Heather was upset. It’s been seventeen years since she started working at the firm, and she deserved better than this. She was fed up with how Ruth and the others were treating her and how they always sucked up to Fred, who was terrible at his job, but because Fred had this banal way of talking to people, they would just give in to doing things his way instead of wasting another minute listening to him talk. Heather was ok at the beginning covering up for Fred, but after the Burton incident, she knew that Fred would throw her under the bus if he had to, so ever since then, she made it a point, with an exclamation point! to provide due diligence to all her clients. Fred eventually caught on to what Heather was up to and, in order to save face, he started spreading rumors about her. They were little ones at first, like how she has having a bad hair day or how she didn’t know what ganache was. Giggles and odd looks from the secretaries didn’t bother Heather at first, but when she found out that she was being left out of important meetings and that clients were diverted from her to Fred, her temples burned and her heart sank.
I am way smarter than this, she thought, on her way to meet Mia in TriBeCa, I know way more than the other associates. Sure it was okay at first to not get the recognition she deserved. Heather’s midwestern sensibilities kept her modest and stopped her from gloating. But it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and she was stupid enough to think that she can just sit around and expect the praises for all her good work for the firm come rolling in. Instead, she laid there like a lost sheep just waiting to get eaten alive by the all to eager wolves in her office.
And that’s exactly what happened. It’s been happening slowly, steadily, right in front of her very eyes. The CEO wouldn’t reply back to her emails directly, she didn’t even get invited to the office Christmas party. Not that I care, she thought, but it would have been nice.
When she saw Mia at their favorite cafe, Heather felt the pain in her heart leave. The furrow between her brows disappeared and her face was back to its old cheerful self.
“How’ve you been, girl?” asked Heather as she greeted Mia with a kiss on the cheek.
“Oh, can’t complain, you know same old stuff goin’ on. How’s everything with you?”
“I just can’t stand it anymore!” Heather blurted out. She just exploded right in front of Mia. She couldn’t share anything at all how she felt at work because there was no one to confide in. Heather felt better now that it was all out, but her atrocious work situation remained the same.
“Girl, you’re going to have to find another job.”
“I can’t. There is no way any of those monsters will give me a good reference. They’ve even turned my clients against me.”
“Can’t you just change careers?”
“Doing what?!?” Heather asked in complete exasperation.