Everyday from 9-2 I travel to the east side to a residential building where I work in an apartment that serves as an office for a very wealthy 75 year old business tycoon who we'll call Mr. A. Mr. A is a very nice man, and a great boss. He pays me well for what I do, which is practically nothing. Mostly, I print his e-mails as he never learned to use a computer and I send faxes and FedEx packages for him. He travels a lot and when he's on the road I get to knit, read, play on the computer, or do whatever I want while I field the phone calls. We don't get many when he's not in the office.
When I first started working for Mr. A, we were in a studio apartment on the 10th floor. A studio apartment is a one room space. This one was about 20 x 25 feet with a small but separate kitchen and a couple of closets. There was a small hallway, about 4 x 6 feet, between the main room and the bathroom. That was my office.
A couple of weeks after I started the job, Mr. A announced that we were moving to a bigger apartment on the 17th floor. We moved into the new apartment about 2 weeks ago. It is really nice. It is a 1 bedroom apartment and is MUCH larger than the studio on the 10th floor. The bedroom is my office. I have a nice view of the east side of Manhattan and a bridge crossing the East River that I have yet to identify. It's a big step up from the narrow hallway where people had to crawl past me to get to the bathroom. Mr. A's office is the living room area. Only the 2 of us work here except for his housekeeper who comes in the morning to make him a bagel, coffee, and fresh squeezed orange juice, then comes back in the afternoon to take out the trash and tidy up. So you can see how I think the new office will afford us both more privacy. That is USUALLY the case. Until yesterday......
Mr. A likes to answer his own phones. It's not that he doesn't think I can do it or doesn't trust me to give him his messages, he just likes business to happen fast and answering his own phones is just faster. So unless he is out of the office, I do not answer the phone at all. Until yesterday......
Yesterday, Mr. A must have been having a little tummy trouble or something because he spent a lot more time than usual in the bathroom. When a person has to climb over you to get to the bathroom, you get real familiar with their schedule. Most of the time he is real quick in there, he doesn't like to miss a minute of phone time. If the phone happens to ring while he is in the bathroom the door goes flying open and he runs across the room to answer it, often before the second ring and always before the third. Did I mention he is 75? I sure hope I have that kind of energy when I'm 75.
His third trip of the day took a little longer........and of course, the phone rang.
After 2 rings the door doesn't open so I decide I should answer the phone and take a message for him. I have no sooner said hello and determined who it is when I hear the bathroom door open. I assume he is finished and will be taking the call. I am wrong. From the bathroom he yells, "Who is it?" He still has not emerged. I call back to him with the message. He says, "ok," and the bathroom door slams shut. In this moment, to my horror, I have the full realization that I have just had a conversation with my boss, without benefit of a closed door, while he was on the toilet. Talk about a new level of intimacy. I'm not sure June is ready to handle all of this!