Sitting there all alone
In the window of her room
Watching the world go by
Brings tears to her eyes
All she sees is hurt and pain,
She wants to break the chain
She’ll keep pressing everyday
And she’ll find her own sweet way
Let Love Lead The Way – Spice Girls
Since Belle came on board, she has been nothing but a ray of sunshine. Belle may seem quiet at first, but once you get to her, she is a sweet girl with a bright and colorful personality and full of passion. Also, very funny!
But when I came into the office today, Belle didn’t appear to be her usual sing-song self. Despite greeting me with a smile, the usual spark was not present in her voice. I tried to ask her how she was in a casual way and she just answered, I’m fine…but clearly something was bothering her. Throughout the day, I noticed she kept her head down and focused on the job on hand…not really speaking to anyone unless it had to with work.
Could Mrs. Potts be criticizing and scolding her again? That woman won’t give her or any receptionist that came before her, a break whether it’s their clothes or their work habits. She needs to trust Belle and see Belle’s true strengths and talents. By the way, Belle has been doing a great job. She is always willing to assist fellow colleagues in the office especially helping me and Duncan order new computer parts.
Or did Antony or Lee or Nick get to her? Even though she is a strong woman who can stand on her own two feet and is quite expressive about gender rights, I feel like I need to shield her at times from certain thorns in this intense office environment. She has no idea how many receptionists have come and gone in a relatively short amount of time. I know Belle does not plan to stay at JLS for a long time, but there is no way we are going to lose this one that quickly.
At noon, I managed to catch her as she was about to take her lunch break.
“Let’s go to Blais’s Burgers ,” I suggested, immediately linking my arm into hers.
“Oh sure,” she was clearly surprised by my gesture. We made our way to the local joint behind the office.
“So how’s work going?” I started once we got our food.
“Going fine.” Okay…
“How do you like working here especially with Tyson and Chip?” She was staring at her food, barely eating anything.
“I’m learning a lot from them.” Okay…time to be frank.
“You know you can tell me anything. We’re buddies. I’m here for you,” I told her sincerely. She sighed.
“I admire their work ethics.” Just when I thought this conversation was not going anywhere, her next words shocked me.
“Actually Tyson… said things that really hurt me yesterday. Since then, it’s been really tense between us”
“What happened?” I asked feeling more concerned, not to mention surprised. Tyson was usually very quiet, not to say he wasn’t friendly. He just seemed more focused on his job, not really socializing with anyone. But whenever, I interacted with him, he seemed nice. “I wanted to ask him to lunch to simply get to know him better and network with him…and he said no,” her tone and face both displayed rejection and disbelief.
“Was he busy with work or had an appointment?” Maybe…this incident was taken out of hand.
“No. His reason was…he has a girlfriend.”
“What?” My eyes popped.
“That was my exact reaction. I guess he mistook my invitation, which I later clarified to him that I wanted to get to know him and thank him for helping me adjust to working at JLS. Then he told me that I should be more professional. I then said I wanted to network with you and apparently he does not do that! Well fine!” I just sat there in disbelief, watching her face clearly angry. She was not finished with her rant.
“All I wanted was to see if there is a person behind that invisible wall he has built in front of his appearance at work. I feel at times he’s hiding something and I guess my own curiosity wanted to find out what that is. And I thought going to a place outside work would help me get to know him.” After she finished ranting, Belle just sat there, her eyes full of rage and sadness. She had every right to be. What Tyson did to her was just cold. He clearly misunderstood Belle’s kindness for flirtation…a common misconception in the workplace. It was definitely Tyson’s loss.
But…I had to ask.
“Do you like him?” “As a co-worker?”
“No…like him more than that.” Belle then gave me a look of disbelief and shock.
“No of course not! Besides, I have a boyfriend too which Tyson is very well aware of. Pippa, do you think I would really be attracted to someone who is so cold and monotone with no personality? Sometimes, I wonder if he actually functions on a battery, “ her eyes rolling.I got my answer and tried to hide my smile, knowing Belle needed a supportive confidant right now. I put my arm around her.
“I know things will be awkward for the both of you for now. But, I am sure you can get through this. You just need to focus on you, your work, what you do best and know that you have people in your circle who would support you no matter what like me.” Belle then looked up and gave a small smile. “And maybe show Tyson, his missed opportunity.”
“Thank you Pippa.”