「 Do you know why I’m telling you this? 」
「 It’s because you’re moving to a new stage… 」
I’m moving to a new stage?
「 So far, you were under Katsuko-kun’s guidance. In short, you were at the bottom of the organization 」
Right, Katsuko-nee gives instructions, and I make bread.
Nei and Kana-senpai are just helping out as sellers.
Among the students of the “bread course,” I’m the only one who’s officially training in the bakery.
「 However, that will be different in the future 」
Yeah, Ai already joined the “bread course,”
「 The new personnel that joined in is at your age, but you’re still a senior in work 」
Jii-chan looked at me and laughed.
「 It’s not just Katsuko-kun, you also need to lead the newcomer 」
「 Right 」
Actually, I’m teaching Ai a lot about pastry making.
「 How was the experience guiding someone? 」
「 You trained before them, and so you know a lot, but, if you explain it to other people, you might find out something that makes your work better, thinking “Oh, so that’s the reason why I do this…” 」
People who understand it intuitively have to change to speaking theoretically when talking to people…
Especially with Ai, she thinks slowly, and so explaining it to her…
I noticed deeper meaning for those I thought I understand.
「 Right. Explaining it to someone lets you reconfirm the details you were taught. That’s important 」
Jii-chan looked at me.
「 Katsuko-kun and your project isn’t complete with just the two of you 」
Our bakery can’t have just the two of us.
Even now, Nei and the girls are helping out in the storefront.
Mana, Agnes, and the other girls help out in making the 50-yen cheaper pastries.
「 Someday, you’ll need to hire people. Furthermore, they probably don’t have the necessary skill and experience for your business. No, that’s how it will be most of the time 」
Those who know how to bake pastry and those with experience won’t always come to our shop.
Yeah, if we were to recruit people now, most of them probably never tried baking before.
「 If you continue the scope of your business, you’ll need to guide new employees. Not all of them will be people who’ll work under your management for 10, 20 years 」
Yeah, there would be part-time workers that will come and go to the bakery.
Those going to university or found a job will stop working in our bakery.
Maybe they’re moving to a new house…
Or someone found a more straightforward job to do.
And people who can’t stomach me would want to quit their job.
「 That’s how it is in my business group. This year, new employees come in, and newcomers get training. Business needs to keep on training people within their scope 」
If we’re to start a bakery, then, in 10, 20 years, I still need to train the newcomers.
「 You need to be aware of that starting now 」
Teaching Ai about making pastries means…
Our intimate relationship doesn’t matter.
From now on, if I continue working in the bakery, I need to consider that there are always newcomers that require training.
「 You will become a manager. Not an employee 」
Jii-chan looks at me with a straight face.
「 The employee’s job is only to do what he and the employer have agreed with. The manager is the one to decide what specific job, process, and progress. In short, it’s your job to think about it. The employee will ask you what to do, and you decide. And you’re the one to guide them to do the job as you expect 」
What do the employees do?
How do I make them do things I expect them to do.
I need to think about it and lead them.
「 Naturally, for those who work in the shop, they will give an opinion on how to make things much more efficient. However, the employee’s opinion is still an opinion. You’re the one to decide. It’s the manager’s duty and responsibility 」
「 If it doesn’t go smoothly, then it’s your fault. It may stagnate production, and maybe, your employees quit due to displeasure. Especially if your demands aren’t met with compensation 」
Compensation. Wages. Money.
「 No, it’s not just money. Employees work as long as the job is suited for the passion they have, even if the pay is a little lower. As long as they get paid. As long as they can make a living. If they could hold their livelihood with it, people will take any job, as long as it’s attractive enough. It’s much better than dying 」
「 Oh! People who don’t care, as long as they get work, don’t exist 」
「 Idiots like those exist at times. However, they are tight with their life. Therefore, they can say such stupidity. Those who worry about their meal in the future, especially the younger ones, will never say, “I just want to work, I don’t care what I have to do.” If they were to say that, then they’re just lunatics 」
「 There’s no person in this world who works for free. They can’t exist. Manual labor will always have compensation. That is why volunteers who do social activities without asking for payment are precious 」
「 But, I heard some comic storytellers and their disciples working for free… 」
「 Hmm, if it was during the Edo period, disciples need to pay for the apprenticeship to the merchant. Sometimes, giving their master, or teacher their pocket money 」
I guess it’s still not free.
「 But in exchange, their minimum necessities are guaranteed. They won’t have full bellies, but they won’t starve either. They’ll have a place to sleep too. And they get clothes as well 」
「 They’re not slaves. And they’re only due the bare minimum 」
「 Therefore, if one’s a disciple of some merchant, they have no problems with food. It meant that they keep on living for sure. That was the modern society during the Meiji era, and it had a great significance 」
Yeah, it’s the age where people starve to death.
「 On the other hand, taking in a disciple in an entertainment hall means that the person needs enough influence to feed the disciple. A teacher who can’t provide his own necessities can’t possibly take in a disciple. That’s mostly the relationship between the teacher and pupil 」
The disciple is guaranteed the minimum necessities, and so he can work for free.
「 Then, that disciple will work under his teacher for 24 hours a day in the entertainment hall. There’s no other work. The disciple will watch his master and other entertainers, and polish his craft. Before long, he will enter his master’s performance and get paid. It’s an early opening for the entertainment hall, and so there’s hardly any customers. Then, if the craft is highly evaluated, the disciple will come in at a later time, little by little. The pay raises, and soon enough, the disciple will become independent of their master 」
That’s how it works with the entertainment hall back then.
「 Therefore, I don’t understand why some recent workers in the entertainment industry work on a side-job when they’re not earning. Don’t their teachers have to provide their necessities? Maybe, youngsters who are okay as long as they have food, clothing, a place to sleep, but… 」
Before all that, I don’t think there’s any entertainer with a master nowadays.
「 However, no matter what job it is, what’s most important is to gain experience in the place for as long as possible. No matter how many side jobs you have, you must improve your crafts. No matter how far you get, you must act like an entertainer pupil…Or so I believe 」
「 Let’s put that aside and return to the topic. Anyway, this world doesn’t have a person who would do something and not get rewarded. However, some people are okay as long as their basic necessities are guaranteed 」
「 The black companies they call are those who are good at seeing that. They make sure that the person is okay with labor, where their wages will keep them barely living. And they’ll put them to good use while making sure the worker doesn’t die 」
「 But, if I recall, there are workers who forced themselves too hard that they died? 」
「 That kind of company is no longer a business. Business needs living workers. It’s a disgrace if you let your workers die from work 」
「 Besides, if the manager’s done that, they’d prefer to expose it to the mass media, worse, letting it out during the election. That’s the two ways it will go with the company1 」
「 The truly fearsome managers are those who don’t like to go expose themselves. Covert. That group is far more difficult 」
「 Now then, we’re done with the people who will work for the minimum wage. Let’s change to the exact opposite of that 」
Jii-chan changes the topic.
「 On the other hand, those who want a high wage. Wage higher than others. However, everyday work is hopelessly dull. It’s more of a waste of time… I think that there are jobs in this world that have no use and is just a waste of time. Imagine entering such profession 」
Oh, going to an office, yet you do nothing…
But, the pay is absurdly high…
「 Would you take that job? 」
「 I don’t think so. Even if it pays a lot… 」
I don’t feel alive in that routine.
「 You might not take it, but most people would endure that 」
「 Huh, really? 」
「 Indeed. No matter how tedious the job can be, or should I say that even when you’re confined in that job, holidays will come. No matter how bored you are with the job, as long as you have money, it is worth during the non-work hours 」
「 Most people are like that. People with high salaries don’t work to their fullest. Salary isn’t proportional to the work contents 」
「 I just acquired Shirasaka house’s TV station the other day, didn’t I? 」
Oh, right. Jii-chan took over the TV station from the Shirasaka house.
「 And after examination, the TV station seems to have allocated cars for their regular employees 」
「 Allocated cars? 」
「 Indeed. You see, TV stations have a lot of people who come into them, so there are taxis. And there is an employee whose job is to call taxis 」
「 Huh? Can’t they just do that normally? 」
Like, the staff contacting them while the show’s running.
No, they have talents and managers too, they can make the call themselves.
「 However, for some reason, they have someone in charge for allocation of cars, and he’s receiving a high salary 」
「 Why? 」
「 I don’t know. If it’s a big company then I’ll understand it, but, it’s just a section that I don’t understand 」
「 It’s a TV station, and yet, it would be boring to just call a taxi from morning until evening 」
「 However, with a high salary and high social status, the employee won’t quit, even if their job is tedious 」
「 Now, Kuromori-kun. You will become a manager soon. Have you thought of the salary of your employees yet? 」
「 Would you have them work with salaries that allow them to have minimum necessities? Or would you use all of the earnings to pay your employees? 」
「 Well, paying them the bare minimum would be out of the question. But that doesn’t mean that you’re giving them meaningless high pay 」
I see. High pay doesn’t mean that you’ll find a personnel who work hard.
「 The administrative division of Japan has more-or-less decided on the minimum wage. You’ll have to pay that much. That’s natural, but… 」
First, I must pay them the minimum wage, no matter what they do.
I need to think about the costs of the pastries and location too.
Paying those who work with their wages is a must.
「 Then, how will you establish your business and the pay for your employees? 」
I thought of paying the workers as much as possible with my profits.
「 Listen. Employees will apply if they see the sum of your salary. Naturally, they’ll apply if you give them high pay 」
That’s right, I have to hire people and continue recruiting.
As long as the bakery stands, there will be the application, hiring, and training.
「 However, the real problem would be the limits of how much you can pay 」
Yeah, if one doesn’t think of how to manage them and just give out high pay to the workers, then the store would crumble.
「 Then, would you pay within the limits of what you can? Is that good enough? Shouldn’t you hold down the salary as you need to deal with the stock and other parts of the shop? Shouldn’t you cut a share to invest it and expand your business? 」
「 Some employees working for you will show the difference in their craft. How will you distinguish between them when that happens? Would you raise their salary from their skill? Or would you raise the wages for those who stay longer? How will you deal with the newcomers? 」
Hiring people means a lot of work.
「 You must decide your objective. Then, that objective will not be influenced by your business, it determines the quality of those who want to apply for your business 」
Oh, it’s not just about making delicious bread.
I need to have excellent staff working for me.
「 I only talked about salary this time, but the reception, employee welfare, manual labor environment, and all the other things still exist 」
「 You must think about how to recruit, and how do you make them the personnel that you want them to be. You’re the one to decide the outcome of your business 」
It’s not a simple problem.
There are too many things to think about.
「 I need to think about a lot of things… 」
「 Indeed. That is if you want to become a manager… 」
「 Then, let’s go back to our first topic. 」
「 If you want to become a manager, you must be tolerant with mistakes of others 」
That part. “Don’t worry about failures.”
「 You’re not the employee. Most managers think, “I could do that easily, why can’t you?” to those who failed. That’s wrong 」
「 Manager and employees are two separate identities. They have a different status. Different responsibilities. They have different thoughts for the company. The manager is concerned with the company and himself. The profits and evaluation all go to himself and his achievements. However, employees may have some attachment to the company. Still, their scope is only until the person directly in charge of them. No matter what benefits they get, they alone will reflect on their next salary. People with individual achievements are rare 」
「 A new successful product will mostly bring fame to the company name. Nobody knows who really made it. It’s only the Blue LED who crossed the company and gained individual recognition 」
Right, people know which company produces that one famous electrical appliance, but…
Nobody knows who made it…
「 Therefore, managers must never expect their employees to have the same enthusiasm as himself. Naturally, it’s wrong to expect the people to work hard for us from the start 」
You can’t tell people that, “I’m working so hard.”
You have a different standpoint.
「 As I said earlier, mistakes and troubles will always come. People will fail, no matter what. You can’t think that everything will go smoothly. That’s reality 」
「 Therefore, if you were to become a manager, you must understand that your employees will make a mistake, and it’s natural 」
I can’t get angry at every single thing.
「 Naturally, you’ll scold when you need to. Giving them warnings. However, if the other party couldn’t do anything about it, just forget when it’s done 」
「 I see. Maybe, someone made a mistake because I was teaching them poorly 」
「 Indeed. Especially newcomers, you must tolerate them. You must reflect on how exactly have you guided them 」
「 Yeah 」
「 However, if you think that it’s hopeless 」
「 Dismiss them right away. Some people will never understand. It’s a waste of time to scold them 」
Like Shirasaka Sousuke or Cesario Viola.
「 You will employ a lot of people, and so they will be able to slip in. If you thought that someone’s dangerous, then cut them off right away. You can pay them to let go too. Do it with a smile. It’s okay, they’re used to getting cut off. They’ll forget you and your company as long as you give them a bit of money 」
I see. I need to think about not getting involved with such troublesome people.
「 Anyway, don’t prolong it. If you do, that person will spew venom on you and your company. And it’s a bad influence on the other employees. If that person starts driving others out by saying that “this place is better” 」
「 Okay. If I notice them, I’ll chase them out right away 」
I take out my notebook from my pocket and take down notes of everything necessary Jii-chant old me.
「 Can we proceed now? 」
I looked up. Ruriko’s over there.
「 Grandfather’s tea…Onii-sama and Onee-sama’s coffee 」
「 Hmm, thank you, Ruriko 」
Jii-chan thanked her with a smile.
Ruriko puts the cups in front of us.
「 What’s wrong? 」
Ruriko asks me with a smile, but…
No, I forgot about it since I got too absorbed with our conversation.
All the young ladies around me…
As usual, they’re just looking this way, quiet.
「 Still, it’s Danna-sama… 」
Misuzu speaks slightly louder.
「 To think that Danna-sama received a direct management lesson from Grandfather… 」
「 Umu, I don’t think I’ve gone that far with my students yet… 」
「 Oh well, it can’t be helped. I believe that Kuromori-kun would be a praiseworthy manager. For Misuzu’s sake… 」
The mood of the young ladies turned noisy.
「 Well, Grandfather, is that all? 」
「 Misuzu smiled at her grandfather. 」
「 That’s not all 」
Jii-chan looked at me.
「 I also have taken a liking to Kuromori-kun… 」
- 「 そもそも、経営者がやたらとマスコミに露出するのを好んだり……ましてや、選挙に出馬するなんていうのは……会社としては２流以下なのだよ 」 ↩