Thursday, April 12, 2007

My meeting was scheduled for five, but when I arrived the secretary informed me that a two of the key participants were running late, so I set up my temporary office in the waiting area. Since these were the executive offices the space was posh, after ten minutes or so the executive director came out of his office and placed some papers on the secretary’s desk.

Spotting me he said hello, we’ve met several times and have had some nice conversations. “Why don’t you come into office, I’d like to talk with you about something.” I agreed of course, curious, and went in. It was a corner office of course with floor to ceiling windows and paneled walls. His desk was at one end facing into the room with a pair of couches, Breuer I think, flanking a glass and chrome coffee table. I wish, were my thoughts.

He motioned for me for me to sit down and asked if I wanted something to drink, water would be fine was my response, for himself he mixed something, scotch and water I believe. Rather than sitting I went by the windows and looked out across the city with lengthening shadows from the afternoon sunlight. “The view is beautiful,” I commented. and he handed me my glass and agreed.

He asked a question about the product launch and we began talking about it. I figured it was a subject of conversation as I assumed he had this information. After a few minutes he got to the reason he asked me in; “Charles ____ doesn’t have anything nice to say about you.” I expected that he knew of Charles and me, they belonged to the same club. For a second I wondered if that presented a business problem for him? If it did he would have had his marketing director deal with me I reasoned.

“I didn’t know they handed out scarlet letters in Paris?” I inquired, knowing he’d appreciate the allusion as his vita noted that he studied American literature. He laughed and switched to English asking if I had read Hawthorne. “Just a couple of short stories for a survey class in college and the Scarlet Letter, was an optional book for an literature class in high school.” It was obvious that nineteenth century American lit was an interest of his because I was endangered of being bored.

When he took a breath I interjected. “So, what does Charles say about me.” There was a twinkle in his eyes as he told me that if my name came or a reference to young American Charles would essenially say that I was a cheap whore. He stopped then and waited for my response. “Charles can’t get anything right,” I started. “Both might be true, but one should never modify the other.” With that he laughed and offered a toast.

After a bit of faux jocularity he got serious and a seemed a bit hesitant, my antenna went up and I waited for his question; was I interested in another arrangement? Support was implied but not specified, we didn’t discuss any details as I told him that I was not interested at this time. “A relationship,” he asked? I nodded and he noticeably relaxed having the knowledge that he wasn’t being rejected.



Anonymous VJ said...

Geez, that's what I was thinking when you got whisked in. Strange stuff, but you handled it diplomatically. Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

2:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were you freaking out? (I was, just reading your account.) Can you talk about your fears surrounding this and how you deal with them? I am always amazed by your unflappability.

3:11 PM  

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