[Fiction Practice] In Ten Years V

“In ten years of working with The Consulting Agency, five as director of Human Resources, the part that never gets easier is determining the root cause of behavioral issues like what happened to you, Sam. We- I’m sorry that I couldn’t guide Steve toward polite and professional standards. Please accept my deepest apology.”
“Oh, no, it’s OK, Addison. I know you’re doing your best.”
Sam’s boss Linda chuckled, “you at least owe her a promotion.”

There was silence in the corner office.

Linda’s boss, Lisa, pressed the mute button on the speakerphone before they both ripped into laughter. Sam smiled, hesitantly. There was silence on the other line, before, “Noted. So, Sam, how do you like it at Eville Medical? I see your contract is up soon. Let’s see if we can push forward the paperwork to ease you into being full-time.” Lisa looked at Sam and unmuted the speaker.

“Umm… I love it here. Yes, umm… yes!”

Linda and Lisa both smiled.

Linda motioned for Sam to be quiet before Lisa launched into it.

“Here’s what I want. Your employee has disrespected someone under my watch. I don’t take kindly to this sort of behavior. My people know this and they follow my leadership in part because of this trust. If they make a mistake, they learn. They grow. I only punish for actions that are knowingly negligent. Such as this. Is this the first time we’ve talked about Steve’s behavior, Addison?”

“No.” Lisa smiled and continued.

Sam looked around the executive office in a daze as Lisa directed the conversation. Her future was single-handedly being guided in this conversation. Lisa looked at her and smiled. “…Sam is to be treated, by your company, to expense a high-end dinner for her family valued between $100…”

Her boss Linda was enjoying every word of this.

Lisa commanded respect within the department and treated everyone respectfully. Her office was meticulously organized. Diplomas on the wall. There was enough personality to show that she was human, too. “And,” in a voice that nearly shook the walls, “an apology from your boss for your oversight.’

‘Now, is this understood, recorded, and actionable, Addison?”

“Yes.” “Good, because apologies mean nothing without forward motion. When we fall, we pick ourselves up, and move forward. Is this clear?”

“Yes, ma’am.”
“Get to it!”
“Yes, ma’am!”

Lisa pressed the end call button and looked at Sam. “Don’t let stuff like that bother you, otherwise, this professional life will eat you alive. People like him are bullies. They get off on controlling their victims. All I want from you is your best work. If you’re not feeling it, give it your best shot. You’ll do well here as long as you’re honest with us.” Lisa motioned, as if lighting a cigarette.

Linda continued that thought. “It’s a moral thing, really. You didn’t deserve that.”

Sam looked down at her hands, then out the window.
“T-thank you.” She might have been sweating.

“No, Sammohini, thank you.”
“Welcome to the family!”

Sources: Image searches and imagination.

Quotes: Interactions this week with people at work.

Inspirations: Professional experiences exaggerated, amalgamated, and distorted.

Related: Part 1 “It Concerns Me” and Part 2 “Ten Years Ago V.”

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.