WIP: Work in progress. WIP it up Wednesday is a hop where writers share portions of the project they're working on (or from one already published) with readers. I really like the idea because it allows me to share something that's still in the creative stage as well as work behind the scenes as a prompt to keep me writing. But please keep in mind that this is a work in progress, and hasn't been fully edited. In fact, the scenes I post here may not even make it into the final document.
The manuscript I've chosen to share is tentatively titled "Lessons in Love." It is about a wealthy business owner who believes in helping his executive admins using politically incorrect, H.R.unapproved, and therefore clandestine, Domestic Discipline techniques. Since DD isn't for everyone, he does tend to go through admins rather frequently. However, he also makes sure if they choose not to work for him because of his unorthodox management style, that they are given another suitable position in his company if they wish to remain, or a handsome severance package if they choose to leave.
Pam Weston has worked in Robert Peterson's company for nearly six months as a temp when she is reassigned to the President's office. She has caught glimpses of Mr. Peterson when she temped on the executive floor, but she never expected she'd be summoned to work for him. Pam has a criminal record and a murky past, which has made her practically unemployable, and yet now H.R. has assigned her to work for the president of their company. Though she's certain this will prove the beginning of the end of her employment at Peterson Enterprises, she's determined to do the best job she can, come whatever. She's currently being trained by Krista Rensler who is an admin for one of the other executives. She's been told to let only the calls from people on Mr. Peterson's approved list go through, and she's having some doubts she'll be successful at running interference.
Pam had more than a few doubts over her ability to block callers without angering somebody when the phone rang. "It's an outside call on the Peterson Enterprises line," she murmured unnecessarily. Already aware of the three-ring-rule, Pam immediately picked up the receiver and glanced down to note the number was not on any of the lists Krista gave her. The rule of the executive floor was that all calls needed to be picked up before the third ring. Any assistant who failed to answer her boss's phone within that time frame would need an excellent reason, and the admins were directed to cover for each other, so all of them would be called on the carpet. Keeping her voice calm and professional, she said, "Peterson Enterprises, Mr. Peterson's office. How may I help you?"
"You can put me through to Rob right away, bitch. That's how you can help me."
Pam's eyebrows rose, but she kept her tone polite. "May I ask who is calling?"
"Ask away, dearie, but if you don't put me through this second Mr. Peterson is going to have a huge legal mess on his hands."
"One moment, please." Pam put the woman on hold and stared at Krista. "Do you recognize her voice?"
"No, but I wouldn't put her through. Tell her Mr. Peterson is currently in a meeting and will have to call her back. Then ask for a number where she can be reached."
Pam did exactly as she was told, but the woman hung up on her. After that, Pam's stomach was in knots. Krista gave her an understanding smile and a pat on the shoulder, then continued filling her in.
Seconds later, Robert Peterson stepped out of his office holding his cell phone. "I think you're being a little over-dramatic, my dear, but I'll check." He put his phone on mute. "Did either of you take a call from Celine a few minutes ago?"
"I'm not sure, sir," Pam answered. "A woman called, insisting she be put through, but refused to give her name."
Peterson regarded Krista with a raised eyebrow and Krista shrugged. "She didn't call from any of the established numbers, and I didn't recognize her voice, sir, so I told Pam to take a message."
"Thank you," he replied curtly, then turned back into his office. "Celine, if you want to be put through you need to leave your name, or call me on my cell. Yes, I realize that's what you just did. Now, stop crying and tell me what's happened that's gotten you so upset." At that point, the door closed, and Pam and Krista were out of the conversation.
"She's going to be put on the 'do not disturb' list very shortly, and he'll be asking you to get him a new phone and number. They get clingy like that, and he detaches. Lesson one: he can't abide clingy, tearful women. He sounds all sweetness on the phone, but her ass is grass. Wait and see."