Something is Up

One day Colleen called me into her office.

“Have a seat and close the door please.”

Oh shit.

“So … (she looked as if she was trying to figure out how to say this) do you like it here?”

Oh jeez.

“Absolutely. Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” I said, trying to head her off at the pass. What have I done?

“Good.”  (Another pause). “Because I have a proposition for you.”

Oh … wait, what!?

“I can’t help but notice that you have a lot of other … interests.”

Clueless, but suave to the end, I calmly replied, “Uh … yep.”

She leaned back in her chair, crossed her legs primly, put her hands behind her head and looked directly at me. This lean (stretch) had the immediate effect of lengthening her 5’ 2” torso and emphasizing all, and I mean all, of her prodigious curves and the look left me gasping (which I cleverly covered with a sudden and deep cough.)

Oh, my God. Whatever happened next would determine my entire future. I was sure of it.

“Are you a good actor?”

“I hope so.” (Who was I kidding? I was great and doing some of my best work right then and there.)

“I don’t know if you get paid for these word processing sessions you hold after work‍???????? …”

“If it’s a problem, I can stop. Not a big deal.”

“No, no, no, it’s not that, I just may need you to hold up for this week.”

“Uh huh.”

“Here’s the situation. I’m a vice president at this bank and you’re a temp here and I think I need your help with something that I would rather not become public. Follow me?”

“Uh huh. … No.” (Somewhere a whiny little voice was crying “Mommm-yy!”)

She leaned in and folded her hands in front of her on her desk. As she did so, I mentally slapped myself back and forth and leaned back as she said something else that I couldn’t quite focus on.

“I’m willing to pay you for your time from 5 till 7 for the next three nights if you can help me with this little project.”

“Uh huh.”

“Is that a yes?”

“Colleen, could you just explain the last part again?”

“What part?”

“The part after you said you’re a vice president and I’m a temp.”

“Are you alright?”

“Sure … Is it hot in here?”

The phone rang and she answered it. Saved by the bell! Since I was a word processor, that wasn’t my job, I had made sure of that. She signaled that she had to take the call and said that we’d finish up when she was done.

When I got back to my desk, Irene whispered, “What’s going on?”

I flopped in my chair and said, “I’m not sure. Something about working late this week and a special project. I have to go back when she’s done on the phone and find out the rest.”

No sooner had I said that than Colleen called and I was on my way back, closing the door behind me.

She started, “So, what do you think?”

I countered, “You were going to clarify the project?”

Do you remember back in school when you didn’t know the answer and you asked the teacher to repeat the question? Well, it was kind of like that but in this case, since I was supposed to be an adult, and she apparently needed me for something, she humored me.

“Sure. I have a presentation to do on Friday and I’m rather terrified about public speaking. My next promotion kind of depends on this, so I’m asking you to make me a consummate public speaker in six hours.”

Oh. My. God. I’m alive! Hallelujah!

All’s well that ends well. (I’d say you can quote me, but I’m pretty sure that title was taken by some obscure 17th-century playwright.) She proved to be a very apt student and I didn’t take any money for it. The biggest problem we had was 3 days of role reversals. I’d work until 5 doing the temp thing and then we’d go into her office and the temp became the master. It got to be a little confusing because, at 9 a.m. the next day, the roles were reversed again.

By 6 p.m. on Thursday she just suddenly blurted out, “You’re very opinionated you know.”

To which I replied, “Nah, I’m just good at what I do.”

“I rest my case,” she said.


At any rate, most of the training involved getting her to:

  1. Speak up,
  2. smile,
  3. have fun,
  4. and relax.

Now, if you can smile, you can have fun, and if you can have fun, you can relax. That works pretty much most of the time unless of course, your ship is sinking and you’ve called a meeting to try to get the crew to bail just a wee bit faster.

BUT, she got me thinking about training people. Before I knew it, I had formed a company, made some contacts and started lining up some clients. The relationships I had formed with Colleen and Irene would last for years, but the Temp thing was done.