By Raoul Suarez

We all know Junjun. He’s the company’s poster boy now. He’s soon to become the CEO. The chief executive officer is considered the highest-ranking officer in the company. Junjun was now set to run the show. Not because he wanted to, but maybe because his sister and his mother were always insistent that he should be seated in power. A man of his stature should do the job. He is his father’s son after all. They have the same name and he is the only male in the family. Their family has been a part of the business for quite a while. While some of the employees despise them, the others, who are unaware of how they almost ran the company to the ground decades ago, want him to be in that position of power. He was a charming, approachable, and affable man after all. Aging made him a tad bit appealing to the younger people at work.

Junjun was never his own person. He has always been living in the shadows of his old man. When his father used to run the company, he received hefty allowances from all the embezzling and the under-the-table deals that were happening here and there. Junjun did not care. Money is money after all. He turned a blind eye and just enjoyed it while it lasted. His old man had big dreams for him. He would be his father’s successor soon; when he is ready. All that Junjun wanted to do, though, was listen to music and party with his friends

Junjun was sent to universities outside of the country to learn how to run the business and get himself a world-class education. Junjun wanted none of that. He was too lazy. He was too carefree. He was not his father. He was not as smart and as eloquent as his old man. He would stutter once in a while if he was caught off-guard when being questioned about his competencies. He would laugh it off or mumble; to a point where he would not make sense at all. But some people would find it to be entertaining and most of them believe that it was all part of the charm that Junjun possessed. He was not able to finish his degree but was lucky enough that his father was running the company. He was given a job that was not even at par to what he can accomplish. Junjun did not complain. He was not in a position to do so anyway. His father was adamant at ensuring that Junjun would replace him in the near future. The influence and power wielded by his father was enough to put him in a nice spot so he can earn his bread while not doing a lot of things that would benefit the company. A paycheck was a paycheck. Month on month. Year after year. It was easy money. Someone like Junjun could not complain. What’s there to complain about anyway? It was an easy life.

We all know for a fact, though, that all things, bad or good, have an end. Spoiled and entitled children often have the notion that their parents would live forever and that their luxurious lifestyle would never change. He never really expected that his father’s reign in the company would be cut short because of a rare illness. He never expected that some of the employees he was working with had a dislike for him, his siblings, and his mother; who were also a part of the company because his father put them all there. Junjun was once again in turmoil. He thought the easy life was going to be a forever thing. He was wrong about that. The only good thing though, is that his old man was crafty enough to make sure they had tons of cash stored here and there so they can be set for life. The old man always had contingency plans and with all the embezzling and under-the-table deals done for decades on end, he actually made a fortune good enough to last them for another lifetime. At the expense of the well-being of the company, of course. But who cares anyway? Not Junjun. Not his mother. Not his sister. They are all beneficiaries anyway. Behind every success is a crime, so they say. They were hated. They were ostracized. They were scrutinized. It still didn’t change the fact that they were rich; and money is power. Their haters can all rant to their hearts’ content and continue to live with their hand-to-mouth existence while Junjun’s family basked in all the money they amassed. It would not make a difference. Words are just words. The narrative can be changed when the time is right.

The passing of the years has been good to them. It went by so fast. Time had become their ally, and it washed away most of the negativity tied to their name. Those who knew about their mishaps have already aged and retired, some of them are already dead. A new generation of workers replaced them. Those loyal to Junjun’s family are using a different narrative. What’s done is done. Moving on was the IN thing now. Junjun will usher in that change and will help the company rise again. It’s what most of the workers believed in. Not everyone bought into that but majority of the workers were also sick and tired of the red tape and all the office politics. They wanted Junjun to be seated in power. They believe that he can replicate the great deeds of his old man.

Junjun had to take charge now. Not by his own volition, maybe, but because he was his father’s son and there were no other males in the family. His sister and his mother had been egging him on for ages. There was nobody else who will do it or is as marketable as he is. The fun and games are over. At this point in time, the nightmare is back – the ghost of his father haunts him again like it has done so since his teenage days. The burden of having to gain redemption from all the scrutiny that his family was given for decades on end, due to what his father has done, is starting to bite him in the face.

Junjun has no choice. If he actually had one, he would have just settled for being a party animal and would like to just laze around while receiving an allowance from the different bank accounts that their family possesses. He liked to party and he liked to socialize. He liked going to weddings. He liked going to birthdays. He liked going to christenings. It’s way more fun than having to run a company. He liked booze. He liked to wine and dine. He liked drugs once in a while, and he was into rock & roll. He liked to live a carefree life without the accountability and responsibility tied to the family name.

We all know Junjun. He’s the company’s poster boy now. He’s soon to become the CEO. Not that he is fit for the job. Not that he is competent enough. Not that he has the credentials to back it up. No. The people at work think he should be the one to lead. His mother and his sister want him to take the job. He is his father’s son after all; that’s what they would all say. Sadly, he is just a boy still living in the shadows of a man he will never be. If it were just him, he would only like to party, get wasted on booze, do some drugs, and listen to The Beatles instead of taking a shot at redemption. He is too carefree. Too lazy. Too spoiled. In the next life, maybe Junjun will find his peace and be his own man. He skipped the interview today. No show. No prior notice. No excuses. Nothing. Maybe he’ll do it next time when he’s ready to talk.