American Fiction Friendship

“So, what do you mean involved with it”

I said as I crossed my arms on the table placing my right hand on my face as I leaned in on her.

“I mean like, I wanna know more about how to do everything. I

feel like there's more to it that I don't know anything about. And I don't wanna just take a class and pass the class, I wanna understand what's going on and how these things work. You know what I mean?”

“Yeah, but elaborate”

I wanted to see where she was going with this.

“Like the basics. I feel like the other managers who were

here before you, left too soon or within a month from starting and it is clearly an issue with upper management that i am not aware of, but I just want someone to teach me."

Her honesty was honorable, yet questionable at the same time.

"I don’t know how any of this goes and it feels like

there is more to this than I thought. I don’t know anything. I can’t trust anyone. The tech here is outdated. I can’t perform my work the way that I want to perform it. Aggghhhhhh”

She looked sincere and she sounded very genuine in her

response. It's been a while since I've been around a woman who had pure intentions compared to the woman I had to deal with from my last job and the jobs before that. Being a federal employee tainted me more than being a contractor. I’ve seen some things I was dealing with people who wanted you to have thick skin, treat you like you were a piece of meat, chew you up spit you out cheer you up spit you out and chew you up and spit you out again.

I was dealing with an actual human being who was intentional

with what she wanted and where she wanted to go with this. There were no subliminal messages, she wasn't moving her eyes around, she wasn't acting shifty, she didn't look around the room to see if anyone else was around while she was speaking to me, she was just being herself. But for some odd reason with her, and the way that she came to me open and honest, I didn't see the need to put my guard up. She was my subordinate, and I am her superior.

“How about this. We set some goals up for you, will get you

on that path. You'll get there, I promise. It's not going to happen overnight, it's not just documents, and books period it is pure experience. How things are done, always and when I say always, I mean always, start without foundation.

Have you ever seen anyone build a house on a weak foundation and it lasted longer than a year?”

With a confusing smirk on her slim beige face, I wasn’t sure

where her intentions lye, but I didn't have time to build anxiety over it.

“OK. I got it. Sounds Good.”

“Great. Give me a few I must go to Julian for some help on my

software. Can we follow up on this later?”

“Sure” she said as she grabbed her laptop and swiftly left my


I can't remember the last time I had a conversation with

another woman in the same office that I worked in who was willing and able to help me get to where I wanted to be. It felt refreshing to empower another woman in such a way that I wanted to do more of it. Grabbing my laptop, I walked down the hall, passing 3 offices of the same size to arrive at my destination.

“Come in.”

A thick Italian accent announced as he sat at his desk in his

black Versace lenses and black suit.

“Julian, I need to install plugins to export my calendar into

google sheets. This is to test our main company calendar that we need for audit compliance. Do I need permission to do this?”

Looking over at me, he looked back at his computer then back

at me as he sat at in his white leather executive chair behind his glass desk.


“I need access as an administrator”

I said as I referenced the company main account to manage our

google platform.

“You don’t need to access. Then what are you trying to

achieve? You can create a public link for any calendar to share”

His accent was getting thicker as his English was beginning

to break.  I was beginning to feel that this conversation was going

in a route I was not in the mood for. There was so much I had heard about this man, and I never got to experience it, but now, I think this was going to be a part of my new experience today.

“Can you download the app and export the calendar into an sheet? We need an updated version of the work group schedule for our company audit. I want to make sure that we are in alignment with the files we have. I need to export out meetings in excel format for it to align with this


I could look over at my new boss and see that he was anticipating a response from me, but I wasn’t going to give him the

satisfaction of thinking he could control me or gaslighting me. I had to remind myself that the more money you make, the more problems you have. Big money comes with big responsibility.

“That is in your chrome. You have full control of your chrome app.”

Again, his accent was getting thicker as his Italian was beginning to run out as it had in our previous conversations. I don’t think I understood him and I felt stupid for not being able to do so.

“I understand that, but we need this. It aligns with the requirements we need for our Chrome app. I read it in the IT policy manual. We should be able to use this.”

Looking over at me I couldn’t tell by the blank stare on his pale

skin if he was confused or not. I felt like he didn't understand me, like there was a communication issue.

“I understand that, but I need this to download all the meetings with the client, not the items on my calendar. The audit does not

require my calendar.”

Shaking his head, I began to realize that the barrier of his broken

english and italian was taking a toll on my American native accent. I just wanted to do my work, that was all, but I don't know if he got that. Taking a silent slow breath, I tried to compromise with the

man who was a part of my hiring decision to land this job. I was really beginning to feel like he didn't get me

Showing him my computer, I pointed to the screen I was referencing to see if he was able to see it.

“The calendar for our meetings…who is the admin that sets

that up? It says ‘Admin’”

Raising his eyes brown, he then had a look of surprise as he

understood where I was coming from with my query.

“Oh! The creator. The calenda- which calendar are you trying

to share? Teams Calendar is assigned to everybody, so anybody can manage it. If it says Admin, it is because it was moved after somebody left.”

Clearing my throat, I looked down at my nails observing the

soft pink, red reflecting on my cocoa-colored skin. Looking back up at him as I sat across from his desk, I crossed my legs in my black dress and red pumps.


“There is one calendar for our meetings. It is normally on a

‘per-user’ basis. The organization doesn’t have a calendar. Users have calendar.”

Now I was beginning to feel like he was running around in a

circle, I didn’t even ask for.

“I understand that, but is there a main calendar that has all

our meetings on it? Something consistent, should anyone leave?”


“What!?! Why?”

I had to correct and collect myself as I reminded myself ‘WHO’ I

was talking to.

“The organizer is the owner. That’s it.”

Biting my bottom left lip, I placed my hands on my burgundy

covered Sloane pants as I adjusted myself to the guest seat in his office.

“We need to set up a primary calendar for all items related

to the project. We need to make sure there is consistency with the compliance. We need to get this together.”

“Sì, è quello che ho dato”

He added nodding his head as if I was trying to understand

what he was saying.

“I’m not fluent in Italian”

With a smirk on his face, I couldn’t tell what he was going

to say next, but I did know there were politics in this company. Politics I wasn’t aware of yet, that I couldn’t see so I needed to tread lightly when it came to my communication and his being a barrier.

“Hey, you want to create a calendar for the project, go ahead. Just make sure you give access to the right people, and everyone can see it.

With sigh of relief I was able to build a smile on my face as

headed out the door. Stopping at the entry way, I tuned around to look over to him before beginning the rest of my day.

“Thank you for that, Julian.”

December 07, 2022 20:39

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Phineas Andrews
22:14 Dec 14, 2022

Hey Shaynuh, I don't intend to be a rain cloud, but I found the structuring a little jarring on the eyes and to read and there were some clunky lines. I think it's best summed up in this paragraph. "She looked sincere and she sounded very genuine in her response. It's been a while since I've been around a woman who had pure intentions compared to the woman I had to deal with from my last job and the jobs before that. Being a federal employee tainted me more than being a contractor. I’ve seen some things I was dealing with people who wante...


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Mary Lehnert
00:10 Dec 10, 2022

Love your determination to tell a genuine tale, Shaynuh. Just a couple of thoughts. Instead of telling how his accent was getting thicker, give us an example. Always use Grammarly it will pick up misspellings like “lye” . We all learn from experience, even the best like the contest winners. Take heart, best of luck. Mary


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