Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to Hanah6181. This is a continuation to Fist Love, Last Love- part 3.
Working closely with Richard proved to be challenging for Maya. He has a cold façade that it was difficult for Maya to determine whether he appreciates her work or not. There was always something he wanted or expected more most of the time. She felt she was falling short of his expectations. Other than work,, there were occasions that he would even pick on things that would embarrass her. One time, there was an incident related to her blouse.
“Ms. Dela Rosa, do you have a safety pin? He asked one afternoon as she was asking him to sign a document.
“Sir? Meron po, how many do you need?” She offered.
“Isa lang kailangan mo.”
“Ha?” She wondered why she needed the pin. Then, she saw him looking at her bosom.
“You need to fix your blouse because your top button is missing.”
She went out of the room with a very red face. There was another incident when he commented still about her plunging neckline that needed to be adjusted.
At one point, she was thinking of resigning but decided against it. She didn’t want to give him the satisfaction that she gave up. A month after starting her job, she was already tired. She always felt tension whenever she sees him in the office. The only welcome respite for her was he would usually be at the Paranaque hangar on Wednesdays or Thursdays.
On her 1st monthsary with the company, Maya was pleasantly surprised when she arrived at her office. She came in late because of the heavy traffic from Eastwood City where she lives to their Ortigas office. When she opened the door, she was surprised to see three baskets of flowers waiting for her. They were sent by Emman, her brother-in-law, Jeff and Engr. Yamaguchi. All of them wishing her well on her first month stay at L.A.S. But, the smile on her face was completely wiped off when Richard suddenly opened the door.
“Maya…. Oh, what happened here? Did I miss anything?” He asked when he saw all the flowers around her.
“Wala naman Sir. It’s just that it’s my first month of work here.”
“Oh, I thought you’ve just opened a flower shop. Anyway, congratulations. You’ve survived your first month with us or should I say with me?” He sounded sarcastic with that statement.
Then Maya’s phone rang, immediately picked-up after excusing herself.
“Hello, Maya speaking. Hi, Yamaguchi-san.” She paused for a while then continued, “Yes, I got them. Hmmm, yes, red roses… Thank you, ha. … Next time na lang. …Okay…. bye.” The call ended.
Listening to the phone conversation, Richard realized that Engr. Yamaguchi is interested in Maya. It was for that reason that head of his engineering team was frequently seen at their corporate office. Richard knows that Engr. Yamaguchi is single, it was really possible that he pursuing Maya. However, what intrigued him more was Maya’s reaction to her caller. Is she interested in him or just being friendly? He thought that if she is indeed interested, he…
His thoughts were interrupted when he heard Maya asked him, “Anyway, Sir, what I can do for you?”
Maya decided to ignore what he said earlier. She wouldn’t let herself get affected. After all, she got so much flowers from people who care for her.
In his usual cold tone, “Well, Maya, I came here to ask you to do a 5-year HR plan. We’re going to have leadership team conference next month. You know that we are expanding LAS in the ASEAN region. So, I would like you to present your HR strategy in that meeting.
“That’s exciting Sir. I can definitely do that.”
“Okay, then, please show me your proposal by end of this week.”
“Sir?” In a surprised toned. “Wednesday na ngayon. Tomorrow is Thursday and I will be at Seraspie Law office to work on our existing labor cases with NLRC. Saka, next month pa meeting, diba?”
“Maya, do what you have to do. I believe by Friday afternoon, you will be ready with your first draft.” He left the room without looking back at her. Otherwise, he would have seen the angry look of Maya. She really hated him that moment.
Maya had no choice but to work on her report for two nights in a row. On Friday morning, she left the proposal on his table with a note requesting Richard to review it. When Richard arrived and saw it on top of his table, he called her up.
“Maya, can you come over here to discuss your work?”
“Yes, Sir.” Since her office is just beside his, it took her less than a minute to enter his office. Here it goes, she thought.
“Maya, I’m not sure I understand your proposal here. Where did you get your data?”
“Sir, ‘yan yung data na inabutan ko dito so based on that, I made this proposal.”
Their question and answer moment went on like an eternity. Maya tried to maintain her composure all the time he was scrutinizing her work. Eventually, he stopped and just requested her to finalize the plan with few adjustments.
As she was leaving his room, she absentmindedly said, “Hayy… salamat, nakapasa rin sa thesis defense. Parang nasa principal’s office!”
“Maya! What did you say?” Richard overheard what she said.
“Sir, may sinabi ba ako?” she looked back.
“Never mind. Just finalize your plan and please send me a powerpoint version of that.”
Maya was about to leave when he gave an additional instruction.
“Maya, wait. I just remembered something. Could you please check our on policy on personal relationships at work? Do we have one? If not, please draft one for my review too.”
“Sir, in what context is this policy coming from? I mean what is the rationale so I can incorporate it in the policy if I will need to create or update one?”
“We’re going to grow as an organization, we’ll hire more people….we need to maintain professional relationships, etc. etc. Ikaw na bahala.” He seemed to have lost his trail of thoughts.
“Sir, I don’t think it’s appropriate to have a policy…” She didn’t finish her sentence anymore. She was already tired that she didn’t want to start a new round of battle with him.
After the meeting, Maya decided that she will avoid that type of lengthy discussion with him from then on. She hardly survived the experience. The truth was that while she was having meeting with him, her brain was doubly working. She was thinking and anticipating the questions he will throw at her. At the same time, she was in an argument with her inner voice. She hates him yet a part of her was beginning to like him especially his lopsided killer smile. She has been used to seeing him so serious or scowling at her that she was already appreciating how handsome he looks when he is in that mode, the tiger mode. It was difficult to argue with herself as well.
In his office, Richard was left in a pensive mood. He was fully aware that he gave Maya a hard time during their morning meeting. In the past month, he has found himself occasionally thinking about her. At times, it was about the first encounter at Shangri-la hotel. There were questions in his mind that needed answers but he would always remind himself that he needs to maintain a professional demeanor with her. He knew she’s been having difficulty working with him but she’s been doing well on the job. He decided that he will nicer to her.