In search of the niche (СИ)
In search of the niche
In search of a niche.
Leo Koifman met Nikolay Grechko on his first working day in the new place. As usual, for all big companies, the first working day every newcomer has to spend on filling out different forms, listening to online safety training and other rubbish. Somewhere around lunch time, after filling out all questionnaires, in which Koifman honestly promised not to climb where it is not necessary, do not put various parts of his body into rotating mechanisms, do not solicit employees during working hours and do not steal secret documents, he decided to take a short coffee break. In the kitchen, near the microwave, a huge bearded man was busy with some food boxes. The guy looked like typical Russian man. In Canada, many immigrants from the post-Soviet republics, especially Ukrainians, who immigrated more than hundred years ago. However, all these children of former immigrants almost lost their language, so Leo decided do not ask man in the kitchen a straight questions, despite the fact that on 95% was sure that he speaks Russian. The man was unusual and the newcomer unwittingly began to scrutinize him. The man looked clearly not ordinary. The height was about two meters, high temples on the forehead, a short haircut, thick heavy beard, a big ears sticking out perpendicular to the head, crumpled dirty pants, soft smeared with moccasins, a big belly and long loose shirt. If Leo would meet him in Russia, he will think that this is a Pope from Siberia which forgot to wear his cassock. The big man blocked access to coffee machine, to a sink and to a microwave at the same time. Leo, after full inspection, politely sad "Excuse me" and the "pope" turned around. The man looked at Koifman from his two meters height with a heavy glance of "taiga-cannibal yeti", but after 10 seconds suddenly smiled as a child.
- Do you speak Russian? - Nikolay began without forewords.
- Are you also Russian speaking? - Leo pretended to be surprised.
- Have you been working here for a long time? - simply asked Nikolay, firmly holding Leo"s hand.
- Today is the first day.
- Where are you sitting?
- Over there, in that corner office.
- Oh, are you a manager?
- Well, yes, but very small.
- Hm-m, well, but if you have your own office, it's already serious. I'm seating there, in the open space, with another designers. So if you will have a second, don"t be shy, please come over. By the way, my name is Nikolay.
- And I"m Leo. When you are planning to free the microwave? I'd like to warm up the coffee.
- Yes-yes-yes... I'm just warming up soup, then bread and porridge...
- Wow! I see you brought a lot, kind of seriously prepared.
- Well, dinner is a holy thing, - Grechko smiled shyly.
- Okay, come to my office. We could have lunch together, - Koifman realized that heating process will take a long time, therefore decided do not waste his time.
Nikolay came to his office in about twenty minutes with five different boxes, which he neatly laid out around him and pausing a while thoughtful:
- Probably I'll start with a soup.
- And all of these five boxes for lunch? - Koifman was more than surprised.
-Well, what's wrong? You should eat well, otherwise how you will go to shit, - Nikolay looked seriously at Leo and added, - and if you didn"t eat on time, you didn"t shit on time and here you are - cancer of the rectum! Not funny!
Leo, who used to take just one box, began to observe with high interest the new acquaintance. When soup was finished, Grechko started the salad. He opened a box of sliced vegetables and pulled out from the depth two small jars. One was with olive oil, the other with balsamic vinegar. After pouring the contents of both cans into the salad, Nikolay began slowly to stir all components.
- Could you mix the salad at home? - Koifman was surprised. - Are you have nothing to do? Stir your salad at home, and no need to drag bunch of jars down here.
- Ha... Well, it's not so delicious if I would prepare it at home. I always prefer fresh, - Grechko laughed in a paternal way. He was amazed that such elementary things should be explained to someone.
Slowly having dealt with five boxes, Nicholay folded his entire household in a cloth bag, burped with a pleasure and simply said:
-Do not go away. I brewed a tea there, about half an hour ago, it"s probably ready.
Grechko appeared in a few minutes with a half-liter teapot and another box, containing chocolate and nuts. Since the beginning of the lunch, it has been no less than forty minutes, not counting the half an hour which he spent for all preparation process. Koifman ate his salad in the first seven minutes. A new acquaintance, with some kind of not healthy pleasure, started sipping the tea and take all sorts of sweets out of the box. In another twenty minutes, Grechko finished long lunch and went to his room. Leo glanced at his watch. Lunch with a new friend lasted more than an hour. Koifman waited a few minutes and went to the washroom. However, after walking a few meters, he was again surprised to find Grechko sitting next to some young Indian designer and talking animatedly about something. It was evidently that Nikolay did not come for a second, but for a long time. Further, during the working day Koifman saw Grechko in the kitchen and with different people, but he never found him in the workplace. What and when Nikolay work for this company also remained a mystery to him. The next day the situation almost completely repeated. Nikolay was walking from one to another, asked how things were yesterday, talked about his problems, politics, complained about his health, gave someone to rewrite movies or mixed martial arts shows, warmed up the dinner... And everyone was happy to see him and to share their family problems with him. The workplace was used as a base for storing lunch boxes, filling the timesheet and printing out variety documents that he then exchanged with a pleasure with his colleagues. In two weeks Koifman was so interested to understand what going on - he even started to spy after a new friend. Having worked 5 years in the former USSR, after 11 years in Israel and 14 years in Canada, he never saw that somebody worked no more than one or two hours a day. And Grechko was neither the owner nor the husband of the general manager, and he even wasn"t a small boss. In the process of communication and constant observation, Koifman slowly began to develop a portrait of Mr. Grechko. For the present day, Nikolay was married, had a son and a daughter who already grew up and lived separately. Also in the house there were three Dachshunds, which he was fully in love with, and could talk about them for hours, sincerely experiencing and laughing at the habits of his pets. His wife had not worked for the last five years and was enjoying housework. All the attempts to teach her at least some computer program always ended in tears and Nikolay paused the process for some time, and finally calmed down. However, let's start everything from the beginning.
Nikolay was born in the small industrial town, located more than thousand kilometers from Moscow. When he born, his parents were about 20 years old and didn"t have time to pray on the new family member, in comparison with a modern generation. They immediately went somewhere for high pay work and left their child in the care of their parents. His childhood was regular, however he considered himself the happiest child on earth. The matter is that the grandmother and grandfather lived in the downtown across to the central toy shop. About fifty years ago, children still sincerely believed in communism, although not only children... The government promised communism in 5-10 years and asked all citizens to tighten up belts and accelerate their efforts in order to speed up a bright future arrival. Grandfather spoke in detail about life under the communism and young Grechko had the impression that his grandfather had already lived there and knew exactly how it will work. For five-year-old child it was still hard to understand the adult words "supply according to need," "work by the ability", but what he understood very clearly - it will be no money! Each person can take everything what he wants. Every morning Nikolay woke up with his grandfather at 6-00a.m. and turned the radio on. The government had to announce the beginning of communism early. And if communism has come, then he only needs one minute to dress and run to the store across the street. Well, in any situation he will be there at 6-05a.m. But all another children never show up prior to 7a.m. And he will be the first to choose whatever toys he wants and how many he can bring at home. And the little Grechko already figured out that he can make more than one run and until seven in the morning, until everybody arrived, it will be possible to go back and forth seven or eight times. So, in happiness anticipation few more years slowly passed. When his parents returned from another city with money. They bought a new condo far away from the city center. Nikolay didn"t want to lose such a "strategic" place and categorically refused to move. All the arguments that the store opens at 9a.m. and in case if communism will come, they still will be able to arrive before the toy shop opening, didn"t work out. Relocation process was delayed. At some point, his father, which just quietly observed at this advanced educational procedure, lost his patience and hit Grechko-junior with a heavy slap. Then he slowly dropped: Ten minutes to tidy up, otherwise you never see your communism!