An Executive Birthday
Posted: 09 June 2003
Word Count: 1132
Summary: An eager woman is desperate to be successful in life and the one way she thinks she will acheive this, is to own a briefcase! But will Annie realise that she has to be good at what she does to be successful? After all, there is no point looking the part if you can't actually play the part. Is there?
Annie clambered out of bed and announced to the world “It’s my birthday!” Her husband Simon (who had been fast asleep up until that moment), put his head under the pillow whilst muttering “Here we go.”
“Come on sleepy head, get up. I have to be at work in an hour so I just have to open my pressies before then!” Annie said excitedly, pulling the covers from Simon.
“Can’t we wait till you get home from work? You could open them at the meal with
your parents tonight.” Replied Simon, trying to grab at the covers.
“Nooooo!” She yelled, almost sounding like a spoilt brat. “I need my present for work remember?”
Simon sighed. “I told you Annie, I’m not getting you a briefcase. You have to earn it.”
“But I have.” She whined. “I’ve got a good job and I’ll be promoted before you know it.”
“You’ve only been there six months!” He stated. “There are people there who have been working for the company for years. And where are they? On the same level as you.”
It was true, Annie thought. She had been at the Paper such a short time, but she knew it was what she wanted to do, she was sure she was moving forward. The others weren’t as ambitious as she was. They were all happy answering the phone and taking messages for the reporters. Annie however, had so many ideas, so many different angles on how she could approach all those issues and stories. When she had been offered the job, the Editor had told her that the chances of promotion were there for the people who worked at it. Annie took that to mean if she worked hard, promotion would be hers.
“Trust me Simon, I’m on my way there, but I need to look the part.” Said Annie.
She crossed her fingers, hoping that he was just kidding and would suddenly pull out a leather-bound, executive briefcase, with her initials on it.
“Maybe next year honey.” Said Simon, yawning at the thought of getting up so early. “Happy Birthday though.” His eyelids closed and before he knew it, he was back in the land of nod.
Annie was not impressed at her husband’s lack of enthusiasm, he of all people should be encouraging her to succeed. Oh well, she would just have to show him that he was wrong. She’ll be a top journalist in no time.
She hadn’t studied Journalism at University. In fact, she only just managed to get her A-Levels, but she knew she could do it, she didn’t need a piece of paper to tell her that. She sighed. “Some people are just born with talent.” She said to herself. “And like all great geniuses, I am so misunderstood!”
Annie got to work ten minutes early in the hope that they might want to do a big presentation of her cards and gifts. She may not have been there long but she wasn’t stupid. Annie knew that they had been having a collection for her, the money (in a big brown envelope with her name on it) had been kept in Judy’s drawer. There were a couple of measly presents on her desk, but not one of them looked remotely like a briefcase, she was not happy. How many hints did she have to drop? Even her boss knew about her longing for a briefcase because they had discussed it in her interview.
She could remember it well.
“And what are your goals and ambitions?” Mr Clarke had asked her, looking down through his spectacles.
“I want to own a briefcase.” She had replied, which had granted her a strange look from Mr Clarke, as if he wanted some sort of an explanation.
“A briefcase symbolises everything I want to do with my life.” She said, pleased with the imagery she had just planted in his mind.
“I want to work my way up to he top and be able to share my ideas with people. I want to influence your readers with my articles and interviews. But most of all, I want to be successful in what I do.”
“And a briefcase will do what exactly to help you achieve your goal?”
Annie had simply replied, “All successful people have briefcases.”
He had looked fairly impressed with her answers and seemed to nod to himself.
“And finally Mrs Chambers. Where do you want to be in five years?” He said to her to close up the interview. She didn’t have to think for long before giving her answer.
“Sitting in your chair!” She said with a huge grin. “Or one very similar to it!”
Annie thought this might have made him uneasy; after all, it seemed like she was after his job already! But he just laughed and told her that she was very ambitious which was a good thing in his eyes.
Annie had just finished thanking everyone for her cards and presents, when Mr Clarke called her to his office. This is it, she thought as she scurried down the corridor.
“Annie, it’s nice to see you. Please, take a seat.” Mr Clarke said pointing to the chair in front of his desk.
“I have been looking over the ideas you gave me for possible features and I would like to talk to you about one of your ideas. If that’s okay with you?”
Annie wanted to jump up and down with excitement, but somehow she managed to reply in a very calm manner.
“Sure Mr Clarke, which one did you like?”
She couldn’t believe he had actually taken the time to read her ideas and now was sending her ‘on the field’ to research them. He started explaining but she wasn’t listening. Panic swept over her and it must have shown in her face because he stopped talking and asked her if anything was wrong.
“I don’t look the part Mr Clarke. Nobody will take me seriously without a briefcase, I’m not even wearing a suit.” Annie said, getting a bit hysterical.
“You don’t need a briefcase to prove you are a good journalist Annie, you can do that on your own.” Mr Clarke said, reassuring her. “Get yourself established so people know your name, and then worry about looking the part.”
So that’s exactly what Annie did, and she never looked back. She took her
leather-bound notebook and parker pen that Simon had bought her for her birthday,
and she worked like she’d never worked before. So much so that on her next
birthday, not only did Simon have the perfect briefcase waiting for her when she
woke up, he had also bought her a designer black suit, so the world would be able to
see, just how successful Annie Chambers had become.
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