Let’s see what’s happening with Jaime, our Tattoo Girl!
This post is standalone, but if you’d like to read earlier installments, please see links at the end of this post.
In Nathan’s last week at OfficeCo, they offered Jaime the shift lead role. Temporarily. This was in an email from HR, an email that included a helpful list of duties and responsibilities. There was even a note at the bottom of the email about a slight (temporary) increase in salary. Someone at HR had an eye for detail, Jaime thought. Well, at least it was all spelled out. They got points for that.
She had overnight to decide if she would take the role. She decided to talk to Mr. Mittens about it. She put on some Herbie Hancock, poured a tall glass of iced tea, and sat on the couch near Mr. Mittens.
“Well, now,” she said. He watched her with languid eyes, as though measuring her mood: was she nervous, upset, thoughtful, questioning? In the liquid of his saffron eyes she saw the reflection of her thoughts. It was strangely comforting.
He stood, stretching, then yawned, and from his padded window-shelf he crossed the small space onto the back of the couch behind Jaime and plopped down onto the cushion next to her. His two front paws were placed on her lap, the picture of contentment complete.
“I don’t see myself as a manager,” she told Mr. Mittens. It wasn’t a bad place, but she could feel the fear in the pit of her stomach. She was not worried about living up to the management role – she’d be able to figure that out, no sweat. the fear was about sliding into the chasm of becoming something she did not want to be. Something she did not want to be sucked into.
But there was the rent to pay, food to buy, utilities, and . . .
“It’s only temporary,” she said to Mr. Mittens. She stroked the soft fur on his head. His purring chest vibrated against the muscles of her thigh.
“A few weeks.” She could use the time to look for something better, she knew.
“Just a few weeks.” She took a long drink of iced tea, the cool liquid chilling her throat.
“It might not be that bad,” she told Mr. Mittens. It might be a good thing. Nathan will be gone, and better her than someone else in the shift lead position. Maxine, for example. Maxine had been hired only a couple of months ago, but she’d gotten on Jaime’s nerves almost immediately. The “know-it-all” type.
Jaime swallowed hard. With Nathan gone it would be hard to work under someone like Maxine.
“It will be hard without Nathan,” she said aloud. For some reason the cold drink had made her even more thirsty.
I don’t know, I don’t know, she thought. I don’t want to be at Office Depot for the rest of my career. I don’t even really want to be there next week.
She looked down at Mr. Mittens. He looked up at her, still purring, his eyes conveying something. Affection? Maybe he was just hungry.
She stroked his thick fur, running her hand from tip to tail. He curled his tail in a clear expression of affection. She felt the knot in her stomach loosening.
“Well, it’s something,” she said. “I’m definitely going to start looking harder for another job. But for now, it’ll be better to take over for Nathan than to be working for Maxine.”
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