He gave her a sharp look, wondering who this girl was standing in front of him, smiling and holding a white A4 sized envelope. She was quite young and could not be more than 25 years old.
“Yes?” He repeated himself, louder.
The change of tone must have startled her, that she pulled herself together to finally say something to him.
“Hi! I am Mia, the HR Executive of this company. Welcome on board Mr. Burton!” She said it in one breath, as if she was reading it from a scripted dialog repeated over and over again.
Like a junior cadet to her sergeant, she quickly extended her hands, straight towards him.
Politely, he stood up and took her hands. He could feel that there was a slight shiver and it was cold. “O Gosh, I must have scared her”, and suddenly he felt like a big bully and pitied her.
“Why don’t you sit down, Mia? “ He walked behind her and pulled a chair
“Oh. Thank you.” Her eyes twinkle and she looked at him like he had just given her a 12 months bonus.
“Hmm, ok the reason I am here is to pass you your contract” And she slided the white envelope nearer to him. “Here you go, please verify and see if everything is in order”
Henry took the envelope and tore off the cellophane tape that sealed the envelope together, pulled out a stapled 5 pages of contract.
“Hmm.” He sighed, showing a slight disappointment as he read the first few lines of the contract.
“Anything wrong Sir?”
“Yes. There is.” He held the tip of his glasses, pushed it back so it stayed comfortably on his nose.
“My name is wrongly spelled. It’s Henry Alexander Burton as in B.U.R.T.O.N”.
“Hang on! Are you saying that I had typed your name wrongly? It couldn’t be! I always re-checked my work and Mr. Zachary will not sign if it’s wrong” She was flustered and defensive, which irritated him the more.
“Look, Mia” He spoke in an authoritative voice. “Sorry to disappoint you, but I think I would know how my name is spelled”
“O .. ok. Sorry. Err sure I’ll amend it and return to you later” She quickly took the document and the envelope back.
She frowned and studied the contract in front of him. ‘Er .. and anything else Sir?”
He was surprised to see that she was still sitting there, submitting herself to more damaging agitated remarks, but at the same time he was impressed by her courage to be able to do that.
“No. That’s all”
“Oh. Ok then. I’ll come back to you shortly” And she gave him a weak apologetic smile.
He nodded and took back to the earlier documents that he was reading.
Mia walked out quickly from the room. She wished she could just run, in fact she felt she wanted to run away the moment he said he found an error.
“That was so damn embarrassing. Gosh! And what a miserable first impression I have made on myself!”
Firstly, she was at awe when she saw him leaving her speechless in front of him for a few second, and secondly, if that were not enough, she blurted out a very stupid argument, on how his name should be spelled? She was puzzled and wondering what has gotten into her.
She sat at her desk, looking at the document, thinking how she could make it up to him.