Single In The Suburbs, Installment 113

Loves To Cook has charmed his way into Sara’s heart through a brief video chat. But what about work?

By Sara Susannah Katz

To read the entire series of articles from the beginning, click here.

n our last installment, our writer enjoyed a brief but awkward video chat with Loves To Cook. With all the distractions going on in her professional life, Loves To Cook may have to wait just a bit as Sara tackles a mountain of work due the day of her review. Will she turn the tables on her accusers? Let’s find out!

Wednesday, 7 p.m. (continued)
While I’d love to file a formal grievance against Steve and Burt, I’m not sure I’d get anywhere. I mean, if Anita Hill’s testimony couldn’t stop Clarence Thomas from making it to the Supreme Court, what are the chances that I could win a case against
If things are bad now, they’ll be a lot worse.
Steve? Regardless of the whistle-blower protection policies, I know darn well that if I file a grievance, I’ll be punished. If things are bad now, they’ll be a lot worse.

I have to ask myself, what do I really, truly want?
  1. A new job in another organization. I can’t stand working here now.
  2. Justice. It’s not fair that Steve, Burt and Charmaine should go on without consequences.
  3. The chance to unburden myself to someone with power. I want others to know what I’ve gone through. What they do with that information is up to them, but I think I’ll feel better just to have the chance to tell my story.
  4. Finally, I would love to see those three stooges punished in some way, though I must admit that I have less invested in this outcome because I doubt it will happen.
Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
My daughter has just walked through the door with Jessie Cogan. I need to figure out a way to get to Jessie’s mom, but I don’t want to be a pest. I’m hoping that the fact that our daughters are best friends will give us an instant connection, but there’s no guarantee. It’s not like it was when my kids were little and I knew all their friends’ parents. Now there are all these people in her orbit I’ve never met and probably never will. She even goes to doctor appointments without me.

“Hey, guys,” I start. “Want some apple crumble?”

“No, thanks,” my daughter says. “We’re stuffed. We just had Chinese at Sam’s house.”

Jessie’s already halfway through the door to my daughter’s bedroom. “Hey, Jessie. How’s your mom?” Oh, great. That sounded natural.

“She’s fine, Mrs. Katz.”

My daughter shoots me a look that reads: What are you doing?

I follow them into the bedroom. “Um, do you think she’d be willing to
I know I’m not following professional protocol but, hey, we’re moms.
talk to me? You know, mom to mom? I’m having an issue, a problem. I think she could help.”

At this point, my daughter is glaring at me.

“Sure, Mrs. Katz. You should just call her at home. She’d be cool with that. You’re my best friend’s mom.” My daughter tugs at Jessie’s elbow as she throws me one last hateful look before slamming the door.

I pick up the phone and call Sasha Cogan and I’m not exaggerating when I say that my heart is beating so fast I’m afraid I might pass out. She picks up on the second ring. Cheerful voice. Sounds kind. Say something, Sara.

I tell her that our daughters are best friends and that I happen to work for one of the divisions. “Could I talk to you, away from the office, maybe over coffee?” I know I’m not following professional protocol but, hey, we’re moms. Our kids are best friends. That’s got to trump corporate protocol.

And it does.

“Absolutely, Sara. Why don’t you come on by now, if you’re free. The place is a mess, but—”

“Oh, gosh, don’t worry about that. You should see my house.” Yay. We’re bonding over our respective messy houses!

I get her address; as it turns out, she lives in a subdivision near Craig’s. “OK. I’m on my way.”

Thursday, 7:40 p.m.
As I walk up to Sasha Cogan’s front door, I swear I can hear my own pulse. My fingers are tingling. I am so nervous — this feels so, well, so BIG to me. Not just because I’m meeting with my boss’s boss, but… I don’t know. I feel like I’m about to have an Erin Brockovich moment.

Sara Susannah Katz is a writer in the Midwest.

Read Single In The Suburbs, Part 114

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