Amr: Luci, are you ok?
It took me a few seconds to realize where I’m actually at. What the hell was I thinking falling asleep at my desk? So unprofessional of me. Not just that, but if anyone other than Amr even saw me doing that for a second, they’d think I’m taking advantage of us being together.
Me: I’m so sorry Amr, not sure what has gotten into me. I’ve been sleeping really badly lately, and for some reason it’s taking me longer than expected to get used to fasting this year.
Amr: Don’t worry about it, I understand. Isn't that because of the work load lately? I know I’m putting a lot of responsibility on you, but you’re the one I trust the most around here.
Me: I don’t mind, you know I love what I do, so don’t even mention it.
Amr: I just got a brilliant idea!
Me: And what should that brilliant idea be?
Amr: I was supposed to get some interns this summer to help them build up their CV and learn something new. How about one of them comes in to help you out?
Me: In that case, get me a guy please, you know I have a hard time dealing with other women hahaha
Amr: Is that so? A woman it is then hahaha
A few days later, my intern comes in, she introduces herself and let’s just call her Suzie. Why? Because she looks like a girl who would like to go by the name Suzie. Well, in reality her name is Karima, but unfortunately I kept on mixing up her name. She’s pretty young, think 19 years old or something like that, yet she acts like she’s in her mid thirties. No kidding! Even though we’re in Ramadan, she had on one of the tightest tops I have ever seen, with an unnecessary view, let’s just leave it at that.
Suzie: Is it okay to come dressed like you or do I have to wear something more formal like this?
Oh wow, why didn’t they just let her intern at Sahar’s department. They would have certainly gotten along really well. I didn’t give her an answer just to avoid being rude, I’m sure that poor cookie didn’t know that she was being impolite, or did she?
Amr started chatting with me and he was really curious about how my intern was doing. I gave him a brief about her, pretty much the same I told you guys here.
Me: Now what do you think I should do with her?
Amr: She didn’t do much yet, but can I give you a piece of advice?
Me: Sure shoot.
Amr: It’s time to learn how to be firm without taking things personally. This is work, you need to be a good boss because you’re great at what you do, but you seriously lack that skill. Time to work on it!
I love his words, even when he criticizes something, he knows how to say it perfectly and it actually makes you listen, you don’t mind at all. Or was that a sign that I already fell head over heels for him? That’s an option too. I was trying not to get too emotionally involved, not that he’s a bad guy, he’s actually amazing, but I wanted to observe at first rather than dive deep in. However, telling yourself things will go that way is much easier than actually following through with them, right?
Now back to the fabulous Suzie. I decided I’ll be more firm and actually try to teach her a thing or two while having her help me out properly.
Me: I just sent you details about client X, please go through it and then we’ll discuss how to perfectly tackle their new campaign. I want to see fresh ideas, especially since I understand your major is pretty relevant to what we’re doing.
An hour passed by, I didn’t even pay attention to the time since I was finally back on track with the work load and managed to be productive during Ramadan. I completely forgot she was with me in the room.
Me: You done?
Suzie: I need some more time.
Me: Why? It’s a document with 10 pages only and it’s been an hour.
Suzie: It’s so boring, what can I do? If you could give me a more exciting client, I’d love that.
Me: Well, that’s really not up to you. You have 15 more minutes and then we start.
How can she even say that? It’s not like someone forced her to apply for an internship. Kids these days! What? Did I just say that? No I did not, I take it back. That sounds like something my mum would say or someone much older, but not me. I tried to remember what it was like to be 19 again, was I like Suzie or a bit wiser? I didn’t want to jump into conclusions and directly judge her before I could remember what I was actually doing at that age.
Right before I was going to tell her that it was time to discuss things, I got called in for an important meeting.
Suzie: Can I come?
Me: Of course you can’t.
Suzie: What should I do then until you’re done?
Me: Did anyone talk to you about actually being at work before? I don’t feel like someone had that talk with you. Well, it’s never too late, is it? I promise to give you a piece of my mind once I’m done, but meanwhile, I need you to start writing some of the ideas you got for the campaign.
Me: No buts, I expect them to be ready once I’m back. I won’t be okay with "I didn’t know what to do." You have Google and you have the briefing and I believe that’s all you need to try hard.
I was starting to be a bit more proud of myself on how to deal with her properly, but I still felt like there’s a lot that needs to be done for us to be actually able to work together for a complete month or maybe two, not sure how long.
The meeting took over an hour and I was relieved to walk back to my office. Let’s see what Suzie did, shall we?
Empty desk, empty chair, oh wait, her bag was still there. Good, she’s alive and still at work, but the question is where could she have wandered off to? I took a wild guess that she would feel more at home with Sahar and what do you say, I was right.
I walked towards there furiously, but I was not going to let it show. I’m a grownup and I'm a hard worker and I was going to handle this very professionally.
Me: Suzie, shouldn’t you be on your desk?
Suzie: I’m not Suzie, I’m Karima.
Me: Oh, my bad. Office, now!
I stormed back to my office, in confidence I must say, and heard her running right after me, I could tell from her steps.
Suzie: Luci, I’m so sorry. I just needed a short break, I was hitting a wall. Please don’t be mad at me.
Wow, apparently my “professionally furious” face was scary. High five Luci!
Me: Sit down and listen to me, there’s no such thing as mad. This is work, you’re coming in as an intern, meaning you need to make a good impression. I’ve tolerated a sequence of unacceptable behavior from you since the morning, but decided to let each one of them pass. However, it doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better.
Suzie: I’m sorry, I don’t have much experience…
Me: There’s no such thing as that either. You come into a new place, you don’t give the people around you attitude because you think you don’t have much experience, instead you sit and observe to learn. That’s how things should go. You know what else you shouldn’t be doing? Coming dressed like that to a place you need to give off a good impression at. I can tell you’re a smart girl and you most certainly don’t need anything else to help you with that, if you know what I mean.
Me: Last but not least, what did you do with that project briefing?
Suzie: I wrote a few things, but I know they’re not enough. I was going to ask you for help.
Me: Great, well that’s a start. I suggest you go home with it, take your time and try to think things through. I’ll help out of course, but after seeing you exerting some effort as well.
Suzie, aka Karima, looked at me pretty shocked, I could see she wasn’t expecting that from me, but I had to draw the line somewhere, and better now than having to put up with her crap for much longer.
Amr: Luci, are you ready?
Me: Yes, let’s go. See you tomorrow Karima.
Amr kept on smiling at me on our way out.
Me: What? Why are you looking at me like that?
Amr: I saw the way you spoke to her and I got to admit, I’m very proud of you. I didn’t know you had that side in you. Do you think you’re going to see her tomorrow hehe?
Me: I hope I will, she’s actually a smart girl, she just has an attitude problem, which hopefully I’ll help her fix it.
Amr: Let’s make a quick stop at this dessert store, you told me before your mum loves their Basbusa, right?
Me: That’s so sweet, how thoughtful of you!
Amr: It’s the first time I come over and for Iftar, I definitely want to leave a pretty good impression.
And guess what guys? He left a remarkable one. My mum and dad didn’t stop talking about him after he left. They love him and I can tell that he did too.