Who is that?” one of my female colleagues asks, looking towards Rob.
“Thaaat, is off limits to you,” I say pointedly.
“He is gorgeous!” she says.
The next time I look up, Rob is gone. But I will see him again, really soon. I tap my phone to make sure it’s still there with the all-important phone number. But as it turns out, I don’t have to pursue him. He’s already on this! He sends me a text message the following evening, asking how I’m doing.
Him: You looked really beautiful yesterday. Me: Thanks. Him: If I may ask, are you married? Me: No. Him: I have so many questions. Can I call you? Me: Ya, sure.
He calls and we start talking about everything. From football, to sweet potatoes, to sexual harassment.
“You get sexually harassed?” I ask.
“All the time,” he says. “And women take it really badly when they are rejected. Worse than men, I think.”
“Give me an example,” I say.
“I got this consultancy job and the boss lady came to listen in to a presentation I was doing,” he tells me. “We hadn’t met before because I was hired by HR.”
He goes on to say that the presentation on innovative farming techniques went well and she introduced herself to him after he was done.
“She invited me to her office for coffee,” he says.
When they got there she told him how impressed she was by his ideas and that her company would implement them all and even go a step further and hire him to oversee the whole process. She dropped a figure and he sat back. It was a hell of a lot of money. The intercom then goes off and her secretary tells her that her husband has dropped in to see her.
“Send him in,” she says.
She introduces Rob to her hubby, who says he was in the neighborhood and wanted to see her. “Working late again, honey?” he asks.
“Not tonight,” she says. “I’ll be home by 7pm. But I’ll be travelling for a seminar this weekend.”
He grimaces and kisses her on the cheek then leaves. She turns to Rob and asks.
“What are you doing this weekend? Are you free to go to Zanzibar?”
“Zanzibar?” he asks. “There’s a farming seminar in Zanzibar?”
She laughs. “Oh dear lawd. You and I can have a seminar anywhere we want. I choose Zanzibar.”
Rob is still not getting it. “We have something more to discuss?”
“If you want the gig I just offered you, then yes, most definitely,” she says.
“Just the two of us?” he asks.
“Yes,” she says.
Rob shifts uncomfortably in his seat. He just met her husband, for heaven’s sake.
“I’m happy to have any further meetings here in your office,” he says.
She shoots him a cold look. “Alright,” she says dismissively. “My secretary will be in touch.” She turns to her computer screen. “That will be all.”
Rob stands up. “It was a great pleasure meeting you,” he says. He doesn’t get a response.
He walks out, feeling nervous. Did he just blow a great career opportunity? He gives her secretary his number.
“She says you’ll be in touch,” he says to her.
“She didn’t take your number herself?” she asks looking surprised.
Now he is positive he blew it.