What we were thinking: The Enigma Ignite #3 of the Enigma Book Series-
Author Insight –
Work can be more than a challenge
Arletta’s rise within the agency was based more on her bosses wanting to move her on than put up the effort to remove her. Many civil servant jobs are difficult to be fired from, even with total incompetence.
Arletta has a way of analyzing information well, but always makes people uncomfortable. In this scene she is annoying a contractor to the end of his limits.
Sadly the contractor cannot just take the call as a disinterested party. Of course that is the the ambition of Arletta even is she does not see the direct results of her abrasive personality.
Have you had to work with anyone like this? How did you get around it?
Excerpt-The Enigma Ignite
“Hello, Ms. Krumhunter, how may I help you?”
Arletta Krumhunter was promoted on a series of fast track promotions based on the usual circumstances that often occurred in government organizations. If one was exceedingly abrasive or hopelessly incompetent, then they were promoted up and out to the relief of those left behind. Early on in her career, Arletta discovered she had a gift for viciousness and deceit that allowed her career to climb. The so called glass ceiling that competent females often collide with in their career ascension was never a problem for Arletta. Everyone who had ever had her work for them was willing to put her into a cannon and shoot her through the glass ceiling in order to ease their suffering. It was like a child in grade school being promoted to the next grade without merit.
“Mr. Avery, I have not received your written report on the British battlefield communications exercise you observed. Were you going to send me a written report or….were you going to give it to me in person, orally?” she coyly cooed. “I really need it today.”
Keith Avery had been in government defense contracting most of his adult life and had been in some hostile situations trying to deliver fast track prototype solutions to people under fire. The special ops teams he had worked with under these extreme situations sometimes meant he too was at risk and the first time an incoming mortar round hit too close he immediately understood the description of an event that simulated a cold rush of shit to the heart. Just the thought of Arletta flirting with him and suggesting that he give her anything orally also produced that same sensation he had felt when under mortar fire.
“Ms. Krumhunter, the beltway has a massive wreck with a large chemical spill, so getting to your offices will be problematic. I have every intention of sending you my report, but I am short one key item of information so I must confess it is not ready for you, madam. I need to do a road trip to follow my lead on biomechanics leveraging nano-technology.
“There is some interesting work going on at Texas A&M, and I need to see for myself where they are in their project. I had planned on leaving as soon as my telecom specialist gets to my offices. I need the rest of this information to deliver a complete report. May I be granted some extra time to make the report more complete, please?”
Arletta smiled at his politeness and then said, “I know your reputation for thoroughness, but we are in a race with the usual suspects. Please try to compress your activities and deliver my report as quickly as possible. I look forward to receiving it from you personally as an oral briefing, Mr. Avery.”
Keith again shuddered at the revolting imagery her comments dredged up.
Keith’s voice cracked a little when he responded, “Yes, Ms. Krumhunter. I look forward to our meeting.”
After he disconnected the call, Keith went to the lavatory to rinse his mouth with a strong antiseptic mouthwash.