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Friday, August 19, 2005 

Gather 'round

Ok… comments on the post below necessitate that give I up my day job and become an online gossip columnist. Suits me fine… I have just one question; "what is the pay and can we discuss perks and benefits?" I hope I have not raised expectations unnecessarily and made the story seem juicier than what it really is. Yesterday morning I went to work earlier than usual. I urgently needed to go over the research that had been completed on a bunch of new product concepts. All research is kept in the Marketing library and not feeling up to hauling all the files back to me desk, I decide to make myself comfy on the floor and jot down the key notes and obseravtions on my notepad. Good idea at the time… big mistake in hindsight. The Marketing library is linked to what we refer to as “the creative room”. Here’s where we do all of our creative activities, strategy sessions, brainstorming, concept writing, strategy sessions, storyboards, etc. As I am sitting on the floor and shielded by the shelves it is basically impossible to see me from the creative room. I first become aware of the other ppl when I hear the door of the creative room closing. I sort of straighten my back and see that it is my boss and JN, female, head of Finance department. It is strange for them to be in this early and especially in this part of the building. I am about to get up and make my presence known when he pulls her in closely and kisses her. Fuck me bloody sideways... Now I know the company has a fairly relaxed office policy… but no-one has EVER greeted me like that on arriving at the office. That kiss pretty much sealed my fate. There’s no chance of escape and there was no way in hell I was going to make it known that I am in the adjacent room. So I remain quiet and pray that no one sees me. I want to ignore what’s happening, but at the same time I find it kinda exhilarating. (What is wrong with me?) HE: I missed you so. (hehehe) SHE: I know. I hate being away from you too. (more lip-locking) SO... have you told (insert his wife’s name) about us? HE: Not yet. I’ll do it on the weekend, I promise. The kids will be at the grandparents and (insert wife’s name) and I will be alone at home. This is it… there is no going back. SHE: Oh, my poor baby… Please call me as soon as you get a chance? There’s a lot at stake and I need to know how it went down. Promise? HE: Sure I will… I just wanna put all of this behind us… start a new life. (Add more kissy sounds and a lot more is said… heavy breathing... bleh). The convo is kinda syrupy, innit… and what's with the I miss you’s and silly pet names? How the hell can two senior company execs, stand there kissing and fondling each other? Of course they think they are alone… but why make out at the office? Find a bed, on the other side of town... dammit and leave the antics to ppl like me…. hehe! If I move my head slightly forward I can see them both clearly and believe me I don't like what I see. It is clear they are having an affair that and that it’s been going on for a while. From what I glean, she had already broken the news to her husband and hence the urgency for HIM to do the same. Although she and the soon-to-be-ex are still living in the same house, for all practical purposes they are no longer together. Now this is a woman who’s been married 3 times prior to this… all 3 marriages had ended in divorce after 2/3 years of marriage. And yes… she’s a hot mama… looks amazingly good for her age and oozes sex appeal. (Way to go boss... grrrr!). I don’t know her well, but I hear she is a friggin piranha and there are lots of rumours around about her out-of-office antics. The term “loose” (although I am not entirely averse to such behaviour... grin) may have been mentioned on several occasions. She also has a child, aged five, from husband no.4. It is amazing how much sleaze you can pick up at the Friday afternoon booze-up. He’s been married to the same woman for 17(?) years. They have two kids and the wife apparently has no idea of her husband’s infidelity. By all accounts he is a good guy…. one of the bright sparks on the corporate ladder… well that is until now. I enjoy working with him. He is not my favourite person, but then bosses rarely are. He always talks about his wife and kids and his "newly" acquired sleazy habits come as quite a surprise to me. Midlife crisis, perhaps? Buy a friggin’ Ferrari and get over it is what I say. I feel silly and embarrassed sitting there. My legs are starting to ache, but I am too scared too move for fear of making a sound. It is now far too late for me to come up with a decent excuse for why I had been hiding in the next room. I wish they would stop the bloody snogfest and get back to their offices. Seeing your bosses make out has zero ‘erotic’ appeal. But... wait… apparently there is another angle to the sordid saga. They are also gearing themselves up for a showdown with the board of directors as soon as the affair becomes public. HE: When we go public with the affair, one of us may be called on to resign. SHE: What do you mean… resign? HE: Surely you realise there’s no way we will be allowed to stay on in our current positions as heads of department and as members of the board. Ron (HOB) will not allow it. SHE: I know they won’t be thrilled by the turn of events, but they can’t fire us for that. Surely the board has to vote on it? HE: Yes, and I can tell you now… they will side with Ron. There is no way they will allow two ppl who are romantically involved to sit on the same board. It will be seen as unethical, unprofessional and will affect the decisions made at that level. It will be met with resistance. In some companies, and for the similar reasons, husbands and wives are not allowed to work together, even when they work in separate departments. SHE: I understand. But what if we play our cards right and get the other members on our side? We can campaign for their support in the matter. We beat Ron to the punch and tell the others before we tell him. HE: Are you saying we should go behind Ron’s back and get them to vote in our favour? It is a big risk and could mean both of us losing our jobs. SHE: Oh… come on, it’s worth a try. We make a good team and I am not giving up that easily. I have worked too hard to get to where I am now. HE: Perhaps… I’d prefer to make a clean break and look elsewhere. There are too many HR, political and personal issues involved. SHE: Listen… let’s see how far we can take it. I still say we work on the other directors. In the midst of all this, the last thing I need now is to be out of a job. Things are tough enough as it is. Ssshhh… someone’s coming. Will I see you tonight? HE: Yeah… (kisses her and slaps her on the butt). She giggles. Finally... they leave the room. I hear them greeting someone just outside the door and it closes behind them. Now how fucking soap opera-ish is this bit? Wheeling and dealing behind the Top Dog’s back. Give it up already, cut your losses and get out of here! As for my boss… he should keep his mama on a leash and introduce her to the real world. I wait 5 minutes, gather up my files and take them back to my office. I’ve got more research done than I had bargained for. I fucking hate this and I hate feeling compromised by what I know. Not only do I now know way too much about their personal lives, I am also privy to sensitive information directly related to the company. Understand my dilemma? Screwed if I do and screwed if I don't. And this is the juicy secret I am the keeper of. I feel somehow obligated to do something. I want to don my superhero suit, screw them both over and save the day so to speak. Perhaps I should just mind my own business… complete my special projects and get out ASAP. Anyone got rope?


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