Saturday, July 25, 2009


"Can I come to your home?" she asked, brown eyes sad. I paused in my hurry toward my next meeting and turned to face her with concern.

"Of course," I replied, glancing around the corridor before focusing on TinyFriend again. "What's wrong?"

"Everything," she sighed and I reached to pat her arm. I told her to come when she was ready and I'd make something for dinner. I greeted her when she knocked at my office door about an hour later. "Can we go now?" she asked and I blinked with surprise, glancing at the three email windows I had open and winced at the two presentations and four spreadsheets that starred on my FW30 Tasks list.

"Of course," I replied again wondering what in the world had happened. "Let me shut down and pack up real quick." I tossed my computer and some notes in my Vera Bradley bag - which I do like very much - and slipped its bright blue strap over my shoulder. "Let's go," I whispered with a grin when I arrived at her cubicle.

We stopped at the store and bought ingredients for pasta. We cooked companionably - I watched with interest as she made carbonara as I worked on salad and bread.

"I know," I replied with a sad smile, glancing up from slicing a tomato when she told me she was going home. "Your family and boyfriend are there. I assume the local team made you a good offer. So it's back to Europe with you." I paused and handed her a Kleenex. "TinyFriend," I sighed. "We'll miss you very much, but it's good to do what's right for you."

"I am very sad to leave," she sniffled and I nodded, changing the subject to why she would be happy to return. It's all in the perspective for bittersweet situations.

I was cleaning the kitchen after she went home, rinsing plates and tucking them in the dishwasher and scrubbing pots and pans. Chienne and Sprout waited expectantly from either side of the open kitchen, hoping for leftovers to be tossed to the floor. I glanced around and realized I'm not looking to move on. For the first time in my life, I feel settled. I'm happy with this location. I adore my house and neighborhood. I am not waiting to move on to what's next - working on some 3 year plan of how to get out of here and do something else.

"I want that for you, TinyFriend," I told her the next day. "And I think you're both smart and brave for moving toward it."


He always speaks to me when we pass in the hall. We tend to agree on matters important and irrelevant in meetings we've both attended and my approval of his short tenure in my little corner of Industry has been noted by many of my colleagues. I think he's doing a good job. What's more, I like him.

"Shall I stay at my desk?" I replied to his email when he set up a web/teleconference for an upcoming meeting. "Or may I join you in your office?" I do enjoy my space - I've cleaned and reorganized and am quite content surrounded by my things - but I grow weary of speaking by phone.

"In person is always better," he responded immediately. "Please join me here."

"Happy to!" I typed quickly. "I just wanted to confirm that the teleconference wasn't a 'stay away' message."

"For you? Never." I grinned when I read his reply, smoothing my dress around my hips before adjusting the clip holding my hair back before moving toward his office - far larger than my own.

"Hi," I greeted the three men in the room. I introduced myself to the one I didn't know and smiled at Jacob before directing my attention to the man who began to speak. Jacob asked questions, pausing a couple of times to direct one to me. I stood when our discussion wound down, moving to follow the other visitors out Jacob's door. I paused to answer another of his questions, standing in front of his desk with my notebook held in one hand at my side.

Some thirty minutes later, I was seated across from him at a table in one corner of his office, both of us leaning forward and trading questions and answers, problems and potential solutions.

"Exactly!" I agreed, feeling myself tremble with happy excitement as we discussed stategy. "That's exactly what our team wants to do and we don't know exactly how to go about it!" He offered ideas, tilting his head back and closing his eyes and he sorted through and finally offered three options.

"I'm happy you're here," I told him when I later stood once more. "I think you'll be great and hope you'll let me know if I can help."

"Without question," he replied, nodding. "This was very enlightening and we will continue the discussion soon." My throat tingled. I felt myself blush. My stomach grew fluttery and I nodded giddily.

I wandered back to my office, remembering this sense of infatuation with someone. I was warm and happy and eager to see what came next. I blinked at myself and giggled. It wasn't Jacob - though he is rather sexy. I paused to admit that I have a crush on my job. And while there are components that are frustrating and annoying and very non-ideal, I'm blessed to feel challenged and excited and giddy about stategy discussions with people I like and respect.

So when Sibling and I finished a project after five hours at the office this morning and went downtown for lunch, I nodded when she confided that she hopes to be back on the east coast by FW1, 2011. "I'll miss you," I noted, "because I think you're very good at what you do. But I know you'll be happier there."

I paused for a moment before brightening. "I'm happy here," I told her. "And I'm not going anywhere."

1 comment:

Unbalanced Reaction said...

It's nice that you work with people (TinyFriend) who trust/respect you enough to want to inform you of life changes! Sounds like it was a lovely dinner, too.

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