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Issue 28

Gogu, Petrică and The Wolf

Simona Bonghez
Speaker, trainer and consultant
MANAGEMENT

“Come, dad, come! There’s a fire!”

Gogu hasted to the kitchen, felt the smell of smoke and quickly looked about for the possible source. However, with the tail of his eye he noticed that something wasn’t right and immediately realized what was fishy: both the mother and the child were leaning against the wall, the same playful smile on their face, but also in their eyes, both of them suspiciously calm. God, this child looks so much like his mother, Gogu couldn’t help noticing.

“You, rascals, what are you up to here? What’s with all this smoke? ′Cause you wouldn’t smile to me like that if there were something more serious…”

His wife smiled warmly and said: “I’ve managed to burn the pumpkin. The kid thought it funny to make you budge from that armchair on this occasion; maybe you could honor us with your presence, at least if there is a fire threat…”

Gogu smiled: “Well, just wait and see! You little scapegrace… do you want to end up like in the story of Petrica and the wolf?!”

“What story?” The child asked curiously. Gogu shook his head in disbelief: “I can’t believe you don’t know!” He immediately figured out that the story hadn’t been among the child’s readings and decided it was the time for a serious father-son talk. Obviously, having as background the story of Petrica, who had alarmed the village in vain for several times, lying that the wolf had made havoc among the sheep which he was watching over. And then, when the unwanted quadruped decided indeed to feast on the respective sheep, Petrica screamed in vain, cried, even begged the villagers for help, they refused to get out, thinking they were dealing once more with one of Petrica’s practical jokes. Gogu felt really proud… 

***

Send/Receive. Nothing. Gogu fetched a sigh, looked at his watch – it was near the end of the work day – then clicked the Outlook update button once more. Still nothing. I should call him, he said to himself. But he immediately gave up. He knew that Chief reads his mails and – if he has the time – he answers. Especially to those mentioned as “important”. If he hasn’t answered yet, it means he hasn’t had the time, and if he hasn’t had the time, there is no point in me calling him”, Gogu continued his thread of thoughts. And he clicked again the Send/Receive. Wow, wait, it does budge… He waited impatiently, then sighed in disappointment: it was a message from Misu. He didn’t open the email, he knew too well what Misu wanted, but he had nothing to tell him since he hadn’t got a green light from the Chief. Send/Receive. Damn it! “What’s the trouble, Gogu?”

“You startled me… What are you doing? Are you sending the email and then running quickly to see which one of you gets here first?! What do you want?” Gogu rounded on Misu, who had unexpectedly shown up behind him. 

“Ha, ha, which one gets here first”, Misu laughed while humming Gogu’s words. “That’s a good one… Well, I am waiting for an answer.”

“Well, I am waiting, too”, said Gogu. Then he added in a sad voice: “Chief hasn’t answered…”

“And why don’t you talk to him? He is in the hall, joking with the guys…” 

Gogu felt a blow in his stomach. What?! He is at his wit’s end with the project, going crazy while waiting for a sign from the Chief and Chief feels like joking in the hall?! He looked at his watch once more, worried, then rushed towards the hall. Misu followed him quickly.

“Chief, I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I really need an answer from you; can you help me?”

“An answer? To what, Gogu? Tell me quickly, ‘cause there’s little time left… I can already feel the weekend breeze,” smiled Chief, obviously pleased at the perspective of the free days that were about to begin. 

Gogu, slightly confused, managed to babble in a mild rebuke:

“The report, Chief; I’ve sent you the monthly report on my project.”

“Yes, I know. I haven’t read it, ‘cause I saw it was ok; I will read it at leisure next week; there’s no hurry.”

Gogu looked blank. What do you mean it’s ok? How come there’s no hurry? 

“Well, Chief, the report shows the project in a yellow state, meaning warning. And we have some suggestions there, which we wanted you to approve for us so that we can communicate to the client and move on. Yellow, meaning that we need some answers”, repeated Gogu in despair. 

Now it was Chief’s turn to be confused:

 “I saw it was on yellow, but it has been like that for two months and you’ve never asked me for anything till now, you have just made me aware of some situations on their way of being solved. I thought that now it was the same; how was I supposed to know that things are different this time? See why I’ve asked you not to put on yellow but the situations that are getting serious?! Wouldn’t it have been better if you had let the project on green until now? I would have immediately seen that this time it requires an intervention… Hmm, do you know the story of Petrica and the wolf, Gogu?”

The goddam wolf… 

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