Home > Stuck-Up Suit(5)

Stuck-Up Suit(5)
Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward

When I arrived at the office, Ida was in a particularly rancid mood. Fucking awesome. The whole world thought Ask Ida was a beloved American institution; only a select few knew the truth. The woman who delved out heaping doses of sugary advice got her jollies from screwing people and being cheap.

“Find a number for the Celestine Hotel,” was how she greeted me.

I powered on the tower to the old desktop computer she had me work on. The Internet on my phone was much faster, but I wasn’t using up my data because she refused to move into the twenty-first century. Five minutes later, I brought her the number in her office.

“Here you go. Would you like me to make a reservation for you?”

“Grab the travel folder from the file cabinet.”

I handed it to her and waited since she never answered my question. Ida flipped through the bulging file until she found a small, folded card—the kind the hotel leaves with the maid’s name on it. She read it and then held it out to me. “Call the hotel. Tell them Margaritte doesn’t know how to clean a room. That the last time I stayed at the Celestine, the carpet wasn’t properly vacuumed, and there were black hairs on the wall in the shower.”

“Okay…”

“Mention Margaritte by name and that I specifically want a room cleaned by someone else. Then ask for a discount.”

“What if they won’t give a discount?”

“Then book the room anyway. My room was perfectly clean last time.”

“You mean the carpet and shower weren’t dirty?”

She let out an exasperated sigh as if I was trying her patience. “Their room rates are highway robbery. I’m not paying $400 a night.”

“So instead you want me to possibly get someone fired?”

She raised one thick, drawn-on eyebrow. “Would you rather it be you?”

Yeah. This bitch should be giving advice on morality.

***

LUCKY FOR ME, IT WAS WEDNESDAY—the day Ida met her editor each week. So, at least, I only had to put up with her for half a day before she left me with a page long to-do list:

Order new business cards. (Make them less colorful this time, I run a business not a circus.)

Update blog. (Yellow folder has daily letters and responses. Do not improvise as you type. Ask Ida does NOT suggest doing it doggy style to cheer up your boyfriend who just lost his beloved Jack Russell terrier).

Enter bills in blue folder into QuickBooks. (Take all discounts, even if past the discount date.)

Send contracts to Lawrence for review. No direction on this one. I’d figure out why shortly after. She had written across every single page of the document with a bright orange marker. Ridiculous. Not acceptable.

Pick up dry cleaning. (Ticket on my desk. Do not pay him if the mark on the left sleeve of my mohair jacket did not come out.) What the hell was mohair anyway?

Delivery from Speedy Printing this afternoon. (No tip. He was ten minutes late again last week.)

The list went on and on. I had to stop myself from scanning it and posting it on the blog under the last response she gave to an employee who was having trouble with her boss. Instead, I cranked up the tunes (Ida didn’t allow music in the workplace), tipped the printer delivery guy twenty bucks from petty cash, and took a one-hour break with my bare feet up on the desk to play with Mr. Big Prick’s phone some more. Looking down at my wiggling toes, I admired Tig’s latest handiwork—two feathers tatted on the top of my right foot that dangled from a leather ankle bracelet. Very Pocahontas. I needed to stop back at the shop so he could take a picture for his wall, now that the swelling had gone down.

I was nearly at my data usage limit for the month, so I popped Graham Morgan into Google on his phone. I was surprised when the search returned more than a thousand results. The first one was his company’s website—Morgan Financial Holdings. I clicked on the link. It was a typical corporate website, all very sterile and businesslike. The list of holdings was a page long, everything from real estate to a financial investment firm. The site reeked of old money. I would have bet Daddy still had a big corner office and visited every Friday after golf. The common theme of the site also seemed to summarize the business—wealth management. The rich get richer. Who was managing my assets? Oh, wait. That’s right. I had none. Unless you counted my great rack. And I currently had no one managing that either.

I clicked over to the About tab, and my jaw dropped open. The first picture was of the Adonis himself, Graham J. Morgan. The guy was seriously gorgeous. A strong blade of a nose, chiseled jaw, and eyes the color of melting milk chocolate. Something told me he might have Greek in his ancestry. I licked my lips. Damn. Underneath, I read his bio. Twenty-nine, Summa Cum Laude at Wharton, single, blah blah blah. The only thing that surprised me was the last sentence: Mr. Morgan founded Morgan Financial Holdings only eight years ago, yet its diverse client portfolio rivals the oldest and most prestigious investment firms in New York City. Guess I was wrong about Daddy.

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