When I got the job at Global Industries, it was a dream-come true. Zoe, the Head of Marketing, had interviewed me, and by the time the interview was finished I really wanted to work for her. She’d told me the marketing team was top notch, full of dynamic and driven women. And she was right! At last I felt like I had a real career, working in a good company with energized and focused people.

Christina is one of my colleagues, and we clicked right from the start. She’d started at Global nine months before me and has been a real life saver – she really helped me to settle in and get off to a good start. Early on they teamed us up to work on the same product line; we work hard but have plenty of fun, and bounce off each other really well.

We’ve become very close – we call ourselves ‘partners in crime’. Most mornings we ‘debrief ‘over coffee, but I really love our lunch time shopping blitzes and drinks after work on Fridays. Some Friday nights the others on the team come too, which is fun, but it’s always Christina and me at Choochoo’s Bar.

It’s been a successful work partnership too and we’ve been topping the sales figures for the team for a while now. But the main thing for me is that regardless of how tough the week’s been, we’re friends and we can have a laugh at just about anything – especially ourselves! Sometimes I feel like she’s the sister I’ve never had.

Zoe’s let us know that she’s pleased with our performance; she’s also mentioned that Declan, the Divisional VP, has noticed our sales figures. In fact last Friday, I passed him in the corridor and he thanked me for my contribution to our team’s success. That was a buzz – Declan doesn’t pass out many compliments! I was so chuffed and rushed back to tell Christina what he’d said to me.

I was planning on celebrating that night at Choochoo’s with a bottle of Billecart-Salmon, so it was a shame that Christina had to pull out of drinks. I’d even coaxed Richard into being the taxi driver (poor Richard!) for us at the end of the night. So, instead, I went straight home after work and had a celebration with Richard – which turned out to be a good thing because it’d been a while since the two of us had spent a Friday night together.

This morning, after feeling pleased with myself all weekend, I was keen to get in to work and get stuck back into it, but it wasn’t long before things turned to crap. I ended up getting in to the office thirty minutes late – bloody trains!  Something felt wrong as soon as I walked in, nothing that I could put my finger on, just one of those uneasy feelings.

The girls were talking about Friday night and didn’t notice me arrive. From what I could hear apparently they all ‘had a great time’ and someone had been a hoot. I put my bag on my desk, said my cheeriest ‘good morning’ and apologised for being late. As soon as I spoke the buzz in the air evaporated. They all turned back to their computers, and all I got were mumbled … ‘no worries, Amelia’ … ‘it’s cool’.

Another odd thing – Christina wasn’t at her desk, so our usual ‘Monday huddle’ where we plan out our week didn’t happen. I asked the girls if they knew where she was, but they just kept their heads down and shrugged their shoulders.  Things were feeling more and more odd – it was as if a blast of icy air had blown through the office.

I logged on to check that I hadn’t missed a meeting, and as I thought, I didn’t have anything until 10.30 am. Come 10 am, there was still no sign of Christina. I asked if anyone wanted a coffee, but they didn’t, so I decided to go grab one myself.

I went out the long way – to see if maybe Christina was around. As I went up the corridor and towards Zoe’s office I heard my ‘friend’ say my name. My ears pricked, and I stopped just short of Zoe’s door, all I could catch were a couple of snippets … ‘constant mistakes’… ‘Amelia struggles’…‘questionable strategic focus’…‘difficult relationships’ …

The tone of Christina’s voice was hateful. I thought I was going to vomit right then and there! I’ve never heard her talk about anyone like that – not even when she’d told me about the bitch that she’d worked with in her last job. Why would she do this to me? What’s going on?

Now, I’m sitting in the café staring at my coffee cup, trying to get myself together … I don’t know what to do. I don’t even want to go back up there …

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What do you think that I should do?

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