As I walk to my new desk I see that a new desktop and desk phone was being installed by couple of guys. The desk was exactly opposite the cabin were if required Natasha can see me working at my desk. I put my laptop on my desk and the guy says “Sir I need to take away your laptop, please can you tell me what data you need to transfer from the laptop to this desktop. As a policy you cannot hold two systems.” I knew it was coming and didn’t react. “You can take the laptop. I don’t need anything.”
I sit on my chair and login to my new system. I open the mailbox and see the first mail is from Natasha, announcing my change in role to the whole organization. I feel like burying myself in some hole and how I will answer the questions from colleagues and friends. I try to open the internet explorer and try and login to jobs sites, I realize that this machine had different internet policy and I was not able to access any social and professional job search sites. I feel frustrated and sit at my desk. I get a new name tag in front of my desk which clearly displays my new designation “Personal Executive Assistant”. I flinch and turn away from it. At around 11 in the morning, I get a call from Natasha on my desk “Please come in Vishal”.
I enter to her cabin, she smiles at me and asks me to take a seat. I find it reassuring that she was nice this morning, maybe it was her pink salwar that was making her more pleasant. She was looking extremely beautiful this morning, which resulted in me losing my anger for a while. “Vishal, I am sure you will understand why I selected you for the role in sometime, but for now you will have to start taking it up seriously, if you don’t like it you can leave it. I will not stop you. However, for now you will have to start looking at helping me to achieve my goals. I have forwarded couple of mails, I want those reports printed for me. I want you to make my travel arrangement for next month to Delhi, to meet NextSys, which you were suppose to go. Also book a taxi for me for tomorrow’s meeting with BlueGem, as I don’t have my car with me.”
I just nod in yes. She looks at me. I stare back with no emotions. Her face expressions change, “You need to reply to me, Vishal. Don’t make this difficult.” “Ok I will do it.” She still looks at me. I can’t understand anything “Ok, I am going.” “I am not done yet. Sit down.” I sit in the chair fully disinterested in the discussion. “I know this is a new role so I will give you some time. I have given you access to my calendar and I will ask everyone to get in touch with you for appointment. You can learn this very fast. I will let you know which meetings I want you to attend as you know lot about the business and will be very handy to take notes and take action. I am also going to direct my landline to yours, you need to confirm who it is and transfer the necessary calls to me. I don’t like distractions.” I nod in yes without much interest fiddling with my fingers as she talks. She gets up and walks across the desk, She stands next to me and says “Vishal, if you want to act like this, I will ensure that by the time you leave this company, there will be no job for you in market. Now to ensure you understood everything I said, repeat it for me.”
I start to repeat but fumble and forget what she had mentioned and look at her with blank face. She pulls out a notebook from her desk and a pen, “You will carry this every time, you walk in any meeting. I want you to take detailed notes. You will look at me or will be taking notes in my presence nothing else. Now, one more thing, you will call me “Natasha Madam” at all times, when you receive phone calls on my behalf you will say “Natasha Madam’s Office”, Is it clear?” I again nod, she stares at me and says “Repeat”
“I am to call you as Natasha Madam at all times, and receive phone calls with Natasha’s Office”. She slaps me on my face as I keep staring at the towering figure in front of me. “It is “Natasha Madam’s Office” you idiot, now repeat.” I repeat “Natasha Madam’s Office.” I could not understand any of the conversation and why I was going through all this, why did I allow a girl slap me in professional environment. I feel lost and I get up to leave. Natasha, stops me. “I am not done yet. I will not remind you again, but you need to take permission to enter my cabin and take seat, is it clear? “Yes Natasha Madam.” I speak without any emotion. “Good, you are learning fast. Make sure that you don’t forget it this fast. Now, you can leave.”
It was only 30 minutes in her cabin but it felt like eternity. I reach my seat and start looking at my mails. I see only three mails since morning all from Natasha, I print the attached reports. “May I come in?” I knock on the door and wait to get in her cabin to give her the prints. “Yes.” I walk in and leave the reports on table. She looks up at me and says “It should be “Natasha Madam, may I please come in?”, understood?” I nod, she smiles and says “Repeat” “Natasha Madam, may I please come in?” “Good boy, now go I have lot of work. If there is any call, ask them to call after lunch.” I start to get more and more frustrated. I receive three calls in next 45 minutes, where I just ask them to call back after lunch. At lunch, my usual companions doesn’t even bother to check with me. I don’t feel like having lunch so I spend next 3o minutes on my desk looking at the calendar and arranging for the travel that she had requested. I receive an email, which was for secretaries and personal assistants of the company. I feel embarrassed that I was to attend a meeting scheduled only for them on some administrative matter which I could not relate to.
Natasha calls me twice to understand some mundane details about the clients she was to visit and asks me to block her calendar accordingly. She keeps reviewing the reports and prepare for the meeting. After lunch, she calls me in her cabin and asks me to prepare the presentation for next days meeting and mail her as she was going for another meeting. I get really frustrated and start to work on the presentation and once it is completed I mail her and leave for home. I notice that the notebook she gave was pink with floral patterns on it and the pen was red in color with a flower on the cap. I keep them in the bottom drawer and leave. I was still not sure why I was doing what I was doing. I decide to go to the cyber café to start searching and applying for a new job before it was too late. I decide to get back to Natasha for slapping me.