She needed a leg up
Pittsburgh was a quiet place to live while studying for her history degree, but after that, going to Columbia University’s Law School presented a shock. A suitable sorority found through the rushes helped. It meant her parents could afford her transfer to New York but did little to calm the noise levels she endured. Because of this, her papa insisted she let them pay for quieter accommodation during her senior year. Hence, she moved and became a resident in Watt Hall. During the period that followed, life was rich. Now it was time to leave. She and her close friend intended to pursue separate clerkships. The room was bare and had lost its intimacy. So she and Marianne met in their favorite coffee shop. Just to say their farewells. They both protested they would see each other often, even though that had become unlikely as lawyers in Marianne’s home city, Boston, had recruited her. Their last hug was tearful.
Weeks had passed since her interview. She had been fearful as she walked down Third Street from Lexington Avenue. Then she saw the building towering into the sky. The scale of the firm was what was scaring her. The top seven floors housed the 600 staff based in New York. That left her feeling small enough. In addition, they had an equal number of employees around the United States, plus more at sites across the globe. The operation’s extended presence deepened her sense of inadequacy. Before going into the lobby, she pulled herself together. The Managing Partner met her persona as a super confident prospective Doctor of Law. There was no doubt she impressed him. As a result, the conversation soon became cordial. Especially so as he had a soft spot for Pittsburgh. He began his career with Pitt’s largest firm, Knox Reed. There he might have stayed except a guy who later turned into his lifelong best friend stormed ahead of him in terms of plaudits. Rather than accept second place, he pursued an opportunity to be the leading light in a fresh pack of young lawyers.
Inspired by the discussion during that first visit, she too wanted to become “the leading light”, and she sought to outperform the coworkers in her intake. Although results from her efforts proved top rate, her progress was far from smooth. That was because before long, problems with a macho male threatened her ambitions. Her boss decided it was okay to put an arm around her shoulder when craning to see her computer screen. Over the following weeks, the frequency with which he checked up on her activity increased. Then, at the water cooler, he struck again. Perhaps it was an accident when she felt his hand brush over her backside. However, with a smirk he said, “Oops, sorry.” The next similar contact couldn’t be an innocent event because that time he made no secret of caressing her buttock. No apology accompanied the lecherous grin as he left.
HR advised her to be careful before making accusations as the supervisor of the commercial section, her boss, was an important member of senior management. Therefore, people might presume she was inventing stories unless there was tangible evidence and pitching her word against his could make life become problematic. When they next met up, he winked. “I hope the personnel guys helped you come to your senses.” His smile changed into a leer as he tried to use his fingers as a comb in her hair, but before he succeeded, she drew away. He was unperturbed. “Perhaps we should try again later. I’ll always assist the careers of junior staff if they prove to be friendly.” Before she could respond, he vanished.
Not long afterwards, the unwanted advances stopped, allowing her to progress unhindered with her caseload. She delivered excellent outcomes and earned praise from clients. Hence, she developed a spring in her step. This showed when floor hopping within the firm. She sprinted up and down the stairways, except once when returning to her office. On that occasion, she used the elevator. Her boss jumped in too, as though in pursuit. And as the doors shut, he grabbed her from behind, kissing her neck and groping her breasts and groin, “Shouldn’t you be striving to win an associateship? I can make that happen”. Moments later, on reaching the upper level, he slapped her butt and gave her an obscene wink before adding, “Think about it”, then he disappeared. The sudden resumption of his unwelcome approaches in such a brutal way shocked her, and yet, her determination to forge ahead through her own devices increased.
HR scheduled the interview for an associate position for the coming month. She expected her fine performance to carry sufficient influence. Regardless, she foresaw a delay before finding out. A coworker who she considered had been given far less responsible tasks, heard first. The firm had promoted her, and with a broad smile, there was a frank admission to taking advantage of the boss’s helping hand. “It’s easy to make it into a big deal. And sure, I did in the beginning. But, you know, in retrospect, he wasn’t so bad. Indeed, I enjoyed the screwing part. But the earlier blowjob was gross. At least, for that, we hid in the basement parking area in his enormous car, and it was soon over. Anyway, since getting laid, he hasn’t bothered me. He prefers fresh conquests.”
Still, she waited in hope as more coworkers received good news. Throughout the announcements, her boss ignored her until he said in passing, “You missed your chance. Why don’t you ask to be transferred?”
She was enjoying training to be a commercial lawyer. A switch to another department wasn’t something she could contemplate. Was it worth reviving her earlier complaint? No, because she recalled HR mentioned the need for concrete evidence. She had none of that.
Despite her disappointment, she continued to work hard and often stayed beyond normal hours. She did so to learn more about others in her shared office. Her curiosity centered on those colleagues who became associates. So she remained after everyone else had left. Their files might explain why they enjoyed superior progress, but the study formed an urgent task as they were moving to new offices. The exercise showed their joint boss had given them less responsibility, and yet she achieved more success. She was crestfallen, as without promotion her job would stall and become repetitive. The option of switching firms was too late. It would result in a sideways movement.
She replayed the words of the girl that the firm promoted, ‘It’s easy to make it into a big deal’. For her, the specter of such liaison created a dark and threatening cloud. Anyway, an upgrade except as a reward for her endeavors was an anathema. So it was with a heavy heart that she reached a decision. That done, she resolved to avoid wavering. The next day she arrived at work dressed in a fitted black suit with a short skirt and pocketed jacket. Beneath the formal clothes, she wore lurid pink frilly satin lingerie. If exposed, it should be difficult to ignore. She lingered until her boss was alone before entering his cubicle, which, albeit glazed, formed a separate room.
“The work for Mr. Cohen is complete. Can we check the file together?”
“Of course. I encourage my girls to seek guidance. Pull up a chair right here.”
Once sat beside him, it did not surprise her to find a hand touching her knee. Then it crept up her thigh. He said, “Maybe a review isn’t necessary. Your performance is always perfect. Let’s use this as an excuse to become friendly.”
“Perhaps fondling my leg in an open office is dangerous. Shouldn’t we move somewhere private?” As she stared into his eyes, she placed a hand above his and ran it higher. Then she said, “I understand from a colleague you help the career of girls who give you pleasure. Is there a chance of us having fun in the back of your car?”
“So, the penny has dropped. Yes, I have a huge van with blacked-out windows, it’s perfect.”
She replied with a cheeky smile, “How can I please you?”
“Well, I’ve guessed who you were chatting to. I’m always ready for more of her tricks.”
“Does that mean you want my lips to excite you?” As she spoke, she injected laughter into her voice and threw her long hair with a saucy flick.
“Now you’re talking my language. That’s a great opener, but you can’t expect to stop there. You’ve made a slow start, so we need to hurry. But don’t fret. There’s still enough time to amend your rating.” Her cleavage and a few pink frills protruding from her tight white blouse caught his attention. “Something straight after work is good. At 5.30, stand on the sidewalk in front of the office. I’ll pick you up.”
She gave a sexy pout. “Didn’t I hear you are quick into action, why wait?” With those words, she slid his hand further so that his fingertips glided over the triangle of flimsy material beyond the top of her legs, so enabling him to identify the edges of more intimate details. Without being over-dramatic, she shivered with apparent pleasure at his touch and sighed. The stiffening in his loins prompted his reply. “That’s good thinking, it’s lunch time, let’s go now.”
“Lead the way. If that means you will support my associateship, I’m all yours.” Her smile was sickly sweet and yet remained credible.
Whilst walking to the elevator, she clutched his arm and giggled. Once there, seeing others wanting to enter, she fell back and said in a frightened voice, “Wait, I feel embarrassed, I prefer our own compartment.”
“You’re being silly, we’ll never get to the basement alone.” But as he spoke, their chance was lost; the car had gone. So, she pushed the button for another.
She asked him to rush, “Come on, before anyone else comes.”
When the doors closed, she pressed her body against his. With one hand, she began further arousing him through his pants. He held her with his arms, hugging her shoulders. Relishing victory, he said, “That’s nice bitch, I want this so much.”
She cried out with urgency, “Don’t do that, please, don’t do that.”
There was a ping as the elevator slowed for an intervening floor. That overcame the confusion generated by her words. So, whilst smiling, he attempted to move aside, but his smile ceased when her spare hand tugged at the buttons of the thin blouse, ripping the material. He blinked with amazement at her exposed pink sheathed bosom and bare midriff. Then she adopted a stony gaze, and with a tight hold of his trouser front, she grabbed his testicles and squeezed hard. After hearing a grunt of pain, she snatched her fist away to enable her to stab him with her knee. Before the door opened, he collapsed in a heap. Again, she was quick. The waiting coworkers did not notice her skirt being hitched to reveal all her underwear. What they saw was frantic efforts to appear respectable after she had stepped out in full view of a security camera.
Several women rushed to help as she appeared to be tearful and in distress. They guided her to a nearby quiet area, offering privacy. Meanwhile, guards showed up on the scene, quizzing her boss. Soon afterwards, two staffers from HR arrived to provide comfort and send out for a new blouse. Later, they called a limo, on the firm’s account, to take her home. On the journey, she took out the cell phone concealed in her jacket pocket and played the recording. Everything was there, albeit muffled. Still adequate for her to write a transcript while fresh in her memory. Beyond that, she had the dossier of her achievements compared with promoted colleagues. Together, those documents should be a clincher.
The biggest problem was to justify having chosen to record the incident. Therefore, to prepare her case, she engaged an employment counselor. She said she felt forced to accommodate this predator. But she didn’t want him to renege on his promises. Then, in the elevator, he lost control and tore at her clothes. Despite self-defense training having cut in, she claimed her actions arose without malice. The driver was pure fear. Although they did not quite believe her story, HR handled the affair with tact. They persuaded the firm to grant a satisfactory payoff. Also, and to comply with her demands, the Managing Partner called his opposite number in Knox Reed, suggesting they interview her. With no reluctance, he provided a glowing reference. It was full of details of client appraisals. As an unusual twist, he added he would place no constraints on the departing lawyer poaching the clients she had serviced. That concession enthused her prospective employer. Because of this, they offered her a junior partnership. Besides the thrill of a boost to her career, she learned other exciting news from Pittsburgh. A friend from her undergraduate days in Pitt had returned to the City of Bridges. Someone she had been even sweeter on than Marianne.
Saying goodbye to New York involved one last trip to the skyscraper housing her old firm. She was escorted to her former desk in order to clear it. But she slipped away from the minder and went to her erstwhile boss’s cubicle. She said, while blowing a kiss, “Thanks for helping with my career. I hope, I’ve done something for yours.”