Aldo’s thoughts are on last Saturday as he slowly moves through the Monday morning traffic. The traffic lights are out again from all the rain Johannesburg was blessed with over the weekend. Aldo is not complaining about the rain, it is desperately needed and he just heard over 702 that the Vaal dam’s levels have increased from 26% to 33%. Aldo wonders if the water restrictions will be lifted or at least relaxed as the shortage of water has increased their production costs substantially or so it seemed from the management accounts he received late from Kane last week.
He grapples to make something of the meeting that he had two days ago with Kane. The Seattle coffee shop in Woodmead was a convenient location half way between their homes and on Saturday morning it was relatively quiet, enough to have a private conversation at least. Aldo was extremely keen to hear what his newly appointed Financial Director had to say, especially about the numbers. The numbers that were produced late and that showed a substantial decline and on top of that they were far off target!
But Kane did not give Aldo the answers he wanted. Instead, Kane dropped a little ‘nuclear bomb’ so to speak. He shared with Aldo how things at home were not going well, how he and his wife were constantly arguing, sometimes even in front of the children. Kane shared intimate details of the issues he was experiencing with Amanda, his wife. Kane’s eyes welled up during moments of the conversation and excused himself once or twice to wipe his face. This made it hard for Aldo to comprehend, he was not used to this type of behaviour and felt extremely uncomfortable. In Aldo’s world he was ok with men that cried but this seemingly victim behaviour he did not understand nor did he know how to approach it. Aldo was flabbergasted.
The meeting lasted two hours and all they, or rather Kane did, was to speak about his failing marriage and how he cannot believe his wife’s behaviour. The meeting ended abruptly when Kane’s phone rang. Aldo was not sure who the caller was but assumed it was Amanda as Kane excused himself and said he would catch-up again with Aldo first thing Monday morning.
Aldo had never felt so overwhelmed before. First it was the decline in revenue, then the losses and receiving his numbers late, then there was Sandy, one of his major client’s that is unhappy with Able’s deliveries to them and then Josh indicated that he knew something about the delivery documents that contained a false signature. And now all this drama with Kane. What is going on? Has he eventually run out of luck? In the past Aldo had never been afraid of toughening up when the situation demanded it. But something else was at play here, something Aldo did not understand.
Aldo noticed that the traffic lights were now working and they turned red. It must have just happened as the Outsurance pointsmen were still indicating traffic. They indicated for Aldo to cross even after the light turned red. Aldo proceeded cautiously in his Jaguar, his favourite car. The last thing Aldo remembers is the face of the pointsman screaming to stop. Aldo did not know why and also did not see the 4 ton truck coming.
To be continued…