Lion Heart - Part IV
Well, we’ve collected our data, and made our apologies. That’s the end of it, isn’t it? Not quite.
“I know, can you believe it? I made a complete schmuck of myself. Eh, well, what’re you gonna’ do?” Mr. Dominick said, as he strolled into his office, waving to me whilst he wrapped up his conversation. He put his things down, and sat next to me.
“Sweetie, let me teach you how to wrap up this professional jackassery,” he said, pouring us each a glass of water. “Now, you know that I’ve apologized, right?”
“Yes Mr. Dominick,” I replied, wondering if this was some kind of trick question.
“Did you know that I’ve been going around telling people that I was a bad little boy on the Jackson deal?” he asked.
“No Mr. Dominick,” I answered.
“Do you know why I’ve been doing this?” he pressed.
“I really couldn’t say, sir,” I responded.
“It’s because this isn’t over, until I say it’s over. To put it in terms you understand, I have to write my own ending. I can’t have Jackson thinking that he’s got something over me. Some story he can pull out later on to embarrass me with. So I’m letting everyone know that the deal got a little heated, but Jackson is a tough negotiator,” Mr. Dominick said, pausing to sip his water.
“Oh! That reminds me!” he began, slamming his glass down, “Put all of the emails related to this in one file would you? Not the regular emails I always have you file away, these special professional jackass emails. Always keep a paper trail Sweetheart. I don’t know if you noticed or not, but we’ve sent out emails from when I first acted like an @$$ and poked holes in his offer, to my apology, to now.”
“Hmm…He’s right.” I thought to myself. Feeling brave, I asked him, “But why would you want to make all of this traceable Mr. Dominick? Doesn’t that just help Mr. Jackson?”
He looked at me with a sly grin on his face, “I like that you pay attention.”
“No, it doesn’t!” he followed up pointedly. “I’ve been going all over town telling people about this debacle, and how I can’t believe it escalated, and what a shame it is that the deal fell through. All the while, I’m blabbing on and on about how I look at the research, and read the emails, and don’t understand how this could’ve fallen through. You don’t think that’s gonna’ get back to Jackson?”
I started to reply, but Mr. Dominick continued before I had the chance, “He’s got nothin’!” You see Sweetheart, he can’t embarrass me, because I’ve already told everyone this story. If he ever decides to bring this up, he’ll have to explain why the deal fell through—why he tried to screw me.”
It’s funny, when I apologized, I even mentioned to the financial firm that at least I got two (2) articles out of my experience with them; one about the importance of owning up to your mistakes and apologizing in business, and another about recovering from a professional faux pas. Turns out, I got more than I bargained for—four (4) diary entries. Not bad considering that at its core, this is a story about a basic lowball job offer.
Well, I’m almost done closing out this mystery financial firm’s file; I just have to finish analyzing my findings. I actually know some of their current and potential clients, so we’ll see if anyone asks me for advice on their dealings with them. I have to admit, they are extremely firm negotiators, but that does make me wonder: are they out to secure the best deal for their clientele, or the best deal for themselves when they take their cut?
Oh well, they’re not my issue anymore. Unless they decide to dredge this up later, but like Mr. Dominick said, “It’s better for everyone if our story ends here.”
After all, I won’t be the one who has to explain why I insisted upon paying a young woman below market rate, despite praising her talent, experience, and “glowing references” many times. Nor am I the one who has to explain why I never offered her proof of how her earning power would rebound from such a low starting salary. Finally, I won’t be the one who has to explain how I can in good conscience expect someone to work at my financial firm, and potentially qualify for low-income housing.
Before this went live, I sent Mr. Dominick a thank you card, and called him.
“I’m proud of you Sweetheart,” he said with a chuckle, “Listen, I know you’re disappointed, but there will be other opportunities.”
“I’m fine! It’s no big deal.” I fibbed.
“Yes it is. Look, that was a sh*tty thing they tried to do to you. You’re worth a hell of a lot more than they would’ve offered, even if they had gone up. I’m glad you remembered what I taught you.”
“Once is never once.” I finished.
I wanted to start a new chapter in my life, and I guess I have. I don’t take a lowball offer personally, because in business, you have to expect that; what I do take personally, is an insult to my intelligence. I was an Honors/A.P. student; I began attending college at the age of 16; and I’ve been doing this for over a decade. Please, do not treat me like I am stupid. [Exhales deeply] If standing up to a financial firm doesn’t take me from rabbit heart to lion heart, then nothing will.
“Here I am, a rabbit hearted girl; frozen in the headlights. It seems I’ve made, the final sacrifice.
I wish that I could just be brave; I must become a lion hearted girl. Ready for a fight.”
Florence + The Machine, “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up).”
-Hesper Rose, The Skulking Glamazon