This week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt is “Leadership”. I have used it as partial inspiration for a new episode of the ongoing story.
Diane here again. Charles has kindly allowed me to take over the story telling for another episode.
As regular readers will have gathered, Charles and I have changed the dynamics of our relationship so that most of the time he provides the leadership and discipline I need outside of work. We have agreed on some basic rules that I have to follow or face the consequences. My stupidity in being caught speeding in the car a few weeks ago resulted in a very creative punishment that I will remember for a long time.
After the final part of the punishment, Charles in his wisdom asked me to drive, sitting on my freshly caned bum, to the office that day. As we passed the spot where I had been caught speeding I was extremely careful to keep my speed down, and I was glad that I did when I saw the police speed camera van in exactly the same spot as I had been caught. I chuckled and said to Charles “Well, not me this time. I suppose they caught so many here last time they thought it would be worth doing again.”
He smiled before adding “Well, at least you have learnt your lesson for today.”
For me the morning at work passed quietly. Every time I shifted in my office chair, I felt the soreness in my sit spot to remind me of the punishment. Although I wanted to have a little time to discuss business with Charles, he was busy with Tamara and Sofia.
The normal Monday afternoon meeting of the senior managers passed uneventfully. Dee as the Managing Director of the chain of stores was delighted that the sales had been so strong in the early part of the New Year, and especially that the numbers of people entering the stores had risen by far more than expected in the difficult times for retailers.
Once that meeting was finished, Charles, Tamara and Sofia were summoned to Dee’s office. I was about to clear away my papers when she said “Don’t get up. I know your diary is free, and I want you to sit in on this meeting. I value your opinions and I may need them.”
I did not have a chance to say anything when Zack wheeled himself into the office. Dee got up hugged him saying “I didn’t know you were going to be here.”
He replied, “Neither did I until I was told by Charles that the three of them thought I should be here.”
“Umm, this sounds like they have set me up for something.”
“I doubt it, but the teaser he gave me spiked my interest, so I thought I would change plans.”
As I shifted position in my chair I let out a little moan. Dee and Zack both picked up on it, and as they enjoy the many things that Charles and I practice, Dee said quietly “Feeling sore are we?”
“A little.” I answered as Charles entered the office followed by Sofia and Tamara.
Charles immediately said “go ahead and tell them.”
I gave a short account of what happened and Dee said “Bloody hell, totally spent at night and the cane in the morning, no wonder your sore.”
“Yes both front and back.” I replied with a smile.
Zack quickly changed the subject and the two girls proceeded to outline their findings and proposals. I was flabbergasted at the creativity and boldness of what they suggested, and both Zack and Dee were speechless when they finished.
After a few moments, Dee was the first to say anything. “F***ing hell, we could save that much tax by your proposed changes.” (I should add that this is a very brief summary of what was said. In fact there was a lot more colourful language from Dee in the discussion.)
Zack raised an eyebrow before Tamara and Sofia in unison replied “Yes, and that is a conservative estimate.”
Zack turned to Charles and asked “Have your firm checked this?”
“Yes, I have had the experts check it and as the girls said, it is a conservative figure quoted. They are also very impressed with the creativity of the proposals.”
Zack and Dee sat back and thought for a few moments before Zack said “there is a board meeting on Friday. Can you get the papers ready and out to the directors by Wednesday?”
Tamara confidently added “Yes definitely, in fact they are ready to go out as we speak.”
Zack then turned to Charles and said “This may be a bit unorthodox, but can you be there too?”
He paused before saying, “I thought that would be your reaction and my boss is happy for me to be there.”
Dee then turned to me and said “You too Diane, and keep out of trouble as I don’t think you squirming in your chair would be appropriate.”
Zack then added “well Dee, your colourful language does not do you justice, and you know what happens when you get a bit out of hand.”
Dee replied “Definitely I do, but in this case it is probably worth taking the penalty.”
Zack then turned to Tamara and Sofia and asked “What has Patrice had to say about setting Dee off?”
Tamara sheepishly replied “We get into trouble too.”
“Yes, and I think that this weekend all of us should get together and deal with this problem. And you two girls need have your boyfriends there too.”
I raised an eyebrow and mouthed a question to Charles which elicited a nod of agreement. I then said “why not come to our new house and use our facilities.”
There were nods of assent and the meeting broke up.
I managed to keep out of trouble and the Friday board meeting was certainly a lively affair with the discussion of Tamara and Sofia’s ideas.
To my great surprise, the board fully involved me in the discussions. After they had made their final decision I was asked to leave the room for a few minutes, and to wait outside for a few minutes. This had me slightly worried as it reminded me of the scenario of being a naughty schoolgirl.
It seemed like ages, but was only five minutes before I was asked to re-join them in the board room. Zack as chairman of the board then said “Diane, The board has unanimously agreed to invite you to join the board as an executive director of Bustards. This will mean that there will be two executive directors, you and Dee.”
I was totally surprised at this development and somehow managed to stutter, “Please could I have the weekend to think this over?”
Charles was very surprised at this reaction and it showed in his face.
Zack replied “Of course. We know it is a surprise, but your work since you joined the head office team has definitely justified the offer.”
The meeting broke up shortly after. In the car on our way home Charles discussed (in what seemed like an interrogation) why I had not immediately accepted the offer.
That evening we made sure that we were ready to have three couples as guests the next day. In the morning I was asked to visit John and Kathy’s shop to pick up a package and not to open it. I looked at him with a scowl on my face when he added “none of that scowling, it could get you into trouble later.”
I did as asked and shortly after I had got back Dee and Zack arrived. Soon after Tamara and her boyfriend Grant arrived. Sofia was the last of our guests to arrive with her boyfriend Adam.
Lunch was served and as we got to know Grant and Adam, we appreciated how the two young men were excellent companions for them.
Once we had finished the meal, Charles then announced, “The four ladies are here to be punished. Dee for failing to control her language. Tamara and Sofia have earned a punishment for creating the situation that caused Dee to be in trouble, which is contrary to an explicit instruction.”
Grant and Adam looked surprised on hearing this.
“And my darling wife is joining them in being punished firstly for encouraging Dee to swear on one occasion, but more importantly for her indecisiveness yesterday.”
My eyebrows shot up in alarm at this last statement before he added “which is in direct contravention of one of her rules.”
He then gave each of us women a small package. “You four need to go to your rooms, remove everything you are wearing and put on what is in the package then join us in the Playroom in exactly 10 minutes.”
The four of us disappeared and I open the package to find just a plaid skirt, a white blouse, a tie and a pair of flat soled shoes. I quickly changed into the clothes before waiting out the remaining minutes before entering the play room and found the Dee, Tamara and Sofia already there.
As we were all dressed in a similar fashion, I realised that Charles had used his leadership skills and had been in contact with Zack and the boys about the format of our suffering.
Charles looked at me, smiled before ushering each of us to a spot at the big table that had been moved in there. There was a seat at each end and one in the middle on each side.The four of us found a stubby vibrator (not very long but about 6 cm in diameter) in front of us and on the seat of the chair was that horrible plastic matting with little nubs used in offices.
He said “as all four of you have broken rules, in keeping with the school girl theme you are going to have a ‘detention’. We will give you a task and you have one hour in which to complete it. But first you need insert the vibrator in front of you. It will be turned on at some stage and the intensity will increase at regular intervals. A failure to complete the task and any errors made will earn you an even more severe punishment later.”
We were each given a folded piece of paper. Mine read ‘As you enjoyed your time writing out that paragraph last week, you have one hour to write out our rule number two, 100 times.’
As I read this I wondered what the tasks for the others were. However I did not dawdle and started writing out – Indecision is a weakness for those in positions of leadership- being indecisive is not allowed. At work, where time is required to make a decision, the request for time to consider something must be prefaced with “I need to consult with others before a decision is made.” At home I will be specifically informed when my decision is required.