‘You do it, Jen,’ Brett had said, before leaving the expansive conference room. ‘You’re the most senior employee here.’
Brett and the rest of Jenny’s colleagues are at morning tea, the mumble of dissent echoes with the whir of the coffee machine. Now, with false bravado, she storms forward: chest puffed, shoulders pulled tight, eyes flashing.
‘Excuse me,’ she says, waiting for Honey to turn to face her.
No response. Honey had to have heard her.
Louder, Jenny repeats, ‘Excuse me, Honey!’
Honey turns. She has her head cocked to one side, left hand on her hip. ‘Yes?’
‘Hoping to clear up some confusion. It seems as though you may have been given the wrong briefing.’ Better not to lead with laying blame.
This is not going well. Jenny draws breath before continuing, ‘Well, it seems to most of us tha—’
Honey interrupts. ‘You appear to be on your own.’ Honey gazes around the room; her cool stare returns to rest on Jenny’s red, hot cheeks. ‘You sure you want to go ahead with this?’
Jenny did not expect to be met with such aggression. ‘Excuse me,’ she says with a faltering tone. ‘I’m going to make a coffee. Would you like one?’
‘Listen to me. I’ve travelled the globe doing this, so it’s safe to say I’ve met the likes of you before. I’ll lead this training however I like. Get yourself a coffee and don’t bother me again.’
Jenny retreats to her colleagues on the verandah. Her hands shake as Brett offers her a coffee.
‘Didn’t go well, hey?’ he asks.
‘Sorry, everyone. She’s completely unapproachable. We’ll just have to make the best of it.’