Episode 20: Rice, Tea and a New Start

Delightful trio.

Delightful trio.

Monday, December 1st at 11:23am:

Location: Diane’s car, Tyson’s Corner

Scene: Diane in her car on a three-way call with Cindi and Jaz

“Hey Jaz, I have Cindi on the other line.” Diane started the conversation once the connection was made. “Darlings, I just found out that I got the job as a consultant on 15th and K St.! I am so excited!” She shrieked into the phone.

“Awesome news! Do you know what this means? We can do mani-pedis at lunch or just plain old eat together.”  Cindi said happy at the new turn of events.

“Or we can work out together at lunch!  You never get to come to the lunch time Zumba class at the gym. The instructor is way more fabulous than the one scheduled for the after work crowd.” Jaz noted with elation.

“Well, how about we meet tonight for dinner at Rice to celebrate?” Cindi suggested.

“Sounds great!” Diane and Jaz responded in unison.

Monday, December 1st at 6:44pm:

Location: Rice Restaurant, Dupont Circle

Scene: Cindi and Jaz are seated waiting for Diane to show up

“Hey Darlings,” Diane called out as she spotted the ladies at a table against the wall on the right of the restaurant, “I had the worst time getting here. That accident on 395 was bad but the rubberneckers were worst.  I hate having to crawl along bumper to bumper for over an hour expecting bloodied dead bodies and mayhem only to see a fender bender, one cop car and cars speeding down the highway when they pass the quote-unquote scene after having slowed their cars to a turtle’s pace. I cannot wait to not have to make this drive on a daily basis anymore. Hugs, Hugs.” They all greeted as she finished her tale.

“Cheers to that! Grab your water for the toast.” Jaz proclaimed raising her Thai iced tea as their glasses touched.

“I gave Jerry my two week notice today. I did not want to wait a second more. I am so looking forward to my new consulting job.” I said turning to the now present waitress to order my own Thai iced tea.

“So, what did he say?” Cindi wondered looking up at Diane and no longer at her menu.

“What did he say? You mean what did he do?” Diane said as she began her story.  “I walked into his office with my quickly drafted resignation letter.  As usual he was yelling at his secretary Alice…something about his coffee. I waited for her to walk out of his office and walked in. He snapped, ‘I hope you are here to tell me you have the report I asked you for yesterday!’ Granted there is no way that report would be ready as it would take a team of three and probably over 50 pages. I told him ‘I resign. This is my two-week notice’. He grunted and just said ‘Please get me a list of your outstanding projects by tomorrow and close my door on the way out’.  And with that he just went back to reviewing the other reports on his desk and never looked up at me again.” Diane said while she nibbled on the scrumptious sweet potato empanadas the ladies had ordered before she arrived.

“Wow! What an awful man.” Jaz looked saddened by the story.

“Don’t get me wrong. It was great place to work as far as money went but just too stressful and too much drama – more than even I could create.” Diane reflected.

“Cheers to new beginnings!” With that they all raised their glasses once more.

Monday, December 1st at 6:54pm:

Location: Rice Restaurant, Dupont Circle

Scene: Cindi, Diane and Jaz are ready to order

“What type of Rice are you getting Diane?” Jaz asked, “Can I tell you I could not wait to come here all day. I am definitely getting food to go.” Jaz finished with a giggle.

“The last time we were here you wanted to try the green tea.” Cindi noted as she was always good at remembering small details.

“Green tea it is.” Diane concurred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Episode 2: Dirty Job

mojito1

(First Timer? Read from the start)

Monday, July 28th –  5:45pm

In continuation…

After, slightly getting over my shock at Jerry’s directive, I took a minute to look outside my office window. Being on the 10th floor had its perks and getting a window office was one of them. It was turning out to be a nice summer day. I kept wishing that I could be outside playing somewhere. I had to just sigh and sit down trying to crane my head in the direction of Maryanne’s desk noting that she was still not in yet. Seriously, it was 9:30! Maybe she would quit and I would be freed from having to do Jerry’s dirty work.  It did not help that she was regularly late and that she hugged the watercooler for hours discussing everything but work.

She finally came in at 9:40, but since I had to prep for the morning meeting, I figured our “talk” would have to wait. HR already knew about her termination. I just had to be the one to tell her to her face. We had the meeting in which Jerry upset me again. It was beginning to look like his day for crapping all over me. I had to step away and use my lunch as manicure time. I just needed to get away and a quick trip to Tysons and the Modern Day Spa was definitely the lunch I needed. 

I snuck out of work resolving to talk to Maryanne when I was more relaxed. As I walked into the spa, I was happy to see that my favorite manicurist Ti was available. Our routine – I talked, she listened and complimented like an unorthodoxed therapist. I always wondered if she fully understood what I was saying. She always just nodded and smiled. Oh well. She finished my strawberry sweetheart color and massaged my hands just the way I liked. I gave her a nice tip and the session was over. I felt better and my nails looked fabulous. 

An hour later, I was back at the office and it was time to speak with Maryanne.

“Hey Maryanne. Do you have a second to come into my office? I need to speak to you.”

“Sure.” Maryanne answered.

As she entered the room I readied myrself for a potential smack down or the instant need to dock and dodge flying objects. Instinctively, I wanted to be ready for the unexpected.

“Hi Maryanne, Jerry and I were talking this morning and at his bequest we have decided to let you go. We’ve appreciated your work throughout the years but the mistakes in the last few weeks have been too much to overlook.  This latest mishap was irresponsible and has probably made us loose the deal. We have to let you go. Sorry this had to happen. I know you have been here for a few years and I wish you all the best. Please report to Agnes in HR and she will help you with the exit proceedings.” I said it just the way I had rehearsed in the car. I finished and only after the fact I realized that I was instinctively pressing my nails into my hands waiting for the worst to happen.

Surprisingly, just when I finished Maryanne stood up, hands on one hip as she bent over forcefully placing her other hand on my desk causing me to press a little more against the back of my chair. Crap she was going to hit or spit on me. I thought to myself. “Who do you think you are firing? I know you stole Sam’s job. I am so through with this place anyway. You can keep this ridiculous job!”

“Stole Sam’s job?” That one through me off a bit.

And with that, she walked as briskly to the door as her mermaid cut knee length skirt would take her, pausing briefly as she pulled the door and firmly slammed it behind her.

And like that the drama was over. It was now all up to HR to play clean up crew.  I called Cindi. Voicemail. I sent her a text message.

6:20pm:

I had 20 minutes left to my work out. I was sweating now and in my groove. Out of my mental lull, I was now paying attention to the news. The same old stuff was on … the police check point in Trinidad NE is still working, the rest of the week would be hot, Obama and McCain were focusing on the economy. I decided to listen to the radio.

6:55pm

I just finished my shower and my phone was already ringing.

“Hey chica! I just got a new phone. Are you ready to roll?” It was Jaz. “I’m at the Verizon Store on 13th and F. Heard from Cindi and she is on her way too.”

“Girl, fifteen minutes for makeup and dressing and I am so there!”

 To be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 1: She Works Hard For Her Money

Monday, July 28th, 2008 at 5:02 pm

“Jerry is such a jerk!” I screamed to myself when I was in my car and out of hearing range. “People in my office were clearly out of their minds today and now I knew for sure I will not be at BA Consulting for another year,” I had to say this out loud with my eyes closed and lips tensed.

“Crap! 5:05! Cindi was on her happy hour date!” I grew more frustrated at this realization and left a quick message. I needed to talk to her to sort this out, after all why else would she be No. 1 on my speed dial.  I also had a thirty-five minute drive to the Washington Sports Club on Wisconsin Ave. from Tyson’s Corner and I needed to regurgitate all the details of my drama filled day – to someone!  I vowed if Cindi did not call before I arrived at the gym, there would definitely have to be the self-imposed  cardio therapy. I could not even call Jaz, since she lost her cell phone the day before.

Thirty minutes later my phone rings I look at the caller i.d. and I am immediately elated. 

“Hey Girl, thank goodness you called! You would never believe the day I had. I am most definitely going to start searching for another job!” I yelled into the phone while switching her to speaker phone.

“Why? What happened? Is everything ok?” Cindi was concerned.  She has known for the last few months that I’ve had a lot of trouble at work.

Jerry once again not only took credit for the report I wrote but he also proceeded to call me out in front of everyone at the morning meeting for something simple as a misspelled word in an email I sent out to him! I know that everyone attending the meeting know that I did most of the work on the report. It is so frustrating to work with someone who keeps taking all the credit for your work. But the really kicker today was that he wanted me to fire Maryanne.”

Fire her?! Why would he want you to do that? Oh my, looks like it’s definitely time to start updating your resume. Where are you now?  Did you really fire Maryanne?” Cindi rushed through the questions like a prosecutor with limited time for direct. 

“Yes girl. I did and it just stressed me out for the entire day.”

“Crap Eric is on the other line? Are you heading to the gym? I’ve got to finish this motion before I leave. Let’s meet at Lima afterwards. First round of mango mojitos on me!” I already knew from experience that I would get frustrated if I was telling this story and in the background I heard her typing away. 

“Aaah! Ok. Let Jaz know. She should be home in 15 minutes.” I said as she hung up.

I stepped into the gym and almost immediately spotted X, the cute and superfine trainer who had been asking me out for the past month. I kept turning him down because I knew it would go nowhere – trainers are notorious for being manwhores and his strength training class was one of my favorites. It was the perfect ying to my Zumba class and drama was not something I needed at the gym. 

On the way to the locker room, I waved at him while he was helping a client with some light weights.  My wave caught him just as his muscles were flexing while he grabbed another weight off the rack. He flashed me a seventy-five watt grin and already some of my stress was beginning to melt away. <le sigh>

I changed into my usual gym uniform of black, calf length yoga pants and Under Armour sleeveless tank. I stopped in front of the full length mirror to tie my ponytail but also to admire the new bump of a butt I was developing from my weekly squats.  I got on the treadmill, set it to one hour of manual at 6.0 speed and was off. Even with my focus and attention on the television I could not help but think about my crazy day. My thoughts drifted back to my morning.

At 8:01am my morning started with a thud when Sylvia, Jerry’s secretary, informed me before I was able to read my first email that I was being summoned. I walked into Jerry’s office and observed at his well groomed profile, adorned by gold cuff-linked, Thomas Pink shirt and Hermes tie while I waited to be acknowledged. He was intimidating in more ways than just being 6’2”, a full 1’2” taller than me.

He turned to look up after having me wait for 5 minutes with not even a hello. Obviously I was not as important as his conversation with the contractors at his house.

He started abruptly, “you have until the end of today to fire Maryanne. She forgot to send out the Genderand contracts again and on time and this time the deal fell through.” I was taken off-guard.

“How the heck am I going to fire someone?” I muffled under my breathe after walking out of his office and behind the safety of mine.  I had only been at the office for 2 months and I never got along with Maryanne, who was the assistant inherited from my predecessor Sam.  Curiously after Sam left many of the other employees started intimating at the probability that she was fired because of a failed tryst with Jerry. No one new for sure but all agreed if anyone was aware of what was going on it would be Maryanne who was close to Sam always seemed to have a blatant dislike for Jerry.  This of course did not help me since I relied on her for support in accomplishing many on the projects we had to juggle in a week. Maryanne was also officially the executive assistant to everyone in our group so technically Jerry could have given her the ax himself. Now I was left with the unpleasant responsibility of having to fire someone for the first time in my career.  This was definitely the downside of climbing the corporate ladder.

 >The story continues…stay tuned<