I pick him up and cradle him to me. I make soft shushing sounds as I walk with him back to our room. As I head back down the hall, Barbara stands in her doorway and gives me a little smile.
This lifts my spirits because I feel like she’s proud of me. Even though I’m struggling, she thinks I’m doing my best.
Maxim cries a little longer, so I feed him, and check his diaper. Afterwards, I hum a little lullaby and he falls asleep on my chest. We have a rocking chair in the room, so I sit there with him for a while.
He’s so tiny; I love to hold him. I think about how much having him changed my life, in a good way I suppose, but also in an unexpected way. I wasn’t prepared for any of this. But I’m still glad I have him, even though my mom would never believe it.
“Mr. North, your eyes are so handsome when you’re squinting at the computer scene like that,” Karen says, causing me to quickly say, “Karen, that’s not appropriate behavior in the workplace.”
“Why don’t we take it to my house, then?” she quickly quips.
I sigh and rub my temples.
Not this again.
Currently I’m overseeing a team of software engineers designing the latest app for the company, and it is no easy task. Our company is based in Silicon Valley, but I had to relocate to Pittsburgh to supervise the project. It’s for a steel company and is designed to let them know how much product they have on hand.
I was brought in because the steel company wanted someone to come work in their offices. Honestly, I don’t think they realized when they started this job that it takes a whole team of web developers to do it, but we all traipsed here from California anyway. I mean, they are paying us, and it’s work, so we might as well do it.
Thank goodness I have experts here to back me up. Though I’m great on my own, I don’t know if I could handle it all alone. It’s a lot of mental and emotional work, likely too much for any one person to manage without help.
Thankfully, we were able to bring a whole crew out here with us. They are all the best and most qualified in their fields. There is, however, one member of our team that irks me specifically, and that is Karen. She’s the only female on our team but I swear that’s not the reason she irritates me – I’m not sexist.
The real reason she irritates me so much is that she is constantly flirting with me like this, and trying to get my attention. It’s frustrating because I’m not interested in her and also because she keeps interrupting my work, especially when I’m trying to give orders to the team. I’m glad no one else has caught on yet, but I can’t let this keep happening.
It’s so annoying. I mean it’s not like I don’t want to have sex – I do, and what red blooded straight male wouldn’t? It’s been a long couple of weeks, especially with all this stress at work.
If it were some other woman, I might be all over her, because I’m normally a player – but not with Karen. Not only because she’s my subordinate and that would be improper and get us both into major trouble at work, but also because she’s not my type.
She’s very skinny and I like curvy women. Plus, I also like intelligent, classy women and she acts like a bimbo even though she’s a smart woman in the tech field. I don’t know why she insists on debasing herself like that, but she does. Each day her flirting gets more obvious and desperate despite my rebuking her advances.
I need to put a stop to this before anyone else notices. I have no choice but to tell her to meet me in my office for a private meeting. I know this will send her the wrong message, but I have no other choice.
Just as I predicted, when we get into the office, she gets all excited because she thinks I want to have sex with her. She is practically tearing her clothes off. I have to grab her hands and physically stop her in addition to verbally telling her to stop.
Once I have her attention, I start to explain that I actually called her in to say she has to stop flirting with me. She stares at me in disbelief. I don’t care about her emotions or feelings right now.
She means nothing to me; she’s just another employee that is misbehaving. I keep explaining to her the reason for this meeting.
“If you don’t knock this off, I’ll have to have you move teams. It is not going to happen between us and I don’t want other people to think it is, or else I’ll get into big trouble with HR, and I can’t deal with that right now,” I tell her.