Part 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.