Every morning when I get to work, I make a habit of stopping by the break room and grabbing my morning coffee and bagel with strawberry cream cheese. I stop by Sharon’s desk and have our usual morning gossip talks. She’d fill me in on all the latest drama going on around the office. You know, who’s sleeping with who, who’s about to get fired, who’s boyfriend/girlfriend called the office several times a day, etc. It was almost like a routine for me. This particular morning, she informed me that we’d be getting a new employee to take over Dana’s position. Dana was the Administrative Assistant for my boss. She was fired a few weeks ago for inappropriate workplace behavior. Bump it, I’m not going to sugar coat, sister girl got caught getting it on with the janitor in the downstairs restroom. Two of our employees were on their way to lunch and made pit stop in the ladies room downstairs. They walked in on those two with their pants down; or, should I say his pants down and her skirt up. I can only imagine the level of embarrassment they endured in such a compromising position. Needless to say, I had to be the one to fire her. I was not happy about it. Although she was caught being inappropriate at work, she was by far, one of the best employees we had. She was prompt, accurate and I never had to tell her to do anything twice. It saddened me to have to do that. I saw the shame and hurt in her eyes. It almost made me tear up; however, I couldn’t let my sympathy for her cloud my judgment and ability to my job effectively. It had been almost three months since that fiasco happened and we were in desperate need of some help. When Sharon told me this, I was elated. Not only because we were getting some help, but it actually gave me something to do besides sitting in meetings looking at my boss all day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job as an Executive Chief Financial Advisor, I just hated those meetings. They all sound redundant. The same rhetoric over and over again. It’s draining. We’d sit there all day talking about this or that and still have nothing accomplished. I felt like I was going in circles. I had customers whom I needed to consult with and haven’t been able to because I had to take on two roles. Talk about exhausting! Thank you Lord for strength and guidance, because I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. That little tidbit of news was like the calm in the middle of a storm.
When I got to my desk, I was not surprised by the stack of paper wore strewn about. I was just curious to know what it was. I sat my stuff down and started rummaging through the stack. I instantly felt an anxiety attack coming on. This was a list of all the problem employees and the many merits they’ve received over the past six months. I work at a financial firm and we have a high turnover rate. Don’t get me wrong, the job is as easy as they come. I mean it is mostly data entry, answering customer inquiries via emails and making sure they get a timely response. In reviewing these merits, I have quite a bit of people who have been written up for untimely responses, rude response, not responding at all, or just not even reading the inquiry. It doesn’t take a lot of work to open an email read, the customer concern or question and use the resources provided to give the customer and answer. Of course, there’s a few discipline issues such as excessive tardiness, absences, abuse of PTO or sick time and things like that in there that has to be addressed. I let out a deep sigh and proceeded to place the merits in alphabetical order so I could get this done efficiently. Just as I was finishing up the first stack, my boss walked out of his office “Oh Laresse, you’re here. Just the person I’ve been looking for. I need you to assist me in today’s meeting about the ROTH accounts.” “Mr. Briggs, I won’t be able to assist you today. Apparently, I have some firing to do.” I replied while hinting at all the paperwork on my desk. “Where’d all this come from?” he questioned. “I’m not sure. When I arrived this morning, they were thrown, and I do mean thrown on my desk.” I stated. He walked around my desk and proceeded to sift through all the papers. By his reaction, I could tell he was just as baffled. “Here, let me take these. You should not be doing this. I didn’t authorize you do to anything of this magnitude. Why are there so many merits in here? They appear to be from the same people over and over again.” he scoffed. “Mr. Briggs, I thought you were the one who put these on my desk. I wish I would have known that! I’ve been sitting here for the past 45 minutes organizing these papers and scheduling meetings with you to get this stuff taken care of.” I replied. “You’ve scheduled meeting with me?” “Yes, Mr. Briggs. Seven to be exact. All within thirty minute intervals, consecutively.” I informed him. He let out an exasperated sigh. “Alright, we will handle this first stack since the meetings are already on my calendar. This second batch is going to Mitchell who should have been handling these in the first place. By the way, where is he?” “I’m not sure. I haven’t seen him all morning.” He shook his head in annoyance. “This is getting ridiculous.” he mumbled. “Sharon just informed me that we are getting a replacement for Dana?” I asked, trying not to sound as if I already knew. “Yes, we are. He doesn’t start until next week.” “Well, that’s a good thing. At least it will give us some help.” I replied trying to sound optimistic. My enthusiasm was not received. “Help, yea right.” he scoffed. “The only help we will have is with Jesus. You’re going to be tasked with training him on Dana’s position. I can’t even depend on Mitchell be on time, let alone do simple tasks such as firing problem employees. Pretty soon, we’re going to be looking for a replacement for him.” he continued. I sat back in silence. Although he was yelling, I didn’t take it personal. I knew that his frustrations had nothing to do with me. After a few moments of awkward silence, I suggested we take a break and walk outside to get some fresh air. His demeanor seemed to perk up a bit. “That sounds like a great idea. Maybe some fresh air will help me sort out this dilemma I have.” I grabbed my phone and badge, and waited as he rushed down the hall to grab his badge and lock his office.
After returning from our break, we headed back to his office to prepare for employee one on one meetings. “Now Mr. Briggs, remember we have to keep these short if you still want me to assist you in the meeting this afternoon.” I reminded him. Mr. Briggs had this habit of giving the employees long drawn out lectures on why he had to make the decision to let them go. He’d drill them on the importance of life choices and making decisions not just for yourself, but for others that depend on you. Although they were very informative, they were not necessary. These people are grown! We are not running a junior high school. All of those life choice lessons and lectures should have been comprehended in high school. If they don’t have it by now, they aren’t going to get it. Point blank, plain and simple. “I know Laresse, I just want to make sure they understand that every decision has a consequence.” “Mr. Briggs, you are the Director of a Fortune 500 company, not a Principal at a Senior high school. We have no time to lecture, baby, nor teach grown people about how to be on time to work. Excuse my frankness, but, they learn company policy on day one. They’ll be alright. They figured out how to get this job, they can figure out how to get another.” I replied. If it was one thing I’d change about my boss, it would be his coaching mentality. He ran this company as if he was running a school house. I had to coerce him into changing his ways. He cared too much. Not that there was anything wrong with that. I just feel like there’s a time and a place to care. Work is not a place where I care too much. In all truthfulness, many of these people he cared so much about wouldn’t hesitate to overthrow him just to take his position. The way I see it, corporate America is a dog eat dog world. Every man for themselves. I had few employees who didn’t like me, and I didn’t care. I didn’t earn my position by caring. I earned by position by knowing my role and not letting anyone get in the way of that. I know you’re probably thinking I had to cutthroat a few people, right? Believe it or not, I didn’t have to. I knew what I wanted and went for it. I didn’t have underhand people, I didn’t have go behind anyone’s back, nor did I have to be dishonest. I just simply did what I needed to.
A few disgruntles employees later, I glanced down at my phone and noticed it was almost one o’clock. I suggested we go over to Wasabi’s for lunch. Mr. Briggs agreed, and I exited his office to grab my things. I waited in the hallway. A few moments later, he emerged and we headed down stairs. When we got to his car, he came around on my side and planted a nice juicy kiss right on my lips. I was taken aback. “What was that for?” I asked. “I miss you. I haven’t been able to see you or touch outside of this office.” I glared at him. How dare he? He was trying to play casual as if he didn’t mess up the little office romance we had. You’re probably thinking I “worked” my way to the top. I’ll just say this, it’s never a good idea to assume. The first three letters of that word would indefinitely spell out you presumption of how I got my position. I could go into this long drawn out story about how Mr. Briggs paid no attention to me when I first started. I could even tell you that I applied for my position three times before I was awarded it. I could even go deeper and tell you that I thought he was a tightwad and a stickler, and by far no one I had any interest in dating. But, for what? You’d never believe me. Opinions and assumptions are like buttholes, everybody has one. I will, however, tell you why my hand is itching to slap those beautiful lips right off of his face. I’m not sure whether to call this cheating or getting my karma. Either way, the way he handled the situation was low.
A few months ago, Mr. Briggs or Tyrin I should say, invited me to dinner to go over some last minute details on a project we working on. Now, here I am thinking this was just going be some innocent working and employee engagement. Boy was I wrong. I had not expected him to be blowing my back out later that night. The sex was amazing. I had to have more. We had sex any and everywhere we could think of. I think I might have worn him down. At any rate, he wasn’t complaining. After a few months of us messing around, he called me into his office to tell me that we needed to tone things down, because we were starting to look obvious. I agreed, and kept my distance as long as we were at work. When we were not at work, it was completely different story. I had gotten used to our “scheduled” lunch meetings. Anyway, one morning when I arrived, there was a woman sitting at my desk. I asked her who she was and who was she looking for. “I’m looking for my husband.” she replied. “Who is your husband? Would you mind moving out of my chair? This is my desk.” I said, trying to mask the annoyance in my voice. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” She quickly got up and walked around to the other side. “My husband in Tyrin Briggs. Would you happen to know where is office is?” I almost choked on my water. I stared at her for a moment. I don’t want to gloat about sleeping with a married man, but, I can see why he was cheating. This woman was no bigger than a pencil. She was almost anorexic. She had long red curly hair and freckles on her face. She was fair-skinned with large buck teeth. I was surprised she was able to close her mouth. Truthfully speaking, I actually found her quite amusing. I tried to compose myself before answering her. “I wasn’t aware that Mr. Briggs was married. He’s never mentioned anything about having a wife or family.” I countered. I noticed her demeanor became timid. She diverted her eyes to the floor. If I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought she was crying. After a few moments, she finally looked up. I could see pain and hurt in her eyes. “We’ve been separated for the past three years.” she finally replied. My heart crumbled a bit. Without saying another word, I got up and escorted her to his office. As I opened the door to his office, you would have thought he seen a ghost. All the color left from his face. He was like a deer in head lights. “Mr. Briggs, your wife is here to see you.” I announced. I stepped aside and motioned for her to have a seat. I asked if she needed anything before exiting the office. Now you’re probably thinking how can I be so calm and collected after just finding out my lover for the last six months was married. Well, it’s simple. There’s a time and a place for everything. Although this was the time, this most certainly was not the place. Heck, I had rent due next week. You think I was about to fly off the handled at work and risk losing my job and ruining my reputation? No ma’am! I calmly collected my things and left for the evening. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to function after that. I was furious. I have a strict no married men policy and he knows that. Yet, and still, he looked me dead in my face and lied. “No baby, I promise I’m not married. If I was married, do you think I’d have all this time to spend with you? You are all I’m focused on right now.” I mimicked. Boy I tell you, men sure do know how to talk a woman right out of her panties. It almost sickens me how stupid and gullible we can be at times.
I had to rub my hands together to keep from smacking him. “Have you lost your mind?” I bellowed. He looked befuddled. “Don’t look at me like that! You know darn well, I don’t do you anymore! After that stunt you pulled a few months ago, I am no longer interested in you!” I spat. “Baby, I have apologized on so many levels and occasions, I am not sure what to do anymore. I brought you flowers, I gave you jewelry, I bought you a car (which you don’t drive), I even paid your rent for the whole year! I don’t know what else to do. I miss you and really want us to work.” “Us?” I interrupted. If he think he was about to buy me, he had another thought coming. I am not a hooker, stripper, prostitute, or call girl. I am not up for auction. You can’t just shower me with gifts and think I’m going to be swooning all over you. I am not a material girl. “First of all Tyrin, when I asked you were you married, what was wrong with the truth? I mean that would have been key to this whole thing working out.” “If I would have told you I was married, you wouldn’t have gave me time or day.” “Oh alright, so you thought lying to me was the best solution?” “Well, it worked. I got you.” he reminded me. Alright is it just me, or did he just straight up play me? “Listen, I didn’t mean to lie to you-” “But, you did! There is no such thing as an accidental lie Tyrin!” “So, you’re not going to let me finish?” “No, I’m not because there’s nothing you can say to me that will make sense. I was almost about to be in love with you. I’m glad she showed up when and where she did.” I sneered. He stood there smirking at me. I hated when he did that. He knew his dimples were my weakness. My boss was a tall brown-skinned brother who stood about 6 feet 2 inches tall. Handsome as ever! He had the body of a God and a smile that will melt the panties right off of you. His smooth skin and neatly kept beard did not add to the situation either. If I wasn’t so upset with him, I’d tell him to forget about that meeting this afternoon and attend a meeting in my bedroom. “Why are smirking?” I asked trying to sound annoyed. “You.” he replied coyly. I smacked my teeth and rolled my eyes. “Can you unlock the door so we can go on to lunch and come back.” “I’ll unlock the doors if you unlock something else.” Alright, now he was just plain making this hard. He moved in closer to me and stared me in my eyes. “Come on Tyrin, I don’t have time for these games. I have work to do.” “I know you do, an so do I.” he replied while planting kissing on my forehead. His kisses were so relaxing. I tried in vain to push him away. It didn’t work. The smell of his cologne had weakened my demeanor and I loosened up a bit. I felt his hands start to roam my body and I instantly smacked them away when he got to that “sacred” place. “We can’t do this here. You know that.” He moved back and motioned for me to look down. My eyes widened. The bulge in his pants was enough to make me scream out in ecstasy right there. “Get in.” he said while opening the door. I complied, intoxicated by his kisses. Lord this man was about to send me into overdrive.
Stay tuned for the next chapter….