"So, tell me about my new job…"
"You mean aside from being the assistant of the hunk boss?" Chummy countered which made Yanee Lee roll up her eyes.
She had no penchant for talks like this as she had no interest in any other relationship aside from work with anyone in the office. Well, having a good looking boss was indeed a very nice bonus, but this was Tohru James they were talking about here. Yanee wouldn't dare to even have a crush on someone who nearly gave her ulcer months ago.
Her new boss really didn't do anything bad per se. He's a nice, quiet man. But he's too quiet.
Yanee had cried over her many failed attempts to squeeze information out of him. She couldn't forget how many times she thought she'd love to wring his neck just so he'd give her the time of day and answer her questions with more than one word. She had lost count however on how many times she'd ask herself whose idea was it to include him in the interviewee list. Like she wanted to know and punch the daylight out of him.
And now she got to see him a lot again…
And work with him…
And talk to him…
Imagining the future, Yanee groaned internally as her hand reached out for her bag to take out a bottle of omeprazole for her hyperacidity that was beginning to fizzle again in her tummy. Chummy who saw what she was holding looked offended.
Her friend swatted her hand that made her let go of the bottle.
"Don't be a drama queen, it's not that bad," Chummy scolded her. "What do you have against working with him anyway? From the start, you didn't look happy."
"You know what I think about literary works," Yanee retorted, leaving out her personal opinion on her new boss.
"Does that matter? You've been promoted. You work under an excellent man. Even if you hate it, just bear with it even for a while just to learn the ropes and gain experience. Who knows, in the end, you might find that you enjoy it."
Yanee did a pause at her friend's words. She hated to admit it, but she was indeed being ungrateful. This was an opportunity many people would fight tooth and nail over with. Yet, here she was feeling this ungracious of what was given to her.
"Sorry. I was just surprised," Yanee apologized.
"Well, that's understandable. You just came back from vacation thinking you still have your old job with all the shebang since your last project was amazing and came in here slapped with all these changes."
Chummy patted her hand sympathetically, and Yanee visibly calmed down and regained her poise.
"What really happened by the way?" she asked.
Yanee was still really confused with the turn of events. "Are you sure you really have no idea why we're suddenly taken over by Niji?"
Chummy did say they were all taken by surprise and didn't know what was going on until the new owner was presented to them. As expected she shook her head.
"Honestly," Chummy told her seriously, and Yanee nodded.
Her friend wouldn't lie about something like this.
"So what was I supposed to ask you about? The tasks I have?" Yanee prompted again, and Chummy started to move towards her desk to pick up a file.
"I've actually been assigned somewhere else – I mean I'm not from this department anymore. But Mr. James asked me to stay behind and wait for you so I can orient you with the new policies and endorse the tasks I was handling for him."
"You've been working as the temp?"
Yanee was asking if Chummy was the temporary assistant while she was away on vacation, and the other nodded.
"There's another assistant at the magazine so I was free to assist – ah but my week with the hunk has ended," Chummy sighed dramatically as she placed a hand on her head.
"And I was sure this was my chance for an office romance – to get swept off my feet by the boss as we walk towards the sunset…"
Yanee's eyes were bland as well as the expression on her face as she watched Chummy wave her hands theatrically like some Shakespearean actress. She was not even tempted to smile.
Cynthia Tan, the chummy friend noticed Yanee's expression and straightened again. She had totally forgotten about Yanee's distaste for office affairs, and so she stopped.
"You're no fun," she told Yanee sulkily, but the latter ignored her.
Yanee prompted seriously as she held out her hand, and Chummy handed her the files.
"Those are the lists of things you need to memorize. There are the names of the authors and their editors, ongoing books and the mundane things like the schedule for everything. You have the deadlines as well – oh and Mr. James' schedule is there as well. You are the assistant so you work as his secretary too."
"I see," Yanee answered as she nodded, her fingers flipping through all the papers, scanning them for now. "I need to memorize all these schedule right?"
"Not necessarily as long as you have a copy with you always – but it's better that you do," Chummy advised.
"I will memorize them then."
Yanee had a good memory; therefore, memorizing things such as schedule was easy for her. As for the other tasks…
"Why isn't there a list of my other responsibilities? I just see schedule sheets."
Yanee flipped over the pages again to make sure she didn't miss anything but really didn't find anything else aside from the calendar of activities.
"Ah, that…"Chummy's voice trailed off and Yanee looked up from the paper she was studying to her friend. "Mr. James said he wanted you to really learn the ropes of his department before he gives you other tasks."
Yanee wondered what other things she had to learn first. Assistants only ever worked as a cross between a secretary and a glorified gopher, so she was confused. Then again, she chalked it up to the difference in the company's work ethics.
Niji International was the biggest publishing house there was, and so possibly followed a different set of standards and of course policies for its workers. If they thought Yanee needed to study other things before she could take on her real tasks, then she had no choice but to learn.
But remembering this made another important question pop in her head.
Niji International's at the peak of the publishing field, and so, why was its leading editor staying in this small office?