The only common ground Gregory Odi could initiate between the two events that appeared to have conflicting interests was to arrange a meeting with Leon and Rufus at the same time.
He explained to the two men that they had come to him with the same request, and while he intended to work with both of them, if either of the two had any reservation about their social threesome, he was invited to speak up.
Both men were too proud to complain. Neither of them wanted the other to feel like a worthy adversary. When Leon heard about Rufus, he welcomed the group meeting in a heartbeat. He was no stranger to having adversaries, and if he had learned anything from Gregory over the years, it was that having his adversary close improved his knowledge of that person, and consequently his advantage.
Rufus, on the other hand, had to talk himself up to it.
He had first suffered a minor attack of skepticism which seemed like a losers fever on extended analysis, so he chose to man up. James had given him his word that Gregory wouldn’t meet with him unless he was willing to help. That helped to quell his doubts of honest intent and honor the meeting.
Naturally they sized themselves upon arrival, and although they would never know what impression each had of the other, they had both shown up aiming not to be oppressed. The confidence that they had done a good job as far as that was all they had to go by.
Gregory began, First thing, the entry. You have to make a good entry. This is a case where good is bad; only great will work. Rhonda Nneji is a very busy woman. I can bet you with whatever you want she will not be taking her time screening through the messages coming across.
She will have her assistant or sister do that. Possibly a very close friend. And as I speak with you, so many people have already made good strides, but they will never hear back from her. You have to be the one who she replies. So it begs the question: what will make her reply?
Humor? Rufus asked.
Gregory nodded. That is one of the two things that always works. That said, there’s a scale on which you must weigh your approach. That scale is relevance. A joke might make her smile, but it doesn’t guarantee a feedback, especially if it wasn’t originally yours. Why would she see anything unique about you since any lame ass can tag her in a joke?
Don’t get me wrong, it works sometimes. But it’s a huge gamble, so scrap it.
The other thing is wit. She’s brilliant and successful, so wit is definitely one of her most valued currency. Say something witty, and you’ll engage her attention.
Yea, but, something like what? Leon wondered.
Gregory put a hand up for emphasis. Since I’m working with two of you, who are not working together, I’m going to always use general markers only. The specifics will have to be your own ingenuity. That is how the better man wins.
Their minds went to work.
* * *
Rhonda had her friends over for dinner, and to talk about her thousands of sliders. She had been reluctant to look at the messages because she had neither the time nor the patience, nor even the interest to go through all the messages.
Her friends agreed to help out. They agreed mostly because of the fun part of the exercise. They discussed what to look out for on this preliminary level. Rhonda was mostly interested in presentation: the persons conduct, and the presence of content in the message. She gave them her password.
She wanted only the top ten.