Chapter 1.2 The Games Begin

 

Rico Thomas POV:

“I do understand power, whatever else may be said about me. I know where to look for it, and how to use it.”  It’s one of the many profound things I’ve learned from one of the most successful power brokers in US history, President Lyndon B. Johnson.

What I value in LBJ’s methods for attaining power is the practical means to deal with the obstacles and problems that befall a strong and capable leader. Similarly, when I set about achieving a goal, roadblocks are inevitable; it’s how I choose to deal with those roadblocks that determine the desired outcome. Power is a tool that I use to elevate my position and attain my goals. For some people, power is a drug, and if not used wisely and without self-control, it can overtake you.

Let me start with a bit of commentary on history for you. Say what you want about Johnson’s war record or his pre-Presidency civil rights record that doesn’t concern me, because I am living in the modern world. I could choose to be idealistic and cry about how things should be, or I could make changes that matter. Here’s the lesson: Great men, great leaders, go out and make the changes needed. They don’t wait on others to do it for them. Inertia and weakness never elevated anyone to a real position of power. Some methods used may not be favorable in the eyes of many, but the world runs, civilizations thrive, and we wake up with a false sense of security due to necessary evils. Not everyone will agree with what I do or the methods in which I do them; that doesn’t concern me.

For as long as I can remember, it has always been ingrained in my head to set goals and to achieve them by the best means necessary. Notice I did not say by any means necessary because they’re not all smart and “any” leaves you open to considering some less than smart options. No, complete your goals by the best and most effective means.

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I was up at a quarter past four this morning, which was typical for me. I kept my mattress extra firm; for not only did it keep my posture long and straight, I felt as if I had one that was too soft and comfortable I would not easily get up in the morning.

I stepped out of my bed and carefully smoothed out the percale sheets and bedspread. I was not a wild sleeper, I rarely moved. My housekeeper would come a little later and make over my bed again, not completely satisfied until everything in the house had her approval and final touch. I walked across the wooden floors, satisfied that I spent the money for custom heat controlled flooring throughout the apartment. For some people, it may seem like a waste of money, when I could just wear slippers. Not to me, this was my home. I was going to have every luxury afforded to me within these walls. I couldn’t be bothered with cold floors in the morning.

I keep late nights and early mornings, but I never feel unrested. All the same, I have my unique daily brew, rare Arabica beans naturally refined by elephants. I won’t get into the details; put it this way: it’s very expensive to drink coffee that has been processed through an elephant’s digestive system.

It’s worth it, however, because I wake up with one of the world’s finest coffees in my cup each morning.

After I’d poured my coffee, I headed to my office to check the market and read emails. As expected, I had just over fifty messages from after ten o’clock last night up until fifteen minutes ago. About half of the emails were from my work associates as well as what some may call an executive assistant, Cressida Castro. Her main role was managing the day to day operations of Thomas Global Strategies, my consultation business; that also meant managing me; as much as anyone can do that. Cressida did everything; therefore she doesn’t have an official title. Some of her duties included: maintaining my schedule, determining what was considered high priority, and which problems were salient.

Most of the firm’s clients except for a distinguished few went to Cressida as their first line of contact and information. Many times, my clients insisted on talking directly to one of my top-level team members or me. It wasn’t always convenient or necessary that they speak to me. And nine times out of ten, Cressida was able to answer their questions or handle whatever specific issue that needs addressing.

*******************************

I founded Thomas Global Strategies while I was in prep school; only it was more informal. I didn’t have any staff, nor did it have a name. We provide services to corporate clients with workforces that number into the thousands, to smaller companies with less than fifty people. We consult on matters such as mergers and acquisitions, valuation and financial preparedness, political and campaign strategy, crisis management, investigative forensics, information technology, analytics, and public relations. That may seem like a long list, but you’d be surprised at how closely related each of these areas are, none are mutually exclusive of the other. We meet our clients’ needs through a system I call SIR: Strategy, Integration, and Resolution.

I arrived at my office building a little bit earlier than usual. I wanted to answer some correspondence before my team arrived. I had been at my desk for roughly an hour when Cressida walk in, looking down at her tablet.

“Did you get the dossier on Grazier I sent?” she asked, not looking up. “Yes,” I replied. I pulled up the file on Grazier Technology’s last quarter performance Cressida sent last night.

“Boss, I know you’ve worked with this company before. I assumed you had me gather all this information for M&A. It couldn’t be for another PR scandal. That was before I joined the firm,” said Cressida, sitting down.

I sat back in my chair and looked across my desk at her. “You know what I say about assuming. Yes, a few of years ago, Grazier retained our crisis management services. The company was going through an ugly public relations crisis due to a sexual harassment suit against two members of their executive team.”

“Autumn handled the case?” asked Cressida, referring to Autumn Ross, our main public relations expert at the firm. I nodded. “What we found during our internal investigation was that human resources had failed at every turn to investigate the allegations against their director of marketing and senior vice president of operations. A female project manager had accused them of an inappropriate sexual relationship.”

“How does an adult accuse another adult of having an inappropriate sexual relationship? Relationship implies there was consent; unless her job was threatened,” said Cressida

“Yes. In this context, it’s a new pc way of saying ‘fucking your way to the top’ The woman alleged the director and VP sexually harassed her and demoted her from senior manager to a position one below. During our inquiry, we found out that the accuser had been in consenting relationships with both of these married men at different times. She pursued both men. While we found inconclusive information on the director’s part, we found enough correspondence from the senior VP that could cause the company a lot embarrassment. The woman claimed once she ended the affair, he demoted her, but there was enough evidence in her previous performance review that her bosses weren’t happy with her. Autumn said she was a piece of work and no one on her team liked her.”

“Did she end up leaving Grazier?” asked Cressida. “Yes, with a much smaller settlement than what she was suing for. The director was allowed to resign, and the senior VP took a leave of absence until the storm was over; he’s still with the company. It’s harder to replace an executive than a low-level project manager. It wasn’t a complete loss to Grazier.” I replied.

Pretending as if sex hasn’t been used for centuries in exchange either for money or other goods and services, is a fallacy. Here’s the lesson: It happens all the time, and a lot of people benefit from sexual favors. Not all. It sounds like bullshit, but you’re not living on planet Earth if you don’t think this happens and is accepted every single day. Am I saying that every little bright-eyed bell with perky tits and a fat ass spending years trading her southern accent away, started on her knees underneath the boardroom table to attain a leadership position? No, what I am saying is situations like this happen more often than you think; that’s the world in which we live. Here’s a pro tip: if you’re not playing the game wisely, you will get run out.

Check out the biography of Rico and other main characters here.

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10 thoughts on “Chapter 1.2 The Games Begin

  1. Cressida is so beautiful! You know, when I think of Rico, I always get this picture of Rico Tubbs from Miami Vice in my head. haha 😀 But back to the story… I think Rico is incredibly smart and possibly a little cocky. But it seems like he has a lot to be cocky about. lol He’s already got a load of power, but I have a feeling he will soon be after more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for all the comments, I am going to respond when I get home from my appointments. But I had to say, I created Rico based on Rico Tubbs LOL I had a big crush on him as a little girl in the 80s. His name is a combination of his character and Phillip Michael Thomas, his real name. Thanks so much for the feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really admire Rico’s ambition. I felt like I needed to take notes, he was giving a lot of good advice lol. He’s right that inertia and weakness doesn’t elevate anyone to power. I noticed that while he has Bash’s work ethic, he doesn’t struggle with the same amount of baggage. He accepts life for what it is, and does whatever he needs to get the power he wants. I do wonder though how far Rico is willing to go to get that power.

    I love Rico’s house and office. The blue tint in the kitchen was a nice effect. I also love all the detail you put into Thomas Global Strategies. It feels like a real business. Cressida and Rico make a great team. She’s very beautiful too.

    I wonder how everything will turn out with the Grazier crisis. Lol the woman who is suing the company is a piece of work.

    Great chapter! Can’t wait to read the rest. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much! As you know, I spent a lot of time researching takeovers, business, acquisitions, etc, etc. I knew I didn’t want Rico to only focus on one field, so having him own a business that works with a lot of different ppl will make his adventures more interesting. Yes, Rico doesn’t have the same insecurities as Bash and I thinks it’s kinda more on the surface of his appearance. In the last chap, Bash talked about race, poverty and threw some shade at Drake because he is biracial. Rico didn’t grow up with those same insecurities. Not to say all black men that look like Bash go through this, but I know many of them do and we will explore that more. I think beyond his bitterness, Bash is a sympathetic character (at times) for how the world has treated him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Also thanks for the compliments on Rico’s apt, I love that blue tint as well. I used reshade for it, but have also used photoshop actions for my pics. Thanks for the compliment on Cressida! I think she’s so pretty and she is very loyal to Rico and knows his ways. She’s not intimidated by him or other men in power. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I spent a lot of time doing research for Rico’s background. I’ve always been attracted to stories of power, men with power and their backgrounds is very intriguing. I decided to make Rico’s business be a consulting firm so he could kinda be in the mix of everything. I’ve studied different real-life firms like Thomas Global Strategies and I look forward to exploring his current takeover storyline as well as a political one he has coming up in the future. Thanks again for reading. 🙂

      Like

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