The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination
Author: Stephen Oberauer

Chapter 63
Beyond Security

Rupert and I had spent many hours going over the contract. It was a very demanding contract, but promised great rewards. We simply had to think out of the box to try and figure out how to meet the targets that Beyond Insurance was asking for. We called the secretary and set up another appointment for 9am the next day.

For our second visit we decided not to dress quite as smartly as we had done the previous time. Because we had been there before, we thought that we knew what to expect, but we were still surprised at our next appointment. Dave and Edward greeted us as we entered the door on the ground floor. They had been waiting for us, even though we were slightly early. They appeared to be either very excited about something, or had too much caffeine. ‘Howzit my Chinas!’ Dave greeted us, as if we were best friends that they had not seen in 10 years.

‘Dudes, lets worry about the contracts later. There’s something we want to show you,’ Edward explained, and the two of them led us into a large room, where about 70 people were gathered in front of a stage. Dave and Edward ran onto the stage, and Dave yelled what sounded like ‘Good morning bee eyes!’

The audience screamed ‘Good morning big cheese!’

‘I’d like to introduce to you, our new friends,’ Dave began, ‘Rupert aaaaaand Nathan!’

The audience cheered as Dave and Edward signalled to us to join them on the stage. I felt as if I had accidentally walked into a very strange cult meeting, and was not quite sure if I was nervous or excited. We climbed onto the stage, and Dave turned to us and started to explain what was going on. ‘Beyond Insurance is not just a business. We are beyond business. We are a religion. We are brothers and sisters, and we love it here!’

The audience cheered again, and Dave continued, ‘Every morning we gather together to psych ourselves up for the day. We set ourselves goals and we have the best time of our lives changing those goals into reality. Are you ready to rock?’

‘YEAH!’ the audience screamed.

The lights switched off, and after a few seconds of silence we could hear a rumbling noise, which started getting louder and louder until drums kicked in and coloured lights started flashing. Rock music was blaring out of speakers around the room and the audience were jumping around. The lyrics of the song were obviously written to psych up the employees, and were all about ‘going beyond,’ and ‘smashing records’ and ‘destroying the competition’.

When the music stopped the lights came back on and Edward started talking to the audience, ‘Today’s quote is from the book, “How to Run the Most Successful Business Ever”: “It’s more fun to burn out, than to fade out. Life is not about sleeping, but being awake. Life is more than just bread. It’s about caaaake!”’

Once again, rock music blared from the speakers, but this time the audience walked out, some of them stopping to shake hands with us. ‘So,’ Edward began, ‘What do you think? Different, isn’t it?’

‘I think it’s cool,’ I responded. ‘This is definitely the kind of environment I’d want to work in.’

‘Let me tell you a bit more,’ Edward explained, ‘the guys that work for us don’t feel like they’re working. We don’t have fixed hours. Sometimes the guys will work until late at night, and all of us earn commission. It’s one big happy family. We got the basic ideas for running the business from this book.’ Edward handed me the book that he read the quote from, and continued, ‘One of my favourite ideas from the book is the nap room. We have a room with a timer that goes off every 20 minutes, so if any of us are feeling a little tired, we simply head off to the nap room for a siesta. I really don’t know why no-one else does it. It’s just crazy, expecting productivity from tired people.’

‘What do you guys do for fun,’ Dave asked us.

‘I skate and play guitar in a band,’ I replied.

‘No way,’ Edward began, ‘Awesome! I’m also a skater. We have a ramp out back which I skate every day. It keeps me out of trouble! And you, dude?’ he asked my brother.

‘I spend most of my time writing computer programs,’ he replied, ‘but I also like water sports, like sailing. I want to learn surfing one day.’

‘Way cool!’ said Dave. ‘Surfing’s what life’s about. I’ll give you a lesson if you like.’

Before Rupert had a chance to say anything, Edward had an idea, ‘Why don’t you teach us all how to surf? You guys up for it?’

‘Okay,’ I replied. I didn’t really like cold, sea water much, but a free surf lesson sounded like a fun idea.

‘Definitely,’ Rupert replied.

‘We must just be back by 1pm, for the meeting,’ Edward reminded Dave.

‘We’re going now?’ I asked.

‘Do you have plans?’ Dave asked.

‘No.’

‘Let’s go then,’ Edward commanded.

Dave and Edward took us to the car park, where we climbed into Edward’s stylish van. It had tinted windows, a sunroof and the Vans logo printed on the side. The inside was kitted out like a camper, with cupboards, a fridge, a sink and even a back seat that folded into a bed. We stopped off at Dave’s house to fetch surfboards, and then went to The Corner Surf Shop in Muizenberg, where Dave hired boards and wet suits for us. He also bought us each a pair of board shorts. It was all charged to Beyond Insurance. Dave was saying that if it was a business lunch, the business would have paid for it, but this was a business surf, so the business would pay for it.

It was a sunny, but cold day, so we all wore wet suits. It would definitely make being in the sea more comfortable. The four of us stood next to our boards on the beach, while Dave gave us the briefing, ‘You lie on your board like this, and when you see the wave coming, you paddle like hell. When you’re on the wave, you keep your weight forwards and you jump on the board like this.’ He jumped on his board and pretended to be surfing, waving his arms about.

We walked into the water. ‘Yikes,’ I exclaimed. ‘The water’s cold.’

‘You’ll warm up,’ Dave assured me.

We paddled out to where the waves where. I looked around at the empty beach, glad that I was out there, rather than being stuck in an office somewhere. A big wave headed towards us, so we all started paddling. Dave caught the wave and jumped onto his board, surfing away, while the rest of us fell over trying to get onto our boards. After being dunked by the wave we climbed back on and sat, waiting for Dave to return.

‘You guys are skateboarders,’ Dave reminded Edward and me after he had paddled back to where we were waiting. ‘Lets see some of those skateboarding skills.’

The next wave rushed towards us and I tried paddling even harder. As the wave lifted me I pushed my weight forwards and the wave accelerated me like a rocket. I tried to jump up into a standing position, but was only able to get onto my knees. The high speed rush of water beneath me was unlike anything I’d experienced before. Proud that I had caught a wave, I looked around to see how the others were doing. To my surprise, Rupert was standing.

We continued surfing for about another hour and a half, during which I had only managed to stand about three times. Even so, it was good fun. During the drive back to Beyond Insurance, Edward asked us if we’d prefer to work as employees of Beyond Insurance, or run our business by ourselves. He explained that payment would be entirely commission based, whether we were employed by them, or just stuck to the original contract. Rupert already had a job, but was quite keen for a change. I was jobless, and very eager to work for a company with a skate ramp. We agreed there, in the van, that Rupert would quit his job and start working for them in June, just over a month away, and that I would start there immediately. By the time we had reached the office, Nadia had already printed out standard employment contracts for us to sign. We were told to hang onto the old contract, so that we could remind ourselves of the goals which had been set.

‘By the way,’ Edward told us, ‘Our new home security department, which you will be in charge of, will be called “Beyond Security”.’

 

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