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Business as Usual

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Seto had to visit Kaiba Land for a routine assessment of the facilities and employees. When he went to the meeting hall he was shocked to see a mortified Joey Wheeler sitting at the back of the room with the rest of the workers. As Kaiba met with the employees one on one, reviewing their performances he wondered what kind of marks Joey had received. He wasn’t shocked to see that he was far from their best employee. He was terrible with instruction and day-to-day routines though his customer service rating was extremely high.

Kaiba stared hard at Joey who was wishing that the floor would open up and swallow him whole. A few years ago Kaiba might’ve fired Joey on the spot but so much time has passed since their dueling days that it seemed unfair to resurrect that kind of animosity. Kaiba gave Joey a few pointers on how to improve and sent him on his way. Joey was shocked but grateful for the second chance.

-

A month passed and Kaiba received a call from the manager of the café that Joey worked at, specifically requesting to move him somewhere else. Joey was a “nice guy” but he had a tendency to “tell it like it is” to rude customers and offer handouts to those he liked without any authority to do so. Kaiba groaned in frustration. The manager insinuated that the two were friends and Kaiba was giving him preferential treatment. Kaiba balked and denied the accusation. He told the manager that he had better step lightly in future conversations. Kaiba hung up the phone and his brain was already at work. He wanted to treat Joey’s case like a challenge. He wanted to place Joey in a job that would better suit him. If anyone could solve a puzzle that difficult it was Seto Kaiba. Yet he hesitated. He didn’t want it to seem like he was giving Joey preferential treatment (as the café manager said) but that was clearly what he was doing.

Kaiba decided not to second-guess himself and called Mokuba to his office. He asked him to set up a meeting with Joey and gauge his skillset. Mokuba was surprised that Seto would go to such lengths for an acquaintance but Seto shrugged it off nonchalantly.

-

Mokuba met with Joey in Kaiba Land later that week and the two had lunch. Joey was bashful and fidgety. He had a feeling that he knew what this meeting was about. “Hey, I don’t want any pity. If I’m doing such a bad job Kaiba should just fire me,” Joey said with a sigh, his eyes downcast.

Mokuba shook his head and said, “Don’t assume the worst just yet. You have great customer service skills. Lots of the visitors had commented positively about you by name.” Mokuba sympathized and told Joey about how Seto had given him many of trial runs in different areas of Kaiba Corp before he found that he had a knack for PR. Joey nodded slowly. Mokuba’s sweet face was definitely more palatable than Seto’s terrifying glare.

After lunch the two walked around the park looking at different places for Joey to work. During their search Joey noticed that an ice cream stand was becoming overrun with customers. Just as a child walked away from the stand, his ice cream fell on the pavement. Joey ran over to help out. He quickly scooped another cone and gave the kid a handful of tickets. “This’ll get ya really close to one of the better prizes at the exchange booth,” Joey said with a kind smile. The kid perked up and ran off to play some more arcade games. Joey continued to help scoop ice cream until the line thinned out.

When the rush was gone Mokuba went over and talked to Joey. Mokuba was unsure of how Seto would feel about Joey handing out free tickets. Joey explained that he saw that kid there every week. He knew that a handful of tickets would be incentive for the kid to keep playing rather than leave for the day because he was sad about his ruined ice cream. Mokuba was surprised by the logic in Joey’s thinking.

The two resumed walking and Mokuba asked, “Do you often think about things like that while you work? Do you remember the names and faces of most regular customers?” Joey nodded. He cited a couple of examples: there was a mother who brought her five kids there at least once a month and Joey always upgraded her coffee to a larger size and include an extra shot for free; on the free entrance day at the park he handed out the day old pastries to the early visitors, etc. Mokuba was surprised but started strategizing nonetheless. He told Joey that they could definitely find a position better suited for him in the park.

-

Mokuba spent a couple days putting together a job description, reallocating funds for wages, and creating many a graph and pie chart for Seto to look over. When the two brothers met up Mokuba explained that Joey would make a great customer experience czar. Joey would work under Mokuba as an assistant to start. He could spend a few hours a day touring around the park, making notes on things to improve and surveying visitors to gauge changes that could be made in the park. With a couple weeks of training they could also teach Joey to compile his findings for monthly reports.

Kaiba looked over Mokuba’s job description quietly. Seto had his hands in every part of the business so he usually fielded any major customer service issues. However he had to admit it was not his first priority and it often fell at the wayside. Meanwhile Mokuba handled the PR on a broader national and international scale so he wasn’t directly overseeing Kaiba Land’s needs. Seto looked at Mokuba who was on the edge of his seat. With curt nod he approved the plan.
“You can start training him as soon as tomorrow,” Seto said, setting Mokuba’s briefing folder down on his desk.

Mokuba was surprised. “I thought you would be the one to head this… It was your idea, after all,” Mokuba pointed out.

Seto froze for a brief second before grumbling, “As if I have time for individually training a single employee.”

Mokuba tilted his head quizzically. He knew his brother’s schedule backwards and forwards. Mokuba reminded Seto that he had moved a bunch of work around this week so he definitely had time. Seto was speechless and that made Mokuba suspicious. He relented and told Seto that he’d get things started. However, he stressed that he wanted Seto to stop in for Joey’s training and orientation to really set him off in the right direction. Seto begrudgingly agreed.