Between Her Bosses:Box Set(4)

By: Sadie Black

Like a newly imprinted chick, I follow behind her into a sprawling boardroom, dimly lit with rows of pot lights. The wall of windows wraps around the corner of the building, giving a feeling of floating above the city. Splashes of silver sparkle in the enormous granite table surrounded by at least 50 leather chairs.

“Where should I sit?”

“Any place you wish,” that smile, it makes a chill run up my spine. “If there’s anything you need, please don’t hesitate.” She clip-clops from the room, kicking her red bottom heels up like she wants the world to see them with every step. How much does she get paid? I try to picture a world where I can afford to buy my own pair of Louboutins, but I don’t have a good enough imagination.

The head of the table is the perfect place to sit, I feel like I’m sitting at the end of an airport runway when I look down the black table. Ok, let’s snap out of it there, CEO. Time to fill out this book of paperwork. A few forms, my ass. I guess I should get used to it, this is my career. Career. It feels so incredible to finally be able to call my job a career.

I scan the first page. It says my job title is Administrative Assistant Level III. Well, isn’t that fancy? Annual Salary: $120, 000.00. There’s no way. Ok, take a breath, I search the sheet,

        Name: Kadeesha S. Williams

        SSN: 572-64-0315

        Job Title: Administrative Assistant Level III

        Annual Salary: $120, 000.00

There’s no way. No god damned way. I’m waiting for the numbers to transform, to swirl on the page, into the $25K I was expecting, that I was looking forward to. I jump up, trying not to tremble as I open the door and walk back over to the main desk.

“Finished already Miss Williams?” I ignore her creepy smile.

“Uh, sorry, no. I just have a couple of questions. I believe there must be some sort of mistake, I don’t have the right paperwork.” I hand her the file.

For the first time her expression changes, she looks utterly distressed. “The wrong file? Oh my goodness, let me take care of that immediately.” Shuffling through the paperwork, she raises an eyebrow. “Miss Williams, why do you suspect that this is the wrong file, everything appears to be in order here.”

I can barely breathe. I can barely swallow. “Really? Um, even the salary?” Surely she’s made a mistake.

Her eyes flit over the number with complete disinterest. “Yes, Miss Williams. Everything is in order,” she stresses again, sounding irritated though that smile has reappeared.

“Well, thank you for clarifying that.” I grab my paperwork and go back into the boardroom. All of a sudden, filling out forms has never been more interesting.

“And this will be your desk,” Yvonne holds up her hand like a model showcasing the winner’s prize on a game show. It’s beautiful, solid, rich wood with a brand new Nozama computer larger than my television on the top. A headset and cell phone are on the corner. “Of course, as Mr. Lawson’s personal secretary you will need to be available at all times. The cell phone is expected to be on your person day and night, in case an emergency should arise.”

“Of course.”

“Here is your security badge, you will have to swipe it to gain access to the elevator. Please, take good care of it. It contains all of your employee information. Think of it as your passport for Nozama.

I’m nodding, but trying to see into the office that my desk guards. I wonder if Dimples is in there right now? I should get out of the habit of calling him that, even just in my mind.

“Well, I believe that is all for today, Miss Williams. You are required to be at work to report for duty at 8 am sharp. Oh, there is one more thing, you have been given a clothing allowance, which I believe you will find sufficient. You are expected to meet or exceed the company dress code.”

Is she sneering at my clothes? I can see the flicker of disgust in her eyes as she trails her gaze over Charday’s nicest gray skirt and my pinstripe blouse.

“Of course,” I repeat, taking the thick envelope from her dainty, well manicured hand. “Um, may I ask if you have any suggestions about what kind of clothes I should buy?” I’m embarrassed to ask, but there’s no way I want to jeopardize any of this because I’m too proud to get some help.