The whole office looks like it lost the lottery.” Just as he was getting confused, the secretary came in from outside.

“Is Somoo here for a souvenir? Here, take two! It’s a famous brand, you’ll like it.”

“Better not”, this eater, unlike his usual self, rejected the offer without any hesitation and then calmly informed him, “Phii John, Phii Danai has asked you to meet him in his room.” Although he didn’t know what was going on, John was still relaxed and went to see the head of his department in the glass room with a gift in hand.

“Phii Danai, this is for you, this pastry is delicious!”

The purchasing manager didn’t glance at the cakes but looked at the subordinate in front of him with a serious expression.

“You know, the smokeless electric grill had a problem and almost caused a huge loss to the company!”

“Really? Well, because the new supplier I’m talking to is in a city with bad reception.” John had an embarrassed smile on his face, making excuses out of fear that he’d revealed that he’d been there for fun instead of business. Little did he know that he was being exposed for something much more serious than that.

“John, I’m asking you seriously, you changed the order, didn’t you?”

The accused man was shaken up but still pretended not to know anything.

“Why would Phii Danai say that?”

“I asked Sangchai Industries to do a favor by asking them to question Ms. Layla and she admitted that there was a change of material in the production of the plastic frame and now the finance department is checking the information you submitted and in the mean time the company will suspend you and the Legal Department will contact you to follow up.” John immediately stood up and became incoherent.

“Phii Danai, I have been working here for so long, you know me!”

“It’s because I thought I knew you, that this happened!”

Danai struggled to keep his emotions in check, both sad and disappointed that his once trusted subordinate had come to such a pass.

“You’re going home for the day.” When John realized that he had been cornered by the evidence, he left the Purchasing Department in frustration, losing the title of” assistant manager”. It was he, himself, who destroyed everything behind the scenes. There is one more” criminal” who is awaiting his fate.

“Somoo, you were involved in a scheme that was detrimental to the company’s interests and I’ve informed the legal department. But since you not only admitted your mistake but also provided information, the company has decided to deduct your bonus and you’ll take a six-month pay cut of 15% per month.”

“Okay, Phii Danai. Anyway, I’m sorry to the company.” The secretary didn’t resist, she tried to make up for her mistake as best she could and took it to heart as a big life lesson. Everything in the Purchasing Department began to move slowly in the right direction. But at this moment, Arthit didn’t realize that it was just the calm before another storm. In the group at Ocean Electric, a message was being spread.

“Hey hey! Did you know, that intern named Kongpop is the son of Mr. Krirkkai, the owner of Siam Polymer Group!”

“Is that the handsome intern? Whoops! I should have gone after him in the first place, otherwise I’d be a rat in a rice bowl by now.”

“You don’t stand a chance, because he’s already seeing someone.”

“How do you know?”

A message beeped from a female employee’s cell phone, she picked it up to check and the moment she saw the photo, she stared at it, then saved it and forwarded it immediately.  It went on endlessly, as if the ripples on the water were lapping at the shore, spreading into a wide circle. The members of the Purchasing Department were working as usual and although the problem with the smokeless oven had been solved, there were other jobs coming, unaware that a huge stir had been created on the social platform.

“Okay, our company would like Mr. Songyot’s company to provide us with a quote” Earth held the phone she was carrying, she paused, feeling a call coming in, “Excuse me Mr. Songyot, I’ll be right back.” She switched to another call, saying,” Hello. Oh, okay, I’ll be right down.” Then she turned around and looked for her office brother.

“Is Arthit busy?”

“No. Is there something wrong with Phii Earth?”

The young man who was feeding Bonus stopped and answered.

“Here’s a file, the courier is waiting downstairs right now, I’d like to trouble you to pick it up, is that ok?”

“Can.”

“Thank you.”  Earth thanked as she picked up the phone again,”  Ok, Mr. Songyot, except for the price, we”  ding! This time a message beeped from LINE, interrupting her but Earth chose to ignore it and continued to focus on her work.

“I’d like to trouble Mr. Songyot” ding!”

Help us out with our” Ding!”

The material” ding! Whoops! What the hell is going on! ! ! Hearing the beeping over and over again, she finally lost her patience.

“Mr. Songyot, I’ll be right back.” Earth fidgeted and pressed call waiting, then she slid her phone screen to open LINE’s corporate group and found that there were no less than 50 unread messages and the number was growing. It wasn’t over yet, as every member of the Purchasing Department began to receive the same messages one by one. Earth and Todd, who is also holding a mobile phone, look at each other with a look of concern on their faces. Arthit, who was on the first floor, had already received the information from the courier and was about to take the elevator back to his department. But while he was standing in front of the elevator waiting, he felt something strange.  Why were the other employees whispering? And why were they staring at him with strange eyes? Or even the fact that almost everyone had a cell phone in their hand? Before he could clear up these doubts, his own phone vibrated softly. So, he picked up the phone and opened it to check. When he opened it, the name that appeared in front of him made him feel as if someone had hit him on the head.

“Scream! Kongpop and Arthit!”

As Arthit read the text slowly, line by line, he felt his fingers shaking and the blood in his body turned cold.

“The brother I coveted so much, just flew away!”

“It’s so spicy and hot!”

“Yes?”

“Since when?”

“Oh, hey! New CP, so excited!”

He’d finally gotten to the source of it all. The original message was not a text but a photograph.  The photo was taken at night, although the light was dim but the new age technology made it clearer, as if it had been taken during the day, so that one could tell, without wasting time guessing, who the two boys with their lips pressed together were by the faces in the photo.

“Phii Arthit?”

At that moment, a hand touched his shoulder from behind, startling the silent man. He turned around and found Kongpop looking at him, with worry in his eyes.

“What’s wrong? You look so pale. Are you sick?”

“” When the tall man saw that the other man was as silent as he had been this morning, he decided to talk things over right then and there, to clear the air.

“Is the Phii angry about the fact that I contacted Dad’s factory?”

Kongpop guessed that Phii Arthit knew about it. But since it was an emergency, he had to do it later, so no wonder he was angry.

“Once again, I didn’t tell the Phii before I did it and I apologize for that but” Before he could finish his explanation, the person who was standing in front of him, suddenly turned around and ran away.

“Phii Arthit!”

Kongpop cried out with all his might but Arthit couldn’t hear anything else, except the words that haunted his mind: Kongpop is in your hands.

 

 

 

Prev: Lover’s Rule No. 11: When in trouble, you must help.

SOTUS S

Next: Lover’s Rule No. 13: Review your feelings

 

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