The Glass Ceiling (2)

(The ambitionss of Sarah – chapter 4)

agricultural photography of gray metal stairs

Photo by Martin Péchy on

Sarah, yawned and stretched. Hiding under the covers seemed like a good idea but she remembered the promise she had made herself the previous evening and, with a sigh, sprang out of bed. Peeking through the shutters she saw the sky was already bright. The day would be a good one.

She slipped into her running gear. The endless travelling, late dinners and wonderful wines she had become used to, had conspired to start giving her cause for concern when she stood on the scales.

Stepping out onto the pavement, Sarah started her stretching routine. Looking up at the flat she rented on the attic floor of the handsome Victorian house, reminded her how lucky she was. The recent redevelopment had given the flat a tiny south facing balcony that looked out across a vista of peaceful gardens, hidden from the road. It was her favourite spot for contemplative thought at any hour of the day or night.

She jogged off along her quiet road towards London Fields, one of the multitude of parks and squares that created breathing spaces across London. She would do a lap or two of the park whilst she pondered her plans.

It had been two weeks now since the Fashco takeover. That morning, she had been shocked beyond believe; this couldn’t be happening to her! Everything she had worked for was laying in tatters, her future snatched from her. The announcement out of the blue, Jeff’s disappearance and her brusque severance had been devastating. She acted fast. Quickly reading the press release, she saw that the UK operations were now headed up by new CEO Fangsu Wang. Darting up to the executive floor, as fast as she could move, she saw the door to Jeff’s old office was wide open. Taking advantage of the fact that the secretary’s desk was unattended, she marched into the office. Seated at Jeff’s old desk was a very severe looking woman, apparently Chinese & talking rapidly on the phone. The woman glanced up at her, appeared unfazed by the intrusion, and swivelled around to continue her call, gazing out of the window.

The delay provided Sarah with the opportunity to gather her thoughts and begin to formulate a plan. As soon as she saw the woman turning to replace the phone, Sarah started..

“Madam Wang” she began, “I’m Sarah…”

“Enough!” was the response in flawless English, “I know exactly who you are and how you managed to inveigle your way into the position you held here at Fashco. Now get out of my office and, if you haven’t left the building in fifteen minutes, I will instruct security to escort you off the premises.”

“Ah, but…”

“But nothing! In fact, leave the building at once! I will instruct one of my team to have any personal items you might have left in your office to be couriered to your address. Now go!”

Stunned she might have been but Sarah had her wits about her and moved faster than she thought possible.  Shooting back to her office at breakneck speed, she recovered her handbag, her phone and her laptop before security could arrive. Using the back stairs, she then descended to the garage and drove off in her company BMW. She had her severance letter in her bag informing her that payment in lieu of notice for 12 months and bonus entitlement had already been paid into her bank.

“Sod them!”

Instead of going straight home, she stopped off at a little IT company she knew and got Phil, who she’d met a little while back and who owed her a favour, to back up her hard drive and then wipe it clean. She knew the Fashco security people would be after it. She then mailed the backup device to her old mentor, Jeff, with a note asking him to take good care of it until she could collect it. She then made sure that everything on her phone was backed up to the Cloud.

Now on her second lap of the park, breathing heavily, she smiled to herself. The last couple of weeks had gone by in a blur.

Sure enough, Fashco security had been around and collected the laptop, the phone and the car that very same evening. The next day, saw her at the shiny new Apple Store, buying a new laptop and iPhone and getting all her files transferred over and downloaded from the Cloud. She then spent the next few days working up her outline plan for the new business, a business of her very own.

Her first port of call had been her old mentor, Jeff, who had been delighted to see her. He immediately recognised that there had been a profound change in the Sarah he had known. Here now was a powerful, knowledgeable young woman with vast contacts, an outline business plan and the drive to make it all work. After asking many questions, listening to all she had to say, he agreed to take a share in her new venture. He also saw, with sheer amazement, in their indecent haste to get rid of Sarah, the Chinese had omitted to get her signature on a non-compete agreement! She was free to do as she pleased!

Sarah had come to the realisation that the Glass Ceiling was for the many.  That same ceiling was but a Glass Floor for a select few, who held the many in contempt and viewed them as expendable. She had taken herself out of that game now and was, she hoped, in control of her own destiny; a new world without ceilings awaited.

Soon, Sarah’s Fashions would be ready for launch.

But she had made enemies and would have to be careful.

To be continued…

Author: Tony


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