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We Play The Game – 07 – The Nature of the Business

And then there were the calls.  Devon’s business wasn’t a busy one as it turned out, at least beyond the ever running fax machine.  There were three calls the entire week, each one rather odd.  All were calls for Devon, and were people with distinctly foreign sounding accents, except for Claire who wanted to check out how the job was going.

“Have you worked anywhere that still has a fax machine?” she’d asked her.  That call had come in on Wednesday, mostly because Claire was spending most of the week at her boyfriends to test out how living together would work.  Tina had been crossing her finger that it would be a disaster.  Not that she didn’t want Claire to be happy, and DeWayne seemed like a good enough guy.  It’s just that a good roommate was hard to find.  Everyone she met these days seemed to be allergic to pets and Tina had found herself in between boyfriends the same way she had been in between jobs. “It’s like the 1980s in there.”

“The 80s?” Claire scoffed. “You weren’t even born in the 80s.”

Well, neither was Claire.

“No,” Tina agreed. “But my parent’s still live there.  I’m sure mom has the same coffeemaker that Devon uses.”

But when she answered, the callers made her the subject of interest, before she decided to pass them on to her boss.  With one, an older woman by the sound of her voice, the questions were rather probing.

That call came in Thursday morning just after eleven, interrupting her fax collating duties.

“Hello, Seekers of Lost Heirlooms,” Tina answered brightly. “How can I help you?”

There was a pause on the other end.  That was the same as the previous calls.  She took it that callers weren’t expecting a woman answering the phone. Devon hadn’t said much about his previous admins.

“Is this the office of Devon Olafson?” an older sounding woman asked.

“Yes he is,” she replied.  Tina did have some Reception experience.  That was generally the first job you were sent to from a temp agency.  Funny, though, to have a person with no real affiliation being the first voice of your company, but that was business in the big city. “Can I transfer you over?”

“In a minute,” the woman said. “Are you his new assistant?”

“Yes,” Tina admitted. “I just started on Monday.”

“And how are you finding the job so far?” the woman asked.

“It’s okay,” Tina replied, and then oddly felt compelled to continue. “It’s very educational.  I’ve never done so much historical research before.”

“Oh, and what does your employer have you working on?”

There had been that non-disclosure agreement, but Tina didn’t think she’d be breaking it by mentioning generalities.

“Oh, the Byzantine Empire and stuff like that,” she replied. “It’s kind of interesting.”

“I see,” the woman answered, then completely changed tact. “You sound like an athletic young woman?  Are you into sports?”

“Sort of,” Tina replied.  That was a weird question. “I think Mr. Olafson is free now.  I can transfer your call.”

“Of course,” the woman replied. “Have yourself a good day.”

With a bit of a chill running up her spine, Tina transferred the call.

That afternoon, she brought the call up with Devon.

“Nature of the business,” he told her.  “Some of the people I have to deal with live in their own little worlds, and their curiosity knows no bounds.  Even where it comes to my choice of admin assistants.”

“Okay,” she replied.  Well, she’d had jobs where she’d dealt with stranger people.  Especially in her barista days.  All twenty-three of them.  She even joked about that with Devon.

“The worlds of coffee lovers are even tinier,” Tina shared over their late morning coffee. She indicated that nonexistent space between her thumb and forefinger.

He’d given her a strange look then.

Before she could pursue more questions, however, he had work news.  He needed her to join him on a short road trip.

Ooh, she thought, forgetting about the phone call entirely.  Road trip!

Go to Chapter Six

Go to Chapter Eight