Joie de Vivre

joie de vivre
  1. Frencha delight in being alive; keen, carefree enjoyment of living.

Catherine sighed heavily as she glanced out her office window, barely aware of the full moon. The mountain of folders on her desk held her attention. It was obscuring the view of her actual desk. And the fact that the folders were varying colors didn’t make her vista any more pleasant.

She was about to reach for one of the folders when her phone and computer chimed simultaneously. This most recent email was marked URGENT, just like the seven messages that preceded it.

Catherine Haigle had worked hard to get ahead. The problem with being good at her job was that she was given the workload of three people. The better she did, the more work she received.

Everything had become urgent and all Catherine wanted to do was get away to a secluded place. The beach? A cabin in the woods? Maybe the Himalayas?

Her office phone buzzed and Richard’s voice streamed through interrupting her distant daydreams.

“Catherine, I need you in my office,” he said, boisterous  and energized as if it wasn’t 5:40 in the morning.

“Be right there, Richard,” she said, trying to hide the weariness in her voice.

She grabbed her phone, tablet, a notebook and the three bottom folders. He’d probably want to go over their most recent acquisitions and one of the ventures that had been proposed last week.

Before Catherine had fully stepped foot into Richard’s office, he was already talking nonstop. She began typing notes into her phone, trying to keep pace with his delivery. There were four new proposals that had just come through from their office in London. He would have them sent to her by 7 o’ clock to review for a meeting he would schedule for noon.

Catherine restrained herself. She abhorred the fallacy of the “working-lunch meeting” in which she never ate, took copious notes, and had to stay late to ensure her regular tasks were accomplished.

“I’ll also need an update on the Peyton account today,” he said. “Can we schedule that for 6?”

She glanced at her watch.

“You mean in five minutes?”

“No,” he said, with a snort, “I’m thinking 6 tonight. I’ll bring in Russell and Cory so we can hash this out and cut some of the fat off this option and–”

“Richard, I can’t,” she interjected.

“Is 7 better for you?”

“Richard, I love my work here, but this is not working,” she said.

“What?!” His voice was full of concern and bewilderment.

“Catherine, you’re one of the strongest members of my team and things would not be the same without you!”

“Richard, I’m not trying to quit; I just need to get away for a bit,” she reassured him.

He looked perplexed.

“You want to work remotely, because that’s absolutely–”

“Richard, I need to take time off away from work without anyone from work contacting me. I don’t want to quit, but I’m trying to avoid going crazy, here. When I first got here I was excited and even found the joie de vivre in the midst of acquisitions and accounts and building assets and now…”

He looked puzzled.

“The joy day, what?! Catherine, you sound like you’re talking crazy–just take some time off. I’ll manage somehow.”

He shook his head and laughed.

“You better head out before I get another call and realize how much we need you around here,” he said with a laugh.

“Thanks Richard,” she said, bolting for the door.



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