I got parts of this story from both sides and pieced all the details together. Other people at my firm are putting the pieces together also and now rumors are beginning to circle the office. I don't think we've heard the last of it...
Susan is one of the more successful people in our department. She's also a royal bitch, but she gets away with it because she's so valuable to the company. She's in her mid-30's, I think. Her looks are slipping, but she's attractive and you can tell she was once a stunner. She has dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. She's about 5'7" and her figure is still pretty good. However, you forget about all this when you get around her. She's just not pleasant.
No one knows this better than her assistant of five years Tammy. Susan is really tough on Tammy. She has paid her well, which I guess is why Tammy has put up with the abuse. I mean, Susan has reduced Tammy to tears many times.
I saw one episode. It was mid-afternoon and Susan was prepping for a big meeting. Susan was barking orders at Tammy and poor Tammy was running around trying her best to keep her boss happy, but that wasn't going to happen. Susan decided Tammy just wasn't working fast enough. Susan berated Tammy in front of everybody, threatening to fire her because the meeting was going to be a disaster. When Susan retreated to her office, Tammy sat at her desk trying not to show her tears. Susan came out later and told Tammy she could begin to make up for her incompetence by helping Susan with her shoe straps. Tammy got down on all fours and fixed Susan's shoes while Susan looked down at her.
Tammy deserves better. Especially after five years of loyal service. Tammy has never skipped work, is always early, works late and does a fantastic job. She's the best assistant on the floor. She even helped Susan cover up an affair with someone in sales. I've only recently learned of the affair.
Tammy is very sweet also. She is only 24, and very attractive. She has long dark hair and dark brown eyes, and her smile makes you want to do the same. She's also about 5'7", and has an amazing body. I mean, she did some swimsuit modeling in college. I hear that one drunken night she was voted "hottest woman" on the floor by the guys. Anyway, hot or not, she deserves better. I've told her that often.
Susan has been married for seven years. I saw her husband once. He is really cute. And a really nice guy too. We all wondered how Bill could put up with Susan. At first we thought maybe she was different away from work, but Tammy assured us she was just as bad to him.
Anyway, apparently Susan began to suspect that Bill was having an affair a few months ago. She decided not to confront him until she had the proof, so she gave Tammy the name of a private investigator to contact. Tammy was reluctant to get involved, but she had no choice. Susan didn't want to know anything except the final report. She gave her the investigator's info on a Tuesday. She told Tammy to tell the investigator to wrap it up and report back in a week.
Susan came in Wednesday and was in a really bad mood. She called Tammy into her office and told her to close the door.
"I want you to organize the bottom shelf of this bookcase by author's name" she told Tammy, pointing down at it.
Tammy pulled up her skirt a little to protect it when she would drop to the floor. When Susan saw Tammy taking the time to protect her clothes, Susan screamed "NOW!" so loud that even I heard it standing two offices away. Tammy knew Susan was just being mean to be mean, displacing her anger at other things onto Tammy. This was nothing new. Susan walked over and stood above Tammy.
"Did you call the investigator?" asked Susan, looking down at Tammy.
"Yes, I did" answered Tammy uneasily while shuffling books around.
Susan looked away. "That fucking asshole said no!"
Tammy could tell she wasn't talking about the investigator.
"I'm sorry, I don't understand..." Tammy started to speak.
"It's nothing," Susan said sternly and then turned away, "I just asked Bill to consider something and he said no."
Tammy didn't know what to say so she stayed busy with the books. Susan was looking out the window. She had a nice view of the river from her office.
"Aren't you done yet?!?" She finally turned back to Tammy.
"Yes, just finished. I'm sorry I took so long..."
"Just get out and leave me alone!"
Tammy didn't say anything. She just picked herself up and walked back out, closing the door behind her. I saw Tammy that day, and you wouldn't have known that Susan had just treated her so badly. If anything, she seemed to be smiling. I guess you get used to being treated so poorly.
Susan didn't mention the discussion the rest of the week, but her mood got worse and worse. She blamed Tammy for not getting her a business class seat on a flight, even though Susan had not told her about the meeting until the day before. As punishment, Susan told Tammy to order her lunch from this restaurant 10 blocks away and go pick it up. Poor Tammy had to run there and back to the office to keep the food from getting cold.
The weekend came and went. Susan had to travel Monday, then came in on Tuesday. Report day. Susan was in meetings away from the office all morning, and then came in for more meetings in the afternoon. She told Tammy not to leave until they had met to discuss the investigation. Susan went to her meetings, then went for drinks with some management types before coming back to the office. It was 6:30pm and Tammy was still there waiting.
Susan didn't care. She ordered Tammy into her office. Tammy went in and closed the door behind her.
"So?" Susan bluntly asked.
Tammy began to speak as she sat in her chair.
"I completed the investigation..."
"Tammy, you couldn't investigate a cardboard box! What did the investigator say?!?"
Tammy paused at the impact of Susan's insult.
"He is having an affair."
"I knew it! I'll kill him! Who is she?"
"Tammy, did the investigator figure it out?"
Tammy looked at the floor, unable to bring herself to speak. Susan grew increasingly impatient.
"What?!?!? Tammy, SAY IT!!!"
Tammy flinched at the order and then, without looking up, answered softly...
She said it so softly that Susan paused in confusion.
"W-w-what did you just say?"
Tammy kept looking down but raised her voice a bit.
"It's me..." said Tammy.
"It's me what? What are you talking about Tammy?"
Tammy picked her eyes up from the floor, but she couldn't raise them to Susan's yet.
"I'm the woman..."
"You're the woman what? What does that mean, Tammy?"
Susan was raising her voice. Tammy gathered strength, sat up straight and looked Susan in the eyes.
"I'm the woman having an affair with your husband!"
Susan looked confused for a moment. Then it hit her.
"YOU are having an affair with MY husband???"
Tammy was calm. She paused and looked past Susan, out the window.
"Tammy, if this is a joke..."
Tammy's eyes turned back to Susan, confirming this was no joke.
"What about the private investigator?"
"I never called..."
Tammy's heart began to race as Susan raised her voice.
"YOU'RE the other woman!?!?!?"
Susan wrestled with the concept of Tammy as 'the other woman.' Tammy just nodded.
"This can't be true..."
Tammy said nothing. Susan grappled with the implications of this.
"Is this some way of getting more money from me?"
Tammy shook her head. "No."
"Then why? What is wrong with you???"
Susan began moving towards Tammy, who leaned back to look up at Susan.
"Because I like Bill, and he LOVES me!"
Susan hit the wall. She lashed out at Tammy.
"YOU think he LOVES you?"
Susan looked like she wanted to strangle Tammy.
"Don't you get it Tammy? He's just fucking his wife's secretary!! It's like his little way of having something over me!"
Tammy looked out the window.
"No, he loves me!"
Tammy stayed calm. Susan was trying to hurt her. She knew Susan would do this. Susan's blood began to boil.
"Tammy, you bimbo, you're his little plaything while I'm away during the week. Who do you think he's sleeping with on weekends? You're pathetic!"
"But he's not sleeping with you, Susan, is he? Funny how he stopped three weeks ago, isn't it? Ever wonder why you haven't had sex in THREE weeks?"
Susan froze in place. Was it possible that her own secretary had denied her sex with her husband for three frustrating weeks? Susan felt the anger boil up in her.
"You vindictive little BITCH!"
As she screamed, Susan reached out and slapped Tammy across the face. Tammy jumped out of her seat in shock. The chair fell over as she stepped back from Susan.
Even so, while she rubbed the sting out of her face, she realized that Susan was right about her; on some level she knew she was getting back at her abusive boss.
"Don't hit me!"
But Susan kept screaming.
"What, are you trying to get back at me for something? What? Or money, you want money, am I right? You sick bitch!"
'Yes and yes!' thought Tammy
"No, I told you no Susan. It's not for money. If I want him, I'll have him and there's nothing you can do or say to stop it!"
"You're out of your mind. Tammy, he's PLAYING with you!"
Tammy was past the initial shock of confrontation and ready to fight back now. The two traded rapid-fire barbs...
"No, he isn't! Don't you get it, Susan? He's not going to touch you either, until I say he can..."
"We just haven't had a chance to make love lately..."
"Haven't had the chance? You don't think I know you threw yourself at him for two hours Monday night but he just didn't have time, did he Susan?"
"He had work to do..."
"Yeah right, now who's pathetic??? And you don't think I know you asked him to move to another city last week? Why do you think he said no?"
Susan gasped with humiliation. She took a step towards Tammy, but Tammy pointed to Susan's phone. Tammy's five years of pent up anger at Susan began streaming out of her.
"Look, your message light is lit, Susan. Check your messages. I think Bill is going to be working REALLY late tomorrow night on that BIG proposal, so he'll have to cancel HIS plans with YOU..."
Susan scrambled to the phone shaking her head in denial.
"Oh, fuck you! He's flying back from Chicago tonight. He's not even thinking about tomorrow..." Susan dialed into her voice mail. "... or you!"
'You have two new messages. Message one, Susan, Bob Tisdale, give me a ring when you get back, I want to run something by you..." Susan pressed a key. When her husband's voice started, her eyes shot to Tammy, who smiled triumphantly.
"Message two, Hon it's Bill, we're going to be working on this proposal pretty late tomorrow, why don't you call Jane and see if she can go to the show with you, sorry Hon, I'll see you in a few hours..."
At the end of the message, Tammy started talking again. "There go your Wednesday night plans. Soon, it will be a weekend. Then all weekends..."
Susan fell into her chair, speechless at her husband and assistant's betrayal.
"When Bill finds out how you played this little game with the message, he'll..."
Tammy was ready for Susan's every move. She took a power step towards Susan to respond. Tammy looked down at Susan across the desk.
"He'll be shocked when he finds out about your affair with Sean Delmont!"
The mention of Susan's affair stunned her. Susan's jaw dropped open. Word of her affair with the senior vice president for sales had never gotten out to the company or her husband.
"Oh yes I would, Susan! In fact, I still have the tapes of those messages, the receipts, everything!"
"WHAT?!?!?" Susan was incredulous.
"I'm a very good assistant!"
Susan became furious at her disloyalty.
"I can't believe you would stoop this low! My husband will come back to me, but you won't. You are FIRED!"
Tammy was not surprised that Susan was trying this route. But she was ready for this too. Tammy straightened up and put her hands on her waist.
"You're not going to fire me if you don't want the Sean Delmont thing all over the company too. You think I would just tell your husband about Sean??? In fact, I know all kinds of things that would make things very uncomfortable for you here or anywhere. Sean is just the tip of the iceberg!"
If the Sean Delmont affair got out, it would destroy Sean and Susan professionally. Susan and Tammy knew that.
"How dare you!"
"Oh yes I would, and there's so much more! Gee, I hope Bob Tisdale doesn't hear about the Bernard account before your meeting tomorrow, don't you Susan?"
Tammy's tone was becoming more and more sarcastic. Susan was too emotional and angry to sit for this. She jumped back up out of her chair.
"Get out of my office! I don't care what you think you can threaten me with, you are fired! Get out of my office!!!!"
Tammy shook her head as if to say 'don't blame me!'
"Suit yourself. Hope your meeting goes well with Bob tomorrow! Oh, and listen carefully, Susan: I think I'll celebrate my freedom with your husband TONIGHT."
"GET OUT!" Susan screamed. Tammy turned to head for the door, throwing one more warning at Susan over her shoulder...
"By the way Susan, if you mention to Bill that you know about his affair with me, just know that you'll also be telling him about your affair with Sean. And it will be the end of your marriage!"
"GET OUT!" Susan screamed again.
Tammy walked out. The office had cleared out by then.
Susan spent the next half hour sitting and thinking. She decided to take her chances by telling Bill she knew about his affair. Tammy wouldn't dare tell him about the Sean Delmont affair, she told herself. Susan decided to talk to him that night on his way back from Chicago. She loved him and didn't want the marriage to end.
Her phone rang. It was her husband...
"Hon, I missed my flight out here. I'll just catch one in the morning."
Susan felt her heart fall into the pit of her stomach as she remembered Tammy saying she had decided to spend the night with her husband...
"W-w-what do you mean, you missed the flight?"
"Just missed it hon. You know how traffic is in Chicago. I'll catch one tomorrow."
"But... Bill, I wanted to see you tonight."
"I know hon, but these things happen. I need to hang up hon..."
"Bill! Where are you going to stay tonight?"
"Oh, I'll just stay at one of the hotels near the airport so I can catch an early flight."
"But if I need to reach you..."
"Just call me on my cell phone, hon. Ok, I have to go..."
"Bill... I know...."
"Hon? What did you say? You know what?"
Susan hesitated, realizing Tammy's grip on her husband was strong.
"I... I mean... I know how traveling can be..."
"Don't worry hon, I'll call you. Ok bye!"
"...I love you Bill!" But the line had already cut before he could hear. Tammy and Bill were going to spend the night somewhere and there was nothing Susan could do about it.
The next morning, Susan's phone rang right at 7:30 when she arrived to work. It was Tammy.
"Just the tip of the iceberg, Susan. It will get worse!"
Susan started to answer but the phone line cut.
At 10am, Susan had her meeting with Bob Tisdale. It did not go well. Bob asked about the Bernard account and Susan spent the next half hour trying to deflect blame for that mess. She returned to her office weakened by the ordeal. There was a voice mail waiting for her.
'You have one new message. Message one, 'It's Tammy, you may call me on my cell'
Susan knew she had to call her. Tammy had delivered on her two devastating promises, and she was promising even more trouble for Susan. She closed her door and called Tammy.
"Hello Susan..." Tammy answered.
"Do you know how much trouble you got me in with Bob?!?"
"If that's going to be your tone, this conversation is OVER and it WILL get worse..."
"WAIT! Tammy, don't hang up... Tammy?"
Tammy paused. "Yes, I'm still here..."
"Ok Tammy, what do you want from me?"
"We can talk about that later. First, you BETTER not have turned in paperwork for my termination."
"You have or have not?"
"I have not!"
"Good, I'm in the lobby and I think we should meet now to plan the rest of the week, don't you?"
Susan hesitated, then accepted. "Ok, I'll be here waiting..."
Tammy walked into Susan's office. She had done this a thousand times over the years, but this time it felt different. She didn't bother to knock this time. Susan was finishing up on the phone when Tammy walked in. Tammy was carrying a folder in her left hand and closed the door behind her.
"Hello Susan..." Tammy said even before Susan had the chance to hang up.
Susan sat up in her chair and began to shuffle things around her desk. Susan's desk had a glass surface over dark wood. Susan's expensive watch clanked against the glass as her hands worked furiously.
"Let's get this over with..." said Susan, pretending not to be affected by Tammy's words.
Tammy sat in a chair and got serious.
"Do you know what this is, Susan?" Tammy asked, nodding towards the folder in her hand.
Susan shook her head.
"Thought so. It's the billing records on the Grant account. You know, the ones Treasury is trying to figure out?"
Susan's eyes opened wide as if to say 'Oh NO!'
"Except these are the COMPLETE files, you know what I mean Susan?"
Tammy was putting a scare in Susan for sure.
"Tammy, this is crazy, we've been working together so long..."
"And this is just the beginning, Susan. I've got one for every day of the week and then there's the Sean Delmont affair to top it all off!"
"Tammy, stop this, this is blackmail..."
"I'm not here for money or a lecture Susan... Especially from someone playing games with billing..."
"I-I-I know, Tammy, I'm sorry..."
"In fact, maybe I'll just go see Treasury now..." Tammy gathered herself to rise from the chair.
"WAIT!" Susan exclaimed, then toned down when she saw Tammy's disapproving reaction.
"I'm sorry, really, Tammy, just... just tell me what you want..."
Susan really looked desperate. Tammy had never seen her like this. She could see the fear in Susan's eyes. She was breathing hard too. Her hands were half clenching, as though grabbing onto some kind of hand railing. Tammy recognized the feeling. She had lived it a hundred times when Susan had mistreated her. The shoe was on the other foot now, and she relished her moment of revenge.
"You really don't want me to go to Treasury right now, do you Susan?"
Susan shook her head.
"Speak up, Susan!"
"No, I don't..."
"No, you REALLY don't want me to do that, huh Susan?"
"No, I REALLY don't, Tammy..."
"So you're going to listen carefully to my instructions and that won't happen, am I right Susan?"
Susan was helpless to stop Tammy's power grab.
"Yes I'm going to listen carefully..."
"And do as you're told..."
"I will do as I'm told..."
Tammy felt satisfied. She leaned back in her chair in triumph. She opened and paged through her folder deliberately, then closed it.
"I want to see you on your knees..."
Tammy looked at Susan deadly serious, but inside she struggled to repress a laugh at the ludicrousness of her demand. Susan kneeling at Tammy's feet would have been pay-per-view worthy at her firm.
Susan couldn't believe it either. Her voice rose in pitch.
Tammy got back up and stepped to the side of Susan's desk.
"You heard me Susan, get out of that chair and get over here on your knees!"