So I’m sitting at work, shopping for shoes online instead of working. I found a nice pair of Pradas on sale. Shopping always cheers me up. What can I say, I’m a product of my culture.
As I’m online Margo pops into my office/cube/cell with a cheery, “Morning, Mackenzie!” I almost have a heart attack and quickly switch to the spreadsheet that I should be working on.
“That doesn’t look like work…” she says, sipping her Odwalla.
“No, it does not, but I assure you it is,” I say. “You almost made me pee my pants.”
She smiles and I forget about Hydrangea for a minute and just bask in Margo’s beautiful Margo-ness. She's wearing a black V-neck sweater over a white Oxford shirt and a snug skirt.
“That sounds like a personal problem.” We talk like this, it’s our interpersonal paradigm, this superficial banter.
“I’m sure you didn’t come down here to discuss my bladder.”
“No, I did not. So listen,” she says in a slightly lower voice. “That project I mentioned the other week? Are you up for it?”
“I don’t know what ‘it’ is.”
“I can’t really say…” she says.
“How coy. Is it the QuantumWorks thing…?”
That’s the secret project that the people up on 9 are working on. They’re sequestered from the rest of the company behind security doors and always have catered lunches brought to them. It’s some kind of “blue sky” software development think tank or something. There’s a lot of rumors and speculation about it around the office, but I’m not really interested as there are no super-villains involved.
“I can’t really say,” she says again.
“Let me get this straight: you want me to sign up for a project, but you won’t tell me what it is.”
She grins. “Right.”
“I’d have to clear it with Dragon Lady first, and that’s not likely…” Dragon Lady’s my boss. You don’t get a nickname like Dragon Lady for being huggable.
“We already cleared it with her.”
“Well, I’ve got projects…”
“Make somebody else do it.”
“I don’t know, Margo…”
“There’s a substantial bonus,” she says.
“Great!” She hops to her feet, happy. “We’ve got a meeting on Friday at noon, I’ll introduce you to the steering committee.”
“Friday? That’s the day after Thanksgiving, I was going to go shopping.”
She rolls her eyes. “You’re such a girl, Mackenzie. Shop after the meeting. I’ll send you a meeting request in Outlook. Hey, and don’t tell anybody.” She points a finger at me, momentarily serious.
I cross my heart. “No ma’am.”
Margo grins and waves as she leaves with a flip of her hair. “Thanks Mackenzie! You’re the best!”
I have to admit, I am curious.