Chapter 21: Working Girl
On Monday morning Jeannie stopped for a moment to inspect, her new desk, on the way to her boss’s office.
She noticed the intercom system had been connected and a large computer screen mounted on top of her desk over the week-end.
She had gotten there early like Jonas requested, but even when she arrived the two men were already waiting for her in his office. Jeanie knocked but the door was open, Zach called her in and then introduced Jeanie to the Regional Trainer.
Tom also had red hair like hers, but his looked more orange, than actual red, and his was curly, like an afro. Immediately he started up with the compliments, and then more aggressive. She thanked him and tried not to get embarrassed. Jonah’s desk was nothing like Jeanie’s, she thought his would be much more sophisticated but instead it was just the opposite, it was less modern and more traditional.
Jonah’s desk didn’t even adjust from a sitting position to a standing position. It was bigger like an old oak desk that her teachers used to have when she was in High-School.
It looked very heavy, like it was but made of black oak and not of aluminum, plastic and glass like hers. She had Janus all wrong, and even thought there was a mixup and except for the color, maybe he had her desk and she had his.
Why would he choose such a simple, bulky and unimpressive design???
But on his desk, he did have the same intercom, built into it like hers. They were going how to use it together. First on hers and then on his. The company did have a commercial internet T1 band, which was standard, but there was also another internal internet (intranet), that did not have an Outside connection, it could download information, but nothing could be uploaded, this was for security purposes.
They called this a “Firewall” Server.
This was an attempt to stop or prevent company espionage, leaking or hacking. The intranet terminal was restricted to Janus and a few other; Jeanie herself did not have access to it.
Zach and Jeanie both practiced the same basic exercises on each desk, but when she noticed that it took Janus a little longer after the demonstration, she slowed down to match his pace.
It was important for Jeanie to learn some on his desk in an emergency, and it was a slightly different routine on his.
When they moved on to Jeanie’s desk it had an option to move it from a sitting position to a standing position, but for some reason when she tried the same movement, it was stuck.
“Hold on, Jeff the red-headed trainer said, as he came up from behind her while she was still bent over and spooned her from behind, Jeanie immediately tried to casually shift her position outside of his hips, so that they were not touching.
Janus off to the side, noticed everything, but pretended not to, and even moved in next to Jeanie to try and help her.
“Thank you, Jeanie said, smiling, but avoiding the trainer’s eyes and moving as far away from Tom as she could without being obvious.”
“Zach spoke up in a calm friendly voice, it’s been almost two hours, we don’t we take a break, Tom?”
“Sounds great, Tom agreed, are we allow to smoke outside.”
“In the back, Zach said casually.”
“Jeanie, can you show me where the back lot is, I not familiar with the layout of the building,
I was going to have her make me some coffee, Janus interceded, “Just take the first elevator down the hall to the first floor, turn left, there is a security guard behind the desk, he can point you in the right direction.”
“You don’t smoke, Tom asked Jeanie?”
“I gave it up for my husband, Jeanie replied.”
“Well he’s a very lucky man, Tom replied cool as a cucumber, and then he walked away.”
When Tom was gone, Zach said to Jeanie, hold up on that coffee for a second, huh Jeanie, and then he waved her over to his office.”
Then he gently closed the door behind him, to make sure they could talk in private without being heard, “Sorry about that, Zach said in a normal tone.”
Jeanie waked in and sat in the chair in front Zach’s desk, adjusting her skirt, she was desperately trying to hide how upset she was the way that man embarrassed her, right in front of Janus, her boss, and on her first day!!!”
“Are you okay, Zack asked, handing her some tissue,” Jeanie took the tissue and nodded trying not to cry.”
I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it, she said.
Oh, really that’s not what I saw, he disagreed, after today I’m going to put in a request that they send us another trainer in the future.”
“No, Zach, please, I don’t want any trouble, Jeanie begged him with tears in her eyes, this is my first day.”
“And his last, I can’t have a man like that work in this office, not only did he disrespect you, but me as well, Zach said, embarrassed the hell out of both of us.”
Maybe it was just a joke she said?
Not a funny one then, and not appropriate in the workplace, I’m sorry but my mind is made up.”
“You didn’t hire him, Jeanie asked.”
“No, he doesn’t even work for the company, he’s some contractor sent over by corporate, I have never met him before in my life. He was supposed to be here by nine, but he came him early and tried sneaking around the building until security caught him.
Jeanie started laughing. If I had known the type of guy he was I never would have allowed corporate to send him in the first place.”
“Zach maybe were just over-reacting, Jeanie said.”
“Just keep it together for another two hours, and lunch is on me, Zach promised.”
Well then, I hope you like lobster, Jeanie warned.
Lobster, whoa, whoa, Lobster is expensive, Jonah laughed.
It’s just as well, I don’t think my husband would approve of me having lunch with the boss with asking his permission first.
Tell you what, how about if you order lunch and I pay for it, but I don’t like lobster, how about pizza instead?
Pizza sounds good; should I have it delivered in the cafeteria, Jeanie asked?
You can eat yours in the cafeteria or at your desk, I don’t care but bring mine to the office, so I can eat thru lunch, I’m swamped with a ton of paperwork, he said.
Jeanie smiled, “It’s a deal.”
“I order in all the time because I hate eating out, and I avoid doing it whenever
I can, Janus said.”
“Do you know how to cook, Jeanie asked?”
“I know how to microwave, Janus replied.”
Jeanie laughed again. She was starting to feel better.
“I feel so bad for men who don’t know how to cook, Jeanie said.”
“Why Janus asked.”
“Because I think that men need to be looked after, sometimes when I go to the grocery store and see a man shopping for himself, I want to cry, maybe it’s because of my material instinct.”
“I had to grow up very young, so I became very self-sufficient, Janus said.”
“You did, Jeanie asked?”
“I didn’t have a mother growing up, Janus replied.”
“Oh Janus, I’m so sorry, Jeanie stated,”
“No, it’s okay, I just meant that it’s all I’ve ever known.”
Jeanie could not stop herself from asking,
“You didn’t have a mother, thru your entire childhood, she asked?
Suddenly Tom opened the door abruptly without knocking. He just opened the door as if he was trying to catch them doing something they should not have been.
“What are you two kids doing in here by yourselves, I can’t leave you alone for a second can I?”
After Tom was gone and Jeanie ordered lunch and Zach didn’t have any papers on his desk, so she decided to have lunch with Zach in his office after all.
He opened the large rectangular window of his office so that everybody facing the office could see what was going on, and what wasn’t. Janus even left his office door open, Jeanie wanted to pick up where exactly where they left off before Tom, interrupted them, “I wanted to thank you again for helping me with the trainer, Jeanie said, when I was in high-school, I had a terrible experience with another male student and my boyfriend had to rescue me from as well.
I grew up with an older sister and she studied to be nurse, when I was older she would tell me about how difficult it was to be a female in a male dominated profession, Zach started.”
“But I thought nursing was a female dominated profession Jeanie asked.”
Let me elaborate, Nursing is a female dominated profession as a specialty, but the medical field is under the worst male supremist on the planet -doctors.
She told me that a professional woman has to work must work twice as hard to make half as much Janus said shaking his head.”
“The world is changing, Jeanie sounded hopeful.”
“Not fast enough for me, Janus finished.”
“Well if there was one thing you could change about it right now, what would that be, Jeanie asked?”
“Jeanie the world was spinning before I was born, and it will be spinning long after I’m gone, but now that I’m at an age where I know I’m not going to live forever I wish I would have make a real difference in the world instead of just making money, that’s a wasted life, Janus said.”
“Your still young Janus, Jeanie asked smiling, and hope springs eternal.”
Jeanie was studying him, admiring his beauty like he saw in so many other’s women’s eyes before her.
Zach laughed, I’m just rationalizing for the lack of progress that I had projected for myself when I was younger.”
“Janus, you cannot punish yourself as an adult, because you did not live up to the expectations that you had for yourself when you were a child, she said wisely.”
I know, I know, I just don’t know how to stop myself, he said.
Well, first you have to realize that unlike an adult, a child, does not know how the world really works, they have no idea what there up against, Jeanie explained.”
Janus paused and almost dropped his plastic fork, he studied Jeanie, “Tom was right about one thing, your husband is a lucky man.”
When Jeanie got home she immediately told Mark about having lunch with her boss, and Mark thanked her for telling him, kissed her on the lips, and asked, “He didn’t get desert to, did he???”
Jeanie had taken off her blouse and threw it on top of his head, it caught and covered his eyes as well. It reminded Mark of the time his mom had done so long ago, the first day Jeanie had come over his house.
Jeanie pulled her blouse off when he refused to pull it off and put her hands in front of him flailing like a blind man instead.
She pulled it off and kissed him playfully on top of his head instead.
I love you so much Mark said admiringly, before you I was blind, he said smiling.
“Do you think we can help him, Jeanie, Mark asked?”
We, what do you mean we?
Do you remember when you asked me that first day what he was like, and I said shy?
Yes, I remember.
Well I think it more that, he seems out of place, like someone who doesn’t’ know how to relate to people.
“Mark, you know how I get when I see a man alone, and he so desperately pathetic it looks, worse than that is that he’s the only one who doesn’t know it.
Jeanie, you don’t know anything about this man, you know better than to get involved in other people’s problems, you’re going to wind up getting yourself fired.”
“Please don’t say that Mark, Jeanie begged.”
“Look, you don’t even know him a month, it’s not your business to take care of him, you have a husband, remember?”
I know that, it’s just that I think him asking me his opinion is an attempt to be friends. He moved from another state, he doesn’t have any family, he’s the boss so even thou he must get along, he can’t make friends with the people who work for him.
And I suspect that he has trouble relating to people as well, I’m the person that he happens to have the most contact with, otherwise he might have nobody. I really feel sorry for him Mark.
Look Jeanie, I know you want to help, I do, your intentions are good, but to a lonely man will try to take advantage of that, especially if he’s the boss. You don’t know anything about this man, you are asking for trouble, Mark finished.
Do you think that we could have him over for dinner one time, just so you could see for yourself?
What about the luncheon, next Sunday.
The luncheon, I almost forgot, it this Sunday, this will give you a chance to meet him for yourself, I want you to give me your honest opinion.
I think you getting involved is a bad idea, the Mark kiss her on the forehead, then turned over to sleep.
That night while Mark was sleep, Jeanie took her laptop to bed with her and she started looking up office arrangements and modern designs for businesses with commercial furniture.
Jeanie had some great ideas, especially with contrasting. Tomorrow would be Saturday and Mark had to work until three. Ever since he was promoted to his new position he had to work one Saturday a month and the schedule rotated so this Saturday was his. Jeanie made him breakfast, kissed him goodbye, and then she double checked the pictures she selected and organized them from what she thought looked good from best to least.
Jeanie had some great ideas, especially with contrasting and more than one office pictured had a theme like Janus. It was Saturday and Mark had to work until three.
He told her that she had to drop some stuff and work and then go shopping at the mall.
Ever since he was promoted to his new position he had to work one Saturday a month and the schedule rotated so this Saturday was his. After the house was clean Jeanie would go to one of her yoga classes or go shopping at the mall, so she didn’t have to stay home alone.
Jeanie made him breakfast, kissed him goodbye, and then she double checked the pictures she selected and organized them from what she thought looked good from best to least.
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