Thursday, May 6, 2010

Back to the Day Job

Returning to work after a week off to attend the mystery convention Malice Domestic in Arlington, VA, and the Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, PA, was more worrying than usual. Turning in my fourth book-Thieves!- had been a real struggle due to the Toyota recall (one of our main clients) with longer hours and a lot of stress all round. So much so that my boss - after eleven years of service - had suggested in a gentle-but-firm way that I needed to re-examine my "priorities." Or else.
 I needed a plan.
"Good morning, sir," I said brightly when he called in from his car. "I am your new executive assistant." 
"Excuse me?" He sounded confused. "Hannah? Is that you?" 
"I believe you fired your old assistant?" I said. "I heard she was useless and spent most of her time either day dreaming or having so many anxiety attacks that you no longer felt special." 
A pause then, "Yes."
"The employment agency sent me along. I assure you I will always put you first. Your life, is my life. You will have no reason to ever complain again."
When he arrived his coffee was hot. His fridge filled with fruit and snacks. His phone messages written down in perfectly legible handwriting (with the numbers correct). I kept my opinions about everyone to myself nor did I pepper our conversation with jokes and stories. By lunchtime, he asked for his old assistant back ... but I'm still on probation. 

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