The following morning I returned to my office, not knowing what to expect. I arrived early to find my office full of boxes and paperwork. I had no idea who had packed up at Frankie's Oceanfront and returned everything to me, but I was grateful they had.
Reshuffling my boxes so that I could walk around my office, I was met by Mr Salvatore.
‘Mr Salvatore, please come in’ I said. This was the first time Mr Salvatore had stepped foot in my office and I was worried.
‘Bradley and Leonard told me about the events that took place here late yesterday’ Mr Salvatore stated.
‘I’m sorry for not having had consulted you first. By the time I had made my decision you had left the venue.’ I paused for a brief moment to gather my thoughts. I had rehearsed this conversation a thousand times in my mind last night; but now, I was at a loss.
‘Truth be known, had I know beforehand that Jackson was in fact your nephew, I don’t think I would have done anything differently. His actions were unethical and compromised your business. He is the reason staff turnover was so high and he did everything possible to prevent me from exposing him. I’m sorry to have done this to your family and I understand if you’d like me to leave.’ I said, the whole while maintaining eye contacting with Mr Salvatore.
‘I’ll have none of that. In the period of four weeks, you’ve managed to do what none of us were able to see, let alone expose. We gave him every opportunity to succeed and he failed us. Between the two of us, I never did like him. He only worked for us because my wife Victoria wanted to help out her sister. But after Victoria heard what Bradley and Leonard told us last night, even she doesn’t want to know Jackson.’ Mr Salvatore replied in sincerity.
‘Thank you’ was all I could manage to say.
‘I will need your assistance with damage control on this one. I don’t know how far these claims go, and I want to make sure all my workers are taken care of. That said, I’m weary of there being a mass lawsuit against us as a result of Jackson’s actions; so please work your magic to help this situation disappear.’ Mr Salvatore stated. I wasn’t sure if this was a request or a demand, but I understood what he was trying to achieve.
‘I will Sir’ I replied before discussing with him his recruitment strategy for the vacancy.
The plan was for Bradley to temporarily oversee the running of the Accounts Department whilst I worked alongside staff members, offering them counseling and support as required. In the background we would utilize the services of a Recruitment Agency to source the best candidate for the role.
It wasn’t long after Mr Salvatore’s departure from my office that Bradley arrived. He stuck his head in my office checking to see if his father had met with me. I thanked him for telling his father the truth about what had taken place and told him that I would manage the people side of the Accounts Department with my focus being on damage control.
With that, Bradley made his way to the Chief Financial Officer’s office and I put together a brief HR announcement to all staff regarding Jackson’s departure. The HR announcement was short and somewhat vague.
‘Due to personal circumstances, we wish to advise Mr Jackson Cobbs will be no longer in our employ. Whilst we are working to find an experienced replacement, Mr Bradley Salvatore will oversee the Accounts Department. We would appreciate your support during this transitional period.’
I knew questions would be asked and the gossip mill would be full swing; but this was a personal matter that did not require elaboration.
Not long after I had emailed the HR Announcement, Accounts staff started arriving to work. As was common practice, they quietly made their way to their desk, avoiding me as they walked past my office. I noticed everyone stop when they saw Bradley seated in Jackson’s office, before making their way to their desk. It wasn’t until they turned on their computers and checked their emails that the silence of the Accounts Department was finally broken.
There were no employees in the Accounts Department when Jackson was terminated, so no one knew exactly what had taken place or why his departure was so sudden. This was the first time in four weeks that I’d heard so much noise coming from the Accounts Department which caught me off guard. Bradley must have made a similar observation and promptly called everyone outside his office for an impromptu meeting.
Without elaborating, Bradley told the Accounts Department that Jackson was no longer with us. Everyone was made aware that Bradley would oversee the Accounts Department and that until further notice, everything was to come past him. Bradley told everyone that any HR related requirements were to be directed to me. With that, everyone was asked to get to work.
Mandy was first to visit me in my office. ‘Do you have a moment’? she asked.
“Of course I do, come on in. How are you feeling today?’ I asked, genuinely concerned about how she would take this change.
‘He called me last night and told me he was coming for everyone that ratted him out’.
‘He did what?’ I asked in disbelief
‘I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about. I think he believes me.’ Mandy sounded shaken, but I could tell she was trying to be strong.
‘Well played!’ I said, trying to encourage her ‘But there’s a chance you’re not the only one he had this conversation with, so what I’m going to do today is have a one on one with everyone to ask how they are and whether they need training. That way no one can say you came running into my office. Can I suggest you try blocking his number or maybe getting a new phone number? He’s no longer your boss and he has no right to call or harass you.’
‘Thanks for everything’ Mandy stated getting up to leave my office.
‘Can you please ask the person seated closest to you to come to my office?’ I asked Mandy as she left, a minute later I had a new face in my office.
One by one I met with everyone from the Accounts Department that day. Everyone seemed relieved at Jackson’s exit; yet Mandy was the only person that confided and told me he had been in contact with her. I kept this information on file but chose to not pursue it any further. After all we were in damage control!