Hello. So you’ll probably notice I’m not sticking to my plan whatsoever. Here’s another chapter. 😀
Chapter 3 – Making a Change
Monday, December 5th, 2011
“I’m going to make a change, Karma.” I say before sipping my gingerbread latte. Every Monday morning we pow-wow at Starbucks a few blocks from the office. Treats and lattes are the only way to begin the week.
She freezes. “You’re not leaving Sunny News are you? Please say no.” She squeezes her eyes shut.
“No, I don’t want to leave, silly.”
“You don’t want to leave? So you’re leaving or you’re not? Which is it?”
You can’t have a staring contest with Karma. She’ll beat you every single time. Her intense glare doesn’t break until she’s satisfied with the answer given.
“Well it all depends.”
“I’d like to move into a different area at Sunny News. Or possibly have a dual role.”
She sits back in her seat and slouches. “Why, though? You don’t like our Marketing division anymore?”
“Our Marketing division? Karma, this has nothing to do with you or the department. Honestly.”
“Don’t shake your head at me, young lady.” She jokingly scolds me as if I’m a petulant child. “What do you want to do then? What department do you want to transfer to?”
“Don’t laugh but…”
I can’t help it – she makes me laugh! “Alright. I want to write a fashion column. You know something weekly or biweekly.” I tense for her response.
“Oh.” Her countenance reflects surprise and her posture relaxes.
“Yeah. Are you mad?”
“No way. Not mad. Relieved. I hear Joanie from HR is trying to recruit you. At least she mentioned that to Eric a couple of weeks ago.”
“Karma, were you eavesdropping again?”
“Na, I happened to overhear.” She shrugs her shoulders innocently. “I couldn’t handle it if you worked for Joanie. Joanie Baloney. Ick. That whole group is preppy and goodie-goodie. They think they’re better than everyone else in this company and they’d force you to ignore me. You’d definitely stop talking to me.”
I laugh out loud. “You are insane. And terribly rude too. Even though you do crack me up with the whole Joanie Baloney thing.”
“Yeah well you know what they say: Karma’s a bitch.” We giggle in agreement and order dark roast coffees to go.
As soon as we log into the system at work I decide to approach Eric about my plan.
“Good luck, Lucy.” Karma gives me a big hug even though she knows I’m not a hugger. “I know, I know. You don’t like hugs but that one was for luck and in this case you need it.”
“Thank you. I suppose I could use all the luck I can get.”
“Yes. And remember, I taught you everything you know. Don’t forget about me.”
“Never. How in the world could I forget you? You’re my best friend.”
“That’s right. There’s no getting rid of me. Bwa-ha-ha.” She snickers.
“I’d like to write about fashion.” I position a December copy of the trendy InStyle magazine on Eric’s desk along with a drab copy of Sunny News’s miniature fashion section.
Eric doesn’t bother looking up from his computer. Typical.
“You’re in the Marketing department, Lucy. Last time I checked the Marketing team doesn’t write about fashion trends. Besides, that’s quite a stretch don’t you think?”
“With all due respect, Eric, I’ve worked here for over five years. I’m always on time. I never call out sick. I’m ready for something new. I do a fantastic job and you know it.”
“I do know it. That is exactly why you should stay right where you’re at.”
“But I need something different and challenging. I’m passionate about fashion and style. Isn’t there someone you can talk to? Maybe slide in a good word for me?”
“What about Karma?”
“Karma is fully capable of running that entire department on her own. We can always hire a temp if necessary. We’re due for a new hire in the Marketing group anyway since the workload has increased. And, by the way, Karma is due for a big fat raise. Does anyone recognize the work she has done with that department throughout the last seven years?”
“Lucy.” Eric’s forehead creases with consternation. Goodness, he’s so serious.
“I highly doubt the VPs will accommodate any unplanned changes this late in the year. Come talk to me again at the end of our second quarter.”
“Second quarter? End? That’s more than six months away, Eric. What about the first quarter?” I place my palms on the top of his desk. “Are you for real?”
“I’m glad they taught you how to count in college. Otherwise the Marketing department would be in a tremendous amount of trouble. And yes, I am totally for real.” He’s mocking me. He rises from his desk, adjusts his suit jacket, grabs his iPad2, and a travel mug of steaming hot java. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m late I’m late I’m late.”
“For a very important date…” I mumble. Alice in Wonderland right?
“What was that?”
“You leave me in an angry state.” It’s official. I’ve been hanging around Karma for too long.
“Lucy, I don’t know what to tell you. Get over it. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re extremely talented and gifted when it comes to marketing. You and Karma are the cleverest marketing duo I’ve seen throughout my time in this industry. Okay?”
“Oh stop worrying about Karma. She’s a genius on her own. Just give me a name, Eric. Come on. One name and I’ll do the rest.” Alright, we’re reaching DEFCON 3. I use my most beseeching tone, tilt my face a little to the side, and gaze at him with my most desperate look. I work the batting eyelashes technique. Sometimes it works. Most times it doesn’t.
And? He sighs. I have him. Once you get the sigh you know there’s a good chance you’ll get what you asked for. He sighs to make you think you are really pushing your luck and hopes that you’ll take it as a sign that you’re going too far. In reality he’s trying one last time to say no while knowing his efforts will be wasted.
I continue to stare at him. “Eric? Who can I talk to? One name, sir. Please?” I clasp my hands together as I beg.
“Rhodes.” Eric says as he’s half way out the office door.
“Wait. What? You said Rhodes?”
“Get back to work, Lucy.” And he’s gone.
“Rhodes.” I tap my lips with my index finger. “Who is this Rhodes?” I ask the empty office.
I pick up my magazine and paper and hurry back to my desk. “Hey!” I put my hand on Karma’s shoulder. She obviously didn’t hear my swift approach because the donut of the day flew out of her hands and onto the floor.
I look down and then sniff the air. “Pumpkin?”
She blows the floor dirt off the donut and says, “Five second rule. And yes – a pumpkin donut you almost wasted in your attempt to scare the crap out of me.”
“What kind of icing is that?” I grab a donut hole from the box.
“It’s a glaze and it’s only the most remarkable and pleasurable concoction of orange buttercream!”
“No way.” I toss the mini into my mouth and my taste buds are momentarily hypnotized by the heavenly flavors. “Oh … my … goodness. OH my …” I close my eyes and moan low. “That is deeply orgasmic.”
“I know. I’m blogging about it right now. I’m using that description, by the way. Anything you say here can be used in my blog.”
I giggle. “What – the ‘oh my goodness’?”
“No, dipstick, the ‘deeply orgasmic.’ In fact, I’m going to add an orgasm rating on my blog! Gah! You see?” She motions between our heads. “We’re linked. I knew it the moment we met. Same wavelengths. Sisters separated at birth.”
“Oh hey, before you immerse yourself in your fanatical donut realm, do you know a Rhodes character?”
“Yeah. Don’t you?”
“Uh, no?” I wheel my chair closer to hers. “Tell me all about him or her.”
Karma pulls up the company directory. “Rhodes is a ‘him’. Keep up.”
“Oh, so sorry. Please do pardon my ignorance.”
Karma raises an eyebrow, “And I thought I was sarcastic. Anywho, he’s fairly new and I’ve only run into him by accident in the elevator. He keeps to himself a lot I’ve heard. He was definitely not a talker when I came into contact with him.”
“Does Mr. Rhodes have a first name?”
“James. I’m downloading his ID badge pic now.”
“I know a few things.”
“Karma, really, these donuts are utterly delectable.” I eat two more in the time it takes for the picture to download.
“Nice. I’m using that too.”
“Stop stealing my words. I might need them.” I elbow her arm to enforce my weak threat.
“Lucy, stop abusing –“
“Wow. That’s Rhodes?”
“Yeah he’s kind of cute.”
“Kind of? He’s hot! And you never told me? Tsk tsk.”
“We don’t even know if he’s single.”
“We don’t know if he’s single … yet.”