TITLE: A Rose for Sherman (Part 2)
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It was Wednesday, two days after he'd come to work to find that all his things were now in the tiny office in the opposite corner from where they'd been on Friday. There was a woman in his office and she seemed intent on taking over, at least from his point of view. She'd been avoiding him until the meeting today and now they both wished she'd cancelled it.
He found a small amount of satisfaction in reminding her of his contract, but it was short-lived, and would be every time he mentioned it. Tiny, hollow victories is what they really would be.
They each made a point of avoiding the other for the rest of the day. Although he was beginning to enjoy irritating her, he wasn't sure he could keep at it for long. She, on the other hand, was busy looking into a way to get rid of him.
He left a little early that day for a dinner meeting with a client. When he arrived at the restaurant, he saw that Rose was already seated at the table with the man he'd come to see.
"What are you doing here?" he demanded, looking at her as he approached the table, her rose-scented cologne suddenly piercing through the warm aromas of sizzling steaks and baked potatoes to force its way into his nostrils.
"Client meeting," she said without looking up. "Isn't it obvious?"
"What's obvious is that you're trying to take over my clients, but it's not going to happen," he snapped. "Get up and leave me to my meeting."
"In case you haven't noticed, Henry, you're not the boss anymore."
"As far as I'm concerned, you're just a paper pushing supervisor," he replied. "This gentleman is my client and I'll be the one to meet with him."
"Well, I've been here for almost ten minutes and I'm not leaving this table," she said.
"Fine by me." Looking at his client, he said, "Would you mind moving to another table so we can go over your new policy?"
The gentleman nodded and they moved to the opposite side of the room. Rose sat there staring at them as they walked away. If it were humanly possible, her eyes would have shot daggers into their backs.
When they were seated, he asked, "Who is that woman? She was trying to convince me she's in charge of your agency now."
Henry explained about the merger and that he was unaware they would place a District Manager in his office.
"Don't pay any attention to her, Sam. She doesn't know any of my clients, but she wants to think she does."
"Well, I want you to know she took me by surprise and I don't appreciate that," Sam said. "She's got some big brass ones, that's for sure."
Henry couldn't stifle a chuckle. "Yeah, she does," he said. "I'll take care of it tomorrow, but in the meantime, I have your new policy here for you to look over. If anything isn't right, let me know and I'll take care of it."
He handed the paperwork to Mr. Jenkins as the waitress came to the table to take their dinner order. Before long the papers were signed, the new policy was in effect and they could enjoy the meal.
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Thursday morning, Henry arrived at work promptly at five. He wasn't sure what time Rose would show up, but she'd been there every morning this week when he came in at eight. He figured two or three hours would be more than enough to carry out his plan.
He was right. In fact, not only did he have plenty of time to do what he wanted, he had time left to take a short snooze before she got there.
As he opened the door to his former office, the scent of her cologne was so thick in the air he nearly gagged from it. Not that it was normally an overpowering scent, but it smelled as though she'd spilled the entire bottle onto the carpet.
Looking around quickly, he saw the reason for the heavy smell. She'd 'freshened up' before trying to take over his dinner meeting and had forgotten to plug up the bottle. It sat in the middle of the desk, the stopper lying next to it.
As soon as he'd remedied the problem, he opened the window and set the fan on the sill to pull most of the reeking cologne out of the office.
Then he began moving her things out, replacing them with his things, switching their offices. He was determined to keep the space he'd had before she came along, so he also changed the doorknob. Since he was the only one with the key, she wouldn't be able to take it over again.
Before he settled into his chair for a snooze, he sprayed the office with an odor neutralizer to rid it of the remaining scent of her cologne.
Now he was happy. He had his office back and could probably tolerate the woman and her attempts to remove him. What she didn't realize was that he'd made sure the contract also had a revocation clause. If he felt it necessary he would invoke it, she would be gone and he'd have his insurance agency back in his control.
She would be livid when she arrived, but he didn't care what she did or said, he had no intention of letting her take over. He had the ace up his sleeve and there was no way she could win.
Henry had napped for a little more than an hour when Rose came in at seven-forty-five and tried to open the office door to no avail.
He got up, opened the door and said with a smile, "Yes? May I help you, Miss Reiman?"
"What are you doing in my office?" she demanded.
"This was my office before you arrived and it's going to stay my office," he responded in a calm voice. "I don't care if you don't like it, but you came in here on Monday and just took over. This is my insurance agency and it will remain mine."
Aggravated, she replied, "You seem to have forgotten about the merger that gave me authority over this agency as District Manager. I want your things out of here and I want my office back. Do you understand me?"
"I honestly don't care what you want, Miss Reiman. As I said, this office was, and will remain, mine. I suggest you deal with it and adjust your attitude or we'll never get along."
"You can't do this," she said, "I won't tolerate any type of insubordination from anyone." She sounded desperate, as if she were about to go over a cliff and was grasping for anything to keep herself from falling.
Maintaining his calm voice, he said, "I can do whatever I want and you can't stop me. Now, we can either decide to <i>work together</i> or we can continue a fight that <i>you won't win</i>. I'd like for us to get along, but it's your choice. Whatever you want, I'm ready for you."
Her face became red with either fury or frustration, he couldn't tell which. "This isn't over. I'm the boss and that's all there is to it. I won't let you or anyone else stop me from getting what I want."
She turned on her heels and walked briskly to the small office that was now hers. What she didn't realize is that she'd just told him why she was so stubborn. He now knew what her problem was, but wondered if he was the one to fix it.
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