Freak in the Spreadsheets

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  • Scent Notes
    A green tea latte made with rice milk, stacks of spreadsheets printed on expensive legal paper, hints of supple leather and a fizzy glass of champagne with tart strawberries inside.
  • Description

      Scent Notes: A green tea latte made with rice milk, stacks of spreadsheets printed on expensive legal paper, hints of supple leather and a fizzy glass of champagne with tart strawberries inside.

      Doris was sitting in the coffee shop across from her new job, drinking a rice milk green tea latte, and steeling her nerves. People had always underestimated Doris. When she was a kid in her small Southern town, she was teased for wearing hand-me-down clothes and having an old-fashioned name. As she grew up, she was teased for developing early and being a “brainiac” because she joined the mathletes. She learned to hide her body in oversized, boxy sweaters and to hide her face behind oversized, thick-lensed glasses. In college, she was one of the few women studying accounting who stuck it out through the whole program. Even though she was one of the top people in her class, all of her professors and most of her fellow students consistently underestimated her. Undeterred, she pressed forward and graduated as the valedictorian of her program. All she got from her male classmates were rumors that she’d earned this honor, and her grades, through other means.

      Rather than letting all of this discourage her, Doris let it embolden her … at least in private. She still mostly kept to herself, wore oversize clothing, and didn’t like to be the center of attention in her day-to-day life. But she kept her head down and, after graduation, got a job at a top consultancy accounting/auditing firm in a liberal city on the West Coast. She steadily moved up the corporate ladder during the day, while she led a very different kind of life at night. 

      Being in a major city let her explore different, new parts of her personality that she’d never gotten to investigate before. She tried new cuisines, met people from many different parts of the world, and started going out to bars and clubs in the evenings. Before long, she became a regular at a leather bar where she shed her shy, corporate demeanor, donned outrageous outfits, and let her freak flag fly. The confidence she gained from these nights started to spill over into her day job, and soon it was like a different person entered the office each day. She’d recently been promoted to the highest-ranking position in her department. Doris was now officially the Head of Auditing, and as such, she was being assigned the most high profile jobs.

      Today was her first day at her first assignment since the promotion. Her company had sent her to one of the most renowned tax companies in the world to check their books, as word of discrepancies had been slowly trickling down the grapevine. She had bought a new suit for the occasion, tighter than she usually wore (meaning it actually fit her body and wasn’t ridiculously oversized or otherwise unflattering). Underneath, she was wearing her favorite leather bra, which discreetly boosted her confidence and eased the impostor syndrome she was still battling even though she knew she had the brains and the fortitude to do this job without an issue. They’d promoted her and sent her there because she was competent enough to suss out what this company had been doing, legal or otherwise. The audit would take months, and she was most nervous about inspiring the correct amount of fear and respect from this other company’s employees. 

      Doris stood up and finished her latte. She could feel it in her bones: she was ready. She strode out the door, looked both ways and hustled across the street in her towering heels, and made her way into the giant mirrored steel building that housed the company she was auditing. The company owned most of the building, but she was to report to the top floor, many stories up. She saw an elevator with a few men in suits starting to close, and she hustled over and stuck her arm out, just barely making it in time. The men looked less than amused. Doris gave them a bright smile, looked and saw her floor was already pressed, and turned to face the closing doors. Two of the men were directly behind her, their shiny suits speaking almost as loudly as their voices. “Oh yeah I heard about the audit,” one of them said. “It’ll be some nerdy dude with glasses trying to tell us how to do our jobs because of ‘too many irregularities’ or some other nonsense,” he said. “Like we’ll actually have to listen to the guy, ha! I’m supposed to ‘help him out’ according to my boss, but that’s not happening. He has to earn my respect and my expertise, I don’t just give that away.” “Yeah, don’t help him at all,” the other one agreed. The elevator climbed; Doris closed her eyes and took a few calming breaths. The men kept talking, giving her vital information, as the elevator stopped and started at various other floors, until it was finally just the three of them on the elevator. She’d done the math, and estimated she had about 10-15 seconds to do what she needed to do. She took a deep breath, turned around, and faced the men, who abruptly stopped talking. “Hi, I’m Doris. I’m the consultant that’s been hired to find out why you’re so inept at your jobs. I don’t care about your titles. You don’t have to like me. But I am damn good at my job, and I’m not afraid of men in polyester suits with overinflated senses of confidence. Here’s my card,” she said, handing each one of her business cards to prove that she was, indeed, who she said she was. The door dinged behind her, announcing their arrival on the floor. She looked her new assistant in the eye. “Oh, and I’m going to need you to bring me a rice milk green tea latte every morning, and another at about 1PM every day. In fact, go get me one now. Thanks, pal,” she said, turning and striding confidently through the glass doors and into the office. It was going to be a very good day.

      Scent Notes: A green tea latte made with rice milk, stacks of spreadsheets printed on expensive legal paper, hints of supple leather and a fizzy glass of champagne with tart strawberries inside.

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