A New Danger

Written By: anonymous - Apr• 15•12

Jane has tried all the tricks in the book to avoid sharing her office again, but, alas, she has failed.

“I hope Caroline contracts a nasty, disfiguring disease. She wantonly withheld information from me!”

She failed to tell Jane about the new arrival. To be honest, I don’t blame her. The more information Jane has the more trouble she causes with it.  Already I’m feeling a bit sorry for the new girl.

“What did she say?” I ask, but don’t really care.

“That she didn’t need to consult me and that there was nowhere else to put her. But what about that desk outside Clive’s office?” The one where the fax machine sits. “Or the one next to the paralegal area?” Where the post trays reside.

“You can’t really expect her to sit there,” I point out. “She is a fee earner; she should have a proper work station.”

“And so she can, just not in my room!”

I can’t believe she hasn’t moved on from this. She was just the same when Dan joined (it took her six months to even acknowledge him and a year before she allowed him to speak to her.)

But I have bigger concerns to worry about.  My brush with Carlton has unnerved me. And I don’t know what to do.  I try telling Liz but she’s so busy with her wedding preparations that she barely hears.

“He grabbed you? Oh, that’s terrible. Do you think we should have Chablis or Riesling with the first course?”


“Good choice.”

Of course, I daren’t tell Jane. The mood she is in, she’s likely to firebomb the next partners’ meeting. And Alex is distracted with a trial.  So, I say nothing and hope that it will all just go away.  He’s upstairs on the Corporate floor, I tell myself, I hardly ever see him and, besides, he was drunk and he’s probably really embarrassed now.

Meanwhile, the Assistant’s Grapevine passes on some interesting news about our new girl.  I have coffee with a friend of mine from another firm, who used to work with her.

“She is very ambitious,” she tells me.

“That’s par for the course these days,” I point out. “We’re all part of the Apprentice Generation; thrusting and pushing our way to the top.”

“True,” she smiles, “I guess we all have to use whatever talents god gave us. She certainly likes to spread them around; she’s only a few years qualified but she’s worked at three firms already; and she’s rumoured to have slept with her boss in each one…”

“No!” My hand flies to my mouth.

“Yes!” she nods. “She isn’t afraid to mix business with pleasure. To be honest, she has to, she no discernible legal abilities to promote.”

She sounds like a great asset to the team.

“She is going to share a room with Jane,” I tell her.

“Scary Jane?!” She is, temporarily, speechless. “Wow. That’s like putting Eva Peron in a room with Germaine Greer!”

Well that should be interesting.  I promise to report back on how it goes and head back to the office to tell Jane the good news. “I don’t want some partner-fondling floozy using my office as a knocking shop!” she declares.

“There isn’t a lot you can do to stop it,” I point out.

“Yes there is. I shall keep a constant vigil against fornication. If she wants to stroke their ‘egos’ she will have to find a hotel.”

I think she is missing the point. “It’s not just your office we need to worry about. It that’s her modus operandi, she will change the whole dynamic of the team.”

“Not really,” she huffs. “We already Miranda; she’s not much different.”

“But Miranda is a partner; she has never been a threat to us in any way (a witch yes, but not a threat). Selina is pure competition.”

She hasn’t thought of this. “You’re right!” she agrees. “There has never been rudeness or backstabbing between us Assistants (except Tarquin, but he’s crap at it and no one takes any notice). because we get enough of it from the Partners.”

“Precisely,” I agree. “We don’t need it from within our own ranks. The only advantage we have over them is our unity and teamwork.”

“You mean our extensive network of spies and infiltrators?”

“Well, I wouldn’t put it quite like that… but, yes, our shared intelligence (and mutual suffering) keeps us ahead of the game. We cannot afford to have a double agent in our midst.”

“No,” she agrees.  “We shall have to find a way to isolate and neutralise her.”

I am still wondering what, exactly, Jane means by this, when I get a phone call from Margaret.

“Who the hell is Selina Smith?” she asks.

“She’s the new girl, in our team,” I explain. “Why do you ask?”

“I have just been told that she’s your replacement here!”

“What?!” My blood runs cold.

“I thought you were recalled to Litigation because you were so busy there. They were going to use someone from Corporate?”

“So did I!”

So if they can spare her, why can’t they spare you?”

A very good question.  Which I decide to put to The Boss.

“I hear the new girl is going to take up my secondment?”

“It was never your secondment Helen, but, anyway, yes, she is. She’s new, she hasn’t got any cases yet, it’s the perfect solution.”

“She could have my cases.”

He fixes me with his ‘don’t argue’ face. “You know the cases; you know the department; we need you here.”

But I haven’t finished.

“I know the placement; I know the project; it makes no sense to swap me half way through!”

“It may not make any sense to you; but it makes perfect sense to me and Philip.“

“What about the client?” I persist. “I’m sure the people I’ve been working with would prefer to have me.”

“Philip has cleared it with the client,” he tells me. “The matter is closed: Selina will take over.”

Little does he know, now true this statement will be.












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