The Summer has gone very well so far. The new intern, despite showing some signs of incompatibility in the early stages, has come around quite nicely. She has broken the dress code once, but has amazed me in other areas.
While i do require well-manicured hands, i do not insist that the nails be of any set length. I have felt that would prove too messy of an ordeal by actually having her set her hand on my desk as i measure each nail. Under different circumstances, i would require 1/2" at the least, flat-tipped, french manicure, but for my intern, i settle for cleanliness. Having never even mentioned that i prefer this look on females, i was quite surprised when one day my intern came in with a full set of 1/2" acrylic extensions.
She had to have noticed the way my eyes lit up the instant i caught sight of her new ornamentation. I immediately complimented her, told her that they made her fingers long and stunning. Later on that day, i went out to tell my secretary that i'd like some of the typing and filing i had given her to go to my intern, but she had anticipated that i would when she saw the nails, and had already given her some of it to do. She spoils me. I found reasons to linger by my intern's desk, telling her about projects i may involve her in, recounting some of the stupid questions i've been asked by journalists - all just so i could watch her struggle with the keyboard, and to hear the click of the acrylic on the keys.
One day soon after, she came into my office with tears in her eyes, holding her right hand by the wrist. I asked her what was wrong.
"I was filing...and...i closed the file - *sniff* - on my hand."
She held up the wounded appendage to show me that the nail on her middle finger had popped off in the ordeal. I wanted to get up from my chair, walk around the desk and scoop her up, kiss her finger, and tell her it will be "okay". But, i'm her boss. Even i know that wouldn't be appropriate in this day and age of over prescient human resource stiffs. I showed my concern with my eyes, and let her go home for the day so she could get her nail fixed.
Another recent episode reminded me that sometimes i don't fully comprehend the messages i'm capable of sending with just a look. I hadn't stepped out of my office all morning. Finally, i took a much needed break to very quickly jog to get me some water. I have a habit, as i walk, of rapidly snapping through all fingers, on both hands, in a cascade of rattling pops. To many people, it signals that i'm coming. I could see my intern's lounging legs (who sits right near the pantry) stiffen when their owner obviously heard my impending approach. I looked at her very briefly - 5 seconds tops - before i turned the corner. She was wearing a very unflattering yellow top that looked like it belonged in a "No Doubt" music video instead of my office. Since it didn't officially break my dress code, i decided not to say anything. I got my water, and headed back to my office. As i passed her desk, i didn't look at her at all.
About midday, i realized i hadn't heard or seen from her for a few hours. I called my secretary,"Have you seen K?"
"Not since about 10:30." It was a quarter after 1.
"Let me know when you see her again."
At 1:30, my secretary called. "She's back. She wants to see you." I can hear a sarcastic smile in her voice on the phone.
"...okay, tell her to come on in." Mind you, i do not require that she go through my secretary first in order to see me. I wait for the rap on my door. It is unusually soft.
"Come on in."
She peeks her head through the slight crack of the door she's opened.
"Am i in trouble?"
I scan my brain to locate any transgressions that i'd catalogued. Nothing. The only thing i can think of is the unannounced absence, but even then, i usually wait to hear the story behind those sort of things.
"Trouble for what?"
"You looked very angry this morning."
"Angry, no. Come in all the way, would you?"
She enters my office and i immediately see why she had been gone for so long. She is now wearing a very fetching maroon top, that outlines her curvy torso perfectly.
"Am i in trouble for being out of the office for so long?"
"Why were you gone for over 3 hours?"
"I went home to change my top."
This girl had taken my earlier glance at her blouse and the expression on my face as a statement, and decided to travel the hour and a half - one way - to her parent's house in order to fix the situation. I looked at her as she stood in front of me, her eyes were training on anything else but mine. I knew the silent air building was mine to dismiss. She subtly adjusted her skirt, and tugged a couple of times on her newly improved shirt.
"No," I said. "You're not in trouble, anymore."