My posts during April form part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme this year is Jazz and I've selected a variety of classics from across the board. I've mixed up the performers a bit though ...
Taking a deep breath, Willa squared her shoulders and tilted her chin up: "Onwards ..." she said to herself, before pushing open the main office door. She greeted Gemma in her usual bright and breezy manner and received a single quizically raised eyebrow in return. Willa had dressed carefully that morning, putting on her favourite suit and fabulous shoes, together with some absolute killer underwear to give her that little extra edge of confidence. For today was the day when redundancies were being announced.
Walking into the central office, the air of gloom was palpable. Fearing that it'd be catching, Willa started to hum under her breath till, catching sight of Peter's grin from across the room, she correctly interpreted that he was suggesting coffee and rapidly headed that way. As she joined him, she noticed that he was also humming and was sure she heard the words "there may be trouble ahead" before he broke off to ask: "your usual Willa? Can you take a look at a proposal I'm putting together for Jamie?"
Pleased for something positive to do, Willa accepted and followed Peter over to a table strewn with paperwork. As always, Peter's ideas were great, but the presentation was more than a bit scatter-gun, so Willa spent the morning sorting through his workings, adding structure, linking to the backup research, so the end product was an inspired and well-balanced proposal. Printing it out, with a frontispiece containing both their names, Peter handed a copy to Jamie as he walked in with the team doing the redundancy announcement. It was all pretty much as expected: uncertain commercial conditions, needing to re-cut their cloth until things became clearer, blah, blah. Anyone interested in considering voluntary redundancy was invited to speak to the HR team between now and 2pm, otherwise the recommendation was that everyone broke for lunch as normal.
As Willa left the office, Peter fell in step beside her: "C'mon, there's something I want you to take a look at." Walking into a small exerise studio near the office, Peter pointed to the noticeboard: "What do you think of this? Fancy giving it a go?" Willa read: Come one, come all! Willing Waltzers, American Smoothies, Fancy Foxtrotters, Lovely Latins! Lunchtime lessons! "Well ... if we both still have a job, why ever not?" she responded.
Returning later, they were greeted by Jamie calling "in my office please you two." He indicated their proposal from that morning: "this is exactly the sort of thing we're looking for. We'd like you two to team up in the new structure. Hannah from HR is drawing up new contracts for you both. Yes, the financial terms are better, but you'll have to work bloody hard for them." Both smiled, shook Jamie's hand and assured him that they'd be happy to.
Walking back to their desks, Peter stared humming again. Willa recognised it as the song from earlier, the song from that TV advert in fact. Honestly, he was incorrigible - let's face the music and dance indeed!
© 2017 Debra Carey
Who doesn't love Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers? Well, OK, I'm sure some people do, but I thoroughly enjoyed their frivolity, the seemingly effortless dancing (remember Ginger did everything Fred did, but did it backwards and in high heels!)
Written by Irving Berlin in 1936 for 'Follow the Fleet', it also had a starring role in Allied Dunbar's advertising campaign in 1997. Recorded by pretty much everyone, I simply couldn't resist indulging in the elegance of the original film.
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