The rational side of her agreed with James. The opportunity could be a well-timed boost to her career and give her some of the exposure her superiors were constantly telling her she needed. Not to mention, it would be a pleasant change in her rather mundane – as of late – life.

Listening with half an ear as he gave his best sales pitch, Sam continued driving, doing her best to focus on the road and not on the man ranting in her ear – elaborating on all of the reasons she should consider this opportunity. Based on the way he was ticking off one reason after another, she knew there was a list sitting in front of him. James was the type of man – sort of like Santa Claus - to make a list and he probably checked it twice, if not more.

“Yes, it makes sense.” Samantha finally caved. “Can we sit down and talk about this for a little while? I’m on my way to the office now. About five minutes away.”

The trip would be more like ten minutes because now she had to stop off to get her morning coffee. There was no way she could go up against him without a serious dose of caffeine.

“I’ll see you in a few.” She told him when he finally conceded.

As she pulled into the parking lot of her favorite coffee shop, Sam replayed the conversation over and over in her head. The proposal was unexpected, yet, with little ego involved, Sam realized she was likely the best candidate for the job. At least at the moment.

The project they wanted her to lead wasn’t just any run of the mill project; this was one that had been in the works for a while and it would give her the opportunity to show her superiors what she was made of. Although it had been on the radar for six months, few preparations had been made for it, which would leave Sam with plenty of working room. It truly was a project manager’s dream job.

Wow, and ok, that sounded downright cheesy, even to her. It was a testament to how utterly boring her life had become.

With some serious consideration, Sam knew she could take this assignment to the next level. After all, she had a lot of ideas. Although it seemed a little arrogant, Sam knew that if she was placed in charge of something, it would be done on time, and it would be done right. That was one characteristic she prided herself on.

As Sam waited – again not so patiently - in the drive thru line, she continued with her mental pep talk. She knew she had to put up a reasonable amount of resistance because they expected that from her, but it didn’t mean she couldn’t be excited about it.

By the time Sam pulled into the parking lot of XTX’s remote branch, she had begun making a mental list of what she needed to address even before she left town. Huh. To have already made a decision, despite her lack of information, Sam was somewhat surprised with herself.

There were question that needed to be answered long before she gave a definitive answer, but at this point, it was clear which way she was leaning. How long would something like this take? Did they plan to relocate her permanently or just for the time they allotted? Those were two of the most pressing questions, and she realized they actually didn’t have much to do with the project itself.

Using her mental calculator, Sam estimated it would take at least six months to get the requirements gathered and documented as well as get the team in place. All of that would happen before the actual project work began.

No wonder her social life had become so stale, she spent way too much time thinking about work.

Sam grabbed her coffee, her purse, and her laptop bag before she shut the truck door behind her. As she stood in the parking lot, both bags now hoisted over her shoulder, she stared at her SUV, realizing exactly how dull her life had become. The fact that her most prized possession was the vehicle she drove said way too much about her mental state. At thirty, that almost felt like a midlife crisis waiting to happen.

Acknowledging the time, Sam turned toward the building and stepped up the pace. By now James would be staring out of his office window waiting for her arrival.

As she surveyed the small two story building, a smile crept on. The familiarity of her surroundings gave her pause. Could she even think of leaving this place?

She’d been working here, day in and day out, sometimes seven days a week, for what? Almost ten years? She couldn’t picture herself anywhere else.

When she had interviewed with XTX, one of a handful of companies she’d received any communication back from, she knew she wasn’t the most qualified for a project management position; after all, her degree was in marketing. She hadn’t let that stop her though.

With determination on her side, she put her heart into it and landed the job within days of applying. To this point, XTX hadn’t let her down, and she felt good in knowing she hadn’t let them down either.

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