Last Time …

Amelia’s boss, Zoe, has been given a promotion. When Zoe and her boss, Declan, called Amelia and Christina into a meeting, Christina was sure she was about to get Zoe’s job. Christina did get a promotion, but not the one she was hoping for. Instead, it was Amelia who was promoted to Head of Marketing.

Now Amelia is Christina’s boss.

Christina was seething, but she kept her feelings hidden.

For Amelia, her promotion marks a new chapter in her career. She’s been in the role for a few months, so let’s see how things are going.

shutterstock_38544958Amelia was in her new office late on Friday night, and everyone else had gone home long ago. Monday will be a big day because she’s going to present the divisional marketing update to the Board. Everything needs to be perfect, so she obsessively checked and rechecked, but her concentration was broken when her mobile rang.

‘Hi Honey,’ she said to Richard as she checked her watch. ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realise it was so late … no I hadn’t forgotten. It’s this damn board presentation on Monday … What? Yes, I do have people who should do that for me,’ she sighed loudly. ‘No, no, you stay there, babe. I’m coming now. See you in 15.’

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Meanwhile, Christina, Chantal and the rest of the team have been in Choo Choo’s bar for a while, and the bubbly’s been flowing.

‘I can’t believe that you managed to pull that one off, Tina!’ giggled Chantal.

‘Well, I’ve known Amelia for a while now; she’s pretty predictable and too nice for her own good.’ Christina answered with a smirk.

‘I wonder if she’s still in the office?’ Chantal asked, a tiny pang of guilt echoing in her voice.

Christina looked sideways at her. ‘Probably! She’s pretty obsessive and not very confident, so I reckon she’ll be checking and checking. I left a gift for her in the numbers. I wonder if she’ll spot it?’ It’s clear no pangs of guilt have bothered Christina.

‘Whad’ya mean … gift?’ Chantal answered. Everybody noticed that she looked a bit pale.

‘Ya know, a little surprise. A hidden error to keep her on her toes. Could be embarrassing if she doesn’t spot it.’ Christina’s laugh sounded a little too wicked.shutterstock_171603509

‘Shit, Tina! You can’t do that! That’s … that’s … sabotage!’ Chantal’s tone had broken the party mood.

Brazenly, Christina smiled and raised her glass. ‘I’d like to propose a toast to our lovely new boss. To Amelia!’

A chorus of laughter breaks out and they clink their glasses. ‘To Amelia.’

Chantal joins in reluctantly.

Christina noticed Chantal’s change in mood and thought to herself, ‘I’ll have to watch that one, she might break ranks.’

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Richard sat at a table in their favourite Italian restaurant, La Dolce Vita, alternating between fidgeting with his cutlery, checking his phone and looking around expectantly.

shutterstock_302101553‘She said she be here in 15, but that was an hour ago. This is getting ridiculous!’ he muttered to himself, before he stood and started to make his way for the restaurant’s door.

Amelia walked in and saw Richard walking toward her.

Walking with his head down and grumbling to himself, Richard almost walked past her. ‘Oh, you’re here,’ he said.

‘Yes, I said I was coming. Sorry it took me a little longer to get away.’

Richard was annoyed and can barely contain himself. ‘Hmmm a little longer?! I’ve been sitting here like an idiot for over an hour!’

‘Oh.’ Amelia fell awkwardly silent. ‘Where were you going?’

‘Home,’ Richard snapped. ‘You coming?’

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Back at Choo Choo’s bar, the party was still going. Chantal decided to stick around, but she wasn’t enjoying herself as much as the others. Her mind was still on Christina’s comment about having hidden an error in the board presentation.shutterstock_335717627

‘I don’t like Amelia,’ Chantal thought to herself. ‘I think she’s a stuck up little Miss Prissy who weaselled her way into her job. Giving her a hard time is a bit of fun, but sabotage … that’s a different league. What if she doesn’t pick it up? What if she does?! She’ll look for someone to blame … shit!’

Keesha, the youngest member of the team, interrupted Chantal’s thoughts. ‘Hey Chantal! You coming? We’re heading off to La Di Da to dance off some calories!’

‘Bring it on!’ Chantal replied chirpily. ‘I’ve got my flats in my bag all ready to go.’ However, in the background her mind’s still ticking over, wondering what she should do. ‘Should I warn Amelia? Shit! Maybe not. Why should I help her out? After all, it’s not my problem.’

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Richard and Amelia drove home in tense silence, and she eventually tried to break the mood. ‘Honey, I’m really sorry I left you there waiting so long …’

‘It’s not the first time!’ sniped Richard, interrupting her before she’d finished.

shutterstock_108811079Amelia continued on calmly. ‘I found a massive error in the board presentation just as I was finishing up. It could’ve been a career-killer for me.’

‘Oh shit … I’m sorry honey.’ Richard’s anger subsided. ‘I don’t get it – you’ve got a whole team working for you, so how come you’re back late by yourself? Why didn’t you make them help out?’

Amelia rubbed the back of her neck. ‘We’ve been over this. It’s hard to explain to a man … I just can’t tell them what to do. Being promoted from within the team makes it even harder.’

‘You’re damn right I don’t get it. Women are confusing enough, but at work – geez!’ Richard chuckled, trying to lighten things up.

‘This one’s at a new level. The error I found: I suspect it mightn’t have been accidental.’

Richard turned and saw that her face was white. ‘Hell honey! What’re you gonna do?’

A suddenly exhausted Amelia stared out the car window. ‘I don’t know.’

Both Amelia and Chantal have some hard decisions to make. What would you do if you were in their shoes?

 Please share your thoughts and any constructive comments in the section below.