Release that Witch Chapter 1252
Chapter 1252: The Design Bureau of Graycastle
The factory Garde referred to was situated at a construction site in the southern suburb.
Garde offered a ride to Roland, so Roland did not have to drive his battered mini van. In fact, he had a luxurious travel experience.
Roland had to admit that the car seat of Garde's vehicle was even more comfortable than his couch at home. He also loved the iced champagne in the freezer at the rear. It was such an addictive trip.
Nevertheless, Roland preferred coke to champagne.
Garde drove off the highway and onto a rutted road. At this point, Roland could hear the roars of machineries and see trucks and excavators everywhere.
Above the construction site hung a large banner which read, "Clover Construction Corporation Ltd.". A little farther on lay serried towering pile foundation.
In response to Roland's curious look, Garde explained, "The corporation plans to build a modern car dealership for alternative fuel vehicles. Currently, the construction department is responsible for this project. It'll be later transferred to the manufacture department. It took us a while to get this project approved. We just got the approval a few months ago."
No wonder Garcia did not really talk about the demolition of the apartment building anymore recently. The Clover Group had temporarily shifted their focus on something else.
"What about the factory?"
"It'll be demolished," Garde returned. "It used to be an agricultural machinery plant. Although having gone through several reforms, it eventually failed to keep up with the times. Considering your special request, I'll save it for you. Although I'm not the superintendent of this project, I've already talked to the person responsible for the demolition. He says it's OK to leave it as it is for now."
"What about the staff?" Roland asked. He cared more about the recruitment than the venue itself.
"Most of them are gone," Garde said while shrugging. "Only an old technician who is about to retire and a dozen workers are still working. They belong to my family. Once the car dealership is officially open, they'll probably switch to their new roles."
Roland could not help thinking that this plan sounded pretty unreliable, but it was better than nothing. He certainly could not open a design bureau full of top designers and experts at once. This was a good start after all.
When they finally reached the destination, however, Roland's heart sank further. What came into his view was a dilapidated plant no larger than 500 square meters. The steel plates on the wall were all rusty. The floor was incubated in thick dust. Roland's spirit was further oppressed by the dust and grit that lay thick on the machine tools. Apparently, the plant had been deserted for a long time.
He followed Garde upstairs and to the manager's office, from which came the voices of two people.
"Sigh, I don't know when the corporation will demolish this building. I feel like my butt is covered with mold as I sit here days after days."
"It isn't that bad to sit here doing nothing. You won't get a raise in the new company anyway. Perhaps, you'll have to work overtime every day. I would rather stay here."
"What nonsense you're talking about," an elderly voice cut across them. "Young men like you should be proactive."
"Proactivity means nothing... If I could retire now, I would do it immediately."
"By the way, Master Xie, you'll be retiring soon, right? I've heard that the boss has asked you several times. I believe he wouldn't say anything even if you stopped coming here now."
"I like it here... I've been working here for nearly 30 years. I would like to stay here as long as I can before it's torn down."
"Do you mind me taking some pictures for you?"
"You brat! Photos can't be the same!"
"Hang on, I just heard someone coming — "
Then there was a rustling sound coming from behind the door.
By the time Garde's secretary opened the door, everyone in the room was back to work. Some of them were organizing documents on the desk while others were typing in front of their computers as if they had been busy from the beginning.
"M, Mr. Garde, what wind blew you here?" Everyone was stunned as they saw Garde. Apparently, the boss they had been talking about was not Garde. It somehow reminded Roland of a governmental official who suddenly showed up at a small village unexpected.
"I came to show my friend around," Garde replied and then cast a look at the eldest worker among all. "You're Master Xie, right? I've heard you've been working here for several decades?"
Roland rested his eyes upon this elderly mechanist. He was around 60 years old by his appearance, his hair almost gone, with only a few thin strands of hair clinging to his scalp. A large pair of reading glasses slid off his nose bridge. He looked tiny and withered, with a discolored thermal in his hand. Except for his beedy, glistening eyes, he looked no different than those retired elders in the apartment building.
Perhaps, the only thing that this Master Xie took pride in was his length of service.
"Yes, you're right, sir," Master Xie said in a sort of unctuous tone as he massaged his thermal a little restlessly. "I've been working in the plant for 29 years, 29 years precisely."
Roland's heart sank to the bottom. Master Xie did not seem very reliable or professional to him. A real master, in his opinion, should be conceited and proud. He was now thinking about recruiting people online.
"You did a great job," Garde said smilingly. "My young friend is actually interested in taking over this plant. Show him around and give him a basic idea of this factory."
"Al-alright," Master Xie stammered as he gave Roland a surprised look. "But isn't the plant going to be..."
"If he likes it here, we can leave the plant open."
Roland immediately sensed Master Xie's burning gaze.
"How can I address you, sir?"
"OK, Mr. Roland, please follow me!"
Master Xie took Roland down to the plant in great excitement. He was about to introduce the long history of the plant when Roland suddenly interrupted him, "Compared to that, I'm more interested in what you did in the past?"
"I did pretty much everything..." Master Xie said with a smile. "I was a fitter at first, and then I was promoted to workshop supervisor. Later, I became the assistant director of the plant. I had to take three or four people's shifts when it was busy. During the day, I supervised the assembly line, and at night, I taught young workers how to repair machineries. Gradually, my eyesight got worse, so I stopped working at the front."
Roland stopped and asked, "Do you have designing experience?"
"Yes, naturally. Although I didn't go to college, I learned a lot by myself. The plant used to have night school. But pencils and rulers are, after all, incomparable to computers. After the corporation founded a design department, nobody these days looks at those drawings anymore."
"If I want a caterpillar tractor that is very different from what's available on the market, are you able to create one?"
"A tractor? Haha, I'm too familiar with it. I'm not boasting, Mr. Roland. I can make one with my eyes shut as long as you provide me with a few apprentices to assist me."
Roland asked in surprise, "Why didn't the Clover Group assign you to the design department then?"
"They design on computers now. I've heard that everything in the new plant is automatic. Robotic arms and robots do the majority of the work. The staff members in the old plant all went to sales and administration. I can't do anything there even if they recruited me."
There was a hint of melancholy in Master Xie's voice.
However, Roland had now completely changed his previous opinion on this old worker.
Who cared that he looked ordinary? An ordinary worker like Master Xie knew exactly how to keep a low profile.
What did it matter that he looked a little too homely? A modest team leader was easier to manage.
It was totally fine that he did not know about computers. In this way, Roland could hire a bunch of cheap designers.
"Very well, very well," Roland said while nodding vigorously. His lips curled up into a satisfied smile.
"Huh?" Master Xie was utterly bewildered and did not understand why Roland said that.
"The plant will remain open," Roland said flatly. "I'll transform it into a new design bureau, and you'll be my chief designer."
"A design... bureau?"
"That's right," Roland said as he extended out his hand. "Welcome to the Design Bureau of Graycastle."