I slunk into the office on Monday, praying I wouldn’t run into Mallory.

“Why do you let her get to you? You need to take control of the situation!” Katy’s reprimand echoed in my head.

I had shrugged, totally wordless. I really had no excuse on why I turned into a passive aggressive puddle when I saw Mallory, but Katy wasn’t going to let me get away with just a shrug. She gave me a look until I finally gave in.

“I just am so…so…unnerved by her,” I said, trying to figure it out as I went along. “She acts perfect, looks perfect, and nobody would find any fault with her. Yet, it’s the little things that just get to me, and I have no proof that she’s doing it to bother me!” At least with other bitches, like Nikki, I knew where I stood and could give it back. But Mallory had me half thinking that I was the one that was the crazy one.

At least Jessie was on my side. “She owned that situation,” she said, shaking her curly hair, pointing at Katy with a breadstick. “He ignored her? Leave. No point of being there.”

Explaining it to Nic was no picnic either. “She wasn’t hanging on me!” Nic had argued when I had timidly brought up how Mallory’s actions came across. I could almost hear him shake his head across the phone lines. “She’s just a nice person. Seriously, I don’t get why girls get all catty with each other.” The disapproval in his voice was clear – Nic thought I was the bitchy one, not Mallory.

At that, I dropped the subject. Maybe it was all in my head after all, and I was the one bringing it on myself. Crisis temporarily adverted, we made plans to go see some war movie he wanted to check out later that week.

This morning though, stomach was in knots all day, and not just over the potential of seeing Mallory. Today was the final decision day on the project Minda had put me on, the one where the other manager Chad had questioned my numbers and why I had chosen Cintrex as a supplier rather than one that had a better price. Obviously the answer was because Minda pushed me to it, but I couldn’t exactly say that without looking like an idiot who couldn’t handle their job. I had her this time though. I had gone through the presentation, air tight, and had the numbers to back me up. There was no way, none, that she could spring Cintrex on the group without looking like a fool.

“How ya feeling, Maddie?” Mallory’s voice chirped over my monitor and I cringed internally. Forcing a big smile, I replied, “Much better, thanks. I’m sorry I had to leave early.”

I berated myself internally while Mallory clucked to herself. “Me too. I really missed you there!” Her voice lowered and she gave me a little wink. “That TJ is really something, isn’t he?”

Visibily annoyed, I shrugged. “Wouldn’t know. Only chatted with him for a few minutes.” Seething, I turned back to my computer. It was just so…so…obvious to me that Mallory was one of those girls who would throw herself at a guy just because he was rich or famous or an athlete and not really care about who they were. Not so much of a groupie as an opportunistic. Ugh. I couldn’t respect that.

Not getting the hint, Mallory bubbled on. “Yeah, we danced to 2 songs!” she said in a hushed voice, like she was dancing with Jay-Z himself. Which, to me, despite his zillions of dollars, houseful of awards, and a banging wife, is still just another guy.

“Good job,” I said, just a touch of sarcasm to my voice. Mallory, if she caught it, didn’t say anything.

Minda’s door opened just then. Saved!

“Meeting time!” I said cheerfully, undocking my computer. I was so looking forward to getting away from Mallory that the thought that I was going into a super tough meeting.

I started to say “I’ll catch you lat-“ when Minda’s voice floated over me.

“Ready ladies?” she called from her office door and Mallory nodded.

I looked at the 2 of them, momentarily confused.

“This morning, I’ve asked Mallory to come along. She did so much of the initial work, and I thought she’d be a big help.” Minda and Mallory fell into a conversation and headed towards the hall. Having no choice but to follow, I headed out as well, seething the entire way.

I cooled down once we were in the room. What’s the worst the two of them could do? They could over run me talking, sure, but I had solid numbers and handouts and everything. I was going to win this thing, damn it!

It wasn’t until towards the end of my presentation, when I had all the directors nodding along with my numbers and recommendations, when the bomb dropped.

“So, you think Sun Technologies is the best place to put purchase? Seems like a solid recommendation to me,” Chad said. I breathed a silent sigh of relief. “I’m glad you got the numbers with Cintrex sorted out.”

I involuntarily gave a little jerk. Chad hadn’t mentioned Cintrex since then, and truth be told, I had hoped he forgot about it.

“Maddie, can you go over how you got to those numbers?” Shit. Minda’s voice was as sweet as pie.

“Of course!” I said cheerfully, ignoring the underlying calculated tone. I pulled up the reports I used and comparision chart, which I spent the last 2 weeks on.

Minda slowly shook her head. “This doesn’t seem accurate. Mallory, didnt’ you have some kind of historical reports?”

Mallory was shaking her head as well. “Yes, they reflect different numbers….here, let me present. I’ll show you what I have.” I had no choice but to allow Mallory to pull up her documents, wondering all the while what in the hell was going on.
“Here!” I only vaguely heard Mallory’s voice. I was too busy trying to pull up reports of my own in case I had to defend myself. “Look at this – I did this in the explore phase of the project.”

I jerked my head up and saw on the screen that Mallory had put together a comparison chart like mine, but much more professional looking. In it, Cintrex had clearly been the biggest supplier over the last 3 years. “Now if you click on this hyperlink here, you’ll see where I got the numbers…” Mallory continued. “In my experience working with the vendor, we’ll be able to secure an additional discount of up to 3-5% if we promise our purchase with them, which can add up to thousands of dollars in savings.”

Chad looked at the screen. “Well, that changes things. Maddie, why didn’t you have these numbers?”

Though his voice was far from accusing, my face turned bright red and I had to blink once to prevent myself from bursting into tears. “I don’t know, I just pulled the reports from the system…”

I knew something was wrong. Knew it. Every fiber in me wanted to stand up and shout that Mallory was wrong. But, surrounded in a room full of directors, I didn’t have a leg to stand on and no way to prove it.

“It’s ok,” Chad said kindly. I buried my head in my screen while I thought it out. “You’re new here.” He smiled patiently, and for a minute he reminded me of my dad.

Rubin, a director on another team, was already nodding at Mallory’s numbers. “Do you think we can get a contract in place this week?” he was asking.

“I don’t see why we can’t get a preliminary agreement going,” Mallory answered back, making my blood boil further.

“Sounds good. Hey, I got another meeting to go to. Keep us updated.” With Rubin’s nod, everyone stood up and started gathering their stuff.

I slammed my laptop shut too and headed to my desk without saying a word to Minda and Mallory. I knew what I had to do now, it was just a matter of proving it.

16 Responses to Sideswiped

  1. m says:

    I like the story lines but holy hell they are dragging on and on and on. This Minda thing is never ending.

    • Penny says:

      Guys – let her wrap this up. It’s coming to an end, and if she didn’t wrap it up, it would have just been a lose end. Geez

      • M says:

        I get it, thanks. But it’s dragging. Maybe it feels worse because she’s taken to many breaks, I don’t know. I like the storyline, like I said. I’m just ready for the resolution. I don’t think it has to be a loose end, but it could have moved a little faster. I’m not insulting her, just giving my opinion, so thanks anyway.

  2. Maria says:

    Your writing sucks now. Good ye.

  3. leah says:

    Why can’t she just go to Theo’s dad with her concerns? Maybe pose it as a hypothetical

  4. Amy says:

    I agree. For some reason this Minda thing is dragging. Did she NOT realize Mallory is evil on every level? I thought she did the email to the bad company for a point! Now’s a good time to tell the boss Man what’s going on & include all the figures. Who wants to continue to work in that?

  5. lauren says:

    M, I completely agree. I love this blog, but it’s becoming exhausting to read a storyline that’s so dragged out with a slow moving tempo. :-/ sorry Riley! Hopefully a change of pace is coming soon!

    P.s. i really am over Nic! Give me some TJ, he at least seems more genuine towards maddie.

    • M says:

      Yes, I think TJ would be a great match for her! Maddie needs someone kind and thoughtful. I think it would be tough to navigate because of his friendship with Nic, but honestly Nic is so oblivious he probably wouldn’t care.

  6. Dolly says:

    I’m ready to have some justice for breakfast. Maddie is in over her head and needs to confided in someone higher up.

  7. I would have totally lost it on Mallory by now. And again, Nic, way to be supportive and awesome (not). He doesn’t deserve Maddie’s kindness.

  8. Amy says:

    I’m a little confused about how Mallory knew to have a completely separate chart with the numbers that back up Minda’s sketchy proposition on the ready. I thought a while back that Mallory was the culprit in all this – back when she was scooting into Minda’s office to rifle through her files – but it seems they’re in it together. Too bad Maddie wasn’t more confident and didn’t just say that the numbers she used were from the company database and why she decided against the initial proposal. I’m also confused by why an admin is preparing and presenting anything to directors re: business proposals.

  9. Melissa says:

    I agree. Admins are generally not involved in high level meetings. They might assist with preparing presentation documents but nothing more. Second Maddie is a NY girl. I don’t understand why she’s so timid and quiet in all these situations. She never stands up for herself and seems to lack confidence. I’m not upset by nick because he doesn’t understand why Maddie left. Leaving without talking to him was immature and dramatic on her part. Complaining about Mallory now makes her seem catty as nick said.

  10. Alicia says:

    I definitely understand this story line needs to wrap up before we can move on, but I agree it’s dragging.
    Maddie is kind of a push over. Not to compare stories, but I feel like a lot of the blogs that take place in New York have push over characters. Stand up for yourself girls!
    I understand she needs to have proof first, but the longer she waits to prove whatever is happening, the harder it gets. She’ll end up looking desperate. Just like how she sounded like a whiny brat about Mallory.

  11. Dawn says:

    I am confused by this post also. I thought Maddie got all the ammunition she needed to support the report? Isn’t that why she broke into Minda’s files? Also, since she was called on the carpet last time about not having all the data, why wouldn’t she have it this time? Not to mention that if Chad was really following up, he would have communicated with Maddie previously to this meeting. Not everything should have been a surprise here. Maddie needs to get organized and blow the top off at this point. What does she have to lose? They are already making her look bad in front of the execs.

  12. Kels says:

    I cannot wait for the moment Minda and Mallory to fall flat on their faces. lol Lets make this happen soon…. KTHNX! lolol

  13. Chris says:

    Ughhhhhh!! Mallory and Minda need to get what’s coming to them ASAP. Especially Mallory.

    Given that Maddie was Nic’s date, he definitely should’ve picked up on what was going on. And him saying Maddie is being catty just seems unreasonable to me. Drop him. He just likes the attention and then wants to act oblivious about it.


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