About the only good thing about the table was that we were so far away from the band that we could actually hold a conversation. “Victor has it locked up.” “Victor.” Louise literally spat the word out.“I hate that man.” I nudged her with my leg and caught her eye in a silent warning. Earlier when we found out our seating assignments, I had warned her that Bernie was solidly in Victor’s camp.Anything we said that was out of line would be reported to management. If he got the job, there wouldn’t be any new technology, just a mess.
Bernie had taken the heat for Victor’s screw up on the Acme job — a job I should have had, and could have done right. And get a nice promotion.” That was the problem — technology. “Babs, how nice to see you again.” But instead of shaking her hand, he brought it up to his lips. And especially when your rival is kissing your wife’s hand and making it obvious that he is looking down her dress.
I would have felt corny doing something like that, but Victor could get away with it. And he was so immaculately dressed in an expensive suit that he looked like an exec. But I wasn’t fooled, when he bent over Babs’ hand, I saw him checking out her cleavage. “Having a good time, I hope.” I smiled as we shook. “A pleasure,” he said to Louise then looked over to Babs.
“Bernie, you have to let me dance with Babs.” After he led her away, Louise leaned over and whispered in my ear. I wondered for a moment if I was naked.” “He’s just trying to get me mad so I’ll do something stupid.” She looked at me with an amused smile then nudged me then and nodded over to Bernie. Instead he stared rather anxiously at the dance floor.
Well, I thought, I’d be worried too if Victor had my wife.
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At the company Christmas party, my wife, Louise, and I shared a table with Bernie and his wife, Babs.
It had to be the lowest status table in the whole banquet hall.
We were in a dark corner, across the room from the executive table. Bernie and Babs at least were facing the room and could see what was going on.
A few minutes later Bernie’s smile signaled the return of Victor and Babs.
“Robert,” Victor said, “I would love a dance with Louise.” “Sure, just remember where you got her.” My turn to worry.
But fortunately, Bernie took Babs for a dance too, leaving me all alone so I was able to turn around and watch without, I hoped, looking like a nervous husband. It was a slow dance and Victor kept Louise at the edge of the floor where I could see them.