“It was my idea,” said Annabelle. “Make sure you tell himself that, won’t you?”
Looking down to where she was sitting gave me a good view down her top.
“Hey, what are you talking about?” Harriet spun on her chair to face us. “I thought of it first. Annabelle just came up with a couple of suggestions.”
“No, I came up with the whole logo. You just changed the colour.”
“What are you…the logo was my idea. You just changed the serifs.”
I lost the rest of it as they both talked at once. I pulled my attention out of Annabelle’s cleavage. Something had gone awry while I was distracted. “Can we take this down a bit?”
Neither of them heard me. I tried to remember why I’d accepted the promotion to line manager. I wasn’t sure the extra three grand a year was worth the headache that was mustering its forces.
As if they’d somehow come to an agreement while they were squabbling, they both looked at me and spoke together. “Tell her!”
I’d been on a management training course last week. I had the certificate pinned over my desk to prove it.
“I’m sure you both contributed equally,” I said. “I’ll tell the director it was a joint effort. You’ll both get equal credit for it.”
The consultant who ran the course would have been proud of me. It was conflict resolution exactly as she’d taught us.
The two faces in front of me darkened to the same shade of red. From the torrent of words that followed, I caught ‘not fair’ several times but nothing else.
“All right.” I spoke loudly enough to cut off their babble. The cost was that I unleashed my headache in full force. “Let’s talk about this.”
“We are taking,” said Annabelle.
“Aren’t you listening?” asked Harriet.
“OK,” I said. “Enough’s enough. I’m going to tell him it was my idea.”
I didn’t exactly run out of the room to the director’s office, but I can see why some people may have got that impression.