Working Late

It was Friday morning and Tadeas was in the kitchenette fixing himself a cup of hot chocolate when, Velma Moore, his supervisor walked in.

“Mr. Gray, I need you to stay and finish working on the Ad layout for Kiskadee Records. The deadline has been moved up to Monday.”

“But, I have a date.”

“I’m sure she’ll understand.”

“Can’t I work on it over the weekend?”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Gray but I need you to stay and work on the project here in the office.”

“Why can’t I take it home with me? Don’t you trust me?”

“It’s not a matter of trust, Mr. Gray. I want you to work on it here. I’ll be working late too and in case you need help you can come see me in my office. If you were to take it home, you might be inclined to call me and I don’t like people calling me on the weekend to discuss business.”

He sighed. “All right, I’ll stay and finish the project.”

“You’ll get paid for the overtime.”

“Yes. I know.” He excused himself and walked back to his desk, fuming. Damn her. She was being unreasonable. Why couldn’t he have taken the project home? Just because she didn’t like getting calls on the weekend. Why did she assume that he would call her? He was perfectly capable of working on and finishing the project on his own. The nerve of the woman.

He plopped down on the chair and almost spilled his hot chocolate as he set his mug down on the desk. Now, he had to cancel his date with Briony and he had really been looking forward to it. Muttering under his breath, he picked up the phone and called her. “Hello, Tadeas.” She sounded very pleased to hear from him.

“Hello, Briony. I’m really sorry about this but I’m afraid I’ll have to cancel our date for tonight. I have to work late.”

“Oh. That’s too bad but, it can’t be helped. We can have dinner tomorrow evening instead.”

“All right. Tomorrow evening sounds great. I’ll call and make the reservation.”

They spoke for a few minutes longer and then, he ended the call. He dialed the number of the restaurant to cancel and reschedule the reservation. Then, he sat back in his chair, staring resentfully at his supervisor’s closed door.

“What’s the matter, Tad?” Kelly asked him.

“I have to work late today.”

“Oh. Is that all?”

“What do you mean, is that all? I had a date with this incredibly beautiful woman and had to cancel it.”

“Look, we’ve all had to work late sometime or the other and many of us had plans too but those plans can be changed and besides, we get paid for overtime. Don’t think that because you’re from a rich family and your father was knighted by the Queen that you’re entitled to special treatment.”

“I’m not saying that I’m entitled to any special treatment and I’ve never had a problem working overtime, it’s just that I was really looking forward to my date tonight.”

“I’m sure your date wouldn’t mind.”

“That’s the same bloody thing she said.”

“You don’t like her, do you?”

“She rubs me the wrong way. And I’m sick and tired of her calling me Mr. Gray.”

Kelly laughed, her blue eyes sparkling. “Yes, I find that very amusing. Maybe, she’s being facetious.”

“Well, I don’t find it amusing.”

“Come on, cheer up. The time will go by very quickly and then you have the weekend to look forward to.”

He didn’t answer.

“A group of us are going for lunch at Little Frankie’s at one. Would you like to join us?”

At first, he was going to refuse but thought, why not? He was going to be working late, so he might as well have a big lunch which would tie him over until he got home. “Sure.”

She smiled. “Great. I’ll come and get you.” She went way and he returned to what he had been doing before he went to fix himself a hot chocolate.

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He ended up staying until after 9 but, the ad layout was done. When he showed it to his supervisor, she was extremely impressed. “The client is going to love this,” she said. “Thank you for your usual top notch work.”

“Thank you.”

“Have a good weekend.”

“Thank you. You too.” His annoyance and resentment had lessened somewhat because of her reaction to and high praise of his work. Still, he could have easily done the work at home over the weekend and kept his date with Briony.

“Good night, Mr. Gray.

“Goodnight.” He went back to his desk, switched off his computer, his lamp and left. He was tired and couldn’t wait to get home so that he could take a hot shower.

As he took the elevator down to the underground parking, he wondered if she had a man in her life. She was an attractive woman in her mid to late thirties. He had never seen any personal photos on her desk. She seemed to be a very private person.

Truth be told, she was a highly competent and everyone loved working with her. He just wished she wouldn’t act so formal with him. She was never relaxed and friendly with him like she was with everyone else. Maybe she, like Kelly, was under the impression that he didn’t like her. He didn’t dislike her. She just had a way of getting under his skin.

Quit thinking about your boss and how much she irritates you and just think about your date tomorrow evening with Briony. He smiled as he got into his car. I hope she’s looking forward to it as much as I am.

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