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Old 06-03-2015, 12:02 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 359
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default Maximize -- by StrugglingWriter (~BBW, ~XWG)

~BBW, ~XWG, a soft-bodied housewife entering the rat race for the first time faces up to the challenge of fitting into the world of big business


“So, Ms.Carrol. If I’m reading this right, you spent seven years in college?”

Karen was immediately puzzled. Her face must have shown it.

“You put your college graduation date here.” The thin, angular woman looked up over her fashion rim glasses. “Just a tip: you really shouldn’t do that.”

“I’m still not sure how—“

“Your facebook page, Ms. Carrol—may I call you Karen?” She didn’t wait for a response. “We’re not all that formal here despite the size of Maximize, and I’m not in the habit of calling anyone by her last name who’s not my superior. No offense,” she added brusquely.

“None taken.” Yet.

“You should be more careful about what you put on facebook, Karen. 27 is a great age to be, but not everyone will always think so in every situation.”

“I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks for the information.” This is not going well.

“Not everyone would be supportive of your having a young child either, Karen.” It didn’t take a genius to realize she’d taken a look at her facebook family photos as well. “We find that parents with young children, especially women, can be pretty unreliable. No fault of her own, of course—and not that it would ever make a difference in our hiring decision,” she hastened to add. “I mean, I wouldn’t dream of having a child given all my responsibilities here—and all the opportunities we have for a woman of talent. But despite the inconvenience, our mission is to serve all kinds of women, all shapes and size“--she nodded Karen’s direction--"colors, family situations, origins, all walks of life. We find diversity to be a crucial part of our brand and our corporate culture.

“You never answered my question about seven years in college.”

“Yes, I graduated after seven years.”

“I know that. But why?”

Diversion failed. “Ohhh, I took some time to look around, figure out what I wanted to do. You know, enjoy being young and not tied down. There’s a lot more to college than sitting in a classroom. Along the way I met the right guy at the right moment, got married, started a family. With all that, it never really occurred to me that there was some kind of race on to finish my degree.” What else was she gonna say? Actually admit she went to college for her MRS? Could any of this really be all that pertinent for a secretary’s position?

“You know, a lot of people feel that way,” Ms. Sylvia Witherspoon answered. “Probably, I would guess, the vast majority of women, in fact. That certainly explains the middling grades on your transcript. Business Administration. Well, I see how that degree’s appropriate here, in an ironic sort of way.”

Karen supposed that for this severe a woman, this is what passed for a gracious gesture.

“OK,” Ms. Sylvia Witherspoon said with finality, flopping both bony hands on the table and standing up. The chair behind her barely moved back as she did. She slipped around the edge of the cherry insert desk and sat on the corner, one foot on the floor, her dark blue pencil skirt clinging without wrinkle to thighs without a hint of bulge. Her long skinny arm was crooked with her hand on her waist, defining the pipe cleaner waist beneath the drape of her expensive silk blouse. “I have a lot less say in my own assistants than you might think. If you haven’t received a call by the end of next week, call down to HR and they can give you the final word on the position.”

Ms. Sylvia Witherspoon extended the crooked arm down to where Karen was wedged into one of the short, high-armed leather chairs designed to emphasize the difference in authority of the persons behind and in front of the desk. “Nice to have met you,” she intoned, a mere formality. “Enjoy the snarled traffic on the way home. As for me, my day practically doesn’t even start until 5:00.”

With that, Ms. Witherspoon slipped lightly to her feet and whispered her way back around the desk and behind her laptop, where she failed to give Karen another glance.

With considerably less grace, but not ungraceful by any stretch, Karen extricated herself from her chair, more self-conscious about herself than before she’d walked in. “Thank you,” she murmured, a mere formality, before straightening her own skirt, collecting her purse and portfolio (with only a pen and notepad inside, barely touched during what she guessed she had to call an interview), and exiting out the glass door between the two glass panels that served as the front wall of the office.

Karen had spent most of her life thin, but never as waifishly thin as her wannabe boss. More like her notwannabe boss, at this point. 120 pounds—up a few here, down a few there—had always been her norm. She’d made it down to 114 for her bridal shoot—some three-and-a-half years ago now, she realized. Since then, a happy marriage, a happy pregnancy followed by a happy child, and those extra six pounds had found 40 more. It was a reality she had acknowledged but generally accepted as a condition of domestic bliss. For a time. Perhaps when Morgan was a little older, or after that future wannahave child number two was into preschool, then she would engage in the full-out effort she figured turning the clock back to her college years would take. But there were bigger priorities.

It had shot up the list this past weekend when she hit the department stores for the off-the-rack suit she’d worn for the interview today. Karen had found occasion to wear a business suit a few times before and found that at size 4 or 6 it was always a smart look. Now at her size 10—and for some cuts, even a size 12—she had discovered how it didn’t take much hips and thighs to change that smart look to a frumpy one, transforming an otherwise modest thickening at the waist to look like a beach ball und a blanket, flaring jacket panels heightening the effect, or the other alternative: an oversized jacket that hid it all, including the curve at her waistline and her middling but admittedly becoming bust. Between the bulk of her hips and thighs transversing the admittedly narrow confines of the leather chair, the striking figure of her rail-thin interviewer, or the thinly-veiled barbs from the withering Ms. Witherspoon, there would have been precious little else she could have thought about.

Except it was clear she wasn’t getting the job, which meant all of it could be chalked up to a bad memory and the knowledge that where working for money was concerned, she and her body weren’t quite ready for primetime. After two hours of L.A. traffic from downtown to her little home in Venice Beach, she was hardly thinking about it at all when she stepped across her threshold to be greeted by the enthusiastic, full-speed, grimy-pawed hug of two-year-old Morgan.

A quickchange to her more comfortable evening house duds (not quite a pair of pajamas) and a quick meal later and Karen was comfortably in the mindset that she was where she belonged. That was only confirmed deeper later that evening as a sleepy Morgan snuggled beside her for their nightly bedtime story, and when just a few moments later she was welcomed into the greedy arms of a husband who had never uttered one breath about the fuller figure Karen, nor ever showed an ounce of concern about it.

Tonight was no different, Brent’s hands wandering everywhere as usual, lingering across those selfsame fulsome hips, kneading her fleshy thighs and doughy backside in preparation for a quick and efficient climax.

After all, it had been a full day, and Morgan would be up with the sun in the morning.

It was 10:32 that night when Karen was awakened by her cell phone buzzing on the nightstand. Her groggy mind was instantly comforted by the unfamiliar number, which always told her that this particular late night phone call wasn’t the bad news about her parents or her sister that she knew one day would have to arrive. She let the call go to voice mail and rolled back over for sleep.

Except that it rang again. Again Karen let it go to voice mail, thinking whoever had the wrong number would figure it out after hearing her mailbox message again.

And then it rang a third time. Fully awake now, Karen could see the buzzing starting to stir her husband, who by all accounts might as well have been a rock when he was sleeping. She picked up the phone fully expecting to inform someone he had a wrong number.

“Just so you know, in the future I expect you to answer my calls promptly. I don’t do voice mail.”

It was, of course, Ms. Sylvia Witherspoon, as charming as ever.

“Look,” she said. “I don’t need to wait to interview anyone else. I’ve decided: you’ll be just fine for the job. HR will fill you in on your salary and benefits in the morning. Make sure you show up early to finish all the paperwork. We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow.

Welcome to Maximize Magazine.”
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

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Old 06-03-2015, 06:59 PM   #2
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outroducin has said some nice things

this sounds really gooood!
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:49 AM   #3
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DaveTheBrave has said some nice things

And we're off! Great characters!
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Old 06-21-2015, 03:19 PM   #4
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Biglover can now be the recipient of "two cans" jokesBiglover can now be the recipient of "two cans" jokes

Very good start, as usual.
Lover of big ample sized women.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:50 PM   #5
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Default Settling in

For all Ms. Sylvia Witherspoon’s intimation of late evenings at the office and 24-hour accessibility, early on it certainly didn’t materialize much. From what Karen could see, Witherspoon often left the office in an anxious hurry at five on the dot, and just as often stayed late herself, though not until she shooed Karen out the door on time. It wasn’t unusual to field an evening phone call a few times a week requesting these figures or typing of that memo, but it was never anything that couldn’t just be forwarded from the company cloud or couldn’t just be ripped off in the first few minutes after she arrived at work the next morning. Often Karen could hear the sounds of music or crowds in the background, and Karen wondered if Witherspoon even had to call at all, or whether in some social setting she needed to project the image that she was so involved that an at-my-fingertips administrative assistant was an indispensable part of her upwardly mobile life.

Doubt that her role was anything other than administrative was put to rest on her first week on the job. “What, exactly, is our role in the production of the magazine?” Karen had asked her third day of work, having simply fulfilled one clerical request after another her first two days.

“Not our role,” Witherspoon corrected. “My role. Your role is to assist me. Thus the title administrative assistant.”

Which despite the rudeness and the territoriality, suited Karen’s current occupational goals just fine. “OK. What exactly is your role in the magazine?” she continued, non-plussed.

“I would have thought you’d have picked up on my title already,” she noted. “I’m a Creative Style Consultant.” Karen was quite aware of her title already and was thankful she didn’t have to find a way to cover her annoyance. OK, yes, but what do you DO? “This magazine caters to housewives, government clerks and part-time working mothers who want to think of themselves as anything other than housewives, government clerks and part-time working mothers.” Witherspoon let that and her gaze toward Karen linger a while before continuing. She seemed to never miss a chance to contrast her svelte body with Karen’s. “I sell the image that helps them maintain that delusion.” She smoothed her skirt over her slim boyish thighs as if to make the point. “And believe me, it’s a rare enough talent around here that the boys around here pay me well to do it.”

It was a curious enough situation for a women’s magazine, but Witherspoon wasn’t exaggerating about the boys: every vice president around the place was an X-chromosome short, and there was precious supply of estrogen even among the largely undervalued lower management corps in the cubicles downstairs. Karen had yet to spot an organizational chart (which is to say, Witherspoon hadn’t taken the time to school her in it), but a quick glance around the floor or whiff of cologne from the elevator was enough to figure that out.

Karen knew that the Creative Director and vice president of the Creative (Product) Division was R. Buckhannon (“Bucky”) Miller, III, a handsome, charismatic, well-coiffed man in his thirties who cultivated the image of coming from Northeastern money, though the middle-aged secretary who sat next to her (Donna Kay Cazinga) had told her he was actually a graduate of some state school in flyover country and the son of some oil worker or some such thing.

Bucky couldn’t be missed. Sure, he was tall, strong, athletic, confident, friendly—gorgeous. But Karen was familiar with him because of the amount of time he spent buttering up the mid-level management secretaries. The mid-level managers—which included Karen’s boss, Ms. Witherspoon—were housed in a row of minimalist glass boxes in the exact middle of the vast, concrete, open concept 26th floor of the Wells Fargo building that was known as the nerve center of the Maximize magazine brain trust. Each office had its own secretary’s desk outside the door: one secretary for each of the five offices. Each morning Bucky would exit the elevator and make his way down the row, inquiring with each about her morning or complimenting her hair or couture, even every now and then bantering and planting a peck on someone’s cheek.

All the other secretaries loved it and regarded it as a highlight of the morning. Which is probably why he did it, since none had any illusions his interest was romantic: in general, the other secretaries were all at least ten to fifteen years older than Karen, as well as, Karen estimated conservatively, a good forty or fifty pounds heavier. Not that Karen didn’t feel the flutter of flattery as he took the time each morning to inquire about her life. She was aware each morning that Bucky spent a little bit more time with her than with the other ladies, willing her mind to attribute it to her status as the new girl despite her heart hoping with certainty that it reflected a singular attraction to her. A girl’s allowed to fantasize, even happily married ones.

But Karen also knew she was the last secretary on the row, and invariably Bucky would finish applying his charms with her whisk his way into Ms. Sylvia Witherspoon’s office, where he would always spend considerably more time. It was taken as read by the secretary pool that Bucky and Witherspoon were seeing each other, though truthfully each morning the manner of his interaction with Witherspoon hardly varied from his flirtatious charm with each of the secretaries, and over the course of years no one had ever seen anything different. Their actions were, of course, clearly on display to any who cared to look, although the offices were astoundingly soundproofed.

“Wouldn’t I love to be a fly on that wall every morning,” LaTonya Trotter noted one morning, several weeks into Karen’s tenure. “I wonder what they’re really sayin’?” LaTonya was the youngest and largest of her four rowmates, a thick but well-proportioned Black woman from Long Beach with an unfortunate wispy African hairline and mismatched facial features who always wore tight-skirts and button-up blouses. She, Karen and the other secretaries were gathered around the coffee machine. Not actually drinking coffee. No, noshing on cronuts in the manner the secretaries seemed wont to do after Bucky’s morning routine. Right now they were peeking out through the break room door to observe the pantomime of an especially long and vigorous discussion between Bucky and Sylvia.

“Oh, you always imagine it’s something naughty!” exclaimed Rosalia, a short, round L.A./Mexican stereotype of a woman.

“That’s because it is, Rosie,” LaTonya asserted. “Of course there’s only one way we’ll ever know for sure.” LaTonya was glaring Karen’s way. Apparently she’d been hoping to intimidate the new girl into leaving on her speaker phone on the off-chance that it might pick something up. It seems Witherspoon’s prior secretary hadn’t seen such a move as particularly proper.

As for Karen, listening to those conversations was the last thing she wanted. If her boss was having a fling with her boss, Karen felt the less she knew, the better. And she was quite sure that she knew all she wanted to know about Ms. Sylvia Witherspoon without knowing what Karen was sure were sordid details from her private life. Once removed each morning a few minutes from the warm light of Bucky’s charms, she found herself uncomfortable she could be so easily moved by a man’s shameless and self-serving (if harmless) flirtation each morning, and she couldn’t for one minute imagine Witherspoon’s caustic heart experiencing even close to the same reaction. Karen figured that in the unlikely event there was something happening between the two of them, the only purpose it could possibly serve was to facilitate Witherspoon’s cold, naked ambition.

It didn’t require long hours on the job to take long hours out of Karen’s day. Venice to downtown is a 15-minute drive late on a Monday night. It’s not unusual during rush hour—morning and night—for the commute to take ninety minutes or even more. That left precious little time with her precious 2-year-old Morgan during the week, typically leaving before Morgan awoke each morning and arriving sometimes a matter of minutes before her bedtime. She had started keeping Morgan up much later than she ever thought was proper just to have a little connection with her each day. It meant a bleary-eyed, acting up evening for Morgan and a bleary-eyed, low energy morning for Karen—and more than a little guilt.

But financial pressures were what they were, and they had delayed this step for Karen as long as she possibly could. A friend’s 19-year-old daughter Alison had stepped up as Morgan’s full-time babysitter, which cut enough into the added financial gain that on several occasions that first month Karen almost walked into Witherspoon’s office, resignation letter in hand. One saving grace was the speed and ease with which she completed the various organizational tasks, typing of dictation, contact efforts, appointment screening, and menial errands that Witherspoon dithered up for her, leaving plenty of time for mid-day Skype sessions home around Morgan’s afternoon nap.

But with late evenings devoted to baby time, there was little time for much of anything else, particularly the household duties that up to now had been her principal duties in married life. Balanced and sophisticated morning and evening meals, once a focus of considerable investment and attention, quickly transformed into skillet meals, Chinese take-out, pizza delivery—in fact, often enough absent altogether, replaced by short stops after work to a few of the cafes near the Wells Fargo (to allow traffic to thin out before heading home), or worse yet, mind-numbed trips through the drive thru of one of the few fast food chains downtown has to offer.

It was just a few weekends into the job that Karen dragged the family around the west side to retire her snug size 10s and upgrade into solid size 12s. Upgrading not just in size, but in quality and expense, hoping beyond hope the attention of Ms. Sylvia Witherspoon and her pursed, judgmental lips would be diverted to her improved couture rather than her quickly expanding backside.
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

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Old 11-21-2015, 02:55 PM   #6
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outroducin has said some nice things

Great story! hopefully we won't have to wait so long for another update
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