There was not one glimmer of hope all afternoon, not one redeeming feature as she sat at her desk waiting for Bob to call her into his office. The repeated cups of tea failed to calm Marie’s already frazzled nerves, and by the time Bob sent a call asking for Marie’s immediate attention the only effect of the drinks was to send her bladder into a spasm, so much so that as she stood up she had to shuffle to the adjacent office and prayed that the meeting wouldn’t last so that she could get off to the loo. She knew that she should have gone earlier, but Bob was notorious for keeping waiting the staff he had asked to report to him, and then going ballistic if they should get sidelined into another task. Or head off for the loo. So Marie had waited, thinking that she’d have been in and out of the office by early afternoon, and in the meantime filling herself with tea as she got more and more worked up over why he wanted to see her.

“Ahh, Marie, good of you to come in. Are you well? You seem slightly flushed.”

If only, she thought.

“Do take a seat”. He pointed to one of the two white leather chairs, immaculate in their presentation of a leader.

“Thank you, Mr Charleston” Marie managed, sitting down with her legs crossed so tight that her circulation would probably stop.

“Tea?”

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