A slight tapping sound on my open office door has me swiveling my chair that way, and the object of my current fascination is standing there just at the threshold.
I can tell immediately that she’s nervous, just by her bearing. She’s attempting for confident with her shoulders pushed back and chin slightly elevated, but the way her hands are clasped just a little too tightly reveals her discomfort.
Because I love everything about a beautiful woman, I tend to take in their appearance from head to toe, concentrating on the shapes, subtle lines, and curves. My eyes note with a critical awareness that Bailey’s wardrobe is cheap but certainly functional. She’s wearing a simple black suit that could pass as crepe but is probably a polyester blend. It consists of a knee-length skirt that hugs her hips, a black mid-length jacket, and a cream blouse. Her shoes are black faux leather with sturdy blocked heels, and the one thing I appreciate is her bare legs. I fucking hate pantyhose.
Yes, totally functional for this job if she were to sit in the office all day and work on a computer. Not apropos for the business lunch I intended to have her attend with me today. Or potentially the business dinner I thought about requiring her to attend. It’s something I’ll remedy soon.
“Miss Robbins.” My tone is crisp and professional. I push up out of my chair, buttoning my jacket.
“Good morning, Mr. Blackwood,” she demurs politely, which does nothing to soothe my ire she didn’t anticipate the fact I would have liked her here earlier. “I am so sorry I’m late.”
That piques my attention, stopping me in mid-stride as I’d started to round my desk toward her.
“I know you said my start time was eight, but I always like to get to work early so I can get settled. A head start on the day, of sorts, but, unfortunately, I had a flat tire.”
And that immediately changes my opinion of her all over again. Her work ethic is as strong as I had suspected.
“Of course, it’s been a long time since I’ve changed a flat. Rusty skills and all, or I would have been in much earlier.”
I’m once again stunned into inaction.
She changed her own flat? I’m fascinated, and I want to know more. “Why didn’t you call a car service to change your tire?”
My question obviously confuses her. Her brow crinkles. But when comprehension dawns over her face, I understand. To her, my inherent privilege doesn’t make sense.
Her words are quietly assured, but they still have a bite. “Because I cannot afford to pay for someone to come fix my flat. Also, that would have taken more time than I could have afforded. I most assuredly did not want to be late to work.”
Damn. She really put me in my place. After giving her a second to gloat, I pull back on my mantle of superiority. “I thought we’d start by giving you a tour of the entire resort. As my assistant, you’ll need to understand and liaise with all of them on my behalf.”
I stride toward her and she moves backward through my doorway, intent on getting out of my way. I point to the cubicle that sits catty-corner to my office. “You’ll find an iPad at your desk you can use in addition to your computer. You can introduce yourself to the other staff when we return. I’ll have someone from HR show you how to log in to the system and give you some basic training later.”
“Okay,” she replies, then I hear her trotting to keep up with me.
Our executive suite is nothing more than a large square with the management offices on the perimeter and the secretarial services on the interior in cubicles and free-standing desks. I point out every office, not expecting her to remember the names of every important person who helps in running this resort, but giving her enough information so she’s familiar with them. I’ve learned enough to know Bailey is resourceful and has common sense. She can figure things out if she has an inkling as to where to start.
From there, I show her every part of the resort and explain how it functions. I denote the major departments such as operations, marketing, human resources, dining, spa services, housekeeping, maintenance, grounds, merchandising, retail, and concierge. I explain our bright-line rule on customer experience… that the customer gets whatever they want, whenever they want, and faster than they ever expected it in the first place.
More importantly, I bestow upon her the authority to make anything happen in my absence and reiterate my expectation that she use her brain to make good decisions. That part was probably unnecessary as she saw me fire my assistant yesterday for just such a failure, but it never hurts to make things doubly clear.