At one point I’d always imagined my life going a certain way. But, the choices I made years before ordained that I would be left with only one.
Graduate from college. Get a junior mechanical engineer position at a manufacturing plant somewhere (because working anywhere else would draw too much attention). Work my ass off and eventually make my way up the ladder to be the Engineering manager running things.
However, being that life has a way of never working out the way you imagine, even the life you forced into. It happened as such.
After I graduated I found myself dreading being stuck in a factory in the corner of the world making things, after all, it had never been my dream, so what the hell.
The prospect of living that life just didn’t interest me anymore.
Consequences be damned. -ish
I decided after 5 years at MIT and a degree in engineering (I never wanted.....) that I Kylie Montgomery needed ....heck! Deserved a career change. Again.
And, that is how I ended up working at Cointel logistics as my neighbors PA. Yay for me.
“It’s dyeing again Ky. Please, you have to help me.”
Patricia did one thing all day. Moan.
She moaned about things not going her way ALL DAY. EVERYDAY. She was beginning to annoy me and would probably drive me out of this job if I let her.
“Did you double-check to see if there’s any paper?” I ask while typing out the memo that Brain plopped on my desk and said: “email out to all heads.”
In his “I’m not your neighbor right now, I’m your boss” voice.
I held in the question of why he didn’t send it himself especially if he had the time to type it out and then print it. A miracle considering the malfunctioning filter between my thoughts and my mouth.
That moment thank god, I remembered I was just the PA.
Who by the way, was seriously starting to think her boss didn’t have any work for her so he tried really hard to create some.
I saw my days as PA to Brian Rogers Port A manager coming to an end much sooner than I expected.
After all, Brain would only be able to create so much work before he decided that it was too much work for him altogether.
Ironic I know.
For now, though I had other problems like Patricia and her machine hypochondria. It was the fourth time this week the poor machine had “acted up”, it was probably just as tired of her as I was.
“Did you check the ink cartridge levels?” I ask re-reading the newly typed memo.
“Yes. And yes. It’s broken I’m telling you” she says hitting the side like it’s a vending machine.
I cringe as I recall the loose screw I’d left inside the last time I opened it up. Tightening it made it jam the paper constantly, a rigging I assumed was left by the copier company to insure they kept getting call-outs.
“It’s gone this time. I’m sure of it.” We say together.
Her out of a habit she developed when she saw my resume along with my MIT engineering degree and I, out of the habit of hearing her say it for the fourth time this week.
I write in the team heads email addresses and copy Brain, then hit send. I make my way to Patricia’s desk and just as I’m about to open the cartridge door. A lady dressed in a fancy black pants suit walks up to us.
Patricia stops talking.....a miracle in itself.
“You Kylie?” Fancy suit lady asks. Looking directly at me. “Ah yeah,” I say and see the scowl beginning on her beautiful face,
“A Stiffler for rules. Just great” I think to myself.
“I mean yes, can I help you with anything? Mr. Roger has gone...”
“I don’t care about Rodgers I need you. Come!” She interjects turning around to leave.
Patricia and I exchange a look. I turn away and scowl not at fancy suit lady but at the fact that Patricia and I actually share a moment.
A thought occurs to me then.
“Maybe waitressing isn’t as bad as Clark made it out to be”.
“Hurry up!” says fancy suit lady not even bothering to look back.
She expects obedience from a lowly PA. So definitely a higher up as Tracy likes to refer to them. We make our way to the elevators get in and she presses the 8th-floor button. My brain goes into hyper-drive.
Why would she be taking me to the managers and board member’s floor?
Oh god, do they know?
Am I going to find a boardroom filled with Feds?
“The problem with keeping secrets, everything makes you suspicious and jumpy” my mom had once said to me.
We stand in the elevator in complete silence. Only, the thoughts in my head are far from silent. I start picking at the lint in my pullover, an awesome find from the thrift shop two blocks down from our apartment building.
As we exit we bump into a very angry looking Mike Tel. The brother of the Co-founder and CFO of Cointel.
“What is going on in the boardroom? And why won’t Henry or Sebastian tell me anything about it?” He demands.
Fancy suit lady looks at me. “Stay put” that look says. They step away from me and talk for a few seconds then fancy suit lady motions for me to follow.
“Bridget, you tell them that I deserve to be told about what’s going on. I’m a member of the Board too.” Mike Tel says grabbing Bridget’s arm.
My brain jots down under Mike Tel,
One. Severer anger issues
Two. Superiority complex by the sound of it.
What also doesn’t escape me is the name he used, Bridget. There’s only one Bridget who could work on this floor.
The CEO’s very own personal assistant.
I’m about to say something to him about manhandling women when Bridget leans into him and whispers something in his ear. Mike’s face turns beet red, and suddenly I need to know what secrets he’s keeping that Bridget has leveraged over him. There was a time where no secret was safe from me. Seeing this situation makes me miss that. The thought of secrets makes me remember the few that I have stored away and I break out into a cold sweat.
What is happening in the boardroom?
Why do they want me?
Could they know?
I stop short. Unable to move or breathe. They can’t know my brain recites over and over.
“Are you okay? We need to move. This is important.” Bridget says sounding a little like Siri.
“Why do they want me?” I ask out of breath “And specifically who wants me?”
“You will find out in there, let’s go.” She says again this time I can hear the urgency in her voice.
I take the first step. “Whatever this is, I can deal,” I tell myself.
I take the second step.
“I made it this far, I will make it further! And besides, maybe jail isn’t as bad as people make it out to be?”