Friday, 24 July 2015

The lady and her suitcase


V. arrived to the office of the big American corporation, wheeling her travel suitcase. A routine scenario in the corporate world, the reader would say. Not in this case: V. didn’t look like the traditional executive woman, making a career within the multinational “cut throat” environment. She was wearing a tank top that allowed the display of a number of flamboyant tattoos. The jeans were casual and her blonde dyed hair had seen better days. In fact, it looked more that she was on her way to have a coffee with friends instead of heading to her workplace at a desk in a global company.

She felt lucky to have a job in such a renowned enterprise. Yes, it was an entry level position, but it provided a steady income and the opportunity to maybe rise into higher assignments. Her experience in such type of tasks was not exactly profound, but her knowledge of the English language was sufficient and she could utilize a computer. Her colleagues in the open space office never questioned the reason why she would bring a travel suitcase to the workplace, but that by itself would not be such an attention grabber as the clerk that would occasionally play the guitar during work hours or the night slippers that another team member would wear every day.
On that day V. would have one of the biggest scares of her life. One of the senior managers came to visit the newly opened operation and she recognised him instantly. To her surprise, he didn’t react to her presence or maybe pretended not to remember her. You see, dear reader, V. had another profession besides the one that kept her seated at her desk for 8 hours a day. She was an escort, offering her company to highly respected and wealthy gentlemen. That senior manager had been one of her past clients, on an outrageous threesome with another lady in the glamorous city of London.
That was, in fact, the reason why V.’s suitcase would follow her to the regular workplace: while she had to deal with the affairs of the corporation, handling orders of hundreds of thousands of dollars, she would keep a constant eye on her mobile phone. At any moment, a call would come, she would tell her supervisor that an unsurpassable problem had risen and in a matter of hours V. would be flying to her next customer. The rigid rules of the corporation, the code of conduct, the company culture and values, all of that looked so meaningless in the daily routines of that newly opened operation in the capital of an Eastern Europe country.
You see, dear reader, while many candidates have to go through grueling application and recruitment processes to have a minimum chance of getting a job in the current labour market, some people in a few EU countries have an easy ride getting a position just because they have the “right” appearance and the “right” nationality. The hypocrisy of the big corporations in today’s market is that they pretend to treat every candidate in equal and just form, regardless of the country where they settle their operations. Well, if that’s so, I expect to see globally many more ladies, dressing informally and carrying her suitcases, entering their corporate offices with their smartphones in hand. Just like V. did…

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