Letters on the Job
Amy came out of her boss’ office; fingers shaking, pulse racing. She had only been on
the job for a week and her vice president had just asked her to write a memo. Secretarial
school had taught her the proper format of a letter, but no one had ever taught her how to
write an announcement telling the whole company that a senior manager had been fired.
What if she does it wrong? Her boss had not been much help; in fact he appeared
embarrassed to talk about it with her.
It was after 5:30 pm, the office was as quiet and as cold as a tomb. She jumped when the
printer whined. The office witch –crooked fingers, hunched back, thick spectacles and
frowning face– shuffled stealth-like towards the machine. Amy shivered again as the hag
Olga sniffed. “Working late are we.”
Amy stammered, “Yes, Dr. Soon asked me to write a memo for him.”
“Well, you best go and do it now.”
Amy hesitated. She needed help but she was scared of Olga. This was her first job and
she wanted so badly to succeed but Olga was rumoured to have a mean temper. On the
other hand, she was inexperienced and Olga had been with the company for so long her
employee number was a single digit. The secretary cleared her throat.
Olga turned, just enough to see Amy from the corner of her eye. “Did he dictate the
memo to you?”
“No, he did not. He said it would be good for me to learn to do things by myself.”
“What is the memo about?”
“It’s to inform the company that Mr. Wong had been fired.”
“And he asked you to do it on your own!” Olga’s eyebrow rose with her voice.
Crooked fingers picked up papers from the printer as the head above it shook and
mumbled incantation-like words. Then Olga turned to Amy and said, “Come with me.”
The young secretary trailed behind her like a wary, stray puppy being offered a meal by a
Copyright © 2007 by Golda Mowe/ Free Distribution Only