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The computer was right next to Zhu Xingan. Anyone who raised their head could see the screen. One could say that Cui Geng would be using the computer under everyone’s gaze.
Cui Geng had noticed that there was a spare computer in the room before. However, at the time, he just thought that there was an extra set. He had not thought much about it after that.
Now, he understood; it had a purpose!
He could watch movies and play games on that computer, but he would have to do that under the noses of the editor-in-chief and all the other authors. Could he catch up with his shows?
That would be too much!
How could he hog the computer and watch shows or movies while everyone else watched him? The computer was meant to be shared among all the authors. Others would have to gather their own material!
Cui Geng had thought about saying one computer was not enough and then asking Zhu Xingan to prepare another one.
However, on further thought, if he were in Zhu Xingan’s position; he would not believe his own words either.
That was because the writers would be able to find eighty to ninety percent of the material using their own computers.
Even in the writing software’s lockdown state, they were allowed to conduct searches on Qiandu or other websites; they only could not watch videos, download software, or access certain websites and forums such as Infinite Chinese Network, Zhongdian Chinese Network, Tieba, and Weibo.
Thus, it was impossible to waste the entire day away reading novels and forums while in the lockdown state.
Writers could gather eighty to ninety percent of the information they needed using the search engines.
Under exceptional circumstances, if they needed to gather material from movies, they could use the computer next to Zhu Xingan. There, they could download the movie and skip to the scene that they needed to watch. That would not take much time at all.
What’s more, the computer was a shared resource. Ordinary people would feel too embarrassed to hog it for too long. Thus, everyone would be as efficient as possible.
That meant there was no problem with having only one computer; it would not hinder their writing progress.
However, to Cui Geng, whose initial intention had been to slack; this was extremely painful!
He quietly sat down, recalling the agreement that he had signed earlier. It was no wonder that the agreement had only stipulated the working hours and not a word count!
Ma Yiqun’s hidden intention was clear: it’s alright if one had writer’s block and failed to write anything for one day; they wouldn’t care as long as staring at the writing software for one entire day didn’t drive someone crazy.
Cui Geng was speechless. He had been scammed! This was a trap!
Cui Geng instinctively wanted to leave. The worst that could happen if he tore up the contract was the retraction of his benefits; he would not have to compensate the website.
He could not imagine being locked up for one entire month.
However, on further thought, he realized that it would be inappropriate. He had traveled all the way to Jingzhou. How could he turn around and run back for this simple reason?
If his friends, other authors, and his readers caught wind of this; how would everyone view
The other writers in the class were writing earnestly, and yet I ran away on the very first day…?
That sounds awful!
After weighing the pros and cons, Cui Geng calmed himself down and decided not to be rash. Even if he wanted to leave, he had to grit his teeth and stick around for two days minimally.
What’s more, he had already taken leave yesterday, and he had not posted a new chapter today. He had to post one or two chapters to placate his readers.
After much consideration, Cui Geng sighed softly. Helplessly, he began writing.
In his office, Pei Qian flipped through his notes and considered recent developments at work.
The manufacturer of the shared phone booths would probably hand over the finished products in a few days. Then, the phone booths would be set up in various shopping malls around Jingzhou.
After the weekend, Pei Qian intended to walk around various shopping malls to see how the shared phone booths would be doing.
Based on what had happened earlier, it seemed like no one was interested in this thing. However, Pei Qian could never be too careful. Who knew if the project would suddenly resurrect?
He could not let his guard down.
He had also put He Desheng in charge of the Shared Top Student. Many companies were producing educational software now. He just had to contact one and hire them to create a simple application. There would probably not be much work to do in that regard. However, creating one simple application would not cost much. Pei Qian planned to spend more on publicity; they would run advertisements and distribute flyers. When the time was right, they would also distribute subsidies. That would get rid of more money.
Another thing was… he wondered how Boss Li’s Ming House was doing. Pei Qian really wanted that high-end restaurant to make a name for itself as soon as possible. That would take some of Ming Yun Private Kitchen’s customers away so that the latter would not generate so much revenue.
Pei Qian and Boss Li had each other’s contact details. However, Pei Qian had been too lazy to contact Boss Li directly. Thus, both men had only met face-to-face a few times, and all of those times were by chance at Fish-Catching Internet Cafe.
This time, however, Pei Qian could not help himself. He called Li Shi.
Soon, the line went through.
“Hello? Boss Li! Oh, it’s nothing. I was just calling for a quick chat. Oh, that’s right. I wanted to ask how Ming House is doing. Has it become popular? Is that why you’ve been so busy?”
Pei Qian was very sincere as he asked the questions expectantly.
Li Shi sounded both desperate and exhausted. “Boss Pei, don’t make fun of me. You’re so well-informed. How can you not know?
“We ran into many problems the day after our opening. Many of our first batch of customers were not satisfied. We gave them discounts and waived their bills accordingly, but it still affected our business to some extent.
“You can say that we’ve been troubleshooting over the last few days…”
Pei Qian was confused.
They had run into many problems?
That couldn’t be. Boss Li must have hired experienced chefs. Even if they were not as experienced as Ming Yun Private Kitchen’s chefs, they should not have caused that many problems, right?
All of a sudden, Pei Qian recalled something.
He had brought Little Tang along during the previous gathering!
Everyone had been happily eating at the time, and they had not noticed anything strange. That was why Pei Qian had forgotten about it altogether.
From what Boss Li was saying, it looked like the kitchen had suffered the effects!
Look at how things had turned out…
Pei Qian suddenly felt guilty towards Boss Li. He had only intended to visit to show his support. However, he had accidentally hurt Boss Li in the process!
Pei Qian quickly asked, “It’s not that serious, right?”
Boss Li smiled politely. “I don’t think it’s that serious. They’re just minor problems. The restaurant’s quality is holding it up, and we’re not incurring losses. However, I don’t think we can become popular in the short-term.
“Speaking of which, I wouldn’t have known that there were so many things to take note of about running a restaurant until I did it myself.
“I thought that one just needed money to run a high-end restaurant. Now, I know, I was being too simple.
“Boss Pei, you always look so relaxed. You made running a high-end restaurant look very easy. It looks like that was just smoke and mirrors.”
Pei Qian, “…?!”
What did I do? Why am I taking the blame for this?!
I wasn’t involved in the running of Ming Yun Private Kitchen at the time. I also wasn’t responsible for Ming Yun Private Kitchen becoming popular all of a sudden!
Why are you making it sound as if I misled you?!
After some thought, Pei Qian said, “Boss Li, please don’t panic. Running a high-end restaurant is very technical. You’ll need experience. Ming House just lacks that experience. This is only a temporary problem. It will get better.
“How about this? I’ll book the entire place again for next week. That’ll give you some business!”
Pei Qian could not think of a better way to make it up to Boss Li. He could not possibly tell the latter that his employee had been responsible for all the mishaps in Ming House, right? How could he openly discuss metaphysics?!
All he could do was bring his own employees there for a few meals to make it up to Boss Li. Of course, he could not bring Little Tang with him this time. Boss Pei had nothing to gain from the collapse of Ming House.
He also could not bring those who had eaten there this week. The System would not allow him to organize gatherings for the same group of people so frequently.
This time, he would bring another group like the employees at Fei Huang Workspace or Upwind Logistics. That was the benefit of having so many employees. The various departments could take turns to eat!
Pei Qian could not help but imagine… if he had thirty departments in the future-based on the principle of having one gathering per month for each company, wouldn’t be able to feast every single day?
Hmm, that sounded good…
Boss Li remained silent for a moment. Then, obviously moved, he said, “Thank you, Boss Pei. I misunderstood you when you said you did not want to have any part in the restaurant earlier.
“Now, I understand. Business is business, but relationships are relationships. Boss Pei, you have distinguished them very clearly.
“I’ll remember this favor! If I get the chance in the future, I will return it for sure!”
Pei Qian, “?”
Don’t you dare overthink this. I just want to spend more money on food!
Even if I don’t eat at your restaurant, I would eat at Swan Lake Restaurant. It’s not because of any ‘relationship’ between us but purely because the food at your restaurant is more expensive!
What’s more, there is no ‘relationship’ between us. Don’t misunderstand me!
Different cuss words surfaced in Pei Qian’s heart. However, he could not let them out. Instead, he had to keep them in, suppressing them until he wanted to belch.
“Boss Li, it’s just one meal. You don’t have to take it to heart. If you want to thank me, run Ming House well and make it famous. Overtake Ming Yun Private Kitchen as soon as you can!”
Those words flowed from the bottom of Pei Qian’s heart.
Li Shi, “Hehe. Boss Pei, I’m going back to work. You’re welcome here at any time.”
After hanging up, Pei Qian felt sorrowful.
He had good intentions in bringing everyone to the restaurant for a meal. He had not expected to hurt his own friends by accident. Now, Ming House’s situation looked bad.
Everything was going wrong! Pei Qian was in pain. However, seeing that it was already Friday afternoon, Pei Qian knew that there was nothing much he could do for now.
“I have to do something next week to turn the situation around! I also have to remember to look at the shared phone booths next Monday.”
Pei Qian quietly committed these things to memory and then went back to studying.
At 6 PM…
A pleasant bell sounded. However, all the tapping at the mechanical keyboards showed no signs of stopping. Many writers’ eyes remained glued to their screens as their fingers kept typing away. Zhu Xingan stood up and clapped. “Alright, it’s time to get off work. Pack up as quickly as you can. The computers will shut down automatically in ten minutes.
“Please manage your time better tomorrow, everyone. It’ll be best if you could stop typing at 6 PM sharp.”
Cui Geng, who was seated in the far corner, heaved out a long sigh. He leaned back in his ergonomic chair and stretched.
He glanced at the word count on the screen.
…8,177 words. Cui Geng could not help but feel emotional. Who would’ve thought that a no-show like me would be able to write over eight thousand words in a single day?! Although he could constantly check on his word count throughout the day and Cui Geng already had an idea that he had written that much, he still felt incredulous.
That was because he had thought that he hadn’t been very efficient today.
He could not surf the web, watch videos, or play games. That made him extremely uncomfortable.
What’s more, although the furniture was comfortable, the screen was huge, and the keyboard was nice to use; this was not a familiar environment. Of course, he had felt out of place.
He had also experienced writer’s block in the middle of the day.
If he had been in such a state at home, Cui Geng would have ended up with four thousand words at most, but he would already have considered that to be quite good.
Yet, he had managed to write about eight thousand words here!
Cui Geng felt proud of himself. He really wanted to shout ‘who else can do this?!’
At that moment, the two authors seated opposite him stood up. “I feel like writing together in this office has really increased my efficiency!”
“How much did you write?”
“I just hit ten thousand words. How about you?”
“Hey, no, no, no! I think I can still do better.”
Cui Geng, “…”
He had no choice but to silently bury his boasts deep in his heart.
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