Saturday, 11 August 2012
Chapter 1 part 3
The blonde’s face stayed completely impassive as I placed my order. If I had insisted on heart shaped ice cubes she probably would have gone to work with an ice pick straight away. She had that air of merciless efficiency about her. Mere seconds later she returned with my drinks and I spent another thirty minutes enjoying the excellent cappuccino and one of Gray’s publications. It was a tabloid with loads of unflattering celebrity photographs and stories of earth shattering scandals.
After about 45 minutes waiting in total the first blonde returned. She looked a bit flustered and apologized repeatedly for not having offered me a beverage before. Obviously Blonde Nr. 2 had given her a good seeing-to. That is NOT how you treat visitors, even underlings like her, yadayadayada. I was let into what I presumed was the anteroom to Gray’s office. Aha! So I didn’t even reach lackey status – no anteroom waiting privileges for me.
The blonde disappeared into the office itself, probably to introduce me. Finally, I was allowed to enter the inner sanctum and meet Mr. Gray in the flesh. He introduced himself, shook my hand, smiled and had the decency to apologize for letting me wait. He led me to a sitting area in a corner of his large office, taking an armchair with his back against the windows. They covered an entire wall and offered a spectacular view. It meant that I had to blink into the light while his facial expressions stayed mostly hidden. I was sure he always took that seat.
I sat down opposite of him and asked permission to tape the interview. I explained how Ms. Montgomery was indisposed and I was only the replacement, inexperienced and not part of the student paper – or at all familiar with stenography. He gave me permission to run the tape and I started on the questions Katie had given me. He answered politely in a way that seemed rehearsed. I had to concentrate very hard on not yawning. He had been a poor student, went to WSU on a scholarship, worked his way up, incredible success as a broker, made loads of money, always dreamed of owning a publishing house, bought one, turned the company around, donated to charity all the time, treated his employees very well, dabbled in Buddhism (my, my, how original). His advice for graduates? Work hard. Now I really yawned. He frowned for a split second but immediately regained control of his face. I bet he was excellent at playing poker.
I decided I’d had enough of this bullshit. I was finished with the questionnaire anyway so Katie had gotten what she wanted. I decided to change the line of questioning. “So, Mr. Gray, what does your personal life look like?”