[First installment of a semi-fictitious story. Enjoy!]
“So I hear you put in your two week notice.” A familiar voice said behind Claire’s back. She turned from unpacking her lunch sack to see her friend, Lisa, from Accounts Payable. “Did you get that position as the VP’s secretary?”
Lisa sat down across from Claire with a huff and slid her cafeteria tray to one side. Claire silently unfolded her sandwich from the freezer paper wrapper. She took a deep breath and looked Lisa in the eye.
“No, I declined the position after it was offered to me.”
“Why? Was the pay not much more than you are getting now? I know Jensen can be a bear to work with. Just the other day he chewed out my supervisor…” Lisa began munching her French fries and continued listing all the possible negative aspects of being a senior secretary at their large defense contracting company.
Claire smiled faintly, knowing that Lisa was speaking the truth. When Lisa paused to sip some Diet Coke, Claire gave her reason for giving up a wise career move.
“Just a few weeks ago, I would have said yes. The pay is a few dollars an hour more than I am making now in Human Resources and VP Jensen is tolerable enough for that. But…”
“Kyle got a new position with Com-Tech.”
Lisa shrugged her shoulders, “That’s great for your husband, Claire, so how does this affect you leaving the company?!?”
“We agreed that when he finished his certification classes that I would be able to leave full-time work. Com-Tech offered him full benefits and even a company car. He is making twice as much as I do now.” Claire’s face brightened as she described her husband’s accomplishment. It had been a long year and a half for them both, since she was the main bread winner while Kyle was in school full-time.
“So this is your bon-bon and couch reward for putting him through school?” Lisa retorted. “Yeah, like I could convince Mike to let me do that. Are you pregnant?”
“Not yet, anyway.” Claire blushed. “Oh, Lisa, if you only knew that being ‘just a housewife’ is so much more than is portrayed on 1950’s sitcoms. There is something so stabilizing for a man about having his wife at home.”
“Glad to hear you won’t be wearing pearls and heels to vacuum. Will you be at least working part-time? I’d go batty being at home all day. Get a job with JoAnn Fabrics.”
“Well, I will be volunteering at the Salvation Army’s literacy program a little more during the weekdays. My first priority, however, is making sure our home is comfortable for us.”
“Oh, that’s good, I guess.” Lisa said, still puzzled. “Let me know if there will be a going-away party or anything. Have you heard anything about the latest acquisition?”
Claire was slightly relieved to have the subject changed, but she knew this wouldn’t be the last conversation on this subject.