“Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Her.”
“A rabbit? Are you kidding? That’s the best you could do?” Lana Losers almost dropped the sticker her boss Roger had given her at the last minute. “A fucking rabbit.”
Roger snapped his spine straight, played with the one button he would ever fuss with on his jacket, and smirked at his protégé as if she owed him the world. At least he never bothered her for sex. Too gay for that. One of the many reasons she had decided to work for his agency over others that had offered her more money. “It matches your charm, Lana.” He carefully placed the golden sticker of a rabbit on her nametag. Roger had already taken the liberty of writing LANA LOSERS on the hopping bunny. “Besides, it makes you stick out. You want to stick out here, babe. You’re the fucking star of the conference.”
She wouldn’t argue with that, but Lana already couldn’t get people to take her seriously in the real estate world. If someone wasn’t trying to grab her ass on her way by their desk, they were asking her for coffee or for something more pornographic. That was at her firm! HR doesn’t give a shit. HR hits on me too. Roger was the only one who wasn’t always trying to get beneath her skirt. Instead, he called her babe and occasionally asked her to beard for him when they dealt with more conservative clients. “I dream of a day when nobody cares that I’m gay, babe,” he often said after too much wine. “You’d think that in the year of our Lord, 2003, nobody would care, but…”
Lana didn’t care about his problems. She cared about her problems. Every time some man tried to bring her down, she worked twice as hard. Within two years of graduating from grad school, Lana Losers had become one of the most successful real estate agents in New England. We’re not talking bungalows and bodegas, either. Lana had always had her sights on big ticket items. Skyscrapers. Mansions. Sure, she cut her teeth on old Victorian homes and office parks, but once she settled on the high-end commercial shit, she was making more money than she knew what to do with. As a woman who grew up in a house full of millionaires? That said a lot. Those million-dollar connections got me my job, though. She didn’t spring for nepotism, but she did happily take her father’s suggestion that he introduce her to some of his buddies from the country club.
Now here she was, at the tender age of twenty-seven, prepared to accept the award for most successful agent, 2002-2003.
Roger was the first to tell her that she was getting too big for his firm in the DC metro area. Lana was meant for bigger and better things. However, even though he was willing to pawn her off to a big firm from Boston, Philadelphia, or even New York, he wanted that headhunter’s fee. Millions and millions of dollars’ worth of headhunting fees.
While she knew it was in her best interest, Lana still felt like a young bride and Roger was her father, sizing up suitors in the hopes that his dowry would pay off. Or maybe she was a bovine. A heifer. Damnit, Lana Losers was no heifer!
Roger already botched it by reporting the wrong name to the conference organizer. When they showed up and found a nametag that said Linda Losario waiting for them, Lana was halfway to livid. Roger popped into the nearest office supply store and came back with…
A golden rabbit nametag. So childish that Lana felt even worse than before.
She wanted these firms and agencies to take her seriously, damnit. There was no guarantee that she would once again be the best selling commercial agent next year. Now was her big chance to leave favorable impressions on the chairmen and CEOs of America’s top real estate agencies. If she wanted them to entrust her with properties worth tens of millions of dollars? She had to look professional. That’s why she wore a black skirt suit as opposed to her signature purple or red. She pulled her long blond hair back into a clean, conscious bun dotted with black lacquer pins. Her jewelry was expensive yet understated. Her heels gave her a commanding height over other women and the shorter men at the conference, but she was still able to walk with a confidant gait. She had even practiced her handshakes and her manner of speaking in front of a mirror. Don’t look too friendly. They’ll think you’re their mother or their girlfriend if you’re too friendly.