Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Replacements

The next day at work I had a full day planned and wasn’t entirely looking forward to it. Since Vicki was let go I had to start scheduling interviews with potential candidates to fill her position. Finding Vicki was a chore by itself and I celebrated after I hired her. I knew that it would be a long day so when I got to work and checked my e-mail, I realized it was probably going to be a lot worse than I had expected.

I had an e-mail from Kevin asking me to meet with him in his office when I got in. I grabbed my cup of coffee, took a deep breath, and prepared myself for one of the most awkward situations I expected to ever have in my life (and considering that I had to have a conversation with two people about how they were being fired for having sex on our copy paper last week, that’s saying something, right?).
I timidly knocked on the door and waited for Kevin’s invitation.

“Come in.”

“Hey, Kevin, I just got your e-mail. What would you like to talk about?”

“Uh, well….I just wanted to put it out there that I really don’t want you to have to feel awkward or self-conscious about what happened the other night. I mean we were two complete strangers and I’m prepared to be completely professional about it and not let it affect my perceptio nof you or your work.”

“Uh...well I guess this means I’m off the hook for having to call you?” I said trying to break the tension. He laughed, shook his head and thanked me for my time.

Finally my mind was at ease and I walked back to my office with a different outlook for the day. I had three interviews to take care of and the first one wasn’t due for about an hour, so I stopped by to talk with Dina and Suzy. They were in their shared office talking about George’s mysterious exit from the paper. Suzy is the Entertainment writer for the Newspaper and Dina’s job is to help research and investigate source tips that come in.

“Hello ladies.”

“Faith, you’ll never guess what the new theory running around the office is,” Suzy loves to hear about all the office gossip which makes her job as our Entertainment writer more fitting.

“Yeah, it’s a doozy,” Dina wasn’t as much into the gossip, but she worked with George fairly closely and much longer than most of us so she was avidly trying to figure out why he left too.

“No one’s been able to get a hold of him or his wife but Hector, the blonde guy who works in the mail room, said that George was at the grocery store and had a sparse amount of groceries in his cart. Based on the contents: A jar of pickles, microwaveable pizza, and beer; we have come to the conclusion that his wife has left him,” Suzy finished with a glance over to Dina and a head nod.

“Well, “ I began, “That’s really unfortunate….if it’s true. He probably just needs some time to deal with whatever is going on, I’m sure it’ll turn out okay for him. Anyway I just came from Kevin’s-“

“OH! You’re so lucky! Isn’t he super hot? His eyes are gorgeous and he has a great smile,” Suzy always did have a flair for judging our male employees. I smiled and looked at Dina, who heartily agreed and bragged about getting to send more time with him than Suzy. I bid my friends adieu and went to prepare for my interviews.

Unfortunately, none of the potential secretary candidates fit the credentials:
The first one was a young teenage boy with facial tattoos and an affinity for vulgar words, the second was a woman who brought her very old and nervous dog with her, and the third was an older gentleman who used his entire interview to compliment my breasts.

On my way home from work I stopped by a bookstore and noticed a guy checking me out from one of the opposite aisles. I smiled and went to purchase my book when he came up to me and introduced himself. His name is Dean and he seemed really sweet, I gave him my phone number and we decided to get some coffee this weekend. I’m really looking forward to this weekend, now, first shopping with my friends and then a date. This day went a lot better than I thought.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Today at work we had a meeting with everyone on staff, I immediately cringed and began expecting mass firings. Everyone was going nuts about whether they would get to keep their jobs all last week when the rumors started and at the meeting the mood was full of anxiety and worry.

The head of the sponsor-board for the newspaper walked into the room (all major decisions are voted on by the board because they provide the money that keeps the paper alive) and everyone suddenly became silent with his entrance.

“Good morning everyone, as some of you may have heard changes have been planned for our newspaper, changes that will hopefully take it to the next level. George has stepped down as Editor-in-chief due to personal issues and we have his replacement here to meet with all of you. Ladies and Gentlemen: This is Kevin . He starts tomorrow.”

A dark haired man walked into the room and I immediately blushed and looked for a way out of the room. It was the guy I’d made out with the night before! At least I knew his name now.
All the employees spent the next half hour drinking coffee and eating the fruit platters catered by one of the local restaurants and mingling. Of course, the point of this meeting turned meet-and-greet was to get to know Kevin but everyone was really trying to figure out why George had left. Suzy and Dina were talking to me about it with a mixture of confusion over George and relief over still having their jobs.

“Do you think his wife has cancer again?” Suzy said with an air of concern.

“No,” I said, “I have no idea why he left, he seemed perfectly fine when I spoke with him yesterday.”
After a few more theories about why George left I thought I should introduce myself to Kevin more, uh, professionally and sidled over.

“Hi, I’m Faith, I’m your head of HR, welcome to our paper,” I said as I extended my hand.

“Hey, Faith, it’s nice to see you again, I’m Kevin,” he smiled and shook my hand and we awkwardly tried to make small talk until the meeting ended.

This should be interesting.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Girls Night Out

After my horrible week at work, Zoey decided to arrange for a girls’ night out with all of our friends. I met Anna, Elise, and Zoey at one of our most favorite Italian restaurants for dinner.

“It’s been awhile, guys, we should do this more often,” Elise said as she started munching on the free garlic bread. We all agreed and made sure to make some more time next week to go shopping.
I didn’t want to talk about work but inevitably started to talk about the rumors going around the water cooler.

“I think there are going to be mass lay-offs with the paper.” I said, looking down at the tablecloth.

“Why? Your paper is only one of the few that haven’t experienced huge losses,” Zoey said as she poured some more wine for Anna.

“I know, but the head honchos have been asking for a ton of employee files lately and they don’t normally do that unless it’s time for the annual evaluations. We finished those a few weeks ago so this isn’t a very good sign."

“Well, maybe they just want to make sure everyone is on their toes. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to start cutting a ton of jobs. Besides there aren’t a lot of non-essential people, right?” Anna said as she touched my shoulder.

“I guess you’re right, but something’s going down. If it’s not a large amount of lay-offs I don’t really know what they have planned.” Just then our food came and we started discussing Elise’s last modeling job over lasagna and cheese ravioli.

Elise works as a model for one of the agencies here and always has the funniest stories about the male models she works with. She has blonde hair and a model’s physique, but she doesn’t do anything for it. She could eat a fried horse and lose weight. We’re all only a little jealous. Okay, maybe a lot. Anyway, Elise dates a lot of male models too and generally has a lot of ex-boyfriends because of it. She tends to date the wrong kind of guy, but we love her anyway.

“..So then this male model, his name is Redford by the way, took off his shirt and asked for my phone number, cause that doesn’t say ‘I’m full of myself’.” Elise was gushing about how hot he was and totally stuck up.

“So did he call?” Zoey said with a smirk, already knowing the answer.

“Uh, we’re going out tomorrow night…” out entire table started laughing, getting disgruntled stares from other diners.

We decided to leave the restaurant and go to a bar down the street to dance and catch-up over drinks. After we ordered we grabbed a booth near the back and Anna started talking about work. Anna is the nicest person I know. We went to college together with Zoey and she works at the same magazine as her as the fashion director. She married Theo about two years ago and he works as a doctor. They met in college and are so ridiculously cute together that Elise, Zoey, and I always sigh and giggle and wish we could find someone like Theo. Anna has brown hair and the most perfect dimples you could ever imagine. She’s not into fashion as much as Zoey is but often has better clothes because she decides what stock the magazine should keep or “get rid of” (which actually means: give to Anna). She shares in the wealth, though, my wardrobe is about 45% of designer clothing just from Anna.

“Yeah, they’re probably going to ask us to clear out some space for next season, soon, so I’ll keep my eye out for you guys and let you know what I’m able to take from wardrobe. I have a big announcement, too.” Anna said looking at us all, “Theo and I have decided that we’re going to start trying for a baby.”

Congratulations and hugs went all around, Anna said that they’ve been trying for a few weeks and nothing has come of it, but she’s hopeful. Anna will make such a great mom. After catching-up for about an hour I decided to strut my stuff on the dance floor. By that point I was a little tipsy and dancing with a random guy I pulled onto the dance floor.

Overall, it was a fun night and I’m really excited to go shopping with my girls next week, it’s been so long. Oh, and it might have been a little more fun than I had anticipated considering that I made out with that random guy for about 30 minutes before Zoey pulled me off and took me home.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I plopped down on Zoey’s couch absolutely exhausted from the week I’d had at work. It was our Friday night ritual that we did every week to check-in with each other’s lives. Zoey was a little late because a photo shoot she was directing went long so I kicked my shoes off and drank my glass of ginger ale. Before I knew it I had fallen asleep and was being woken up by Zoey walking into her apartment carrying a pizza box and grumbling about one of the models she had to work with.

Zoey works for a fairly large fashion magazine as the creative director for the photo shoots and always has tons of stories about model meltdowns and crazy outfits that make me laugh. She has wavy red hair and has a killer fashion sense because she gets all sorts of freebies from her job. Her voluptuous figure is definitely something other women could be jealous of and not to mention the shoes she owns.

“Okay, there’s something wrong, you’ve only eaten three slices of pizza. What’s the deal,” Zoey refilled my ginger ale and looked at me with her deep green eyes.

“I had to fire two people at work today,” I said as I laid my head down on her lap.

I love my job and the only thing I don’t like about it is having to fire people. I’m the head of the HR department for a medium-sized newspaper and we have a strict policy on co-worker dating. Employees are allowed to date but absolutely no PDA is allowed during the workday between employees. As an HR rep, I have to enforce the office policies and it sucks when I have to write someone up let alone fire someone for not complying.

I had a ton of filing to do and ran out of staples. When I went to the supply closet to get some more, I opened the door to find two of our employees going at it on the reams of paper that had just been delivered. I had to fire them on the spot which made for a very awkward situation as they were clearing their desks. Vicki had been one of the employees I had to fire, she was our new receptionist and I had been having a hard time filling the position. I was elated to find that she was such a great fit for the position and hired her immediately after her interview. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who took such a liking to her. Eric, our sports writer, was her partner in crime and was also fired.

Zoey and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. Ah, the joys of being in HR.

When I finally went home filled with pizza, I noticed that the name plate on my neighbor’s door had been removed. The small family that lived next door to me for the past two years were nice enough and I never had a problem with them. When they started talking about having trouble making ends meet after the husband was laid off and the possibility of moving I was truly sad. Now that they’re gone the building seems kind of empty without the sounds of children playing coming through my wall.