Why can’t things ever be simple? (Just Another Day 3; Preview)

JAD 3 - MedPart three of the Office Romance; Just Another Day at the Office is being published shortly. To get you in the mood, find a little preview below.

“Cath, I’m sorry it had to come to this, but I’m sure you’re aware of the reason I’ve asked you to come in.” Dick gives me a look which suggests he enjoying this more than could be considered professional.

He closes the vertical blinds and sits down on his chair, hands folded on the desk in front of him.

“I have some idea, yes.” I squint slightly and maintain eye contact.

Now more than ever it’s important to not show any sign of weakness, even if my heart is pounding. I cannot get fired!

“When I hired you, I made it clear that your initial three months would be on a trial basis. I don’t need to tell you that there have been concerns.”

“If it’s not too much to ask, I would like you to clarify in what way my work has been lacking?” My tone is curt and I continue to stare at the smug expression on his face.

“It’s not so much your quality of work, not beyond what can be expected from someone just undergoing initial training. But you cannot deny that there have been issues with your attitude and efforts to fit into the team here.” Dick adjusts his hands slightly.

He truly seems to think he is handling this with the finesse of a seasoned politician. He’s wrong.

“Say, is it not necessary to have a representative from HR present during meetings such as this one?” I change the topic.

His face hardens.

“As your direct manager, I have the authority to hold performance appraisals without involvement from HR if I feel it is the appropriate path to take.”

“Fine. It was not clear to me that this meeting would serve as a performance appraisal, since I have not been given time to prepare.” It’s obvious that Dick isn’t enjoying my responses, as the twitching of the corner of his mouth reveals.

“Cath, let’s cut the bullshit. The reason we’re in here is that I am willing to give you one last chance to adjust your attitude. I can’t have people in this team who won’t give their best.”

He gets up and leans against the side of his desk, too close for comfort. My heart is racing and I’m not sure whether to run or fight. But I do really need this job and my bank statement at the end of the month doesn’t fail to remind me.

“You may not realise it, but I’ve seen you look at me from across the office…” he says.

My mouth falls open but I have no words to respond. How deluded can one man be!

Meanwhile he just looks down at me, enjoying the inherent position of power he has while I’m still sitting down. And the view from above seems to please him as well.

“What is it that you want,” I sneer. My question is quite unnecessary, I suspect that I already know.

The Sales Guy

As soon as I opened the door, I knew that divine intervention had caused me to agree to our meeting. Utter perfection, my age or slightly under.

His green eyes stood out in his boyishly handsome face, complementing his medium brown hair. He kept a beard that was hardly more than a stubble, but it suited him so well that the effect could only have been intentional.

I stretched out my hand, waiting for his.

“Hi, I’m ***, thanks for coming by.” I think I managed a friendly, non-lecherous smile.

“Hi,” His hand held on to mine just long enough to make my heart skip a few beats.

My attention turned to his broad chest, perfectly filling out his grey suit as though he was the only one ever meant to wear it. Although a tie would have sharpened up his look, I was grateful for the slightest glimpse of what remained hidden beyond the unbuttoned collar of his shirt.

I wondered if it was mainly the mystery that was getting to me. Although I can most definitely appreciate a gorgeous man, the vast flow of shirtless models on my Facebook feed never affects me quite in this manner. Even if most are undeniably handsome, I tend to blame it on them not really being my type.

Technically speaking, neither was this guy. And yet I found myself giddy like a schoolgirl on the inside, while pretending to be the capable professional.

The meeting room was unavailable, so we had to make do with the occasional seating near the kitchenette. He took a seat while I scurried off nervously to find a business card to give to him.

To be honest, I needed the moment to compose myself anyway.

Upon my return, he handed me his card from his leather conference folder. I knew I had to make an effort to listen to his sales patter, just in case he’d ask a question at the end of it. But I found myself yet again distracted, this time by his hands and his slender, perfectly manicured fingers.

His skin was flawless, but around his wrist I could see the beginning of a very impressive looking tattoo sleeve. I wondered how far up his arm and muscular shoulder the ink went. Whether the bad boy side of him would come out to play in a more intimate setting where the constraints of professionalism would no longer exist.

My short dress rode up nearly to the top of my thigh when I adjusted myself and crossed my legs. His eyes darted downwards just for a moment, making me quite pleased with my choice of outfit for the day.

He asked me about our industry and where in our business we might require his freight services and I tried my best to appear professional. Aiming to answer sensibly while the rational part of my brain was on autopilot.

But I’m a bad liar. And so was he.

While he spoke, I was mesmerised and involuntarily biting my bottom lip. I kept looking into his eyes which seemed to sparkle while he lost his train of thought and fumbled over his words. He caught himself and kept speaking, in response I continued to feign interest.

With a bunch of colleagues just around the corner, and two cleaners furiously working away around us, our meeting did not last very long.

I had nothing much to offer him in terms of business potential, but it was by no means a waste of time.

“If you ever need anything, just call me. I’m based nearby.” He took my hand once more, squeezing it slightly.

“I prefer to do business face-to-face rather than just on the phone.”

“Completely agree,” I responded while lingering on his amazingly deep eyes.

“It was lovely meeting you.” He smiled in a way that suggested he wasn’t just being polite.

My knees noticeably weakened, I returned a similarly revealing smile before seeing him out.

While I walked back towards my desk, I couldn’t disguise what had just happened. My ever-attentive colleague saw it all written on my face, prompting her to charge for the window in order to catch a glimpse.

When she returned, she gave me a nasty look.

“Next time, at least let me bring tea or coffee, al right!” She scolded.

I didn’t respond, just sat and stared at my screen.

“Say, can’t we start shipping more stuff…” I said, absent-mindedly, fidgeting with his business card.

The boss looked up, with a confused frown on her face.

“I want him to come visit again…” I continued.

While both of them chuckled, I couldn’t help but wonder if he’s on LinkedIn…

Just Another Day at the Office II Launch Party!

I’ve done it, around  month after publishing the first installment, Part two of Just Another Day at the Office is now live! And to celebrate this joyous milestone, I’m giving away part one free of charge for two days; today and tomorrow.

Buy part two now at:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

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Download part one for FREE at:

Amazon US

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The Job Interview

It’s only 9:30am and already I can smell his armpits from across the large, shiny desk. What a complete creep! If I didn’t need the money I would’ve cut the interview short and made my escape by now…

My brain is on autopilot as he witters on about what he expects from me, I try to keep eye contact to a minimum while uttering generic responses where appropriate. “Yes I understand,” I say. Punctuality is important, got it. My eyes wander around the room, over the posed photographs of him sharing a handshake with some equally pompous looking dick. Dick – an appropriate nickname for Richard Porter – purchasing manager at the large electronic components distributor where I will be working soon. By now I’ve seen enough of the over dressed hardboard office from where he rules his domain and I stealthily glance through the window that overlooks the office floor. The desks are arranged in groups of three or four with partition walls surrounding each cluster. Most group arrangements that I can see are fully occupied except one.

“Yes indeed I’m very excited to start my career here …” I hear myself say. I give Richard – Dick – a quick glance. Pointless, he’s still looking at my cleavage. Perhaps I should offer him a tissue. I try to breathe through my mouth to avoid the “manly” smell he’s producing.

Outside on the office floor the man who sits alone in a grouping of three desks catches my eye. He turns around on his chair as he answers the phone and only now I can fully appreciate him. His full head of dark blonde hair, a bit messy and just slightly longer than intended. A perfect face, if there can be such a thing. Completely regular features and a straight nose as if copied from an ancient Greek statue; not that I recall seeing many Greek statues of a man of his size. I can’t tell their exact colour from here but even at this distance his eyes exude kindness and warmth. He looks so serious, speaking into the phone with his full, sensual lips and a thoughtful look on his face.

I let my eyes travel down over his body – he’s definitely a big guy, but it’s hard to get a good look while he’s sat in the chair. I can tell however that his belly is straining ever so slightly against the white pin striped shirt he’s wearing, in fact he should probably go a size up. The sight is delicious although I’m certain I’d prefer the shirt off all together. The extra weight he’s carrying excites me beyond belief. He is so exactly my type, it’s unnerving. My mind instantly conjures up glimpses of him, on top of me, his broad arms cradling me as he leans in for a kiss. Oh what I could do to this man.

“So you’ll handle a few easier accounts at first, we’ll look at expanding this subject to successful completion of your trial period which lasts three months,” Dick says.

“Mm-Hm,” I answer, “three month trial period, yes. “ I try to regain composure, to hide the breathlessness I feel, but I can’t take my eyes off my favourite future colleague outside.

Oh No! What’s wrong? The gorgeous face I had just been admiring has twisted into an expression of pain. He’s still on the phone but stopped speaking. Instantly my feelings of lust have dissipated, replaced by concern. It’s as if I can feel his pain from over here.

“So who will I be working with?” I turn to Dick who is now finally looking up from my chest as well.
“Oh you’ll be working under Jonathan Hall, Senior Purchaser here at Aspect Technologies” he says as he motions over to the one occupied desk in a cluster of three, my Mr. Perfect.

“Great, I guess I’ll see you in two weeks then.” I shake Dick’s hand as I get up, still a bit flustered by the sights I had been admiring just moments ago. While Dick walks me towards the elevator I steal one last look at my future colleague. He is sitting completely still, staring at nothing while still holding the phone in mid air. I try to give him a warm smile as I walk right through the path of his gaze, but he is completely oblivious.

This will serve as the prologue to my current WIP, would appreciate any feedback to let me know if I’m on the right track! 🙂
H.

Please continue reading First Day at Work for the next installment of this story.