58 CH58: Other than food, I love compliments

    "There are only three things women need in life:,

    Food, water and compliments."

    - Chris Rock


    Delilah was in her cubicle, working on her reports. That day, Aubree was on her day off so any tasks for her will be delegated to Delilah for the time being. Hence, on Delilah's table, there were not only piles of papers for her, but also for Aubree.

    She decided to work on her reports first since it was an easy task of compiling the data and writing a summary for Sheila and Matt. Although it sounds time-consuming but since it was what she had already done in the past few months, it had become easy.

    She was on her third report when suddenly, there was a bit of a commotion at the entrance to the office. However, she was too absorbed in her report that she did not notice any noises until Howard knocked on her cubicle wall.

    Startled at the sudden noise, she looked up and saw Howard smiling down at her. "Good morning, D," he greeted. He then looked around the office. "Seems like a bit quiet here, huh?" he further commented.

    Delilah inwardly rolled her eyes. 'What do you expect at nine o'clock in the morning? And this is an office, anyway. Not a zoo,' she thought sarcastically. Facing him, she said, "Uh, yeah. Not many people are in the office since they're on leave."

    Howard frowned. "So many people on leave?" he commented, raising his brows.

    She stood up, took a look around and sat back down again. She then shrugged. "I'm not sure. Some of them had an early meeting with some company. They probably went straight to the meeting."

    She turned to check her computer and check the list of names that had just signed in. She scrolled down the page and then said, without leaving her eyes off the screen, "Oh yes. Seems like there's a couple of them are in a meeting with the labour department. And some are at the marketing department for a mini project."

    Howard leaned over to get a closer look. He too reads the list and then he stands up straight. He looked around and asked, "What about Aubree?"

    Delilah frowned as she looked up at him. "She's on leave, isn't she?" she asked back. "I received a memo that stated that she's on leave for a couple of days."

    Usually, a memo will be sent to all employees in the department, top management and supervisors, should anyone in their department be on leave. The memo is usually sent via their work email. This is to ensure that everyone in the department is aware of the said person's absence and etc.

    Howard tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Probably," he said slowly. But Delilah knew that look. He probably hasn't checked in his email for days. Or he probably just forgot about it.

    He then said his goodbye with a wave as he headed towards one of the meeting rooms.

    Delilah frowned again. She was curious as to why he was going over to the rooms. She was not informed of a meeting. And Bella, too, did not say anything to her this morning.

    With that, she immediately texted Bella and asked whether there was supposed to be a meeting or not.

    In a few seconds, Bella had already sent a quick reply, saying that there was none. She, too, was surprised at Howard's sudden appearance. And he did not say anything to her but hello.

    Delilah then asked again whether she knew whom he was meeting with. Bella had answered with a simple 'no'.

    Delilah was about to put down her phone when it beeped again. She turned her phone and read the message sent by Bella. 'Seems like he has a meeting with Matt! Matt just arrived and he's on his way up to your floor!'

    "Eeehh!" Delilah exclaimed in surprise.

    Just as she had finished reading the text, there was another small commotion at the entrance to her office. She looked over and saw Matt walking in. He waved 'hello' to some of the employees on the floor; exchanging pleasantries with them.

    Once he was done saying hello, he continued to walk forward. Looking up, he saw Delilah standing outside her cubicle, looking at him.

    He raised an arm in a wave and greeted, "Hey there, Delilah. How have you been?"

    Delilah gave a small smile and greeted back, "Good morning Matt. I've been good. How about you?"

    He guffawed with delight. "Never better."

    Delilah's smile widened. "That's great!" she commented. She then gestured to the meeting room, where Howard was waiting. "Are you having a meeting right now with Howard?" she asked.

    "Why, yes," he answered. He then looked around. "Is Aubree here?"

    She shook her head. "No, Matt. She's on leave today until the second."

    Matt nodded. "I see. For three days, huh?"


    Matt nodded again with a smile. "I see. Alright then. I will see you later then, Delilah."

    Delilah smiled. "Alright. Have a nice meeting."

    "Thank you, I will."

    He then headed towards the meeting room while Delilah went back to her work.

    The meeting went on for more than three hours. Every now and then, Delilah could hear Howard's loud voice from her cubicle. He has always been loud. And that day was no exception.

    Delilah managed to sneak in a message to Aubree and asked whether she was aware of a meeting with Howard and Matt.

    Minutes after she had sent the message, Aubree had replied back with lots of messages. 'What??' came the first message, followed by, 'No, I didn't know!'. Then the third message reads, 'WTF. Why do they have a meeting when I'm on leave!'.

    Delilah let out a light chuckle. She then shot a reply, saying, "Oh well."

    'Just update me on what's happening.'

    It was nearly lunch and the two men in the meeting room seemed like they did not have any signs of stopping. Luckily, Delilah had brought her lunch box that day. She grabbed her lunchbox, her handbag and phone and headed towards the meeting room.

    Standing before the door, she could still hear them talking; Howard with his loud voice and Matt with his calm voice. After she knocked on the door, the two men went quiet. Then from inside, Howard's voice can be heard to come in.

    Peeking in, Delilah saw the two of them sitting across each other with piles of papers in front of them at the meeting table. The two men looked over at her.

    "Hi, I'm just going to head over for lunch. If there is anything, please do text me," she said politely.

    Howard's eyes widened. "Oh, it's already 12 o'clock?" he asked in surprise.

    Delilah nodded.

    Matt laughed as he stood up. He then began to gather his papers and said to Howard, "Let's continue next time. How about joining me for lunch?"

    Howard nodded and accepted the invitation.

    Matt then turned to Delilah and asked whether she would like to join. She politely declined and told him that she had already brought her lunch. Truthfully, she did not think she would be able to eat with these two men. Unless Aubree was around, at least, she can leave the talks to her. But her alone? No way!

    Since the two men had come in different cars, Matt decided to leave first. Delilah was going down, heading towards the cafeteria with Howard walking beside her. After Matt had left, Delilah was about to walk inside the cafeteria when Howard stopped her.

    Standing before the entrance to the cafeteria, with her lunch bag in her arms and handbag hoisted up her shoulder, she listened to the latter talking. He was complaining about how Matt wanted to increase the training fees and that he wanted every employee to pay for the platform the company was currently using.

    Delilah frowned as she listened to Howard's complaints. She too agreed that no employees would want to pay for the platform and there will be complaints about that. Despite the fact that most employees were encouraged to use the platform, she has no doubt that complaints will come flooding in. And knowing how people like to complain, she was also sure that some dissatisfied employee might bring their complaints to their social media. This would not be the first time a company might experience it and it would not be the last. And although the Kang Company has never had this, it was better to avoid it from happening.

    After a couple of minutes later, Howard finally let Delilah go by saying that he will discuss more with Matt and hopefully, Aubree was around to help support him. The two waved each other goodbye and left in different directions.

    Inside the cafeteria, it was noisy as usual as the time had struck 12 o'clock in the afternoon, the time for lunch break. Although there were many people inside, there were still a few empty tables.

    Delilah quickly grabbed one and sat down. Just as she took her lunch box out of its bag, someone took a seat in front of her. She looked up and was surprised to see Fawkes placing his tray of food on the table. From what she could remember, the name lists of the people who were working outside of the office includes Fawkes. Yet, here he was, sitting in front of her, eating his lunch nonchalantly.

    She tilted her head in confusion. "I thought you're out of the office," she commented.

    He was munching on a piece of carrot before he answered, "Ah yeah. I just got back before lunch. Rather than eating out, I decided to eat here."

    He then gestured towards her lunch box, which was still closed. "What are you having?" he asked.

    She grinned as she opened the lid of her lunch box. "Shepherd's pie," she said proudly.

    His mouth formed an 'O' as he looked at the delicious-looking pie. "That looks good," he commented.

    The shepherd's pie was still steaming hot as steam came out as soon as she opened the lid. Delilah scooped some and placed them on Fawkes' plate. "Here, have a try. I cooked this."

    "Thanks," he murmured as he took a bite out of it.

    She too then began to eat. She dug through the potato and into the beef mixture underneath. As she scooped it and ate, the potatoes had that mushy and creamy texture whereas the beef mixture was hearty and savoury. The beef mixture tasted a bit sweet but it also has that warm and garlicky taste.

    The beef mixture looked quite colorful, with the colors of red, green and yellow; green peas, yellow capsicum and pasta sauce. The potatoes were topped with melted cheese, which made the potato become more stretchy as she pulled her spoon out of her lunch box.

    In front of her, Fawkes was also enjoying her shepherd's pie. "This is really good!" he exclaimed in surprise.

    Delilah looked at him with a smug smile on her face. "Of course. Praise me more! There's nothing I like more, other than food but compliments of my cooking!"
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