I put down my mug and shake hands with the old man in front of me. “Nice to meet you, Lucian.”
“A pleasure, Michelle,” he responds. “So, you know Allison?”
“Yeah, she’s my boss. You?”
“A personal relationship. I’m an old friend of her family’s. Now, is this just a social visit or do you have something you want to talk about?”
“Well, it was supposed to just be a social visit,” I say wryly. “But since you asked, is it alright if I rant about a report of mine?”
Lucian gives me a fatherly smile. “I’m all ears.”
“Right. So, his name’s CJ. No idea if it’s short for anything, but if I had to guess it’d be Colossal Jerk.”
Lucian raises an eyebrow. “CJ Bonnaview?”
“You know him?!”
“My secretary, Gracie, is his semi-girlfriend.”
“Haha! Wow, small world. Well, he works for me right now. Unfortunately. And, well, he’s been… not the easiest to manage. He has a tendency to want his own way, and not shut up until he gets it. For example, a few weeks ago, I had to edit some of his work to align with the style guide. Well, Bea did, actually – she’s one of my other reports and secretly my favourite.”
“I understand. No matter how hard you try, you will always prefer the helpful ones.”
“Yeah. Plus I imagine there’s some affinity bias in there, as a fellow black woman and all.”
“Well, more diversity can’t hurt.”
“I know, but…”
Lucian nods sagely. “Well, carry on.”
“Well, the changes went ahead as planned, but CJ’s still whining about it! I just…” I wave my arms around in frustration. “Nya!”
Lucian snorts into his tea. “Beg pardon, my dear,” he says with a chuckle, “but isn’t that what CJ always says when he’s frustrated?”
I laugh too at the revelation. “It is! I’ve been managing him too much. He’s getting in my head.”
Lucian purses his lips and leans back. “Is this the first time he’s acted like this?”
“No,” I admit. “It’s not the first or the worst. Actually, he’s been pretty rude on several occasions. I’ve documented them, and my response. Gotta cover my butt and all that jazz.”
“Sweet Watcher, you’re thorough,” Lucian says, impressed. “What does Allison think?”
“Ay, there’s the rub,” I admit with a shrug. “She’s terrified of the Bonnaview parents.”
“Well, I don’t mind telling you or her that there’s no need to worry.”
“Oh, uh, why do you say that?”
“Because our poor, dear, narcissistic friend did bother to tell me his sob story,” Lucian responds. “And it turns out that his father was the one who kicked him out.”
He smiles. “I don’t think you’ll have any problems with the Bonnaview parents, my dear.”
“Fantastic! Thank you so so so much – I’ll be sure to tell Allison that this afternoon.”
“Wonderful. Goodbye, my dear, and good luck.”
“Thank you, Lucian.”
“So how was lunch?”
“Oh, you know how it is. Work, work, work, meetings, meetings, meetings. Some of our clients are… demanding.”
I shudder. “Thank the Watcher I don’t. At least, mostly.”
Allison doesn’t quite laugh. “Please tell me this isn’t just another complaining session.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry! I didn’t realise I’d been -“
Allison holds up a hand. “It’s not you, Michelle. You’ve been nothing but polite about the fella. A little too polite, confidentially. But we both know we can’t do anything without the blessing of -“
“The Bonnaview parents, yes, I know.” I slide across the documentation I’ve built up, and a little surprise from Daddy Bonnaview. “Does this help?”
Allison’s jaw hits the floor. “Holy good gravy. That’s a long list. And what’s that?”
“Oh, nothing much. Just an email trail between me and CJ’s dad.”
Allison reads through the emails. “So he…”
“Michelle! This is amazing!” Allison coughs and regains her composure. “Anyway, we need to call Jennifer. With this, I think we can finally put our friend on a PIP. I’d rather get rid of him straight away, but we might as well make the case airtight.”
“Thank you, Allison. I’ll email her now.”
As we get up, Allison says one last thing. “Oh, and by the way… wear your nice stuff tomorrow. I have a meeting with a client I’d like you to sit in on.”
I splutter out my thanks as she goes back to her office. I guess I’m not so bad at this management thing after all.
12 thoughts on “March: Lucian”
Good job, Michelle! Someone I know had to learn to keep a paper trail on a bad employee the hard way.
I am assuming you entered as a Veteran
Oh, dangit! Yes, I did! Thanks – rushed a bit to upload this so the banner isn’t up yet… 😬
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❤ yuu are good ❤
Good call to meet with Lucien!
Good on Michelle for exposing CJ! It definitely sucks having to deal with a difficult person every day of your life.
Nice story! Looks like Michelle’s found a great friend in Lucian. I’m glad everything worked out for her. 🙂
That was such a fun ending .. She is a wise boss to solicit advice .. glad to see his shenanigans exposed .maybe now he can grow up a bit. I heard tell he is moving to commune anyway 🙂
This was both a story and a how to on management! Lol. I’m glad Michelle found a way to deal with CJ. I’m sure he also thought his name would keep him safe, allowing him to do as he pleased. Lucian really helped take a load off Michelle. Looks like office morale will be going way up! I enjoyed your ending.
It was really important to me to drop in to make sure I read everyone’s work this month. I apologize for not having the energy today to say much that is very thoughtful, it has been a rough few days here. At any rate, I do love your combination of characters and how the story came together in the end.
The way you’ve constructed this is great: you trusted the reader to figure things out for themselves and left some of the important details up to the imagination. It’s very mature! These types of stories, the ones that don’t dictate to the reader what to think, are what I want to see more of!