Attaché


Note: This is a short piece for a challenge in which I take part on LinkedIn. As always, I’d be happy to receive input from my readers here.

Wiki Commons, Public Domain

Wiki Commons, Public Domain

Harriet extracts her feet from their high heels and slides them into the slippers waiting in the entryway.

“Tough day at the office?” calls Lisa.

“Yeah. What gave me away?” Harriet heads toward the kitchen where her partner is preparing dinner.

“You don’t usually take a full 30 seconds to unlock your own front door.”

“Good point.” She bends over to plant a kiss on Lisa’s upturned mouth.

“Dinner’s almost ready. Open a bottle of wine and take a load off. Then tell me what happened.”

Opening a bottle of her favorite inexpensive red, Harriet pours a glass for each of them. She perches on a stool at the bar and takes a swig from her glass. “New intern.”

“What makes this one so bad?”

“Jackson’s one of those greasy brown-haired boys, full of himself as you can imagine.”

Greasy brown-haired boys were the bane of Harriet’s existence through most of grade school, until she hit a growth spurt and the bullies stopped bothering her. By high school, most of those boys were football players who would have given anything for her to give them the time of day.

Lisa listens patiently to Harriet’s new-intern woes. “Maybe he won’t be as bad as you expect,” she assures. “Don’t blame him for someone else’s crimes.” Harriet changes the topic.

At work the next day, Harriet finds hours worth of busy work to keep Jackson hopping. She’ll show the little prick who’s the boss. He reminds her of the bullies-turned-football-players in high school, happy to charm her now that she is six feet tall and buxom.

“Jackson,” Harriet calls to the intern who is multitasking by scanning documents on the auto feed while filing months of paperwork. “If you don’t hurry, those documents won’t be ready for the meeting.”

“I’ll have it finished in time, ma’am,” Jackson replies politely. Turning toward her, he adds, “May I sit in on the meeting? If I learn more about the situation, I could be more practical help to you.”

“Look, Jackson,” Harriet snaps. “You’re an intern, not an attaché, and frankly, I’ve had briefcases more competent than you.” The wounded look in Jackson’s eyes startles her. She regrets her comment but resists the urge to apologize. Lisa’s right. She needs to move on.

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