Delia could hear voices coming from the canteen, but the long corridor was empty. She walked barefoot to the HR office. Pausing outside, she slipped on her shoes and yanked open the door.
A startled Laura dropped the keys she was inserting in the filing cabinet.
‘Oh! Morning, Delia.’
‘Where are Joe and Rachel?’
‘They’ll be here any minute.’
This was familiar territory and Delia felt comfortable dealing with it.
‘It’s eight fifty-eight.’
She allowed her voice to rise an octave.
‘Any minute will make them late. I permit you to leave a half hour early every Friday and how do you repay me? You haven’t even taken your coat off yet.’
She slammed the door and, as the bang echoed down the corridor, people could be heard scuttling out of the line of fire.
‘You’re the senior person in this office. I expect you to make sure the others are ready to start work at nine a.m. at the very latest. This is why you’ll never make manager. If you had an ounce of enthusiasm you’d be running this place.’
‘I don’t want to hear it’s not your job. Your job is to do whatever I ask of you. How do you expect to be promoted if you don’t go the extra mile?’
She stood on tiptoes but Laura still towered over her.
‘Sit down, for heaven’s sake. At least look like you’re planning to work.’
Laura sat at her desk and Delia moved closer, her finger only inches from Laura’s face.
‘It’s high time you got your act together. I’ve been a manager for eleven years now and I’m only a year older than you. You could be earning a decent salary and I’m sure your husband would appreciate the extra income.’
The colour drained from Laura’s face.
‘My husband—’ she said through gritted teeth.
Delia felt a surge of triumph. Watching others struggle for control was a pleasant change.
Fists clenched, Laura took a deep breath.
‘Everyone has been working long hours all week preparing the year-end report. We—’
‘How many times do we have to go through this? Is preparing the year-end report your job?’
‘Does doing your job entitle you to come in late?’
‘No, but if we weren’t understaff—’
‘Haven’t you heard there’s a recession? Where are we going to find the money for extra staff?’
Delia raised her hand.
‘I’m not interested in excuses. I have to prepare for my meeting with Dan. Tell the other two as soon as this meeting is over, I will, for the very last time, outline exactly what I expect from my staff. You have no idea how lucky you are. The dole queues are full of people who would kill for a cushy job like yours.’
She opened the interconnecting door to her office and without turning around barked,
If you would like to know more about Delia, or my thriller ‘Girl Targeted’ check it out here.