30 CH30: Making it pretty does not mean its the bes

    "People want honest, flavourful food,

    not some show-off meal that takes days to prepare."

    - Ted Allen


    It was a less than a month before the quarterly team building event will be held, hosted by the Safety department. It was less chaotic in the office and it was rather quiet. The weather was not that hot either, with some cool breeze blowing in the air.

    However, in the Safety department floor, people were walking briskly here and there and in and out of the office. Now that Deegan was no longer working with the Safety department, the office was back to its chaotic environment. Sam, who had assigned Sofia, a bubbly and petite young woman to work together with Deegan, had been in discussion with her for the final touch-up of the planning.

    So, now that Deegan was back in the Human Resource department, he only contact Sofia now and then since Delilah had already given him a task to work.

    Delilah had decided that Deegan should be doing two presentations, one presentation on his working with the Human Resource department and another about the quarterly team building event. He will be presenting the second presentation a week after the quarterly team building event. Basically, presenting on what his role was, what he had done and so forth.

    Currently, Delilah was in the room at the lobby, where she and Firah used to do their discussion. That day, she brought Deegan with her to discuss. She started to like doing her discussion there because there was a vending machine nearby and it was spacious and quiet. Easier and convenient for Delilah to do her discussion with her colleagues.

    Deegan was fidgeting in his seat while Delilah was reading his report quietly, taking notes on her mind. She was mumbling to herself as she reads. It was as if Deegan was in a principal's office, waiting to be reprimanded.

    Minutes later, though, what felt like a decade after, for Deegan, Delilah placed the report on the table, which was between the two of them. Delilah looked at him from across the table and asked, "So, anything you would like to say?"

    Deegan shook his head. "No, ma'am."

    Delilah rolled her eyes. "Why the sudden formality? I told you before, you can call me 'Delilah'." She then leaned over and tapped a finger on the report. "This report that you've just did? I can tell that it's a last minute work. When did you start working on it? Did you know that you'll be giving a presentation in the next two days?" she asked, looking stern.

    Deegan started to feel cold sweat, trying hard to look at Delilah in the eye. "Uh, yes," he stammered.

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    "And why does it look like a last minute work? Don't tell me that it isn't. I know the differences between last minute work and weeks of preparation. And I've also seen your previous works. There were much better than this 'thing'," Delilah said, visibly cringing when she said 'thing'.

    Deegan winced. He did not expect this 'harsh' statement from her.

    "I forgot about it. I have been working with the safety department and did not remember that I have this work and also... I only did it last night," he admitted, feeling ashamed.

    Delilah shook her head in disappointment. "Last night or early this morning at 3AM?"

    Deegan's eyes widened in surprise. How did she know?

    Delilah rolled her eyes as she leaned back against her seat, her arms crossed across her chest. "Oh please. I was a student, once. I know," she scoffed. She did not say out loud that she could see the visible eye bags beneath his eyes.

    Deegan scratched the back of his neck awkwardly and kept quiet.

    "So, I want to see changes to this report," Delilah stated, tapping on the report. "Make sure that you are prepared for the presentation in the next two days. Don't give me any excuses if you're not done. Be aware that this is actually for YOU. This presentation is not to torture or embarrass you but for you to practice your public speaking."

    Deegan nodded, looking down at his clenched fists.

    "I will be inviting other people to the presentation. It won't only be from the HR office but others. This will be a surprise for you," Delilah added.

    Deegan nodded.

    A few minutes later, after Delilah had pointed out to him on what needed to be changed in his report, she had dismissed him for the day.

    After Deegan had left the room, Delilah stayed behind as she gazed off, looking out at the streets. She watched as people walked by, there were some walking in haste, with their phone to their ear. And there were some walking leisurely with their hands holding their child's hand, as they talked and laughed. It seems peaceful and nice, especially when there was a swift breeze in the air.

    Delilah's smile widened as she watched the child giggling as she seems to be laughing at what her mother was telling her. It was a lovely sight to see. And this was when Firah walked in and saw Delilah watching them.

    "Hey, what's up?" Firah asked. She then looked over at what Delilah was watching and cooed, "Awww... Isn't that cute?"

    Delilah nodded. "Looks delicious too."

    Firah frowned, confused. "Delicious?" she asked. "What's so delicious about a mother and her kid? Isn't it suppose to be cute?"

    Delilah turned to Firah, frowning back at her. "What mother and kid?" she asked, also confused. She felt like the two of them were having two different conversations. Delilah then pointed at the child. "I'm talking about that!"

    Firah turned and looked closely at the child. It was then she noticed that she was holding a transparent cake box with a slice of red velvet cake inside. It was tied with a red ribbon and covered with a white cover. But the box itself was transparent, enabling anyone to see what was inside.

    Firah face palmed. 'Why am I not surprised to know that she was actually talking about the cake?' Firah thought to herself.


    Deegan's presentation day.

    Yesterday, Deegan had come up to Delilah, asking whether he can ask for an extension to his presentation. Delilah frowned when he requested that. She had asked him his reason for an extension. Apparently, he was not ready and his presentation was not what he had expected. Hence, he wanted to redo the whole presentation.

    The excuse that he had given to Delilah made her frowned more. It was an utter ridicule. Delilah kept asking him what was his expectation and what made him not ready? He had days of preparation. In fact, Delilah had already told him about the presentation two weeks ago. He should already be prepared. And it was a simple task, compared to writing a 8,000 word report.

    When it was time for the presentation, Delilah led Deegan to one of the meeting rooms on the Human Resource department floor. She gave Deegan time to set up his laptop and presentation while she sat on one of the chairs. She placed her notebook on the conference table, writing some notes while waiting for the other officers to join.

    Few minutes later, Aubree walked into the room, followed by Sam and Jafar. The three of them quietly take their seats; Aubree beside Delilah and Sam and Jafar on the other side of the conference table.

    Delilah nodded hello at the three of them and turned to Deegan. "We're ready whenever you are, Deegan," she said.

    Deegan nodded and began his presentation. All throughout his talk, Delilah maintained her poker-face, not revealing her thoughts on her face as she scribbled on her notebook.

    Truthfully, she was a bit disappointed with his presentation. Oh, she could not find faults in the way he present. A bit of a mistake here and there but it was still alright. She liked that he has a good voice projection and was confident. However, it was the presentation slides itself that made Delilah disappointed.

    The design was too much; there were more unnecessary designs, than points. It was all a mess, with words scattering all over the slides. Deegan did not even talk about his purpose but straight away talked about what he has been doing and so forth.

    Once he was done with his presentation, Delilah then turned to the others and invited them to ask questions.

    Jafar only gave comment about his presentation whereas Sam and Aubree had asked him a couple of questions. After they were done with their own questions, it was Delilah's turn.

    She immediately shot questions after questions. "Why does your presentation looks like its meant for a marketing presentation? I believe this is not a marketing presentation for you to sell your products and services. And have you mentioned about your purpose of this presentation? This presentation is too colourful that it is too blinding. For a professional presentation, making the presentation is not necessary. Unless, as I mentioned earlier, if you want to sell your products and services."

    Deegan was silent for a moment before voicing out his answer.

    Once the presentation has ended, Delilah left him with another task, which was to improvise himself and make amends to his presentation slides. He will be having another presentation a week after the quarterly team building event.

    She then went to her cubicle and decided to pack her things up before leaving the office. It was then she decided that she would like to treat herself for a meal.

    So, instead of driving straight home, she went to a western restaurant. She parked her car and went inside the restaurant. There, she had ordered a chicken steak with mushroom sauce.

    Delilah was scrolling through her social media, smiling at the memes being posted there, when her food finally arrived. The smell of freshly fried chicken steak with crunchy breadcrumbs made her mouth drooled. And the creamy yet rich mushroom sauce looked thick as it slid down the steak, making a small but chunky pool on the plate.

    She sliced the chicken steak and little puff of steam can be seen from the flesh of the chicken meat. It looked tender and juicy when cut. She scooped some of the sauce onto the steak and ate it. The chicken felt succulent to her taste buds, and together with the sauce, it added in the taste of earthy herbs and creamy thick flavour. It was very fulfilling and satisfying.

    Delilah was surprised to find the dish being cooked in a short time. Delilah nodded to herself, feeling satisfied. 'See? Even yummy food like this does not need to take too long to prepare and cook!' she thought.
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