Lexi walked into the office feeling a little blue. She had not had a great morning. Her coffee order was knocked out her hands before she could savor any of it. The train had been way too packed and she was convinced that a few nasty idiots got free feels off of her. Worse, the train was delayed twice making her have to rush and run to work. Not one to commute in her heels, today was not the day to be running to the office in brand new super tall heels.
So, as she sat and pulled herself together, the feeling of blue had sunk fully into her. She didn’t want to be a hot mess before the big presentation. She needed to nail that account. Winning the contract would allow her boss to expand and hire more women on the team as part of his diversity initiative. The company really needed more women and the owners were not that worried about it. At least her boss cared enough to try.
Brenda was that one woman on the team Lexi had tried her best to become friends with. As far as Lexi was concerned, gals should stick together and work as one team to help each other move up the ranks. Until boss man found other women to join the team, it was just the two of them in a male dominated company.
The other women were in other departments and becoming friends was not very easy to do when you didn’t get to see them much during the course of an average working week.
A note popped up on her calendar’s chat box. Brenda was asking why Lexi was late and that she had a duty to report Lexi to the boss. The day was just getting worse by the moment. As Lexi headed over to her boss to get ahead of the potential report/snitching, Tom asked Lexi to step into his office. Tom was one of the HR guys who was big on keeping the office focused on following all the minor and major rules very closely.
Tom began to review the dress code with Lexi. It was his opinion that she was trying a bit too hard to look too provocative in the office. The skirts were to be below the knee and the blouses fully covering the top. The only appropriate skin to show was the hand and face, Tom had pointed out with an exaggerated smile.
Lexi didn’t need this on top of her already bad morning. Tom sat with a look of expectation, as if he was waiting for an apology or something of the sort.
As he waited, Brenda walked into the office. Tom nodded and proceeded to use Brenda as an example of well dressed corporate conformity. Brenda was dressed not to impressed but to hide her figure. Nothing about her look said any sort of confidence. It was not messy, that was her saving grace, but it was not properly tailored to her figure in any way shape or form.
Tom, who seemed very pleased by his example resumed to look at Lexi with expectancy.
The quiet of the room started to get quite stuffy and heavy. Lexi was not about to apologize for being confident and for dressing well. She knew exactly what was proper to wear in an office like the one she had. She also knew that some of the men wished she took more risk. But she was not going to change herself to please anyone.
Brenda was the one to finally break the silence, and unlike what anyone would have expected, she took sides with Lexi. The woman was perfect. She was always on time and stayed late. She always put in extra work and always was very professional. If a woman could be on top of her game and get harassed by HR, then, what hope was there for women who didn’t know how to dress for success? Brenda further explained that she had been inspired to improve her wardrobe to try and mimic Lexi because her unapologetic ways of being confident was boosting her own confidence.
Tom, red-faced, couldn’t believe his ears. His perfect plan had been foiled. He wanted to reign in the confidence of Lexi a bit in light of the new hiring push her boss was making. He was going to hire a lot of women to the team. Couldn’t have them dressed all confident and sexy about the office. It would be too distracting and cause men to make errors they wouldn’t otherwise make. He had to protect the company from any legal liability these ladies would present if one of the guys made a compliment and the women opted to make a case out of it. Lexi had to apologize and change her ways.
Tom made a note to take it up with Lexi’s boss to apply greater pressure for change. No way would these women get away with braving him and his policies.
Later that day, Lexi was called into her boss’ office. The look on his face was very serious and a bit grim. This couldn’t be good. She sat quietly and attentively. Lexi liked her boss a lot. He was cool. He was fair. He was all about promoting talent and supporting his team. His initiative had been well welcomed by everyone on the team because he had done the work correctly to gain their buy-in.
Boss Man, as Lexi often referred to him, took his time getting into the reason for his meeting with Lexi. Eventually, he got to the point. Brenda had in fact talked to him about her lateness and had asked him to be very understanding and not hold her to task about being late.
Lexi was plenty surprised, as one thing she was always careful with, was giving Brenda material to use against her. While they were working on being friends, Brenda had the habit of brown nosing a bit and throwing a few folks under the bus to get a leg up. Granted, it was usually the guys she threw under the bus, but, she had that side to her.
Then, after Tom had talked to him, Brenda had come back and advocated for Lexi’s unapologetic sexiness. While Boss Man was not comfortable calling it sexiness, he said that her choice of smart business wear was exactly the type of modeling he needed for the newer members of the team that would be coming to the company soon. He assured her that Tom would be dealt with by the very rules he was too keen on holding up, as he was out of line with his comments and recommendations.
As the meeting drew to a close, in deep politeness, Boss Man blushed slightly while asking Lexi to never apologize for being good at what she did. Lexi got the message, she was not planning on apologizing for being a great employee or looking good while doing work. She did make a note however of the nature of the blush and allowed herself to blush a little in return.
Their eyes locked for a brief moment. It was way too soon. But the seed was being planted. Just maybe… she might explore this new connection a little more down the road and see just how much he appreciated her confidence.
For now, the horrible day had started to correct itself. Spring was definitely feeling like it could have a bit of sprung to it. But, before her mind could get carried away, she adjusted herself, thanked her boss for the time, and then swiveled to leave the office.
As she shot a quick look back, she saw him looking at her, not in a hungry type of way, not in a man looking at a woman up and down way. No. Boss Man was looking at her the person. She paused, allowed him to search her soul with his eyes. Nothing about his posture denoted anything of his thoughts, but she knew just what that soul snatching look was all about. She let her eyes sizzle a little bit and enjoyed the slight glimmer of radiance that reflected back at her through his eyes.
As she walked out, she went straight way to Brenda and thanked her for making her day. Just maybe, this friendship had great potential after all. With two ladies supporting each other unapologetically, much work would get done to make this team one of the best ever as other ladies would join on.
Then, as diversity did what diversity does, Lexi would then have time to revisit this soul snatching look she had witnessed. Someone would have to make a move… but Boss Man would have to deal with Tom first. But that’s for another time, another day.
As Lexi returned to her desk, she found a cup of coffee was waiting for her, freshly brewed. A note of thanks that read simply “thank you for being you”. No signature. In a handwriting she didn’t know or recognize. Who could it be?
Photo credit by the very person who inspired the story that went along with this post. The lady known as NylonsandSocks of the same name on Instagram Details were changed about the story to protect the innocent in the story. Never apologize for being yourself, no matter how sexy it may be.