With any Queen there is an ambitious princess. The human resources function, being what it was, meant there was a challenger in the closet. Katrina Baxter, the ultimate in shaft and destroy. If you got to close to her and challenged her authority she would politically turn you into garden mulch and compost. Her title of Corporate Head for Equal Opportunity was no fluke, as long you understood that it meant Equal Opportunity for Katrina and no one else. As for carrying out her principal duty in Affirmative Action for Women, that was just a disguise to justify her long-held belief that men belonged to a sub species of Homo Erectus recently discovered off the coast of Java. It was not uncommon to hear Katrina make reference to Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes as one of her favorite all time movies.
Katrina first read Machiavelli when she was five years of age, and by the time she was ten had digested the translated version in Italian. By the age of 12 she had become school captain, regional debating champion and key-note speaker at the inaugural girls’ chapter. One thing did allude Katrina though, she was ugly, short and overweight, and boys found her unattractive. This motivated Katrina to set up a girl’s sub-chapter and speaking forum called Affirmative Action for Teenagers that would prepare her for a long and accelerated career path in the corporate world. Her future was played out to perfection at an early age, constructed, laid out so that one milestone led to another. The Mecca of ambition and the mother all career paths, dominatrix, waiting for the royal flush of achievement…the making of a corporate psycho.
I was aware of this contest just like everyone else at Klink Pty Ltd. It was known around the office that eventually the two female powerhouses would challenge each other for the title of Director of Corporate Strategy. Being from the sub-primate species I sought opportunity in this fractional relationship, and had been working on a scheme with Aaron Swindler from the mail room. Aaron also suffered the same fate as me and was sidelined to Office Services Manager. Although an unfortunate surname to carry for Aaron, it was appropriate and aptly described his behavior He would tell the story about his ancestors deported to Van Diemen’s Land as convicts from mother England. And yes, his great, great, great-grandfather was a fraudster, cheat and con man; hence the surname Swindler. I took pity on Aaron and believed his story for now, and this made Aaron feel good.
‘G’day Max, what’s the news with those two women, any updates?’ He said clutching the phone.
‘Mate, that stagnant smell from Glenda, it’s never been so strong.’ He paused to see if anyone was listening. ‘She passed me in the hall way today and stared at me. Game on, I reckon.’
‘The tote is good,’ said Aaron in an upbeat tone. ‘It’s three to one on Glenda and money is pouring in today.’
I looked around nervously and whispered. ‘How much have we got?’
‘Two thousand dollars mate. Most of the money is on Glenda.’
‘Someone’s coming―gotta go.’ I turned my head sideways and covered my mouth slightly. ‘I will come down and see you in five minutes,’ I whispered.
I pulled out my betting slip and changed my bet from $50 to $100 on Glenda. I grabbed my grubby and worn out leather wallet and proceeded down two flights of stairs to the back door entrance of the mail room, a secret entrance not known to other staff. This entrance was a privilege Aaron had given me for his loyalty.
‘Here’s another fifty on Glenda,’ I said taking deep breaths.
‘Mate, do you know something I don’t know?’ Said Aaron.
‘No… Just a hunch.’ I placed the fifty on the table. ‘This makes the total one hundred now.’ I confirmed.
‘Yeah mate. I hope you are telling me everything?’ Aaron queried.
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