Having spent the entire season in hiding from the psychotic chairman of Jorge Wilstermann, Julio Cusicanqui, he decides to go back to England and try to get a 9 to 5 job at some small financial firm. He’s been applying for jobs all over the world by to no avail; he has not managed a football game for 13 months and he has had enough. However, upon reaching the airport, his papers are seen to not be in order. We arrive at the Bolivian Immigration Centre, where manager Siddharth Iyer is currently being detained by Officer Rodrigo Velasquez.
Iyer: Officer, why on earth am I here?
Velasquez: Your papers are not in order Senor, you’re legally classified as an illegal immigrant, which means that you are not allowed to leave this country, I’m afraid.
Iyer: How on earth are they not in order? When I came to Bolivia, they were all fine!
Velasquez: I don’t know Sir, but you’re here now and you’ll have to wait until an interrogator comes.
Iyer: This is an absolute joke, you know that? I’ve been stitched up, and I have a good idea as to who’s doing this to me.
Velasquez: I’m sorry you feel that way Sir, but nothing can be done until the interrogator comes and clears you.
Iyer: (under his breath) Bullshit…
3 hours pass before Officer Damien Moreno comes in. A formidable man with an admirable handlebar moustache, Officer Moreno has a fearsome reputation within the airport as someone who gets answers, by any means possible.
Moreno: (menacingly) Why do you think you’re here?
Iyer: Honestly, officer, I have no idea.
Moreno: Your passport ID page is a forgery. But of course, I’m sure you knew that. How much did it cost you to make?
Iyer: (flabbergasted) What are you talking about? That passport’s completely legit! It’s been fine everywhere I go. There was no issue when I came to Bolivia.
Moreno: You could have lost it and had no money to buy a new one. Yes…that’s probably right, isn’t it.
Iyer: I’m a football manager for a top-flight team, money is not a problem for me.
Moreno: True, but there’s still something that’s been troubling me. Where have you been for the last year? You haven’t managed a single game but the club has you as their manager?
Iyer: I’ve gone into hiding. Julio Cusicanqui threatened to kill me if I resigned from the club after he stole our money to fuel his cocaine addiction.
Moreno: his eyes suddenly lighting up) Julio Cusicanqui! He’s on top of our wanted list for orchestrating the murders of Saul Vargas, Alejandro Chiron and Benjamin Morales.
Iyer: (shocked) He actually went through with that! They were chefs at the football club and one of the soups they sold him had a hair in it. They ‘jokingly’ said that he’d kill them but I never imagined that he would. Where is that slimeball?
Moreno: Hiding. Probably in Suriname if our intelligence is correct. He should be caught within the next month.
Iyer: Good, that’s nothing less than what he deserves. Can I leave now?
Moreno: No, stay. I’m not done with you quite yet? Why didn’t you tell anyone about his cocaine addiction? You know drug laws in Bolivia are very strict. We could have arrested him a long time ago and no one would have had to die.
Iyer: I did, but the police just ignored me and told me to mind my own business.
Moreno: Why didn’t you leave the country earlier?
Iyer: I couldn’t, he had men everywhere! If they caught me, I’d be dead.
Moreno: (stroking his beard) You know I’m a Bolivar fan.
Iyer: (flatly) That’s nice, but if you don’t mind, I’d appreciate it if you could just uncuff me from this chair and let me be on my way
Moreno: (completely ignoring him) We won the league this year, 82 points. Your lot only managed 69.
Iyer: (evidently agitated) Honest to God, I couldn’t care less. Just let me out of here and let me be on my way, please. My plane is in 2 hours!
Moreno: (expressionless) 29 goal difference as well…Great season
Iyer: (enraged) Get me out of this seat right now! I’m clearly innocent.
Moreno: (as if he’s woken up) Fine, go to my colleague in the red jumper and he’ll give you a temporary VISA so that you can travel anywhere.
Iyer: Thank you, I appreciate this.
Moreno: No problem. Do you have anywhere in mind?
Iyer: Probably going to retire as a manager. Loved it but I’ve been out for a year and I don’t know if I can continue.
Moreno: (grabbing him by the scruff of his collar) Now listen here. Don’t you dare just quit a career where you clearly have a gift. It’s obvious you were born to be a manager just from the way you handled the interrogation. You use that visa and fly to a country where you get a job.
Iyer: You think I haven’t been applying. I applied for a job for some Czech club called Banik Ostrava. They rejected me cold-heartedly, even after me giving an interview with them. Wasn’t known enough. Then I applied all over Brazil. Flamengo. Ponte Preta. Juventude. All of them rejected me. Jiangsu Suning said I was their preferred manager and yet, they said no to me. It’s clear that no-one wants me. Why bother trying.
Moreno: So you’ll just give up. Are there any jobs that are still on offer.
Iyer: Yeah, there’s one job in China for a club called Henan but why bother trying. They’ll just reject me as well. No, I think I’ve had enough. I’m off. Thanks for the help, but I don’t think I’ll be changing my mind anytime soon.
Moreno: (looking with pure disdain) You disgust me…
And with those words, he slams the door on Iyer. Iyer then goes to Gate 18 where Flight 765 to London Heathrow will be departing. He opens up his laptop and sees that the job for Henan still hasn’t been taken. Suddenly, a random child walks up to him.
Child: Are you, Siddharth Iyer
Iyer: Yes, I am. Why do you ask?
Child: I just wanted to say, thank you so much for winning the league last season. We’ll never forget that win.
Iyer: Why thank you, young man.
Child: Where are you going?
Iyer: England. I’m retiring as a manager.
Child: What! You can’t do that, you can’t. Don’t do that, please.
Child’s Mum: Felipe, stop disturbing that man and come here at once. (the child dutifully obliges)
The child’s words still ring in Iyer’s mind, however. He hadn’t realised that he’d bought happiness to people. He always felt that he was just doing his job. But now he thought about it. He was a good manager. No, he wasn’t just a good manager. He was a great manager. He opened his laptop immediately and, to his relief, saw that the Henan job was still available. If he wasn’t accepted, he would go to England and nothing more would be said. However, he couldn’t quit without trying, could he?
Seconds turn to minutes. Minutes turn to hours. Four hours pass and Iyer is still at the gate. He decides to miss his flight to London in the hope that the Henan job goes in his favour. Then, all of a sudden,
It’s interview time…
Ticket Agent: Hello again, Sir. Would you like that ticket to London? There’s a BA flight in 30 minutes with a seat.
Iyer: No, thanks. I’d like a ticket to China…