Sunday night before my second week at work. Thinking about clothes. Not point in trying to compete with Scarlett, who wears things that remind me of the pictures in the old Ladybird Cinderella. A different dress every day, each one as magnificent as the last. All low-cut and sleeveless, which I find surprising, because it’s so bitterly cold in the triangular room. On Friday she was wearing an apricot silk confection, with neon orange shoes and lipstick. I was wearing a brown poncho over two black jumpers, and some black trousers, which could be classed as jeans, tucked into clumpy boots. The short, moustached Will is pretty dapper, but the tall, willowy one is positively unkempt. His ancient, pinstripe suit is both too wide of shoulder and too short of leg, and his socks don’t match, and his shoes look like they’re made of papier mache.
And then there’s Heather, who wears a uniform, dark blue, with gold shiny buttons. It’s like the one the Monsters Inc woman at reception wears, so I presumed she was Security, like her. But when I asked her about getting a security pass, to get in and out of the building, she said I’d have to ask Security….Scarlett said, “Oh Heather, darling, you couldn’t sort it out for Tasmin, could you?” And Heather snorted and went off.
“So why does Heather wear that uniform, then, if she’s not Security?” I asked.
“Well. There’s a bit of a story to that, but as I’m the boss I’m not really allowed to gossip,” said Scarlett, popping her diamante-framed specs onto her desk, and swivelling round in her chair to face me. I looked at her expectantly. She leaned forward and whispered, “She was in Security. But there was an incident.”
“What kind of incident?”
“Scarlett,” said the tall willowy Will, warningly. Scarlett looked over at him, and then turned back to her desk.
“He’s right. I’ll say no more.” She put her glasses back on and peered at her computer screen. “They let her keep the uniform, though. Which was nice of them.”
I looked over at Willowy Will. He was shaking his head.
“Don’t worry, Tasmin!” said Scarlett, winking at me over her sparkly specs. “Ask me again at the Christmas party. I’ll be as drunk as a lord, and I’ll tell you the whole thing.”
The Christmas party is on the 18th. I must remember to tell Stepanov he’ll need to babysit. It’s a long time to wait for the Heather story.