The financial software industry is a volatile environment. The market shifts overnight; a small, boutique competitor (previously unworthy of concern) secures significant investment from a venture capitalist, or three separate – but personally connected – individuals quit their employment to develop a rival product. Such news travels quickly, allowing for rapid, reactionary measures. Think of a game of chess in fast-forward and you have it; a constant state of flux in which some colleagues thrive, and others, unfortunately perish.
The sales department are perfectly honed to deal with this pace. The sales floor bustles with a ceaseless hum of friendly voices, dialing out to prospects. Office space serves as a political forum for airing grievances and seeking solutions. Meeting rooms are used only for customer calls and HR issues that – for now – require discretion. These interactions, whizzing over the heads of nonparticipants, often make for entertaining ear fodder. One such example took place between Veronica and Keira, arranging to meet a partner firm.
Veronica is a no-shit, up front, efficient worker. A fixer – work with her or be shoved aside. On a bad day, she bangs her keyboard and cusses aplenty. On a good day, she engages in banter, elevating inappropriateness to unforeseen limits with a wicked cackle. Keira is her polar opposite, exploiting her feminine wiles to schmooze and charm, employing a pastiche, girly-girl persona. She partakes in office hi jinx, expediently extracting herself, when it veers towards questionable.
“Are you coming to that meeting, Veronica? Did you see that email?” This question was delivered from fifteen feet away.
“Yes, I’ll be at the meeting,” answered Veronica sharpishly, tapping heavily on her keyboard. She didn’t look up from her screen.
“There is no mention of dates in the email. 2pm. What day?”
“So you’re coming? It’s next Tuesday. Great! I’ll see you there.”
“Er, no, Keira … I’ll see YOU next Tuesday.”
“Pardon me? What did you say?” Keira’s tone was loaded with disbelief. “Did she just …?” Keira’s voice trailed off, smothered by chuckles from surrounding colleauges.
Veronica ducked behind her partition, out of Keira’s sight with a distinct look of concern.
“Fuck, I’ve been spending too much time at home with that builder who is working on my conservatory.”