I met Wendy during my third job after University. I was what they called a “dealer” which basically entailed buying and selling stocks on behalf of the firm’s institutional clients. One day, I found out that she was hired to be my assistant. She wasn’t reporting to me directly, but she was junior to me and she would help me execute the orders on the busy days. Being only a few years apart, we became great friends. She was cheerful (even on a Monday), totally outspoken (even if she was junior to everyone in the office she was not afraid to speak her mind to the most senior of bosses), and her attitude was infectious.
On most days we would have lunch at the office cafeteria. I eventually dubbed her “Miss Tuna” as she would always order the tuna sandwich. Everyday she would carefully scrutinize the cafeteria board as if she was planning to order something else. Sometimes, she would ask the lady behind the counter “whats today’s special?” but inevitably, she would order the tuna sandwich.
Not only were we close at work, we also hung out after work as well. She knew I had a crush on one of the dealers from another firm and she would set up after work drinks so we could all hang out together. I knew that her mother disapproved of her boyfriend so she would tell her mom that we were going out when in fact she was out with her boyfriend. If you ask me if we were best friends, no we weren’t… but we were good friends, more like partners in crime.
One day my boss gave me a large order to execute for a first time client. This was the “test” order and the pressure was on the make sure that nothing went wrong. Things were hectic and the market was moving so I called Wendy (she was stationed in the trading floor while I was in the office) to take care of some of the orders. When the stockmarket closed I called her up to the office to sort our trades.
“Where’s the fifth trade?” I asked her.
“What fifth trade? You only gave me four.” She replied.
“No! That’s can’t be – it was five trades. See? I have it written down.” I told her.
Of course she insisted she only heard me say four. It was really a game of she said, she said. Maybe I was wrong, and only gave her four trades. Or maybe she was wrong and she just forgot to execute the last trade… all I remember is that things were strained that afternoon. I had to explain to my boss what happened and of course my boss lashed out on me. I, in turn, gave Wendy the silent treatment the whole afternoon.
The next day we didn’t have lunch together. Neither did we have lunch the day after, or the day after that. We still chatted at work but things were never the same. No longer did she help me set up the after work drinks and I never found out who she used as an excuse to go out with her boyfriend anymore.
When I left the job a few months later she didn’t even say goodbye.
I suppose, if we both really wanted to, we could have made it work. I could have said sorry, I could have clarified why I was so angry that day.
Or even, I could have invited her to lunch the day after for a tuna sandwich…
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
Niçoise Salad – no recipe here – It was just some lettuce, tuna (dressed with some olive oil, anchovies, and red wine vinegar), hard boiled eggs and tomatoes. Feel free to add black olives and capers if you have them on hand.