46 CH46: Part-timer

    "Food is one of the great organizing tools."

    -  Pete Seeger


    Just before the clock hits 8 AM in the morning, Delilah had just reached her cubicle. Placing her work bag and lunch bag on the table, she leaned over to switch on her computer. While waiting for her computer to fired up, she grabbed her tumbler from her lunch bag and walked towards the pantry.

    It was just another day at work. Its been a month since Firah left and a couple of weeks since Deegan left too. It was quite lonely, even though Aubree was there. And that morning was the usual. She had woken up early to prepare her breakfast. She had made a simple egg sandwich to eat.

    Inside the pantry, she noticed that the kettle was already boiling. She already had her green tea bag inside her tumbler so all she needed to do was to fill it up with hot water. Dunking the bag a couple of times in the bottle, watching as the tea essence fan out, once she was satisfied with the color, she threw the used tea bag in the rubbish bin nearby. Bringing the tumbler back to her cubicle, she placed it on her table and continued to take out her other necessities such as mobile phone, notebooks and so forth.

    She was reading the task list that she had written on a small whiteboard that was hung on the wall of her cubicle when there was a message notification on her phone. Thinking that it was probably some chats from one of her group chats, she ignored it and continued checking the task list.

    'Hmmm...' she thought to herself, tapping a finger against her chin. 'Look for afternoon session tutors... checked. Follow-up with new employees' schedule... Review the appraisal report again for continuing study...'

    While she was immersed in her thoughts, the phone on her table rang. Without taking her gaze off the whiteboard, she reached out to grab the wireless headset.

    "Hello. Delilah speaking."

    'I presumed that you haven't checked your phone yet,' the person on the other line mused.

    Delilah let out a grin. "You presumed right, Amy," she said with a chuckle. "So, what's up? Is it so urgent that you even had to call me?"

    'Not really. But just giving you a heads-up.'

    "Heads-up?" Delilah repeated in confused.

    'Yeah. Didn't you hear? There's a new part-timer joining in.'


    'I think you'd better lay off the bird seeds next time, D,' Amy joked, implying that Delilah was acting like a parrot, as she keeps repeating every word Amy had spoken.

    "No, I didn't hear about any part-timer!" Delilah frowned. "Why don't people keep me updated? Am I no longer working here?" she protested with a touch of hurt.

    'Uhhh... I'm not sure about that, D. Sorry.'

    Delilah sighed. "It's okay, Amy. It's not your fault," she replied. "So, what's this part-timer's JD about?" (JD - Job Description).

    'She'll be working more as an admin assistant. Though, I heard, more specifically as Aubree's assistant.'

    Delilah frowned. "Aubree's assistant? Does she knows about this?" she asked curiously.


    "I see," she murmured. 'I wonder why Aubree didn't mention this to me,' she wondered.

    'So yeah, she'll be heading over to the HQ for further training. She was here last week, trained by me,' came Amy's reply.

    "Wait, was this the one that Howard told you to interview?" Delilah quickly asked.

    'No. This is a different one,' Amy answered.

    "I see." Just how many people did Amy interviewed without her knowledge?

    'Alright, I'll hang up then. See you soon and good luck!'

    "Thanks. See you soon," Delilah responded. She then hang up the phone and let out a dejected sigh. It seems like ever since Firah and Deegan had left the company, she was getting out of the loop. They don't seem to tell her what has been happening around the office and she was getting kind of worried.

    Was there something she had done that they would not want to trust her?

    Is she getting fired?

    Did they find a replacement for her?

    Delilah dropped down on her seat, clutching her head in worry. She really does not know what to think anymore. She does not know what to see this as.

    She leaned against her seat and groaned. What should she do?

    After a few minutes of just thinking, she abruptly sat up straight and clenched her fists. 'No, I shouldn't let this worry me,' she thought vehemently.

    She glanced up at the wall clock in front of her. The part-timer should arrived by then.

    Just as she was thinking that, Bella walked into the office with an unfamiliar woman following behind her. She has mousy brown hair with big brown eyes. Her eyes reflect the innocence and naivety as she looked young. She seems to be a clean dresser, wearing a white blouse with ruffled collar and a brown office slacks.

    Bella knocked on the wall of Delilah's cubicle. Delilah turned around in her seat with a smile. "Hello, Bella. What's up?" she greeted, pretending to be oblivious.

    "Hello D," Bella greeted back. She then gently pushed the woman to the front and introduced her. Delilah stood up. "This is Hailey. She just joined the company as a part-timer. She already did her training at the other branch. But Howard thought that perhaps you can retrain her once more. Just to make sure that she gets the hang of it."

    She turned to Hailey. "This is Delilah. She's the boss in this floor," she joked, making Delilah rolled her eyes. "I'm joking. She's one of the HR officers and she's also a trainer for the new employees."

    Hailey nodded and gave Delilah a little bow in respect. "Hello Delilah. It's nice to meet you."

    Delilah just nodded. She turned to Bella and nodded again, saying without words that she'll take over now.

    Bella smiled and turned to Hailey once more. "I'll leave you to Delilah's good hands. So, I'll see you soon, Hailey. And congratulations on joining the Kang Company."

    "Thank you," Hailey replied with a huge smile.

    With that, Bella turned around and left the office, leaving the two of them in Delilah's cubicle.

    The two of them were quiet as Delilah silently studied Hailey, who was becoming more nervous under Delilah's scrutinizing gaze.

    Delilah sat down back again and said, "Go and take a chair from the cubicle next door."

    Hailey nodded and quickly grabbed a chair. Delilah then told her to take a seat.

    The two of them went quiet once more.

    "So, when did you graduate?" Delilah asked curiously, crossing her arms over her chest.

    "I just graduated a couple of months ago from B College."

    Delilah nodded. "Do you have any working experience?" she asked. Before Hailey could answer, Delilah stopped her with another question. "Wait, before that, what position did you applied here for?"

    "I applied for an admin assistant."

    "Part-time?" Delilah asked again.

    Hailey nodded.

    "And you agree to working part-time?" Delilah asked, baffled. "Don't you want to continue your studies?" It was strange to find that someone would want to work part-time. Usually, those who worked part-time were those who are still studying or wants to gain experience. But for Hailey, she just graduated. Usually those who have the same route as her would either continue their studies or look for a permanent job.

    It's already the time for students to start their new semester so Hailey probably wouldn't be studying anytime soon.

    "Yes. I don't mind working part-time and no, I don't really want to continue studying. I'm quite content with the qualifications that I have now. What I want now is experience," Hailey answered. She felt like she was sitting for an interview once more.

    "I see. That's good then," Delilah nodded. She then stood up. Haily quickly followed.

    Delilah walked out of the cubicle and gestured towards the cubicle that Deegan used to occupy. She then said, "This will be your cubicle from now on."

    She stopped and turned to Hailey again. "Did Howard mentioned how many months or what's your schedule are?" she inquired.

    "Howard?" Hailey repeated in confused.

    "Didn't Howard interview you last time?"

    Hailey shook her head. "No, it was a woman named Amy, who interviewed me."

    Delilah nodded. "Alright. So, did she give you your schedule yet?"

    Hailey nodded. She reached for a piece of paper from her handbag, which was hanging from her shoulder and handed it to Delilah.

    Delilah took it and skimmed through it. According to her schedule, she would be working alternatively between both branches. And she would have one day off in a week and will only work for 5 hours per day. Seems reasonable with the experience and the salary that the company had offered to her.

    After Hailey had settled in the cubicle, Delilah followed up with what Amy had taught before. Delilah also asked scenarios questions which Hailey had answered with confidence. Once done, Delilah handed her a handbook where there were all guidelines and references that Hailey needs to know, working as an admin.

    Two hours later, Delilah went over to where Hailey worked to see what she has been doing. Then, from out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a familiar book sticking out of Hailey's handbag. She frowned, trying to recall where she had seen it before.

    Then realization dawned at her and she tapped Hailey on the shoulder. Hailey turned around, looking confused. "Is there something wrong?"

    "Is that the new planner from Qikki.Q?" Delilah asked excitedly, pointing at the book.

    Hailey's face broke into a huge grin. She grabbed the book and held it tightly in front of her, as if it was like a precious thing. "Yes, it is!"

    The two of them shrieked excitedly together. Then they quickly covered their mouths when they noticed the people around them were glaring at them.

    Hailey showed Delilah the inside of the planner. Delilah went 'oohh' 'aaahh' at every page. It was pretty and colourful. What Delilah likes the most was that it has a budget planner, travel and bucket list and stickers.

    It was nearly lunch time when the two of them agreed to have lunch together so that they can continue with their talks. Delilah decided to bring along her planner and her sticker book as well, to compare.

    After a few minutes, they stopped in front of a Mexican restaurant. It was a small restaurant with a Mexican theme decorated all over the shop. Sombreros lined up the wall in different colours and designs. The lights hanging on the ceiling were of handwoven baskets, which made the shop looked more cosy and dimmed, giving off a romantic aura.

    The two of them grabbed a table and looked over the menu, which was handed by the waiter. They both ordered orange juice and a beef burrito.

    While waiting for their food, they talked about their planners and show each other theirs. Delilah talked about an event that usually happens once or twice a year called the Planner Market. Hailey's eyes brightened with excitement when Delilah talked about how much fun the market was. And she promised to text Hailey if there's one happening later that year.

    When their meals have arrived, the two women gasped in surprise at how big the burrito was. Delilah picked hers and slowly unwrapped the packaging. She was worried that she might have spilled the contents. The burrito was thick as it was filled with cooked rice, taco spicy sauce, ground beef, black beans, creamy cheese, red onions, crispy lettuce, salsa and sour cream.

    As she bite in the burrito, she could taste the juices from the beef melted together with the tarty taste of salsa and sour cream. Then added with a kick from the taco spicy sauce and creamy cheese, it was like numerous kinds of flavours just burst inside her mouth. The rice helped added more flavour to the burrito, making it bountiful and fulfilling. She also loved how the crispy lettuce just soften in her mouth, as it mixes beautifully with the onions and the beans, making it more chewy.

    Delilah had to carefully eat the burrito because she did not want to waste a single drop of it.

    Before taking another bite, she looked at the insides of the eaten burrito. Each ingredients were arranged beautifully, making one be able to distinguish each unique tastes of the ingredients.

    She licked her lips before biting into it again. InDEEd, food can be organized beautifully as well, not just in books.

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