She is leafing through a thick file of documents: ’which ones are to be photocopied for Alex before passing them on Dunaev? It’s not her fault to be ignorant. She was sent on this job without any instructions about Alex’s requirements.’
She removes the locket from her neck and starts taking photos of the documents. ‘Most of them refer to oil. This she can understand. Gas is essential for one’s travels, needful for cars and planes. Even if walking is highly recommended for a girl to keep in shape nothing beats a ride in a Lamborghini chauffeured by a glamorous man.’
She gives a start hearing the door open.
“Boris is asking why you are so late to bring him the documents. He has to go through them before the meeting.”
“Irina! I didn’t know that you were back!”
“There are many things you don’t know, Magda! For example that Mr. Dunaev sets very high standards on his staff and that you won’t last long unless you try harder. Oh, what a pretty locket! May I put it on?”
“You may not!” Magda snatches Irina’s hand in flight, gathers the documents and goes forth to let her boss’s wrath fall upon her head.
“You have taken time, Miss Horvath! As you are just starting your work here, I’ll be indulgent with you but don’t let your bad office manners become a habit! A propos, you look gorgeous even in formal clothing. Now show me the correspondence; is there anything important?”
“I am sorry, Mr. Dunaev, but I am in dire need for some guidance to separate the important from the trivial.”
“Hear, hear! I was expecting Alex Severn’s employees to be well-trained professionals. Stop it, Magda, who would cry over so little? You may go. Don’t forget about the three o’clock meeting. I hope you can operate a recorder! You do? Great! See you in the conference room.” He snaps.
She pulls her jacket tight about her shoulders and straightens her skirt. Hasn’t she sworn to herself never to behave like her mother collapsing like a house of cards whenever a man was cross with her?
Feeling like a soap opera starlet stranded in a James Bond movie, she glares at the recorder; will she ever be able to operate it? Her dependence on Alex sickens her. Her love for him made her to his slave.
’Love! This joke always gets a laugh! Of course it sounds better than freeloading!’ She shudders. Right now she has no time to ponder over her feelings or her competencies. The recorder will work! Period!
’The next problem is whether she will be able to summarize the meeting and to discern the items important for both of her bosses. She will succeed! Somehow! She always did when it went about saving her skin.’
Heaving a sigh Magda enters her office and finds Dunaev’s lover cum secretary Irina installed at her desk, no more her rival but a badly needed colleague.
“Not that easy to be a secretary, is it, Magda? Sit down and I’ll try my best to teach you at least the elements of the trade.” She says and they both lean over a thick wad of papers.
“Sorry not to be of greater help. What I told you are the essentials that should get you started. I wish you luck!” She says after some time as if she really meant it and maybe she does.