Chapter 1: Ms Lopez
*Friday 24th May 2019*
I'm starting my new job today and I couldn't be more excited. It wasn't that I disliked my old job, I just didn't feel I was getting the same opportunities that I could get elsewhere. I have a degree in Accounts and Finance and for the last year I was working with an accounting firm but I just didn't feel like my career was progressing anywhere. I graduated college a year ago and since I haven't moved up in the accounting world within that year then I decided to look for other opportunities to further my career. I was lucky enough to find something very quickly after only looking for a few days. I then got shortlisted after I filled out my application and then successfully got invited for an interview. It's now two weeks later and it's finally the day I start my new role.
I'm now going to be working for a children's fashion line called SL Designs. I really have no clue about fashions, kids or otherwise, but they wanted to hire another member to their Accounting and Finance team. It sounded like exactly my thing so I applied for it right away and like I say, got the job. I don't know a whole lot about the company yet but by everything I found online, it's a very successful business.
I'm currently walking into the building right now. I was told on one of the emails I received from the company offering me the job to report to reception and someone there would show me around. It's only my induction today and I'll officially start my role on Monday. Today is mostly just getting settled in, filling out paperwork and getting shown around the company. I think I'm also going to meet a lot of the staff that work there as well.
Once I got to reception, I did have a lot of paperwork to do which I didn't really mind doing. It's not the most exciting thing in the world but I'm used to doing not very exciting things since I work in accounts. I am then met with someone called Jack who works in the Accounting and Finance department. He shows me around some of the different departments of the company before taking me to meet the rest of the team in the Accounting and Finance department. I knew the company was successful but I didn't realise just how successful. There are a lot of staff members in this company, more than I thought there would be. I had no idea just how many people it took to have a successful fashion line.
"You've pretty much met everyone now in the company and it's still early so why don't we go and see if our boss is free" Jack suggests.
"Sounds good" I smile. I'm looking forward to meeting my new boss. I don't know too much about her like I say but I've heard Santana Lopez is a very talented lady. I can't wait to work for her and finally work for a professional and successful organization.
"Let's go then" Jack smiles back before leading the way. When we get there, he knocks on the door and after a few seconds, footsteps are heard getting louder and louder until the door opens. I'm actually quite shocked at what I see in front of me. From looking online, I knew what Ms Lopez looked like but she looks so different in the flesh. I don't want to sound cliched but she really is breathtakingly beautiful.
"What do you want Jack?" Ms Lopez replies, looking rather annoyed.
"I just…" Jack stutters nervously. I'm not surprised he's acting like the by the way he is being looked at. The glare etched across Ms Lopez's face could honestly kill.
"Brittany Pierce, pleasure to meet you" I say with a smile while holding out my hand to Ms Lopez.
"Uh-huh" she says while looking at me unimpressed. She didn't take the opportunity to shake my hand either.
"Brittany is a new member of the team here in the Accounts and Finance department" Jack tells Santana.
"Funnily enough I was aware of that" Ms Lopez smartly replies. "I am the owner of this company so everything is run by me before it happens so I am well aware we have hired another member to the team in the name of Brittany Pierce" she states. She wasn't on the interview panel when I had my interview but it is pretty obvious she knew who I was since she does own the company.
"I'm just showing her around the different departments today and I thought maybe you would like to be introduced" Jack replies.
"If I wanted to be introduced to her right now then I'd have met her at reception and not asked someone else to welcome her to the company" Ms Lopez points out.
"Ok" Jack nods in understanding. "We will leave you to it and I'll get back to showing Brittany around" he adds.
"That would be good, thank you" Ms Lopez states.
"It was nice to meet you" I say with a smile.
"I'll come and find you when I'm ready Miss Pierce and we can talk over a few things" Ms Lopez tells me.
"You can call me Brittany, I don't mind" I smile at my new boss.
"I say how things are run around here so Miss Pierce it is, not Brittany" Ms Lopez tells me.
"Um…ok" I say taken aback. She is very successful so I don't suppose she got there by being nice to everyone but she is slightly harder than I thought she would be.
"I won't bother you again Miss Lopez" Jack says and then he and I leave.
"She's tough" I point out.
"She is but she's also extremely successful and talented so I would take it as a compliment that she gave you the job over all the other applicants" Jack tells me.
"I suppose" I shrug.
"Don't take anything to heart that she says to you. Its just the way she is and you'll probably find that you like the tough attitude she has because at least everyone knows where they stand and no one messes around" Jack states. I suppose that is true.
"How often do we see Ms Lopez?" I ask curiously. The last person I worked for was barely ever around and when he was, he was never interested in his staff. He would sit in his office all day and delegate out all of his tasks. As long as he made a profit, he didn't care about anyone or anything else.
"She is very hands on, I will say that" Jack tells me.
"Cool" I nod.
"Don't let her hear me say this but underneath it all she is a pretty good boss. I mean we personally don't see her all that much because accounts and things like that aren't her forte but she is very hands on with the things she is good at" Jack tells me.
After we're finished the tour of the company, Jack shows me where everyone eats lunch and we have something to eat together with some of my colleagues. He then shows me where my desk is and goes through a few of the things they're currently working on at the moment. One of the members from the IT department gets my computer all set up for me and shows me a few technical things I'll need to know. I'm now just chatting to Jack when Ms Lopez walks over to us hurriedly.
"Something has come up so we're going to have to have your official welcoming meeting on Monday but Jack will take care of you for the rest of today" Ms Lopez tells me.
"Um…ok" I say sadly. I really wanted to meet Ms Lopez properly today and kinda get to know her. I know she's my boss and everything but I still think it would be nice to talk to her a little bit. I'm not saying she needs to be my friend but I'd like her to know me too.
"If you have any problems then let Jack know and he'll report them back to me" Ms Lopez states.
"Ok" I nod.
"8am on Monday morning at my office, ok?" Ms Lopez says while looking at me.
"Yeah, see you then" I smile.
"Email me any of Brittany's concerns Jack because I won't see you before Monday" Ms Lopez tells Jack. I'm actually quite surprised at how she called me Brittany and not Miss Pierce like she said she would earlier.
"I will do that" Jack nods.
"I'll leave you both to it" Ms Lopez says before walking away again in a hurry.
That was the last of Ms Lopez I saw for the day. I'm now at home in my apartment waiting on my friends coming over. Mercedes and Tina are coming over to hang out and just have a good old catch up. We've all been so busy for the last few weeks so we're well overdue with a girl's night. Tina and Mercedes have been busy with their own jobs and I've been busy preparing for my new one. I was applying for jobs for a while then I had my interview to prepare for and then I had today to prepare for so now I've got a night off to relax.
"Hey" I hear faintly as the apartment door opens.
"Hey guys, in you come" I say as Mercedes and Tina enter. I left the door open for them because I knew they would be here any time from now. "Take a seat and I'll get the wine poured" I say as I walk to the kitchen. I quickly pour us all a glass of wine and head back to the living room to sit with the others.
"So how is the new job?" Mercedes asks.
"It's good. I haven't actually started yet but it looks like a great place to work and mostly everyone seems really nice so far" I say honestly. I haven't met Ms Lopez properly yet but I'm hoping she'll warm to me a little so things aren't awkward at work.
"I know what Santana Lopez looks like from seeing pictures online and rumour has it she's single" Tina smirks at me.
"And?" I ask confused.
"She's hot Brittany" Tina tells me.
"You are aware you have a boyfriend by the name of Mike Chang, right?" I reply.
"Of course, I am aware of that" Tina frowns at me.
"What Tina means is that she's single and you're single so maybe the fate has spoken" Mercedes smirks at me.
"I'm not dating my boss" I shake my head. I'm getting a little tired of my friends trying to match me up with someone. I know they mean well but just because I know someone else who is single doesn't mean I need to like them or date them. Even if Ms Lopez is single, I'm not even sure if she's going to like me as an employee never mind like me romantically.
"I've heard there are at least one couple in every organisation" Tina points out.
"That's great but it's not going to be me and it certainly isn't going to be me with my boss. It's highly unprofessional and kinda weird" I say. Fair enough two employees dating but I can't see anyone dating their boss like that. Actually, why am I even worrying about this, Ms Lopez and I work together, that's as far as anything will go.
"You do have to get back out there Brittany because you haven't dated anyone in a while" Mercedes says softly causing me to roll my eyes. She has a point but I don't want to talk about my private life right now.
"I know that but right now I am concentrating on me. I have a new job now and my career might finally be stepping up a gear so I'm satisfied with that right now" I say.
"It doesn't mean that you can't have someone to spend those good times with" Tina points out.
"I know but let's not talk about that right now. It's depressing and I don't want to be depressed tonight. This is girl's night so a night with no relationship talk" I say.
"Ok, fair enough" Tina smiles.
I am so thankful it's the weekend now and I'm taking a well-deserved weekend off. I'm not going back to work until Monday now so if something happens before then then it does because I need some time off. I've just got back from a meeting that took a lot longer than it meant to so my best friend is already at my place with a cocktail ready with my name on it.
"How was work?" Quinn asks me as she takes a sip from her wine. She's not a huge cocktail fan so she's went with wine instead.
"It was good today but exhausting. I think I have finally got the latest designs down and know what I want now" I tell my best friend. I wouldn't quite say I've been struggling lately but I have been debating what the new designs should look like. I want them to be different from the others because I hate when things are predictable but I also want them in keeping with the SL brand.
"At least you're making progress then" Quinn smiles at me.
"I've also got someone else added to my Accounts and Finance team so the timing for that is pretty good since we're just about to launch the new designs" I point out.
"That's great then" Quinn smiles.
"I haven't actually met the new employee properly yet and she hasn't fully started her role yet. She was just getting an induction today but will start on Monday" I reply.
"Is she hot?" Quinn asks me with a smirk causing me to roll my eyes at her.
"I don't know. I didn't really look at her like that" I shrug. Just because I'm single right now doesn't mean I'm going to look at everyone like I want to sleep with them. "Also, I'm not going to look at my staff members like that. They work for me so I won't be mixing business with pleasure" I state. I never have mixed my work and personal life and I'm not about to start any time soon.
"What's her name?" she asks me curiously.
"Brittany Pierce" I reply. I haven't met her properly like I say but I'm well versed on who she is and what achievements she has because I looked over her application when she applied for the job and she seemed like just the person I needed; qualification wise of course.
"Ok" Quinn smiles before picking up her phone.
"Why do you need to know her name?" I wonder.
"No reason. Just making conversation" my best friend smiles. "Anyway, what else is going on with you these days?" she asks. We haven't actually spoken all that much recently with how busy we've all been so it's nice to finally catch up.
"Not a lot at all. Work then more work and then even more work" I chuckle.
"I know the feeling" Quinn nods in agreement. "I'm serious though, I can sense a little romance about to brew in your workplace" she says, looking away from her phone and smirking at me.
"If you're talking about Brittany and myself then it isn't going to happen. I hire new employees all the time and never fall for them so what makes you think this girl is any different" I state.
"She's blonde and you're a sucker for blondes" she smirks at me.
"I've never touched you" I smirk back at her.
"Whatever" she playfully rolls her eyes at me. "She has blue eyes too and you're partial to blue eyes" she adds.
"I do like…wait a minute" I say frowning in confusion. "How on earth do you know what my new employee looks like. I never told you her hair or eye colour?"
"I googled what you told me and came across a few social media accounts that are most likely your new employees" she shrugs.
"There could be a hundred people out there called Brittany Pierce. What makes you think you have the correct one we're talking about?" I ask curiously.
"She mentions something about being an accounts graduate last year and some of her recent twitter posts are about preparing for a new job. Then we have a picture of her all dressed up smartly with the caption, 'interview look' and another picture of a wine glass from tonight, captioning it as 'a well needed drink' which makes me think after meeting you today, she needs a glass of wine or two to cope with her new boss" Quinn states.
"Very funny" I playfully roll my eyes at Quinn. "Seriously though, let's drop the topic because I'm not and will not lust after my new employee" I state.
"Never say never" Quinn smirks.
"No, I am saying never" I sigh.
"And I'm saying don't be so pessimistic. Brittany could be the future Ms Lopez" Quinn shrugs.
"There will be no future Ms Lopez because I am the current and only Ms Lopez" I tell my best friend.
"Really?" Quinn laughs. "So, your mom isn't Ms or Mrs Lopez?"
"I need another cocktail" I say while heading to the kitchen.
"You really cannot admit to ever being wrong or messing up, can you?" she asks delightedly but I just ignore her and make myself another drink. Ok fine, it's no secret that I hate being wrong but that's only because it very rarely happens so I don't have the experience of being wrong unlike Quinn and most of the people who work for me.
*Monday 27th May 2019*
Monday morning is here again and it's back to work. It feels like I never had a weekend off to have some relaxing time to myself. I guess that could be partly due to me constantly checking my emails every few minutes even though I was supposed to be taking time away from work. I'm currently walking through the building on my way to my office to officially meet Brittany and welcome her to my business.
"Good morning" I say as I walk along the hallway and see Brittany sitting outside my office.
"Morning Ms Lopez. How are you?" Brittany asks me but I don't reply because I can't be bothered with small talk like that. I would be here all day if I had to ask all my staff how they were and they had to ask me.
"You're here bright and early" I tell Brittany as I approach my office and open the door.
"I wanted to make sure I was here on time today and make a good impression" Brittany smiles at me.
"Is there a chance you can be late from time to time?" I ask curiously. I take punctuality very seriously.
"No" Brittany shakes her head vigorously. "It's just the way I phrased what I said. I didn't mean I was making sure I was on time like I don't usually I meant…"
"Follow me" I state, interrupting her little rant. "Take a seat" I tell her while pointing to the chair at the other end of my desk.
"Ok" Brittany nods before sitting down. I place my things on my desk and then sit down on my chair across from her.
"Firstly, I want to formally introduce myself because I was never meant to meet you when I did on Friday" I tell her. "I'm Santana Lopez and I'm the owner and the brains behind this whole company so you should feel very privileged to work for me because I'm a big deal and so is my company" I state.
"I'm very grateful to be here and for you to give me a job" Brittany smiles at me.
"I'm assuming you've seen all of my designs before because like I say, I am very successful as is this company, so what do you think about them?" I ask Brittany.
"I don't really know anything about SL Designs" Brittany admits.
"Oh really?" I ask offended. I assume if you want to work here then you're going to know what I do and what I offer.
"No offence but I took this job because I'm qualified in accounts and finance. I didn't take this job because of what designs you sell" she tells me.
"Surely you have seen my products before in stores or online" I point out. You really couldn't miss them because my clothing line is everywhere.
"I don't have children and neither do any of my friends or family" Brittany replies. "I mean my family do have children because I am here and I have siblings and cousins etc. but what I mean is that there are no young members in my family at the moment so I've never had the need to buy children's clothes" she adds.
"Ok" I nod. That does make sense so perhaps some people don't know what I am and what I do. Although I really don't know what would appeal you to my company if you didn't like the products. I mean she could get any old job in accounts.
"What I do know is that you're very talented and very successful" Brittany smiles at me.
"Thank you" I nod. "We're not here though to flatter me. We're here to welcome you to the company" I state.
"I wasn't trying to flatter you. I was making you aware that this business you have is very important to you so I'm serious about this job" she tells me.
"I would hope you were serious about the job otherwise I would have wasted my time in picking you specifically to work here" I say. I didn't select her on a whim or by closing my eyes and taking a blind pick at a name on my sheet of paper. I specifically picked her for her talent and experience.
"Nothing I say will make me win here so I'll just shut up" Brittany sighs.
"Ok, so let's start from the beginning" I say while taking a deep breath. "As I said my name is Santana Lopez and I run this very successful children's clothing line. I do have plans to expand the line and do adult clothing but as of right now my main focus is on children's clothing. It's a long story about how I got into it so I won't bore you with that right now. I will also show you some of my designs at some point but right now let's just get you settled in" I say. She said herself she isn't particularly into fashion so there's no point overwhelming her about that right now. She is here to work on the business aspect of my company so we might as well get stuck straight into that.
"Sounds good to me" Brittany nods.
"I'm going to need you here Monday to Friday Pierce so primarily that will be your working pattern but sometimes when I launch a new design then I need to consult with my finance team a little more than usual for obvious reasons so you might need to work the occasional weekend" I tell her. Obviously launching a new design costs money therefore, I not only need to make sure I launch it spectacularly but also within a budget otherwise the cost of launching it will be greater than the income from the designs which isn't acceptable to me.
"That's no problem at all because I used to work weekends when I was at college so I'm well used to it. I actually don't really know many people that work the 'normal' Monday to Friday nine until five these days so I'm ok with weekends" she shrugs.
"That's perfect then" I nod. I can't say I like many of the people that work for me but I might just like Brittany that bit more than some of them. Although the part where she mentioned not having a clue about my designs did piss me off.
*Friday 21st June 2019*
Brittany has been working for me for a few weeks now and she seems to have settled into her new job really well. To be honest with you though, I don't really care whether she had or hadn't. I'm just happy my whole team is working well and things are working out. I actually couldn't care less whether all of my staff hated each other or not, I just care about my business and it's going ok at the moment so I'm satisfied with that. I do however need to speak to Brittany today about something so I've went to find her. It's really hard not to find her actually because she barely ever leaves her desk. She'll only do it if she's taking a break and having something to eat or going to the bathroom or needing to consult with another employee which again doesn't happen often as they all seem to need her help before she needs theirs.
"Pierce, my office" I shout. It came out slightly louder than I meant it to because Brittany jumped a little but with the volume in this place, I had to shout. I can barely hear myself think sometimes with all the chatter.
"Ok" Brittany shrugs before walking over to me.
"Someone is in trouble" Jack teases Brittany.
"Pierce isn't but you might be" I say seriously to Jack. I know for a fact he is behind all the mayhem in this place. He says he's just having fun and building morale but I see it as a distraction from what they are meant to be doing and I don't like it.
"Oh, Jack is in the naughty books now" Brittany says to Jack while laughing.
"I don't care for that nonsense either, Pierce" I sternly say while looking at her.
"I'm just having fun, jeez" she says while rolling her eyes at me.
"Did you just roll your eyes at me?" I ask unamused.
"Absolutely not. I would never do that Ms Lopez" Brittany smiles at me.
"I don't tolerate lying in the workplace so cut it out" I say strictly.
"Why did you ask when you knew exactly what I was doing and that I probably would lie?" Brittany challenges.
"If you like your job then I suggest you keep that kind of attitude to yourself otherwise you'll be one of those people bathing in the lovely situation I call unemployment" I smirk.
"You can't fire someone for having what I like to call a backbone" she smirks back at me. "It's also not advisable to fire someone who has worked their butt off for you since they got here."
"I'm not actually going to fire you" I mumble.
"Pardon?" she asks.
"You heard me. Now, my office" I say while walking away. It's kinda true actually. I'd be an idiot for firing Brittany when she has probably worked better than the rest of the accounting and finance team put together
"Coming boss" Brittany sates while quickly following me. As soon as we get to my office, I tell her to take a seat and then sit down myself across from her.
"Ok, I'm going to dive right in" I say before being rudely interrupted by my new employee.
"If this is about the email I sent you this morning then I didn't mean to make you mad. I just thought you should know that the expenditure in this place is bordering on ridiculous" Brittany tells me. "You're spending money on things that don't need that much money thrown at them. I mean let's talk about the coffee issue. If the other members of staff don't like the coffee here then they can bring their own. You don't need to order all these different types of coffee beans and have all of these expensive coffee machines all over the place. We're here to work not indulge in expensive coffee that quite frankly costs more than my apartment and…"
"Pierce, you're not here to talk about coffee" I say, interrupting Brittany in her little rant.
"Ok" Brittany nods.
"Although, while we are on the topic of coffee then I'd like to point out that it's actually all for my benefit. I cannot function without a decent cup of coffee so I order these expensive beans in for my own benefit. Not for anyone else" I state. They all work here so they can help themselves to coffee if they want but it is all for my own personal benefit, it's not to keep my staff happy. I don't need to keep them happy. They work for me, I'm not their entertainment.
"I am here to talk about my offending email though, right?" she asks me curiously.
"Not at all" I shake my head. "Also, I didn't find the email in the least bit offensive. I actually quite like that you had some concerns to address" I tell her. It shows me that she is taking her job seriously and taking my company seriously. If there is a way to reduce costs then I would like to know so I'm glad she's been proactive and finding some ways to do that for me. However, the coffee isn't going to be one of them. I'm not stopping my daily caffeine fix for no one.
"So, I'm here because…?" Brittany wonders.
"Right, yeah" I nod, realising I'm extremely off topic here and wasting both of our times talking about coffee. "How would you feel about giving me some personal help?" I ask.
"I beg your pardon?" she asks me, looking at me curiously but yet with disgust. I guess when your boss asks you for personal help then it can sound a little seedier than you really meant it to.
"Financially Pierce. I want some help financially that doesn't involve my company" I elaborate.
"I'm flattered you think I'm flush with the cash but honestly Ms Lopez, I can't even spare a cent. I really don't have any money I could loan you" she replies teasingly.
"Again, not what I meant" I sigh. Fucking hell, what is wrong with me today. Why can I not come up with a clear concise sentence that everyone can understand.
"Do you need some financial advice? Is that what you're looking for?" Brittany asks me, bringing us back to the topic.
"That's exactly it" I nod. "I have these separate accounts. One for this place obviously and I have my own savings account but I don't think they're in the best type of account if that makes sense. The interest rates aren't particularly good with my own account so I need help. I know you don't work in a bank but you know about finances so what do I do?" I ask.
"Off the top of my head, I don't really know what would be the best personal account for you but I could look into it and get back to you" she replies. I suppose her expertise lies more with business finances but I could use any kind of help right now because I'm not totally up to speed with that side of things hence the reason I have a team that work with my accounts and finances. There is very little I can't do but handing finances is one of them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally stupid, I'm just not as well versed with that side of things with a business as I am about other aspects.
"Ok, fair enough" I nod.
"I would definitely suggest booking an appointment with your bank or something to talk it over" she tells me. "Like I say though, I'll get back to you" she adds.
"Thank you for your help Brittany. I will definitely book an appointment with my bank on Monday and sort that out" I state.
"I'll get back to work then" Brittany says while standing up.
"I've got a meeting this afternoon so I'm about to head off now so I'll see you Monday morning" I say. I'm not going to see her for the rest of the day and she won't be working the weekend.
"Uh…yeah" she says surprised.
"Why are you looking at me like you've just entered a party and everyone has jumped out and yelled surprise?" I ask while frowning. I have no idea what is so surprising about what I said.
"It's nothing, don't worry about it" Brittany shakes her head. "I'll get back to work, I'll see you Monday" she says and then leaves.
*Monday 24th June 2019*
Monday morning again and I'm actually looking forward to going into work today. Normally most people hate Mondays especially after a weekend off but not me. I've been working here for a few weeks now and I actually like my job and where I work so why wouldn't I be excited to do something I love. All my colleagues seem like nice people and I'm getting to know them a lot too which is nice. Ms Lopez on the other hand is more unpredictable. I do like that she's a tough nut to crack so to speak but it also makes things awkward at times. She is good in terms of a boss but sometimes I feel like I'm about to get fired and other times it's like she is friendly towards me.
In the outside world I would be attracted to her physically but since I work for her then I haven't really ever thought about her like that. There is no denying though that she is really beautiful but sometimes the attitude puts me off a little. Don't get me wrong though, I'm her employee so she has every right to talk to us all the way she does.
"Good morning Ms Lopez" I smile at my boss as I walk past her.
"Is it Pierce? Is it a good morning?" she asks me. I've got to say; she looks rather annoyed about something but surely it can't be because of me because I just got here and all I said was good morning.
"I don't see why it can't be" I shrug while stopping where I am and turning around to look at her.
"Perhaps it's because I have come into work this morning, my eighth day in a row might I add, and found I have a bunch of incompetent assholes working for me" she says while throwing her arms in the air.
"Things can't be that bad" I say trying to reassure her.
"Oh, they are Pierce, they are" she states. "You do not know the half of it" she sighs.
"Is there anything I can help with?" I ask curiously. My role is in accounts but I honestly like working here so I want to see the company do well. I want to do what I can to help Ms Lopez and her business.
"I've seen your doodles on your little notepad on your desk and they're horrible so absolutely not, I don't need your help" she tells me.
"Ok. That was rude" I say while glaring at her. She might be my boss but I don't take being spoken to like that very lightly. I was only trying to help; I wasn't asking for criticism.
"That came out wrong" Ms Lopez shakes her head. "It's a design thing that I'm having issues with so you probably won't be able to help me" she adds. I do get it though because I'm not very talented in things like designing.
"That's all you had to say. You didn't need to criticise me" I say before walking off back to my department. I'm sure I heard her call my name but I'm not standing there listening to her say something else rude. It's not that big of a deal I suppose but at the same time, I don't come to work to be criticised. I'm good at what I do and I deserve to work for an established company like this so I'm going to stand up for myself when I can.
"Coffee" Ms Lopez says while placing a cup of coffee in front of me before sliding onto my desk to sit.
"What are you doing, I'm working" I tell her. This is so weird right now how she has just come up to me and gave me coffee before sitting on my desk in front of me. I don't necessarily mean weird in a bad way but more in a surprised way.
"I was talking to my friend on the phone earlier and your performance earlier came up and she seems to think I might have offended you or upset you so this is my peace offering" she tells me while pushing the coffee towards me.
"Don't worry about earlier" I say, waving it off.
"Oh, I'm not worried. Honestly I didn't think you were that bothered about it" she tells me and I have to laugh right now. She really can be immune to people's emotions. "Why are you laughing? I did this because my friend thought I upset you."
"You haven't upset me. Just forget about it" I say.
"Exactly what I thought" she nods. "I just thought you could benefit from the coffee anyway so to be sure I hadn't upset you I made you some coffee and came over here" she shrugs.
"Ok" I nod. We fall into a silence for a moment, just sort of staring at each other. Like I said to her, I am in the middle of working so I don't know why she is still here. She's gave me the coffee and we've agreed to forget about earlier so why would she still be sitting here.
"Aren't you going to drink your coffee?" she asks me.
"Personally, I wasn't" I reply and she looks at me curiously so I explain. "I don't actually know what is in the coffee or if it even is coffee you've gave me so I was just going to throw it out when you left" I shrug.
"It's coffee. Good coffee. Expensive coffee actually" Ms Lopez tells me.
"Ok" I say disbelievingly.
"Honestly" Ms Lopez says before reaching forward and taking a sip of the coffee. "See" she says before sliding off the desk.
"Good coffee you say?" I ask and she nods her head. "I can't say I ever thought the definition of good coffee meant it would be laced with someone else's germs and saliva" I smirk.
"Just drink your coffee Pierce and see me before you leave. I need to talk to you about something important but I don't want to take up any more of your time right now" she says before taking off back to her office.
As soon as I am finished my work for the day, I head to Ms Lopez's office. I really have no idea what she would want to talk to me about. She's still working on launching some new designs at the moment so I've been keeping out of her way as much as possible so she can get on with what she needs to do. I knock on her office door and she tells me to come in so I walk inside and close the door behind me.
"Brittany, take a seat" Ms Lopez instructs me.
"Ok" I nod while sitting down across from her at her desk.
"I have just been informed that the head of my Accounts and Finance department is leaving. I have no idea why because he's not going to get as good a job as he has here but anyway, it's not my business anymore" Ms Lopez tells me bitterly.
"Oh, wow" I say shocked. I have only worked with Leon for a few weeks but I still didn't expect him to leave so suddenly. I didn't know him that well but he seemed like he really fitted in here and enjoyed working for Ms Lopez.
"With Leon leaving then you're going to have to take over" she states.
"I beg your pardon" I say taken aback. How on earth am I meant to manage something like this. I only graduated college last year with my degree so I've only been working in this field for about a year so how am I meant to step up and be a manager of something I'm still learning a lot about.
"I need you to be the head of my Accounts and Finance department" Ms Lopez repeats.
"I'm flattered you think I would be able to do this but I can't" I say shaking my head.
"I'm not asking you Brittany, I'm telling you" Ms Lopez says seriously.
"I'm not qualified to do this Ms Lopez" I point out. I really don't think I could do this and more to the point, I don't want to be the person that screws up Santana Lopez's business. She is a very successful woman so I don't want to be known as the person that crushes all of that and tarnishes her reputation.
"You're more than qualified as far as I can see Brittany" she tells me. "This isn't your first job since you graduated so you have that experience behind you and you're also the best employee I have in the department" she adds.
"It's nice of you to say that but this is a big responsibility" I point out.
"It's not really because all I'm asking you to do is whatever you've been already doing plus giving out a few orders to the team" Ms Lopez shrugs.
"I really don't know about this" I sigh. This is really a lot that she's asking me to do because we all know there is more to being a team leader than giving out a few extra orders.
"You can do this Pierce. I would only be worried if I was you if I was to ask you to design me some samples or something" she laughs. "You are highly qualified in accounts but totally horrible with designs and what's in fashion" she adds.
"Thank you for pointing that out, once again might I add" I say while rolling my eyes at Ms Lopez.
"I'm making you my head of Accounts and Finance whether you like it or not so you might as well agree to it" Ms Lopez states seriously. "There's also an upgrade of pay having this title so I don't know why you're not biting my hand off" she shrugs.
"I'm not a huge biter…well not usually but I suppose it depends on the person that I might want to bite" I smirk.
"It's an expression Pierce" she tells me.
"I'm well aware of that" I laugh. She doesn't give me the warmest of responses which isn't a surprise. "Ok, fine. I will do it" I sigh. Leon probably has at least a week left to work because I think that's the general notice period so I guess I could get a crash course in how all of this works from him before he goes.
"Excellent" Ms Lopez smiles at me. I actually think this is the first time I have seen her smile at me…in fact it's the first time she has smiled at anyone since I've been here.
"I'll go and speak to Leon just now and see if he can give me a few pointers just so I won't let you down" I say.
"Oh, I wouldn't bother" Ms Lopez tells me with a shrug.
"I want to be as prepared as I can be for when he leaves so, I think it might be a good idea to pick his brain on a few essential things about the running of the department" I point out.
"No, you don't understand me. I meant I wouldn't bother going to his office because he's not going to be there" Ms Lopez shrugs again.
"Why? Has he got the day off today?" I ask curiously. I assumed he worked weekdays and had the weekends off but maybe I misunderstood his schedule.
"No, he has left the company" Ms Lopez replies before going back to working on her computer.
"Already?" I ask surprised.
"He wanted to leave my company so there was no point in him staying another week so I told him where the door was. If you want to leave then you leave. I don't need people hanging around here that don't want to be here" she tells me unamused.
"Oh" I say shocked. I don't think that can be legal just sacking someone like that. I think he is entitled to work his notice and receive the rest of his pay until his end date. I get that she is pissed he wants to leave but telling him to just leave right now can't be allowed.
"Why are you looking at me like I've committed murder?" Ms Lopez asks while frowning at me. It takes me a minute to register I am actually staring at her right now.
"I really don't mean any disrespect Ms Lopez but is that even allowed?" I ask. She looks at me blankly like she doesn't know what I'm talking about so I elaborate. "I mean to just give someone their marching orders like that just because they are leaving to go to another company. Don't you need to let them work their notice or even pay them up until their end date?" I ask curiously.
"Who said he wasn't getting paid?" Ms Lopez questions. "I told him to leave because I couldn't stand the sight of him anymore because he wanted to just leave my company like this but it didn't mean I wasn't going to pay him what he is due for working here" she adds.
"I'm sorry" I apologise.
"Don't apologise when you're at work. I don't do apologises around here. I don't personally apologise to anyone and none of my staff need to either" she tells me. "Well that is unless you fuck me over then I'd like an apology before I make your life a misery" she shrugs.
"Noted" I nod. "May I go back to work now then?" I ask.
"Please do, Pierce" Ms Lopez tells me.
I know I probably shouldn't be starting another story when I still have a number of unfinished ones but I just thought of this new idea so wanted to see if I could develop it. Let me know what you think and if it has any potential to be continued.