Friday, April 12, 2013

Career Woman

Have you ever met a Career Woman?

I don't mean the kind you think I mean. I mean the ones who float in smug satisfaction. They need not justify themselves to anyone. They have already reached the pinnacle of success.

Every day is an exercise of efficiency: the hair is styled just-so. The make-up prepared perfectly. The clothes are never the height of juvenile-dominated fashion; more like the windows of the Ladies' clothing stores. Ladies with a capital L. A respectable spring scarf about the neck. A handbag which matches the low heels. Comfortable, but with a carefully-created outlook of style, serenity and self-assurance.

Every morning has its tasks. One must ensure the youngest Junior Executives have everything they need, and are taken to their respective appointments. Junior Number One is no longer in the same Office, and is forging his own life. The second Junior is twelve now. He plays the clarinet. He must look neat and tidy; it would not do for any of the others to make note of a dishevelled appearance. The Career Woman takes note of his school shoes, which are wearing on the sides. She types it into her phone, so that she will remember; she tells Junior that they will be going shoe-shopping that weekend. He grumbles as expected; she swiftly silences him with a look, or perhaps even a slap to the ear. Junior Executives must know their place in the Company. And they must achieve results which keep The Boss impressed.

After this, she takes care of The Office. The Office must be pristine. Beds made, kitchens tidied, bathrooms spotlessly scrubbed. Career Woman sits in the Meeting Room, and talks on her phone while all this is going on. There are networks to maintain, images to portray, important connections to be made while some unfortunate soul is on hands and knees attending to bathroom tiles. Once the office work is complete, there is the Maintenance work to do. An hour on the treadmill, sometimes with inspirational music. She must ensure the Product is maintained. It is of the utmost importance to her Business Model.

There are always business lunches with other Career Women. Sometimes Career Woman holds them at her office. Sometimes in a cafe. They discuss important aspects of their Careers, since they are all in the same industry. Money is never discussed, and wealth is never flashed about. That, my colleagues, would be inappropriate.

Most afternoons, she does her research in the Meeting Room. The remote control allows her to select which channel will be most informative. One must know what's going on in the world, you see, even if it's the imaginary world which gets researched the most. On some days, trade magazines have more valuable information. Without knowing which celebrity is dating which, business lunches might become awkward.

A quick trip to the supermarket allows her to prepare for the second-last task of her work day. The meal must be good, and it must look excellent, and it must be on time. The Boss relies on Career Woman to meet his expectations.

The Junior Executive has been trained to stay away from The Boss, unless summoned. When summoned, he shall present a recent stellar report card, or perhaps some project for which he was given an award. He shall then retire to his quarters and remain concealed until the next working day.

The Boss confers with business associates in the Meeting Room while Career Woman obliterates all evidence of a meal having occurred. She does this quickly, quietly and efficiently. It is her job, after all, and The Boss must not be disturbed. At some point she intrudes on his solitude with two glasses of a nice wine. Thus begins the last task of her day.

Tonight, she has dressed in Evening Attire and steep heels. Career Woman is thirty-nine, and she knows it is getting rather late to re-cement her place in The Company. Seduction is part of her job, but tonight, like the last few weeks, she has neglected to consume a certain medication. Her timing has been calculated perfectly. Even a Career Woman keeps certain secrets from her Boss. Hopefully, this task will succeed.

In a loyal, hard-working personal assistant, every Boss will forgive occasional surprises, and this Boss has room in his office for another Junior Executive. Another Junior Executive will keep her in a job for a further twenty years.