charlotte

‘ok this is going to be a 10 minute meeting’

‘Down here, the pace will be different from Haw Par.’ She paused to think for a word, laughed, and cupped her face in her hands. ‘It’s different from AC, we don’t come in after lunch and work till 2am. We leave on time, and I’m a big fan of that. But since we leave early, we must also arrive late.’ I nodded mindlessly. ‘Wait, I mean, we cannot arrive late’

‘Ok, what else have I missed. The politics, ah. I’m not as strict as Peik Siam. Now with me and Derek, you can have your pantry breaks, just try not to take too long.’

‘Leave plans. I’m going on leave this thursday till next monday.’

‘Don’t call me’. All of us in the small meeting room laughed. It is a laugh of solidarity, it shows that we have worked late, one night or another. It is also a simple, friendly laugh, maybe we just want to dispel our boredom. ‘I will respond to your emails, but yeah, I don’t want to incur call charges again.’

‘All the SIR are sent to Oliver, because he’s the so-called team lead’, she said without malice. Oliver nodded with his blank smile. I thought about how our roles had been reversed, now, we were the ones taking orders.

‘Let’s go for lunch.’

‘Ah, no I’m skipping’

‘But why, isn’t it unhealthy?’

Here we go again, I thought to myself. ‘Yeah, it’s something I grabbed off the internet’.

‘Why, do you think you’re fat?’

I paused, hoping the silence would not imply that I was wondering whether or not to tell the truth. Yet, each passing moment could only increase the significance of a reply I would rather not give. ‘Yes’

‘You’re not fat! You want to know who’s fat? I can show you’

I laughed.

‘Ah, can we not discuss this?’ I mock shooed her away with my hands.

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