Strictly Business Ch. 01

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Amateur

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Sarah. I’m 36 years old and still single. I’ve never married, not even been engaged. I haven’t had a relationship with anyone since I graduated college fourteen years ago. I was born and raised in a small farming community in southern Iowa.

I attended a small college in my home state graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. Even though I have a college degree, I’ve only been able to attain the level of executive secretary. My firm, based in Kansas City, works on business development and planning. I’ve got the knowledge and ability to do more for my company; I’ve never been given the opportunities.

I dress stylish but very conservative. I don’t overdue my make-up and I get my hair done every Saturday morning at a local salon. I try to always look my best, especially at work. I’m a very introverted person, don’t have any real friends. Besides reading, work is my only real interest. I live in a fairly small apartment in an upscale complex not far from work. Let’s face it; I live a really boring, drab life! Don’t you agree?

My boss, a recent college graduate, is very pleasant and great to work with. He attended college on a baseball scholarship. He’s inexperienced in business to say the least but he has recognized my knowledge and skills. Mr. Robbins, Jack as he prefers to be called, has admitted his reliance on me. I prepare his daily schedule, reports, research and review with him the things he needs to accomplish. I don’t bring him his coffee, straighten his tie, feed him stupid compliments and a lot of the other silly little things some secretary’s have to do for their bosses.

Mr. Robbins married his college sweetheart, a cheerleader type I‘m guessing. She’s visited the office a few times. She’s always been friendly and very nice towards me. A lot of executive’s wives feel their marriages could be threatened but some oversexed secretary. I’m sure Mrs. Robbins doesn’t feel that way about me. I think Mr. Robbins has related to her his reliance on me to help him achieve success with the firm.

“Sarah, would you make reservations for two rooms for next Wednesday through Friday in Denver?” Mr. Robbins asked me on morning. “And book a flight in business class also”

“Sure, but don’t you mean one room with two beds, not two rooms” I inquired.

Jack laughed, “No, Jennifer’s not going with me on this trip, I need you to go instead”.

Most executives in our firm take their wives with them on business trips posing as their secretaries so they can write the whole thing off as business expenses. Jennifer, Mrs. Robbins, had made several trips with Jack in the past.

I was a little startled at the news. I’d never traveled on a business trip for our firm. The real secretaries were left piles of work to complete while their bosses were away. I bit my lower lip as I walked back to my desk to make the arrangements for the upcoming business trip. I’ll have to admit I was excited about getting to travel and attend a business meeting with other executives but also a little apprehensive. I don’t really know why, I just was.

The first part of the week was spent preparing for the business meeting in Denver. Mr. Robbins gave me as much detail about the meeting as he was aware of. I gathered data and research materials, downloading them onto both our laptops. I wanted Jack to be prepared for ataşehir escort bayan anything we might be asked.

“What’s your address, I’ll pick you up in the morning and drive us to the airport” Jack asked.

It never dawned on me that my boss didn’t have any idea where I lived. I gave him my address and directions.

The night before our trip, I barely slept. My excitement over attending the meetings was just too hard to put out of my mind. The next morning I got dressed in one of my business suits, something I always felt comfortable in. Mr. Robbins was right on time. He knocked on the door to my apartment and I let him in. I started to pick up my suitcase but Jack insisted on carrying it for me. We walked out to his car, a new Corvette he’d recently purchased. It was gorgeous. Jack opened the door for me and I slid into the leather seats. He was such a gentleman! I’d never ridden in a Corvette so I thoroughly enjoyed the drive to the airport. Mr. Robbins seemed tense about this business meeting. I’m not sure if he was worried or just uncomfortable about meeting his superiors.

The flight from K.C. wasn’t very long. It didn’t seem like we were in the air for long at all. I was a little drowsy from the lack of sleep so I caught a brief catnap on the plane. The company had provided us with transportation to our hotel, where the meetings were going to take place. Again, Jack insisted on carrying my luggage. I carried his and my laptops.

We arrived at the hotel and got all checked in. Our luggage was delivered to our rooms; my room was directly across from Mr. Robbins. Jack mentioned we had time to freshen up before the first meeting. I asked Jack if he’d just knock on my hotel door when he was ready to go. About an hour later, Jack knocked on my door. I grabbed my laptop, Jack had his. We got on the elevator and pushed the button for the ground floor. I noticed Jack take a long deep breath, his forehead slightly perspiring.

“Mr. Robbins, are you aright?” I asked. I was a little concerned about him. Maybe he wasn’t feeling well.

“I’m fine, just wish we weren’t going to these meetings is all” He replied. His voice had a sound of desperation in it.

We entered the large conference room; quite a few of the other executives and their “secretaries” were already in attendance. We picked out two chairs near the middle of the large table and sat down. Mr. Robbins didn’t know anyone in the room, I certainly didn’t either. More people came in and took seats around the table. There weren’t any empty chairs except for the one at the head of the table reserved for the CEO of our firm. He finally arrived, greeted everyone and made a short speech about our business future and where he wanted to see us headed. He asked a few questions and opened for suggestions. Everyone was asked to prepare a rough draft for a business plan for their respective regions. I noticed some of the regional executives roll their eyes at his request. I looked over at Mr. Robbins and noticed his hands sweating, resting in his lap. I was growing more concerned about him. The initial meeting finally adjourned and everyone was invited to a dinner buffet later that evening in the hotel. There would be a “happy hour” before the dinner and an open bar afterwards.

While some of the executives stood around talking, Jack and I slipped out of the room heading escort kadıköy back to our rooms.

“Good damn, I knew this was going to be bad” Jack stated. “What I mess I’ve gotten into!”

I couldn’t understand his statement so I inquired what he meant. He told me he didn’t have any idea how to put a business plan together, even a rough plan. I had to smile a little.

“Well, don’t worry. I can’t whip this project out in a few hours” I bragged.

Jack looked at me. “You can! You’re kidding me, right,” He questioned.

“Nope” I replied. “We can start when we get back to our rooms”

Mr. Robbins gave a big sigh of relief. He smiled and put his right arm around me, squeezing me into him.

“Thank God, you’re here with me. Thank God for that” He said.

The elevator arrived at our floor and we stepped off, proceeding down the long hallway towards our room. Jack said he wanted to call his wife; Jennifer and then he’d come over to my room so we could work on the business draft. About fifteen minutes later Mr. Robbins knocked on my door. I opened it and he came in carrying some cold soft drinks. He’d ordered them from room service. I had my laptop set up on the table in the room. Jack went back across the hall to retrieve his since I told him I need some information off it.

We started with an outline, adding just a few details. As I worked on the project, I found myself teaching him some fundamentals of business planning. He listened intently as I threw out ideas and suggestions. He really didn’t offer much as far as suggestions or ideas. His inexperience was showing but I understood his situation. He’d just not had enough “hands on” experience. The outline went pretty quick. We then started on putting a “rough draft” together. Jack was getting excited seeing how much we were accomplishing. He began throwing out ideas and made some very good suggestions. My fingers started to cramp from all the typing. I suggested we take a short break to give my fingers a rest. He readily agreed. I got some aspirins from my handbag and took a couple, downing them with the soft drink.

Mr. Robbins was standing out on the balcony that overlooked the pool below. I walked out and stood next to him. The fresh air felt good. We watched a young couple in the pool playing around. They were quite affectionate with each other.

“Bet their newlyweds!” Jack quipped. “Jennifer and I used to act just like them”

I didn’t reply to his statement. I just sort of stared off at the horizon and tried not to look back at the couple in the pool. Jack put his arm around me again, pulling me close to him. This time he didn’t release me right away. I just kind of froze, not knowing what to do, hoping he’d ease his grip on me.

“I’m so glad you came on this trip. I don’t know what I’d do without you right now”. He said with a big smile.

I blushed at his statement of appreciation. I’m not used to being given compliments on my work. We stood there for awhile then went back inside to work on the draft. We finished about three hours later, just in time to make the free buffet downstairs. We’d missed the “happy hour” but since I don’t drink it didn’t matter to me.

Jack and I went down to the buffet. There were a lot of people there but the room didn’t seem crowded. We went through the long line of food, Jack insisting I go ahead of him. We sat at a bostancı escort table near the corner and ate. Jack had a voracious appetite, guess he felt like eating since he wasn’t as nervous as he had been earlier. When he finished, well before me, he talked about how much better he felt knowing we’d gotten the rough draft done. I was just as happy, for both of us I guess. Although I felt I’d done most of the work, I wanted to share our accomplishment. Jack deserved as much credit as I did. The CEO made an appearance at the dinner and strolled over towards us. I tried not to make eye contact but Jack was staring right at him.

“Hello Jack, how’s things in K.C?” He asked.

“Fine, just fine” Jack replied. “I don’t think you know my secretary, Sarah”

He introduced me to the CEO and I nervously shook his hand. He asked what we thought of the meeting and his request for a rough draft on a regional business plan. Jack began to inform him of our progress but I nudged his leg with my foot and he stopped abruptly before saying too much. After the man proceeded over to another table, Jack asked me why I’d kicked him.

“Best not to let him think it was too easy or he’ll judge our work stricter than the others. We don’t want him to know how quick we put it together. Besides, I’m not finished, it still needs polishing before we present it”. I stated.

Jack smiled, nodding in agreement with my statement. He realized he’d almost given too much information to the top boss. I finished eating and we sat watching the others in the room for awhile. Since Mr. Robbins and I didn’t have much in common except for work we didn’t converse much. Jack suggested we check out the hotel bar and get a drink. I almost told him I never drank but I hesitated and agreed to accompany him.

The hotel bar was fairly dark but not crowded. Jack’s arm at my waist guided me towards a table along the wall. The waitress came over and asked us what we’d like to have. I didn’t know what to order, I just looked at Jack to take the initiative. Jack asked if they had a very dry white wine. The waitress brought a wine menu and Jack picked out one, ordering a bottle.

“I’m not much of a drinker,” I told him, not wanting to tell him I didn’t drink at all.

Jack just smiled and said he understood, he just wanted to celebrate a little. I was glad he was in a much better mood, not nervous like he’d been before the earlier in the day. The waitress brought the bottle of wine to the table and poured or initial glasses. I sipped it at first surprised at its taste. It was very dry; you almost had to lick your lips to get the full taste. Jack drank his a lot faster than me. He poured another glass for himself. He began talking about his marriage to Jennifer and asked me about my personal life. I didn’t say a whole lot since there wasn’t much to tell. I finished my glass of wine and excused myself to go to the ladies room. When I returned Mr. Robbins had poured me another glass of wine. Not realizing it, I was drinking it a little faster than I had the initial glass. The more I drank, the more relaxed I became. I thought to myself, I need to have some of this wine on hand at home so I could enjoy it more often. I got to talking about my college days, my old boyfriend, and my personal life. I knew better than to start talking about it but the wine was having a most relaxing effect on me. Jack listened intently, often interrupting to ask a personal question. I didn’t hesitate to answer his questions. We realized it was getting late and we should call it a night. We left the bar, the wine bottle empty and made our way towards the elevator back to our rooms.

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