Hachiman Hikigaya is a Terrible Negotiator
Being a fairly obstinate person, it feels hypocritical to say this, but I dislike talking to stubborn people.
Holding conversations with such people felt more of a chore to me than an actual conversation. Aside from refusing to listen to anything that comes out of your mouth, they also reject every single one of your suggestions and proposals.
I have had my fair share of stubborn co-workers and I avoided them whenever possible. Of course, they shunned me like the plague, so it wasn't too much of a challenge to ignore their existences.
In summary, I always try my best to avoid stubborn characters in everyday life. Unfortunately everyday life seldom cooperated.
"Okay, how about £15 million for Wendell?" As I spoke into the phone, I kept my eyes on the screen of my desktop to made sure that I'd got the correct name. Staring back at me was a Wikipedia profile of my first transfer target, Wendell.
"No, we're not selling him."
"No, he's not for sale."
"How about £25 million?"
"We'll do a deal at £60 million."
"I manage a football club, not an oil company."
"Then I'm afraid there's nothing else to say, Mr Hikigaya. Wendell is an important player for us and we aren't going to sell him for anything less."
"Look, you paid £5 million for him only last year. There is no way he's worth £60 million," I pointed out, scanning the information on my computer.
"He isn't," came the admittance of the man over the line. "This is modern day football, Mr Hikigaya. I'm sure Gareth Bale wasn't worth the amount of money Real Madrid paid for him."
"Alright," I said, as I searched up Gareth Bale on Google wondering who he was. "So you're not willing to let Wendell go at all?"
"Not for £60 million at least."
I skipped the pleasantries and cut the call immediately. No chance in Hell was I going to give him a polite "goodbye".
No one informed me that being a football manager meant having to deal with annoyances like this. My first conversation regarding player transfers had been a disaster and I was already dreading the next one.
Closing the tab of Gareth Bale's Wikipedia profile, I clicked onto another window I had open, coming face-to-face with my inbox of endless e-mail messages.
The most recent one was from Hayama, a shortlist of left-backs and their clubs. As Liverpool manager, it was apparently my job to start negotiations and persuade the clubs to part with their players.
I had only spent about ten minutes into this task, but I knew straightaway that I loathed it.
"Hello, is this Phillip Cocu? Yes, this is the manager of Liverpool. I'm calling to enquire about your player Jetro Willems..."
I typed in a quick Google search of the player in question as I trapped the phone in between my ear and left shoulder. Wikipedia told me that Jetro Willems was a promising Dutch footballer.
"We are willing to offer around £7 million."
There was a long pause. "£10 million."
Fantastic, here was someone who knew how to negotiate properly. "£10 million sounds great. Do we have a deal?"
"Yes, although I'm sure you are aware of Jetro's knee ligament injury?"
I frowned. "No. Enlighten me."
"He will not be able to play for about four months. If you are still interested, then sure, we have a deal."
I couldn't help but sigh. These silly obstacles just kept coming and coming. Again, being too frustrated to offer a parting word, I cut the call prematurely.
My eyes flickered back to the screen. This was it, the last name on Hayama's three-man shortlist.
For the third time that day, I punched in the appropriate numbers on my office's telephone and awaited a response.
The man who picked up the call possessed a gruff voice and a thick Italian accent.
"Hi, you have reached Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri. What can I do for you today?"