Last Time …

It was the day of Amelia’s presentation to the Board. She had recovered from the attempted sabotage and things had gone smoothly. Zoe and the Board were impressed.

Meanwhile, Richard was waiting nervously in the boardroom at Madigan MacDougall and Gould. He had been summoned to a confidential meeting by the founding partner, Brady Madigan.

When Amelia returned to the office, her cheerful demeanour confused Christina and Chantal, and they became more troubled when Amelia unexpectedly called a team meeting for later that day.

Little did they know, Amelia was on her way to speak to Zoe about the sabotage. Let’s find out what Zoe had to say.

———————————-

‘Congratulations again on a great job today,’ Zoe said warmly.

Amelia forced a smile. ‘Thanks, and thanks for seeing me on such short notice.’

‘Not a problem. I’ve got 15 minutes,’ Zoe replied.

‘Okay, I’ll get straight to it. I found what I suspect were deliberate errors in the figures provided for the board presentation.’ There! I’ve said it now. No going back from here, Amelia thought.

Zoe’s face clouded over. ‘What?! Are you saying there was sabotage … who … not Christina?’

‘She’s the prime suspect, though I don’t have concrete proof yet.’ As Amelia spoke, Zoe’s expression hardened.

‘I’m disappointed in you Amelia, making such a serious accusation without proof,’ Zoe said scornfully. ‘You’d be better served getting on with it than focusing on this petty rivalry with Christina!’

‘I assure you my concerns have a solid basis and are not related to anything personal.’ I could’ve said that better, Amelia said to herself.

‘Okay then, deal with it,’ Zoe snapped.

This wasn’t the response Amelia had expected. ‘Ah … yes of course, I’ll deal with it. I just wanted to keep you informed.’

———————————-

Amelia paced the floor of her office muttering to herself. ‘Damn! Now I’ve got Zoe offside, and Christina to contend with!’ She stopped pacing and took several deep breaths. ‘Come on be positive Amelia! You can handle this. At least it can’t get any worse. Calm down. Think.’

Her phone buzzed. ‘Hi Yolanda … hmmm … did she say why?’ Amelia’s face had turned red. ‘Give me five minutes, then bring her in.’ She cursed to herself as she replaced the handset.

At that moment, a text message came through on Amelia’s cell phone. I hope it’s Richard, she thought.

I’m sorry for contacting you this way. I REALLY need to talk to you – it’s about the board presentation. 
Can we meet somewhere away from the office? TODAY!

Chantal

Yolanda knocked and opened the door. ‘Christina Matejka for you, Amelia.’

Amelia looked up from her cell phone, nodded at Yolanda and indicated to Christina to take a seat.

Christina sat on the edge of the chair. ‘Thanks for seeing me, Melia.’

‘You said it was urgent?’ Amelia leaned back in her chair, rested her chin on her fingertips, and waited.

Unsettled, Christina rushed to speak. ‘I was archiving the board presentation this morning and took another look at it. I found a mistake … a serious mistake in the numbers.’ She waited for Amelia to interject but she didn’t, so Christina continued. ‘The forecasts were based on the wrong historical numbers, which means they’re inflated by fifteen percent. Do you know how serious that is? It means …’

Amelia cut her off before she finished. ‘I’m well aware of how serious it is, Christina. Continue.’

Christina scanned Amelia’s face intently. ‘I’m sorry, it’s just, I was gutted when I realised. After all, I vouched for the numbers.’

Amelia nodded impassively. Look at her squirming, she thought smugly.

‘Well, that’s just it, I’m sure they were right when I checked them. They seem to have been changed between then and when I gave you the final draft.’ Christina paused for dramatic effect. ‘I think Chantal changed them … deliberately!’

———————————-

As soon as Christina left the office, Amelia’s cell phone rang. ‘Hi honey. Ah, it went perfectly, thanks. Hmm … yeah, I’m pleased, really, I am. What’s happening with you? How’d it go with Brady? Hmm … I don’t think I can wait until tonight; I’ve had enough suspense for today.’

Richard was looking out of the window across the cityscape to the Global Industries Tower. ‘Well okay, you know how they’re restructuring? Well there are going to be some head-count reductions …’ He paused as Amelia interrupted. ‘Honey, calm down, calm down. There are also some new positions, and they’ve appointed me as Senior Counsel in the International Law practice.’

Amelia replied distractedly, ‘That’s fantastic honey. I’m so proud of you.’

Richard had noticed her tone. ‘You don’t sound so happy about it. Geez! I’ve bent over backwards to support your career. You could at least muster some enthusiasm for mine!’

Taken aback, Amelia tried to repair the situation. ‘Ah, of course I am! I’m proud of you, and thrilled you’ll finally get to work in your specialty. It’s just …’ Amelia swallowed her words – it wasn’t the right time to vent about her day.

‘It’s just what?!’ snapped Richard.

‘I’m just tired honey, it’s been a big day. I AM proud of you! Hmm … see you tonight. Love you, bye.’ Amelia suddenly felt exhausted.

What would you do if you were Amelia? What advice do you have for her? Please share your thoughts and any constructive comments in the section below.