The new position came with a lot of Technical Support. Sara Durant had been in the middle of a lot of different deals and the details from those as well as her incoming emails all had to be set up so that Shane had access to them.
By the time that lunch rolled by, Shane hadn’t done anything yet in his new position aside from spend several hours working with the IT guy out of CIT’s Chicago office.
Lunch was something that Shane had been looking forward to. Today was Burrito day at El Sol Mexica, and Dale was meeting him there.
El Sol Mexica was a taco truck in Shane’s business park. When he got there, the line was at least twenty yards long. Dale was already in line and waved him over, but they still had three quarters of the line to move through before they would be even close to touching a burrito or five.
“What’s the news?” Dale asked in the way of his usual hello.
Shane filled him in on everything as they moved through the line. He had to stop to pay for his burrito when he got to the part of Sara Durant catching up with him in the parking lot.
Burritos in hand, the guys walked over to their usual spot in the neighbor office’s smoking area. Picnic tables and chairs were scattered all over the place, but their were almost never any smokers out there, making it the perfect lunch spot.
Shane continued his story with the explanation of Sara’s awkward conversation and Steve’s response to it.
“That’s really weird,” Dale finally said when Shane finished his story, “but, the lady just lost her job and could probably guess who was getting it next. Weird makes sense.”
Shane nodded, “I get that, but what does the ‘yet’ mean?”
“It probably means that you’re new job isn’t going to be as easy as you expect it to be.”
“I don’t expect it to be easy,” Shane shot back. “If it was easy, than it wouldn’t be fun.”
“Either way, the ‘yet’ is a warning. Don’t over think it.” While chewing his burrito, Dale added, “I’ll pray for both of you. She obviously needs it, and we don’t know if you will.”
Shane tried not to roll his eyes. Dale’s stringent morality wasn’t the only thing that his parents taught him. That morality was taught to him through a very strict Catholic upbringing that he never broke away from. Shane had no problem with religion as long as people kept their opinions to themselves. Dale was aware of this and tried to keep most of his Catholic rhetoric in the same place that he stored his moral judgment, but both seemed to leak out from time to time.
Once they had finished their burritos, of which they always got back in line for another, Dale offered one more word of advice.
“Don’t worry about that Durant lady,” he climbed into his big brown truck while Shane stood near the wide open side door. “Whatever path your on is where you need to be. Her freaky warnings can’t change that, so ride the wave until the tide turns.” He shrugged, “Or something like that.”
“Thanks, great Shaman,” Shane bowed. “Your wisdom knows all bounds.”
“Truer words have never been spoken.”
They said their goodbyes while Dale drove away in his delivery truck. Shane began the hundred or more yard walk back to his office.
The first day on the job was something else entirely. The morning of technical issues only barely bled into the afternoon and by midafternoon, Shane was free to start sending out marketing emails regarding his taking over the new position.
My name is Shane Lowe. I am emailing you to inform you that your previous representative, Sara Durant, has moved on to a bigger and brighter future. In her absence, I have been asked to fill her role as your representative with Computer Information Technologies (CIT).
With strengthening your relationship in mind, I want to schedule a time with you in the next two weeks to introduce myself and learn more about you and your company.
When works best for you?”
He signed it with his new email signature that included his name, title, and a Voice over IP phone number that would route the calls directly his cellphone if he wasn’t at his desk.
The turnaround on those types of emails were low at best, but it was still a great way to introduce himself. The program they used to send out the mass emails let him track who opened the emails and who clicked the social media links that he provided in his signature. If someone opened the email but didn’t reply at all, that indicated that something about his email had interested them and Shane would still drop in and introduce himself. It just wouldn’t be on anyone’s schedule.
After the emails were sent, and a few responses were added to the calendar, Shane began reviewing Sara’s notes on several of the accounts. That took up the rest of the day Shane’s day. He was so absorbed in account notes that he didn’t even realize that five o’clock had gone by until Steve knocked on his door.
“Your laptop works at home, too,” he smiled at him. “That’s why they invented wireless.”
Shane glanced at the clock on his laptop screen. “I guess that I didn’t realize that six had rolled around.”
“It happens to the best of us. Have a good night,” Steve said, nodding as he left.
Shane moved to save the file he had been viewing when an alert popped up.
“You are not authorized to view this account.”
Shane frowned and tried to save the file again. When the error popped up again, he decided that the changes he had made could be made tomorrow when this glitch was ironed out.
On the way home he called Maggie and asked her to set a reservation with The Fire Kitchen downtown. It was one of the classier joints and while they had celebrated his big sale and breaking the annual quota, Maggie and Shane hadn’t had a chance to celebrate the new promotion.
Shane went straight to the restaurant and was greeted by Maggie as her Uber pulled up the same time that he found his parking spot.
While he still wore his work suit, Maggie had changed from whatever she had been wearing into a long red dress that glittered.
“Holy shit,” Shane mumbled. He thought it had been quiet, but Maggie heard him and let out a giggle. The dress hugged her every curve and squeezed some curves in a manner that drew his attention.
“What was that?” she pretended that she hadn’t heard him.
“I was just admiring your dress.” He kissed her and then broke away to make a more obvious inspection of the new garment. “I haven’t seen this one before.” He winked at her. “The dress pales in comparison to the angel wearing it.”
“You’re so corny,” Maggie smiled. “But I love you, so that’s supposed to be endearing.” She gave him the same detailed inspection. “I have seen this outfit before, but you fill it out nicely.” She smacked the right side of his butt.
“Alright, little lady,” Shane hooked his arm, “are you ready for some celebration?”
“Bring it on.”
Their impromptu dinner date was everything that they both wanted out of a date. They spent most of the evening talking about their days and Shane recapped his weird conversation after getting his new position. Maggie dropped some large hints about potentially moving in together and for the first time in a while, Shane went along with it. He was never against the idea of living with Maggie. He knew that he loved her, but he was against moving in together with his previous income level. He wanted to have a certain level of financial success to his name before he made that move.
Finally, he felt as though he was at that point.
When the dinner was over, they started for the door when a loud cheering took place on the other side of the restaurant. Shane glanced over and saw something he wasn’t quite sure that he understood.
“That’s Sara Durant,” he said to answer Maggie’s upraised eyebrow. “Looks like she’s celebrating something.”
Maggie shrugged, “She probably got a new job.” She started toward their table, dragging Shane along by the arm. “Let’s go say hi and see how she’s doing.”
The last thing that Shane wanted to do was talk to Sara Durant again, but he knew better than to argue with Maggie and allowed her to drag him over to Sara’s table.
About half way across The Fire Kitchen, Sara and her party noticed them. Shane gave a small wave as he started to recognize some of the remote representatives from his office. These were the people that Sara had spent her years at CIT working with and who Shane would be working with soon.
Before they made it to Sara’s table, she stood and met them.
“Hi Sara,” Shane was using an apologetic tone. He couldn’t help but feel like he was intruding. “We saw you over here and thought we would say hi.”
“That’s great,” she grabbed him into a hug, and he had to do his best not to jump at the quickness of it. “I’m sorry about earlier today, I wasn’t myself.”
“Understandably,” Maggie said in time to earn a hug from Sara as well. “Are you,” she hesitated, unsure if the word she was about to use was appropriate given the circumstances, “celebrating…something?”
Sara smiled, but it was tight-lipped. “Yes,” she glanced at Shane, “remember when I mentioned my backup plan earlier?” Shane nodded. “Well,” Sara continued, “I did it.” She gestured behind her. “So, I invited a few family and friends to celebrate.”
“The idea seems to be going around,” Maggie joked.
For the briefest of moments, Shane thought he saw a flash of sadness in Sara’s eyes, but, while it made sense, there was something off about it.
Just as quickly as the emotion had appeared, it was quickly replaced with a the flash of teeth as Sara smiled.
“That’s great,” He attitude seemed to shift, and Shane recognized it immediately. She stiffened and started to lean back toward her table. Everyone, especially sales-people, did this when they were trying to get out of a conversation.
“I’ll let you get back to your friends,” Shane said before Sara could. “Thank you.” She started to turn away but stopped before smiling and saying, “Try to have a great night.”
The way she said it made Maggie frown at Sara and reply, “That’s kind of the plan.”
When they were outside Maggie said, “She was creepy as hell.”
“See?” Shane said, finally feeling vindicated by having another witness to Sara Durant’s odd mental state. “She’s batshit insane.” He pulled out his keys and unlocked his car, holding the door open as Maggie climbed into it.
“What was that ‘have a great night’ about?” Maggie voiced the same question that Shane had.
“You know what?” He said, finally catching on. “I think she’s fucking with me.” He merged with traffic as he spoke. “She could tell that I was freaked out about the parking lot, and then she decided to up her game with the ‘great night’ thing.”
“That bitch is a regular Hannibal Lecter with the mind games,” Maggie agreed.
Shane shivered involuntarily. “She gives me the creeps.”
Maggie reached over and grabbed his hand. “Well, I’ll try to to distract you from her tonight. This dress was a bitch to get on, I think I’ll need some help getting out of it.”
Shane flashed her a wide grin, “So was this tie. I’ll probably need help, too.”
“You’re such a nerd. You’re lucky your cute.”
Shane couldn’t argue with that. “You’re right. I am.”