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Happiness in Love & Career

Happiness in Love & Career

Please see http://nowmotivated.blogspot.com

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Career & Love — Is the success Mutually Exclusive

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So Long , A Short Story

 “You ready to go?” Janice popped her head in Christine Howard’s office cubicle.

“Ready as ever.”

“Did you get the reports done for Dan?”

Christine sighed. “Yup, I worked here past midnight last night. I’m sure ready for a drink now.”

Janice shook her head. “He doesn’t cut anyone much slack.”

Dan could be an ogre but as long as he stroked Christine’s ego and told her she did a good job, now and then, Christine was happy. Even if she hadn’t received a promotion or salary increase in years.

Janice, however, resented him. Dan got the department manager position even though she’d been there longer and had been slated for it. She believed they worked for an old-boys network who disapproved of her sexual orientation.

Flurries in the air on this early November night tipped their hats to the upcoming holiday season. However, no hat, scarf or coat could squelch the chill in Christine, despite living in Boston for thirty years.

Laughter and chatter greeted the girls at Scottie’s Pub. It appeared that everyone from the insurance agency accounting department arrived for Dan’s birthday party. Janice headed to the bar to get their first round of drinks and returned with Christine’s Pinot Grigio. She dared not drink a more calorie-laden drink. She had to maintain her figure for her handsome husband, Tom, whom she’d been married for over seven years.

Christine took a deep sip from the soothing elixir and enjoyed a moment’s peace.

“Chris, I – I don’t know how to say this but I think I saw Tom at the bar.”

Christine felt her heart rate accelerate. “Hmm, he works on the north end of town. I wonder …”

Janice put her hand on Christine’s arm. “You may want to brace yourself –.”

“What do you mean?”

“I think he’s had a bit too much to drink.”

Christine downed the rest of her drink and headed to the bar. Janice followed on her heels. Christine would now have to endure the humiliation in front of Janice. Oh, well, she was her best friend.

Sure enough, Christine found her sloshed husband and an equally toasted red head hanging all over him. She, no doubt, could be one of the business associates he’d claimed kept him out late on more occasions than Christine cared to remember.

She’d turned the other cheek to Tom’s wayward behavior for some time. But, now, people at work would know. Maybe she could ask him to leave in order to avoid further embarrassment.

Christine tried as hard as she could to get him to go. Tom blatantly refused. He slurred, “Go back to your own party and leave me to iron out the details on a big deal I have going on.”


The next morning he’d be apologetic, loving and insistent that nothing happened. She’d heard it all before.


Several weeks had passed since Dan’s party. Christine refused to face her marital problems and tried her best to repress her feelings of betrayal. Janice probably suspected that Christine tolerated the unfaithfulness just to keep the marriage. And she’d be right. What could she do? Tom was her rock, her reason for being and the only stability she’d found in her life.

In early December, Janice left the agency for a supervisory job at a firm, only blocks away. True to her word, they’d got together for lunch during the week and drinks on Friday nights.

At least she could rely on someone.

Tom’s took increasing risks with his extra-marital activities. Christine suspected he just wanted her to leave him.

She had nowhere to turn. She had no family and no siblings. Rejection and instability were the common elements of her childhood. She moved from one foster home to another and after she’d finally been adopted, her adoptive parents divorced only a couple years later. The father left town and the mother practically kicked her out after high school. She hadn’t spoken to either of them in years.

Christine hoped she could make things better with her husband during the holidays. She’d gotten off work early on Christmas Eve, shopped for a traditional seven fish dinner and rushed home hoping to enjoy a nice evening with Tom. Naively expecting his welcoming arms, instead she heard guttural sounds of passion emanating from upstairs. Christine followed the sound only to confirm her worst of fears: in their bed, if she could call it that anymore, he gleefully screwed yet another nameless female. Could he have hit her any lower?

Christine left with nothing more than her purse and coat and went to the only place she knew to go.

Janice opened her door and appeared concerned. Christine had to be some sight with her tear and mascara smeared face.

“Let’s get you in from the cold.” Janice led her to the couch near the fireplace roaring with a bristling fire.

“Chris, you’ll see this is the best thing that could have happened. You haven’t been happy, poor dear. You deserve better.”

Janice pulled her into her arms and Christine let it all out. The pain from her unfulfilled marriage, her lonely childhood, and her directionless career.

“My life is over.”

“Oh, stop this feeling sorry for yourself.” Janice gently removed herself from the embrace and offered to make tea.

Christine sipped the Lady Earl that soothed her weary soul. “I have no idea where I’m going to live…”

“Why, you’ll move in with me.” Janice winked. “Plus, I’ve got a great Christmas gift. I’ve been dropping hints about you at Atlas and they’re interested in offering you a senior accountant position at the start of the New Year. There’ll be an opportunity for promotion after twelve months.”

“It’s all too much to absorb.”

“Trust me. Everything is going to work out.”

Christine lie in Janice’s arms and, at last, felt a sense of completeness and peace. So long to the old life and hello to the new.

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It’s common sense but uncommon behavior






Margo was simply fed up at work and slipped away from the office unnoticed. She went to The Bliss Nail & Spa Salon on Nassau Street, downtown as far away from her mid-town Branch that she could get. She didn’t want to risk running into anyone from work.

My Chi smiled brightly when Margo walked in. She was probably glad to have the business on a slow Thursday afternoon.

“Margo, nice to see you. You come for pedicure?”

“I was going to get my nails done.” Margo showed My Chi her polish chipped nails.

“Good I do nails and pedicure too. I have you soak your feet now.”

My Chi took Margo’s hand and pulled her to the back of the salon where the row of empty pedicure chairs stood and soft spa music played. Margo sat back in the cushions of the pedicure chair and fiddled with the chair remote trying to get the massage to work.

“You don’t worry. I fix for you. You relax now.” My Chi said.

My Chi got the massage chair to work and Margo sank back into it enjoying the mechanical massage fingers as they moved along her neck and worked their way down her spine. My Chi then filled the pedicure tub at her feet with warm water and spooned special blue powders in the tub. Margo then slipped her feet into the tub feeling the rush of water swirling around her feet. She closed her eyes and breathed in deep, the aroma of lavender and peppermint filling her senses.

“I’m worried about your sister Janet.” My Chi said.

Margo looked at My Chi and said, “Why do you worry about her? Janet’s got the life, no worries, and runs around in the night clubs every night.” Margo closed her eyes again. Janet could take care of herself just fine. She was a big time insurance broker who lived on the upper-east side. She had the carefree life of a single girl. What could she possibly complain about?

“She wants relationship but cannot get it. I tell her it’s because she’s too quick.”

“Too quick?” Margo opened her closed eyes to peer at My Chi.

“I tell you. She should say she lives with parents. Men like that. She says to them she takes care of parents man knows she take care of him. The man no like when girl lives by herself. Doesn’t like when he is asked to come to her apartment after date. He thinks that she does that with other men.”

Oh God, who did she sleep with now? “I’ve tried to give her advice before but she never listens to me. I thought she was having fun with all the guys.”

“She has fun but then is alone. She not happy.” My Chi said while taking her right leg out of the tub and then vigorously massaging it. “She’s too quick. Ancient Chinese saying, it takes ten steps to climb up stairs. You skip steps you trip and fall. She keeps falling.”

“She’s acting too desperate.”

“She needs to know how to say no. When man asks you to go to dinner you say no, you’re busy, have plans with your family. When I met my husband, Lee, I didn’t always say yes. I thought he was nice, nicer than other mens that like me. One time I tell him I’m busy. He then came to my home. I peeked through window and saw him waiting at the door. I told my father to tell him I wasn’t home. I went upstairs but Lee, he knew I was there. After he left he called me and asked why I told my father to tell him I wasn’t home when I was there. But he no give up. And then he marry me.”

“So you gave him reason to chase you?”

“Yes man needs to know he cannot get you when he wants you then he wants you more.”

“Janet has already told me that she doesn’t like to play games. She wants sex and feels she’s at her prime so she gets it for herself.”

“She not just wants sex. She wants boyfriend. But the way she acts she not going to get boyfriend. Man no want something that he can get so easy. Also the way she dresses. Not good.”

“She usually buys the best from the designers on 5th avenue. What’s wrong with her clothing?”

“It’s not important that she wear designer clothes. It the show. She shows too much. Man not want to see everything then there’s nothing for him to think about. He can see that anywhere than why would he want to see her?”
“I know what you’re saying; she leaves nothing to the imagination. It’s really just common sense.”

“Yes common sense but not common to insensible woman.”

Margo laid her head back and closed her eyes. This was Janet’s problem not her’s, What could she do for her if she doesn’t listen? Margo was glad that she was a married woman and didn’t have to worry about these things.

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Missing Guido Most During the Christmas Season

It was Friday night and Carmala was home, alone, in her downtown Manhattan 800 square foot apartment. She’d finally broke up with Guido after going back and forth with her decision and now was feeling really low. It was the holiday season and everyone was out having fun, attending parties while she was home crying. She called best friend Margo who was still at work even though it was  nine at night.

“Margo, I’m so lonely I could die.” Carmala wailed while wiping a tear off her cheek.

Margo tore herself away from her laptop screen and answered the phone. “Carmala I’m sure glad to hear from you. I’m actually thankful for the interruption. But really Carmala why are you home on a Friday night? We’ve gone over this a million times. You need to get out and meet a new guy. Moping at home isn’t going to do anything. It’s Friday night, didn’t you go to happy hour?”

“No, I didn’t feel like it. I thought it’d be better to come home and relax.” She grabbed a tissue blew her nose and threw it in the growing pile of used tissues at her feet. “It cold and rainy out.”

Margo looked out her window from her office which overlooked Broadway noting a light rain falling on the new snow. “It’s Christmastime you should be out. The weather’s not bad, it’s only 50 degrees. The stores are open late, why not grab a peppermint latte and go shopping? You love shopping.”

“Why don’t you join me?”

“I can’t, I have way too much work to do.”
“Don’t you have any Christmas shopping to do?”Carmala asked while blowing her nose again.

“It’s only the 15th, I have time.” Just then she an automated email alert popped up on her screen and opened it. “Ah Carmala, I just got another flippin email on the Johnson deal. It’s a million dollar deal I’ve been working on for weeks and was hoping to close it out before year-end. Now they are going to deny it. The Bank just doesn’t want to let their money go on it. The bastards are making every excuse in the world just to deny the deal, I swear it’s such a waste of time. God! I gotta go.”

Margo was so work obsessed and money hungry it made Carmala sick sometimes. But for just a second she forgot her problems and thought that Margo’s poor husband Timmy must feel abandoned. “You spend too much time at work. You should be with Timmy, Margo. It’s Friday night for god’s sakes. Do you know where he is?”

“I don’t have time for this now Carmala, really, I gotta go. I’ll call you tomorrow.” Margo promised.

“Okay, fine. Bye.” Carmala hung up feeling miserable.

She dragged herself over to her surround sound audio system and replayed, for the fourth time, Mariah Carey’s song “Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)”. Sometimes it just felt right to be sad. What was Guido doing now? Was he thinking of her? Having shared the past four Christmases together they were apart this one which was only ten days away. Why did she have to break it off? They could have worked things out. Maybe he’d be more open to work on his issues by now. Should I call him?

She reached for the phone, speed-dialed his phone number, for about the fifteenth time that night, and hung up before he answered. She better not speak to him, the whole mess would start all over again. Somehow I’ll get through the night, if I could just fall asleep I know I’ll feel better tomorrow.

The memory of his arms around her, kissing her and making sweet love to her  flooded her mind and then the sobs rose up in her and she couldn’t stop crying. She could taste the salt from her tears in her mouth.

Guido saw Carmala’s phone number appear on his caller id, as he had numerous times that night. He decided to call her back, his heart pounding hard in his chest.

Carmala listed to her phone ring. She looked on the caller id and it was Guido!Should she engage the entire mess over? He was bound to cheat again. Ah, what the hell, she answered, knowing that her voice revealed her crying but she didn’t care, “Hello?”

“Carmala, you called me like twenty times, you okay?”

“Yes, I called, but it was just a mistake.” She hung the phone back up then promptly took it off the hook. Once again she replayed “Miss You Most” and promised herself that would be the last time she listened to it, for tonight anyway.

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Why Me?

Carmala couldn’t understand how he could live with himself for doing it and why she continued to put up with him. Granted, spending time with him after a long hard day in her competitive business was like taking a soak in a perfectly tempered spa, but seriously, did he think that his new GPS people finder app wouldn’t make him look like a joke eventually? She was incredulous to see him peeking through the window at Delmonico’s Bar while she was attempting to negotiate a deal with her business client Marc Blass.

“Marc, can you excuse me for a minute, I’ll be right back.”

It was a bit abrupt and she looked nervous to him, “What’s wrong Carmala?”

“Nothing, seriously, I’ll be right back.”

“You know it’s getting late and, my wife is expecting me shortly. Can this wait until Monday? It’s Friday night and we usually have date night. The babysitter is expected in half and hour and I’m at least an hour away.” He didn’t know why she was pursuing this matter with Michael Maddox. Everyone on Wall Street knew he was playing with fire on this sudden need to expand his successful horse breeding business into the polo training business.

Great, she was going to lose him before she got him. Michael was expecting her to line up the financing for his business expansion and she had to get Marc’s buy in before anyone elses. Guido was still outside, maybe he would wait, she had to get this thing wrapped up and quick, “Marc, you know me. I have never taken a risk that wasn’t worth taking in all my eight years of being in this business. Now, I’ve studied his financials, he can withstand a loss on this new business venture, he’s heavily capitalized, but I think we have a winner here! We’re talking Wellington, Florida, Marc, the Capitol for polo games!”

She had a point, he had to admit, and Maddox Industries did have favorable financial stats, “I’ll tell you what. Let me look at the proposal and maybe I can line up the first million. But, really, kiddo I have to go. Hope you can handle the little problem out there.” He nodded in the direction of where Guido was still standing outside staring at them through the window. “Need my help?”

“No, really, I got it. I’ll get back to you Monday. And, don’t worry about the check, I got that. You enjoy your date night.” She was mortified, absolutely mortified, but knew she had to maintain her calm. It was all about appearances in this business, never let them know your sweating, personally or professionally. 

“Alright then, Carm. Take care.” He kissed her cheek goodbye and was out the door breezing past the glaring Guido as though he didn’t exist.

As soon as Marc went by him, Guido came storming in the bar, “Carmala, you said you’d be home by six and it’s almost 7pm!”

She ignored him, paid the tab and then pulled him back outside, “I have nothing to say to you Guido! You’re now compromising my job! Do you realize he almost left before I finished what I had to do? You could have blown it for me!”

He felt a tinge bad about it but he felt justified in what he did because they agreed that they wouldn’t go to bars without each other. He smelled the alcohol on her breath and it really annoyed him, she promised him she wouldn’t drink. “You made a promise Carmala. You promised that you wouldn’t go out and drink with these men after work and here you are doing it.”

She began to walk down William Street on the way to the subway, it was damned cold and she knew he wasn’t going to let this go. He’d want to talk about it all night. Another Friday night down the drain and she was just feeling good about the hook on Marc, “Guido I’d like to have a relaxing evening with you. I am tired and quite embarrassed.”

He was trying to keep up with her stride, she was practically running for the subway, damn her, she couldn’t possibly think he was enjoying this, “Carmala we need to hash this out.”

She spotted a cab and hailed it and it quickly made its way to her. Screw him, she thought, I don’t need this, “I’ll tell you what, hash this  out!” and slipped into the cab giving the cabbie orders to get her to 34th and Broad as soon as possible.  Guido stood there, stunned, as the cab sped away.

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