Catch Me When I Fall (002)

cover Catch Me When I Fall (lowress)

Welcome To The Company

 

It had been two weeks after the interview and Tiffany had not received any news from the company. Taeyeon, her new friend slash her soon to be line manager if she would be accepted in the company also had not contacted her at all. She hoped that Taeyeon would at least contact her to give a slight hint whether she got accepted or not. But here she was still in her old office, waiting for the news.

She unlocked her phone and browsed through the contact list to find Taeyeon’s number, hesitantly called or texted the girl to ask about the interview’s result. But then she remembered how scary and intimidating Taeyeon was when she interviewed her. So she called off the idea and locked her phone again when suddenly the phone rang. She checked the caller to find an unknown number on the phone screen.

“Hello.” Tiffany answered the call.

“Hello Miss Stephanie Hwang. This is Irene from Human Resources team of GG Corporation. How are you?” The voice replied to her answer.

“Oh hi Mrs. Irene! I’m great. How are you?” Tiffany replied excitedly when she realized it was the HR Manager of GG Corporation. She had been waiting for her call.

“I’m fine. I’m fine. Thanks for asking. I would like to inform you about the result of your interview two weeks ago, Stephanie.” Mrs. Irene finally revealed her objective of calling Tiffany. Tiffany suddenly became so nervous and scanned the room to make sure no one was eavesdropping to her phone call. The situation was safe then she continued the conversation.

“Ah, sure Mrs. Irene. I hope it will be a good news.” Tiffany responded with a smiling voice.

“Of course it is a good news. We have decided that based on your CV and the interview, you meet our requirements. And if you don’t mind, we would like to invite you for another discussion regarding to the package and benefits for you in this company. When will you be available this week so I can match your availability with Miss Kim Taeyeon?” Mrs. Irene finally told Tiffany the news she had been expected for the whole two weeks.

“I’m available on this Friday. Will that be possible?” Tiffany replied as she stole a glance at her calendar that showed she was free this Friday.

“Okay, Friday. Could you please wait for a second, Stephanie? I will check Miss Taeyeon’s schedule for that day.” Mrs. Irene excused herself.

“Okay ma’am.” Tiffany replied as she heard some clicks on the phone. She guessed that Mrs. Irene was now checked on her laptop to find Taeyeon’s schedule.

“Miss Taeyeon is only available on Friday at twelve? Is that okay with you? So we can have a lunch meeting?” Mrs. Irene offered.

“Sure thing, ma’am. Lunch meeting sounds good to me.” Tiffany excitedly answered.

“OK, great! So, we will see you on Friday, lunchtime. I will inform you the place later but it will be around our office since Taeyeon’s schedule is pretty pack that day. So, you can come to our office and we will head to the meeting place together.” Mrs. Irene wrapped up their appointment.

“Sure, great. I will see you, then.” Tiffany replied.

“Sure. Thanks Stephanie.”

“You’re welcome, Mrs. Irene.”

Tiffany had this wide smile on her face after the line was cut. After two weeks of waiting she finally got good news. She would join GG Corporation one of the top ten best companies of the year. She still smiled widely when a pair of hands gave a gentle message on her shoulder. She looked up to find the owner of the hands.

“Oh hi, Nick!” Tiffany smiled even wider when she saw a handsome man who stood behind her.

“Hi, Tiff. What’s with the wide smile, babe?” The man answered.

“Hey, I told you not to call me ‘babe’ in the office. You know our office’s rules. No romantic relationship between the employees.” Tiffany frowned a bit while turned her chair around to face the man behind her.

“Oh I’m sorry, honey.” The man kept teasing Tiffany.

“Nick, say it one more time and we’ll break up.” Tiffany did not really mean the sentence but she just wanted the man to understand that she was being serious.

“Hahahaha, okay Tiff. Okay. Just don’t break up with me, please.” The man put her cute puppy eyes, playfully begged Tiffany not to break up with him. The latter brought back her smile on her face when she saw the man’s face. Nick was sure the man who never failed to make her smile.

“It’s lunch time now. Shall we go now? So I can have a date with my girlfriend rather than talking with my colleague.” Nick offered.

Tiffany let out a small laugh, grabbed her phone and purse then made a sign for Nick to go first so their other colleagues and most importantly their bosses would not be suspicious. Nick got the message and walked away from Tiffany. Tiffany put her purse on her lap and unlocked her phone to find instagram app. She liked some photos when a random idea suddenly popped out. She tapped on the search tab and typed: “Taeyeon”. She looked at the search result but before she could find what she looked for, her phone screen showed an incoming call from Nick.

“Babe, I’m waiting in our your favorite Padang restaurant, okay?” Nick informed.

“Sure. What did I say about calling me ‘babe’ earlier, Nick?” Tiffany warned him as she grabbed her purse from her lap, stood up from her seat and made her way to leave the office.

“Oh, come on. I’m not in the office right now. So I can call you ‘babe’. You’re the one who can’t call me ‘babe’ since you’re still in office.” Nick teased her. Tiffany laughed at her boyfriend’s joke.

“Okay, okay. I’m on my way. Don’t start without me, okay?” Tiffany replied as she walked faster.

“Sure, ma’am. Just be careful. No need to rush, okay? You know I will wait for you even if it takes forever.” Nick answered sweetly.

“Aw, what a sweet talk, there. I’m flattered.” Tiffany felt her cheeks got warmed as she heard Nick’s answer.

“You know how sweet I can be when it comes to you, babe. Now, I’ll just hang up. Remember, no need to rush. Okay?”

“Sure. I’ll see you really soon.”

“Sure. See yaaa, babe.”

The line was cut and Tiffany continued walking to her favorite restaurant. It only took her fifteen minutes to get to the restaurant and saw Nick as soon as she entered. Her boyfriend seemed to occupy with his phone most probably checking on his instagram or playing some RPG games. Tiffany made her way to the guy then leaned down as she pecked the latter’s cheek. She did not really care about people staring at them. She grew up in US and what she did was not something exaggerating so she did not really mind about what other’s thought about her when she kissed her boyfriend in public.

Nick seemed shocked at first but when she noticed it was Tiffany, he smiled wide. He patted an unoccupied chair beside him, signing Tiffany to sit. Tiffany gladly sat beside her boyfriend and landed another kiss on Nick’s cheek.

“What’s with the kisses? I thought you were about to break up with me back then.” Nick teased his girlfriend.

“No, I had no intention to break up with you. I just didn’t want us to get problems in the office. You know the rules, right?” Tiffany gave him her eye smile while patted Nick’s cheek gently. Nick smiled but soon let out a sigh that got caught by Tiffany.

“Why, babe?” Tiffany asked worriedly.

“Nothing. It’s just we’ve been in a relationship for six months but we still have to hide it most of the time, especially in office. You know how desperate I am to announce the world that you’re mine?” Nick smiled as she looked at Tiffany lovingly.

“Then, I’m sure I have a very good news for you today!” She answered excitedly.

“What is it? The company changed the rules?” Nick asked with a hopeful expression.

“Nope, but we can date openly really soon. I just got accepted in GG Corporation! Can you believe that?” Tiffany could no longer hold her excitement. Nick opened his eyes wide as he heard the news. Tiffany had told him couple of time how much she wanted to join GG Corporation. She also updated him about the interview but she did not seem confident about how the interview went but here she was, telling him that she got accepted in her dream company.

“Really, babe?” Nick looked at her in disbelief. His girlfriend nodded excitedly like a little girl who just got her birthday present.

“Wow!! I am so proud of you!” Nick smiled wide and caressed her girlfriend’s cheek.

“Thanks, babe. I will still need to take care of my resignation that would approximately take one month. Just wait for a month and you can announce the world that I’m yours.” Tiffany chuckled at her own remarks, making his boyfriend blushed. She then leaned in to give a light peck on Nick’s lips.

“One more month, babe.” She repeated.

“Yes, one more month.” Nick followed as he looked at his girlfriend lovingly.

After a short romantic moment they had, Nick call the waiter to get their orders and they had their lunch. They even made a romantic to-do list once Tiffany started to work in GG Corporation. Finally, after six months of dating, they would no longer play hide and seek with their colleagues and bosses. They could finally date openly like what they always hoped for. Tiffany could not wait for Friday to sign her employment in GG Corporation. It would be her gate to a new chapter of life, also a new chapter of her relationship with Nick.

 

—-

 

It was ten o’clock on Friday and Tiffany was already in front of GG Corporation building. Her heart thumped wildly as she made her way entering the office complex. She did not really think about the offer she would get. The company itself was her dream company and it was still hard to believe that she got accepted especially after she had to face the intimidating Taeyeon for the interview. She unconsciously walked to the coffee shop she visited on her interview day. She stared at the door of coffee shop, remembering her silly encountered with Taeyeon. Who would have guessed that Taeyeon was really going to be her line manager? She smiled noticing the fact.

“Why are you smiling at the door, young lady? Are you having a conversation with the door?” A familiar voice brought her back to reality. She turned her head to the voice and saw smiling Chris beside her.

“Chris!!!!” Tiffany squalled in relieve that she at least met someone she knew. Chris grinned and made a sign to high-five instead of shaking hands, which gladly returned by the girl.

“I’m so happy to see someone I know.” Tiffany told Chris.

“Honestly speaking, I forgot your name but I still remember you. You’re the applicant who bravely joined Taeyeon’s table.” Chris smiled sheepishly as he confessed that he did not remember the girl’s name. Tiffany laughed at his honesty.

“Tiffany! Just call me Tiff. And I hope I don’t have to introduce myself again the next time we meet because I’m sure you’re going to see me often soon after I start working in this company.” Tiffany smiled happily.

“Wow! That’s a great news! Do you like to grab a cup of coffee? I am going inside.” Chris said as he made his way entering the coffee shop. Tiffany nodded and followed Chris. As soon as she entered the coffee shop, she scanned the room to find most of the tables were already occupied except for the table that was claimed by Taeyeon as her favorite spot. She then remembered after the interview back then, she also hardly found free table in this coffee shop. Tiffany walked to the counter ordered a cup of hot chamomile tea to Chris.

“It’s ten o’clock and what are these people doing here? Aren’t they supposed to be working at this time?” Tiffany asked Chris after mentioning her order.

“Ah, they have the so-called agile-working thing in this company. I don’t really understand the meaning but more or less it’s like they don’t have to stay in office all day as long as they finish their job.” Chris explained. Tiffany nodded and walked to the only free table in the room, which was Taeyeon’s favorite spot. She then took her phone from her bag and opened her instagram, immediately remembered that she once tried to find Taeyeon’s instagram account couple days ago. She thought it would be fun if she managed to find her soon to be line manager’s instagram and saw her posts. She searched for Taeyeon’s name and found an account named ‘taeyeon_ss’ which showed a familiar face as the avatar. She tapped on the profile to see the posts only to find some photos of Taeyeon with important people and some conferences she attended. She chuckled at the pictures. She actually expected to see the human side of Taeyeon instead of finding this kind of serious posts. She tapped on the ‘follow’ button, closed the app and opened line app to send a message to Nick.

Tiff: Babe, I’m arrived at GG Corp safely.

A few second later, her phone beeped signing an incoming message. Nick replied her message. Seemed like his boyfriend was not busy at the moment.

Nick: Glad to know you’ve arrived safe and sound, babe.

Tiff: I’m waiting alone right now and still have two hours to go until the appointment. Am bored. Wish you were here 😦

Nick: Hope so, babe. Unfortunately I’ll have a meeting in ten minutes so I can’t accompany you 😦

Tiff: It’s okay, dear 🙂 Have you prepared yourself for the meeting?

Nick: Not really >.< My boss will represent our team so I don’t really have to worry.

Tiff: My baby is such a lazy ass.

Nick: My baby is such a demanding gf.

Tiff: Yes I’m demanding but you love me though :*

Nick: How can I not love you, the love of my life? :*

Tiff chuckled at Nick’s reply.

Nick: Babe, I gotta go to meeting room now. See you tonight, kay?

Tiff: Sure, babe. Miss you already. Love ya!

Nick: Love yaaa~~ (kisses)

Tiffany smiled as she closed the chat window and randomly stared at the people in the room. She noticed that most of them had their laptops opened on the table, while the rest seemed to be on the phone with a serious conversation. She looked at them in admiration. She soon to be one of those people, working for GG Corporation, one of the top ten companies of the year. She could not wait to sign her employment and started a new work-life. Later Chris delivered her order and left her alone again. She opened her bag to find a novel. She always brought a novel in her bag just in case she had to wait like now. She opened a page, which marked by a small fold on the corner of the page and started reading.

She was drowned in the novel she read when a ring from her phone brought her back to reality. She immediately answered the phone.

“Hello?”

“Hello Stephanie. This is Irene from GG Corporation. Taeyeon is already with me and we are going to the coffee shop on the ground floor of our office building. Can we meet there?” Mrs. Irene informed Tiffany the meeting point.

“Hi Mrs. Irene. Coincidentally I am already in the mentioned coffee shop. I will just wait here.” She replied nervously noticing she was about to sign her employment really soon.

“Okay. We’re going down now. See you, Stephanie.”

“Okay, ma’am. See you.”

The line was cut and Tiffany checked her watch. It was ten to twelve, no wonder Mrs. Irene and Taeyeon were ready. Minutes later she saw two ladies came into the coffee shop. She immediately stood up when the two women scanned around the coffee shop. The older one finally noticed her presence and both women made their way to Tiffany’s table. Mrs. Irene extended her hand to Tiffany, which she gladly returned.

“Hi Stephanie, sorry for making you wait. How are you?” Mrs. Irene asked as they shook their hands.

“Great, Mrs. Irene. How are you?” Tiffany replied. She asked as they released their hands.

“I’m great.” Mrs. Irene replied.

Tiffany then shifted her eyes to Taeyeon, finding the latter also extended her hand, offering for a handshake. She reached the latter’s hand.

“And how are you, Miss Taeyeon?” She asked politely. She noticed that Taeyeon was on her professional mode. She found the intimidating Taeyeon like what she met in the meeting room rather than the cute Taeyeon she talked to in the coffee shop.

“Great, Miss Stephanie. Nice to meet you again.” Taeyeon gave her professional smile that always plastered on her face.

“Let’s take our seat, ladies.” Mrs. Irene pleased all of them to take the seats. Then waved at Chris asking for the menu book. Chris soon approached their table with three menu books on his hand and put it in front of them.

“I will have spicy cheesy chicken and iced long black with no sugar, please.” Taeyeon ordered without looking at the menu.

“Mine would be Spaghetti Aglio E Olio and orange juice.” Mrs. Irene told Chris her order.

“I will have Penne Pomodoro, please.” Tiffany finally put her choice on pasta.

“Spicy Cheesy Chicken and iced long black for Miss Taeyeon, Spaghetti Aglio E Olio and orange juice for Mrs. Irene, last but not least Penne Pomodoro for Miss Tiff. Have I got your orders right, ladies?” Chris repeated their order with a wide smile as usual. All three women nodded, Chris then excused himself to make their order.

“So Stephanie, first of all congratulation, you’ve surpassed the other applicants for the job.” Mrs. Irene warmly announced.

“Thank you Mrs. Irene. Could you please call me Tiffany? I feel a little bit awkward with the nickname Stephanie.” Tiffany couldn’t hide her happy face and showed her eye smile.

“Haha, it’s okay. No problem, Tiffany. I have discussed with Taeyeon about the package and benefits you will get once you join the company. I already put on the details in this document. You can read the document and shall there any questions or other consideration, please feel free to discuss.” Mrs. Irene said as she handed the document to Tiffany. The latter opened the document and read them carefully word by word to make sure she did not miss any details that would lead to misunderstandings. As informed by Mrs. Irene, the document covered the detail of package and benefits she would get from the company. Tiffany tried her best not to scream in excitement when she saw the amount of salary she would get from the company was twice from her salary in the current company. She even reread the sentence to make sure the amount was true. She hardly put up a poker face in front of two women in front of her as she continued reading the benefits she would get including full insurance coverage, operational car, and housing allowance. She would also get additional cash advance for any business trips she would have to attend.

Her reading was interrupted when Chris came with their order. Mrs. Irene invited her to have her lunch which she politely declined since she only had one more page to read. She flipped the page to find it was the contract that she needed to sign. She then put the document on the empty chair beside them and started to eat her lunch.

“So, how is it, Miss Tiffany?” Taeyeon opened the discussion as they ate their meals.

“Honestly speaking, the benefit is actually exceeding my expectation.” Tiffany answered honestly

“Glad to hear that. Is there any clause that you want to ask?” Mrs. Irene asked. Tiffany stopped for a moment, remembering the sentences in the contract that would be her consideration.

“I think the contract covers everything clearly. But if I may, I want to clarify some statements. First, the probation period will only take three months instead of six months? And during the probation period my status will be contracted employee. What will happen next?” Tiffany asked as she remembered one of her main considerations.

“Yes, the probation period takes three months only. Our team needs someone who can adept well within short span of time so we can work as a team in maximum potential as fast as possible. And if you happen to pass the probation period, you will definitely be our permanent employee, get the maximum benefits as stated in the contract and it is also possible to get some salary increase, not really big for sure, but it will be based on your performance during the probation. Hopefully you will be able to exceed our expectation. And if you happen to fail, which we really do not expect, we will try to find another team that will suit you more. Our Human Resources team is really expert in putting the right people in the right place. So, you don’t have to worry much. But still, as I stated before, we hope you will be able to exceed our expectation.” Taeyeon answered Tiffany’s question clearly. The latter nodded, as she understood the point. She now felt a bit burdened by the company’s expectation. She was also aware that Taeyeon was definitely intimidating when it came to work-related stuff. Tiffany does not even dare to look at Taeyeon for too long.

“Do you have any other question, Tiffany?” Mrs. Irene asked and gave her a friendly smile. Tiffany felt thankful for Mrs. Irene presence. She had no idea how nervous she would be if she had to face the intimidating Taeyeon all by herself.

“Yes, ma’am. The contract states that I need to agree to be assigned in any city within the country and abroad. I also need to agree to travel domestically and internationally. May I know in which city or country I most probably assigned, and how often shall I need to travel within a year?” Tiffany asked.

“As for the opening you applied for, it will be based here, in Jakarta. So you do not need to worry about being assigned in other city or country for now. And for the travelling time Taeyeon might have the answer for your question.” Mrs. Irene answered one of Tiffany’s questions and asked Taeyeon to answer the second question.

“Your traveling time will be vary from once to three times a month. It depends on the projects we work on or meetings with our business partner and global partnership representatives, which based in various cities in Indonesia. You will also need to travel internationally to attend GG Corporation global conference once a year. But other than the conference, you will only need to travel locally.” Taeyeon answered Tiffany’s question with the same professional tone and manner. The latter again, nodded, signing that she understood all the information she needed to know.

“Okay, I totally understand the overall contract now. And I will be reporting directly to Miss Taeyeon, right?” Tiffany threw another question to the two women in front of her.

“Yes, Tiffany. Taeyeon will be your line manager and will be responsible for your performance during your probation period.” Mrs. Irene explained.

“Alright, it’s all clear now, Mrs. Irene, Miss Taeyeon. Thanks for answering my question.” Tiffany smiled politely to both women. Mrs. Irene then invited her to continue her lunch while telling her about the company’s value and environment generally to give Tiffany’s a slight picture about the company she was going to join in. After finishing their meals, Mrs. Irene asked Chris to take their plates from the table. As soon as Chris took their plates, Mrs. Irene opened the discussion again.

“So, Tiffany. Will you need time to think about our offering, or we can hear your answer now?” Mrs. Irene asked.

“I believe I have met my decision already that I would gladly join GG Corporation.” She answered as she put the document on the table, ready to sign the contract.

“It’s glad to hear the answer, Tiffany. When will you be able to start working, then?” Mrs. Irene gave warm smile to Tiffany.

“I need to send one month notice for my resignation in my existing company. I already read in the contract that my employment will start one month and two weeks from today. So, that would not be a problem. By the time, I will be finished my employment in my current office and will be fully ready to work in GG Corporation.” Tiffany explained as she signed the contract and handed it to Mrs. Irene. The latter accepted it gladly and offered a handshake with Tiffany.

“Welcome to GG Corporation, Tiffany.” Mrs. Irene welcomed her. Tiffany smiled widely as she returned Mrs. Irene’s handshake.

“Welcome to the company.” Taeyeon also said as she extended her hand for a handshake. Tiffany unconsciously let out a soft chuckle when Taeyeon welcomed her. It felt like a déjà vu. Taeyeon already said it even before she joined the company and now to hear it again, it felt so right.

Taeyeon on the other side noticed the soft chuckle and she smiled a bit. She guessed that Tiffany might think about their first encounter. Taeyeon could still remember that she said the exactly same sentence when she first met Tiffany. And of course, she said the sentence again in purpose to know whether Tiffany would still remember their first encounter, and she felt so relieved that the girl actually remembered it.

“Thanks Tae.” Tiffany accidentally called out the nickname she gave to Taeyeon. And as soon as she realized that, she mentally face-palmed herself.

“You’re welcome, Fany.” Taeyeon gave her a cute smile that showed the dimple on her chin, making the girl in front of her watched her in disbelief for hearing the nickname. But soon Tiffany gave her the sweet eye smile, which Taeyeon loved to see.

Soon after, Mrs. Irene and Taeyeon excused themselves to get back to their office. Tiffany once again thanked them for the opportunity given to her as they bid their farewell. Tiffany sat back on her chair while the two women made their way to the counter to pay the bills and finally walked out from the coffee shop. She pulled out her phone from her bag to check for any message she missed during her meeting with Mrs. Irene and Taeyeon. She received some messages from her best friends, asking her to inform them the result as soon as she finished. She didn’t reply their messages instead she opened the chat window she had with Nick before. She wanted Nick to be the first to know the good news. She was typing on her phone when someone placed a cup of hot chocolate on her table.

“Taeyeon asked me to send this complimentary drink for her new team member.” Chris informed the girl before Tiffany could ask the question.

“Aw, so sweet. Thanks Chris.” Tiffany smiled.

“You’re welcome, Tiff. But I think you should send your thanks to Taeyeon instead of me. Sometimes I wish my boss is as nice as her.” Nick told Tiffany half whispering, making sure no one heard his last sentence. Tiffany laughed at it.

“You have no idea how intimidating Taeyeon is in the meeting room. You witnessed how stressed I was after the interview, didn’t you?” Tiffany replied also in whisper.

“Really? OK, I won’t wish for that anymore, then. Thanks for this highly secret information.” Chris responded playfully, making the girl burst out another laugh. Tiffany closed the window chat between her and Nick after Chris leaving her alone. She opened her contact list to find Taeyeon’s number. She then decided to send a short message to the girl.

“Hey Taetae 😀 Thanks for the complimentary drink. And thanks again for the opportunity to join the company :)”

A reply came soon after.

“You’re welcome, Fany 🙂 Glad to have you joining the company”

After reading Taeyeon’s reply she smiled again and switched to the chat Nick’s chat window again.

Tiff: Babe! Signed the contract already! It’s official!

Nick: Babe! I was about to contact you but you got me first. Congratulations!!!!! How was the discussion?

Tiff: It was so smooth, babe. And the offer is really good. I don’t need to think twice.

Nick: Congrats once again, my baby Tiff! We’ll meet up for dinner, right?

Tiff: Sure! And it will be my treat! I just signed my new chapter of life. We should celebrate it.

Nick: Yes, your new chapter of life. And our gate to date openly ❤

Tiff: It is, babe 🙂 it is ❤

 


 

 

First Day

 

Tiffany landed her feet on the GG Corporation office-building complex, which was located in Central Jakarta for the third time in her life. The first one when she had her interview, the second one was when she signed her employment contract with GG Corporation, and now she was already an employee of GG Corporation. She smiled widely realizing the fact that she was part of one of the top ten best companies which also her dream company. Her resignation process from her previous company did not take too long. As matter a fact the company offered her some appraisal to make her stay since Tiffany was one of their best employee, but it did not even close to what GG Corporation had offered her, also, she did not want to keep her relationship with Nick under covered anymore. So she turned down the appraisal and kept going on with her resignation. As she expected, one month after she sent her resignation letter, she was fully ready to work with GG Corporation.

She walked around the office complex which had nine tall buildings, all belonged to GG Corporation. She noticed that they had a restaurant in each building except for the third building, which provided a coffee shop instead of restaurant. The coffee shop where she met Taeyeon, a cute petite girl whom later on shocked her with the fact that she was the one who was going to be her superior. Tiffany smiled again as she recalled how interesting it would be to have someone with the same age as her to be her boss. She kept walking and noticed other things she had not realized before. This office complex had a gym, swimming pool, tennis court, and even a beauty salon. She really wanted to check the membership fee for the gym and soon disappointed when she noticed the ‘closed’ sign hanging on the door. She checked her watch to see it was only 07:15. She came really early in the morning since she did not want to be late on her first day at work. She then decided to make her way back to the familiar coffee shop she always visited when she came to this office complex.

She arrived in front of the coffee shop only to find the same ‘closed’ sign hanging on the door. She tried to peek through the window of café to look inside, hoping someone was already inside the coffee shop to her surprise when she saw a familiar small figure of a girl sat in the exactly same spot as she saw her before. She knocked the window to get the girl’s attention, which resulted the latter shifted her head to her direction. She smiled at the girl whom immediately stood up and walked to the door.

“Morning Taetae!” Tiffany excitedly greeted the petite girl as soon as Taeyeon opened the coffee shop’s door.

“Morning Fany.” Taeyeon greeted her back coolly while shifted her body to the side, making sure to give Tiffany some spaces to come into the coffee shop. Tiffany stepped in and made her way to the counter to order her breakfast and found a young girl was in charge instead of Chris. Taeyeon made her way back to her seat and resumed her breakfast while reading something on her iPad, tried her best calming her heartbeat which getting faster as soon as she saw Tiffany. After ordering her meal, Tiffany walked to Taeyeon’s table.

“Can I join your table again?” Tiffany asked.

“Sure.” Taeyeon nodded without leaving her eyes from the iPad in attempt to focus on what she read rather than dealing with her thumping heart.

“What are you reading, Tae?” Tiffany curiously asked, noticing how focus Taeyeon was while reading.

“Company’s financial report and budget expenses. It’s been a tough year and I really need to carefully make a tactical plan for our company without spending the budget overly.” Taeyeon replied still with her eyes glued on the iPad. Tiffany checked her watch it was one more hour until the work starts and here she was being totally ignored by Taeyeon. She unconsciously let out a sigh, which of course did not get unnoticed by the latter.

“What’s with the sigh?” Taeyeon finally looked up to Tiffany. Tiffany immediately beamed her eye smile to Taeyeon, which definitely melted Taeyeon’s heart.

“Work life balance, Tae. It’s still 7:20, working hour starts at 8:30 and here you are already working.” Tiffany answered.

“Ah, right.” Taeyeon was a bit surprised with Tiffany’s remark. This was the first time someone reminded her about work life balance. Most people usually chose to leave her alone ever time she worked beside office hour. She took a last glance to her iPad and seemed like memorizing something then she locked it and slid it to her bag.

“Do you work 24/7, non stop? Don’t you have time to hang out with friends, Taetae?” Tiffany spilled out her curiosity toward Taeyeon.

“Are you interrogating me, Fany?” Taeyeon smiled for the first time this morning, happy that Tiffany was being curious toward her. Tiffany unconsciously smiled as she saw the latter’s smile.

“Let’s consider it that way. You interrogated me so much back then.” Tiffany answered nonchalantly.

“It was job interview, Fany. I asked you questions to find out whether you meet our requirements or not. While your question was interrogating me about my personal life.” Taeyeon furrowed her eyebrows and replied seriously.

“What’s with the serious answer? I’m kidding, Taetae. Should I order a cup of hot chocolate to make you a bit relax?” Tiffany chuckled as she saw Taeyeon’s response. Taeyeon let out a soft chuckle as well.

“So, is it okay for me to interrogate you about your personal life?” Tiffany started the topic again. Taeyeon frowned and felt uneasy all of a sudden. She was happy that she could have another friendly moment with the girl before she would totally focus on her work in the office today, yet she felt hesitant to agree on the idea of her crush interrogating her about her personal life. She was definitely afraid that the girl might give her question about her sexual preference. She might someday confess and let the girl know. But for now, she did not want to disgust the girl since it was still too early for Tiffany to know about this. Tiffany noticed the hesitation on Taeyeon’s face.

“Tae…” Tiffany called out.

“Hmm…?” Taeyeon replied while her brain was still processing the answered for the latter’s request before.

“We’re friends, right? Well, you sure are my line manager. But when we’re not within the working hour, we’re friends, aren’t we?” Tiffany asked.

“Yes?” Taeyeon answered.

“Glad to know that you also see me as a friend. Sometimes I am being overly friendly that people find me annoying.” Tiffany grinned at Taeyeon, changing the subject all of a sudden. The latter smiled in relief.

“No, you’re not annoying. In fact I admire your bubbly personality. Don’t you think that we’re pretty much the opposite of each other? Sometimes I envy people like you.” Taeyeon confessed.

“Aaaw how could a person like you envy me, Tae? I don’t think you’re too difficult to be approached honestly. You are pretty friendly as a person even though you always put up your professional manner but somehow I feel comfortable around you. In addition, judging from how Chris playfully teased you make me sure that you’re not as scary as you were in the meeting room.” Tiffany chuckled remembering how intimidated she was by Taeyeon.

“Ah, Chris is surely an exception. I’ve known him for five years. That’s why he can tease me anyway he wants. He knows that I won’t be angry at him.”

“Really? So, that means you’ve worked here for five years?”

“Yes. Ever since I graduated I got a job offer here.”

“As expected from a smarty like you, Tae.” Fany playfully rolled her eyes, while deep down she admired the girl in front of her more and more.

The waitress later came bringing Tiffany’s order then asked Taeyeon whether she wanted to order another cup of long black since she had finished her drink. The latter politely declined at the offer and the waitress left their table. Tiffany immediately enjoyed her breakfast while Taeyeon played with her iPhone.

“Oh, you followed my instagram, Fany?” Taeyeon who happened to open her instagram found a notification of Tiffany following her.

“Yes, like a month ago and you just noticed.” Tiffany replied nonchalantly.

“I’m sorry. I rarely opened my instagram. The last time I opened it was like two months ago as the last time I uploaded a picture.”

“What’s the fun of having instagram if you don’t even open it?”

“I don’t know. I’m trying to follow the trend, I guess.”

Tiffany laughed at Taeyeon’s remark. She did not expect a serious girl like Taeyeon even made an effort to follow the trend. She became a lot more curious to her line manager right now. She thought befriended with Taeyeon would be fun since the latter seemed to have a very different life with her. They continued their morning talks until it was time for them to go upstairs and started working. They had another small argument about who should pay the bill and at the end agreed to pay for their own bill, so no one treated one another.

They took the elevator to the ninth floor. As soon as they reached ninth floor Taeyeon lead Tiffany to a room signed ‘Marketing Meeting Room’ and asked her to take any seat since the meeting room was still empty. She decided to sit beside Taeyeon. Soon, one person followed by others joined the meeting room. Tiffany mentally counted the number of people in the room. Twenty-eight people, including her and Taeyeon. She assumed that most of the people in the room were about her age. As everyone took their seat, Taeyeon opened the meeting.

“Good morning, team! Today, before we start our monthly meeting, I would like to introduce our new team member, Stephanie Hwang. Tiffany, please stood up and introduce yourself to the team. Or maybe you want me to do that with a risk of me making up some fact about you.” Taeyeon joked and the whole meeting room burst into laugh. Tiffany immediately stood up to introduce herself.

“Thanks Taeyeon but I prefer to do it myself instead of having you introducing myself as a mother of four children.” Tiffany replied to Taeyeon’s joke and once again the room was filled with laughter.

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Stephanie Hwang but please call me Tiffany. Today is my first day here. What else should I tell you?” Tiffany introduced herself shortly.

“How old are you?” A girl who sat in the corner with a cold expression asked.

“I am twenty-six year-old. And I was born on August 1st just in case any of you having any plan to give me present.” Tiffany replied jokingly.

“Are you Korean? Your name has ‘Hwang’ in it.” A black haired girl who greeted Taeyeon in the coffee shop on interview day asked.

“My parents are Korean, but I grew up in California, and I’ve been living in Indonesia since sixteen.” Tiffany answered.

“Wow! We have four Koreans in Taeyeon’s team! Taeyeon herself, me, Tiffany, and Jessica!” The girl said excitedly.

“Oh, please Yuri. I’d rather choose to be called a California girl here.” The cold looking girl before protested in English to the black haired girl resulted another laugh in the room while some male employees started to sing California Gurl by Katy Perry. Tiffany looked around while smiling. Finding the meeting room’s atmosphere was amusing.

“Okay, guys. Enough for Tiffany’s introduction. You can get to know each other in lunch time, okay? Tiffany, please take your seat. Let’s start our meeting, shall we?” Taeyeon asked and the whole room fell into silence while the laptops are started to open and Taeyeon connected her laptop to the projector.

The meeting was indeed very serious and everyone in the room seemed to be really focus and able to represent themselves as Taeyeon opened the discussions. No one played with their phone or looked sleepy during the meeting. It was a totally different ambiance for Tiffany since in her previous company the majority of meeting’s participant usually lost their focus as soon as the meeting started. Despite of the serious atmosphere, Taeyeon, without lessening her professional attitude, put in some smart jokes to lighten up the mood so the atmosphere would not be too tense. Tiffany tried her best to follow the meeting. There were a lot of things she was really clueless about but Taeyeon seemed to notice and briefly explained to her or paraphrased her words so Tiffany would understand. The meeting kept going on until Jessica suddenly spoke up.

“Taeyeon, it’s lunch time.” Jessica said. Taeyeon checked her watch and announced a break time.

“Why don’t we have lunch together for Tiffany’s welcoming party?” Yuri proposed. The rest of the room said a yes in unison, agreeing Yuri’s idea.

“Okay, guys. Let’s have lunch together in 5th tower’s restaurant.” Taeyeon agreed. The room cheered as everyone started to grab their phone and purse and left their other belongings in the meeting room. Tiffany followed the group while Taeyeon walked behind.

They arrived in the restaurant and made their order right away. Tiffany chose to sit beside Taeyeon again. Somehow Taeyeon’s calm self helped her to ease the nervousness of her first day at work. Even though she put up her bubbly appearance in front of the team, she was actually afraid that she was not smart enough to blend in with the rest of the group.

“Guys, I guess it’s time for you to introduce yourself to Tiffany. Tiffany already had her turn in the meeting room and now is your turn.” Taeyeon suddenly spoke. The group agreed on the idea and started to introduce themselves one by one. Tiffany hardly remember everyone’s name yet she managed to remember Jessica and Yuri since the two girls seemed very excited to meet another Korean in the team. The conversation in the group went light and friendly. It successfully got rid of Tiffany’s nervousness and she easily blended with them. Taeyeon smiled in relief noticing how fast Tiffany blended with the whole team, she then took her phone and took some photos with it. They finished their lunch and Taeyeon paid the entire bill, soon they got back to the meeting room again.

As soon as they entered meeting room, Taeyeon asked the whole team to discuss about a bellow the line activity for the second semester and appointed Jessica to lead the meeting. Jessica immediately prepared her laptop and made her way to the front as Taeyeon shifted her position to face Tiffany.

“You haven’t got the company’s induction, have you?” Taeyeon asked Tiffany.

“Not yet. I’m supposed to get it on my first day, right?” Tiffany answered.

“Yes, and I’m the one who responsible for that. So, let’s move to another meeting room to get you our company’s induction. Jessica can handle this discussion by herself.” Taeyeon explained as she took her laptop from the table. Tiffany nodded in agreement and both of them excused themselves from meeting room.

Taeyeon lead the way to a small room signed ‘Dealing Room’. There were only three chairs and one small table in the room. Taeyeon took a seat in one of the chair and put her laptop on the table. Tiffany followed and sat beside Taeyeon.

“What’s ‘dealing room’? And why is it smaller than the other room?” Tiffany asked.

“This room is usually used for sealed a deal between one of our representatives and one of our partner’s representatives or one on one conversation between line manager and subordinate or any other discussions that need privacy but do not need spacious place.” Taeyeon explained without diverting her gaze from her laptop, opening the induction presentation she had prepared for Tiffany. She then pushed her laptop slightly away from her so Tiffany could also look at the screen. Tiffany squinted her eyes in effort to read the presentation without realizing she shifted herself closer to Taeyeon until Taeyeon’s right knee and her left knee brushed. Taeyeon’s heart responded at the touch and beat even faster.

“If you hardly see the presentation, you can have the laptop all by yourself. I’ve memorized all the slides’ content.” Taeyeon quickly pushed the laptop closer to Tiffany and moved her chair slightly away to avoid another contact.

“So let’s start from slide one and if I mention to move to another slide, please help yourself to click on another slide, okay?” Taeyeon requested before started explaining the first slide. She explained every single slide in structured without missing any point even without looking at the presentation. She even remembered when to move to another slide and if they needed to get back to previous slide, she could easily mentioned the slide number and asked Tiffany to click on it. The other girl tried to focus on the presentation Taeyeon gave while she was surprised by how good Taeyeon memorized everything in the presentation. The induction took almost the rest of working hour and when they finished, it was already five o’clock, while the working hour finished at 5:30. Both girls then made their way back to Marketing Meeting Room to rejoin the meeting they left.

It was finally 05:30 as Jessica summarized today’s meeting. Everybody stretched their tensed body and tidied up their belongings, preparing themselves to go home. One by one, Taeyeon’s team started exiting the room, leaving the four Koreans.

“Tiffany, do you bring car to office?” Yuri suddenly asked.

“No, I don’t own a car. I use public transportation. Why Yuri?” Tiffany asked her back.

“Let’s have dinner together, then. Sica and I are going to try this new café beside our office complex. Want to join? We can fetch you home soon after that.” Yuri offered.

“Ah, sure. The traffic is awful at this hour. Taetae, are you going to join us?” Tiffany offered Taeyeon. Jessica and Yuri looked at each other noticing the way Tiffany called Taeyeon ‘Taetae’, and the also knowing that Taeyeon would decline the offer since their boss usually worked until ten o’clock.

“Well, I have nothing to do today and seems like I have less meeting tomorrow. If Yuri and Jessica do not mind, I will gladly join you, guys.” Taeyeon surprisingly agreed to the offer, resulting Yuri opened her eyes widely, not believing in what she heard.

“You sure, Taeyeon?” Jessica asked coolly. She was indeed surprise with their boss’ answer yet managed to keep her cool self up.

“Yes, sure. Only if you do not mind me joining.” Taeyeon made her statement clear.

“O-okay then, shall we go now? Sica and I will bring our own car. What about you, Tiff?” Yuri said.

“I think I will join Taeyeon’s car. I want to ask something related to our induction earlier today.” Tiffany answered. Yuri and Jessica soon leave the room after telling Taeyeon and Tiffany the exact location of the new café they plan to visit.

“Come on, Tae! Shutdown your laptop already and let’s get going.” Tiffany stood up from her seat.

“Let me send one more email, please?” Taeyeon bargained, which made Tiffany slumped herself to the chair again. The latter started to play with her phone, checking her instagram. She scrolled down the page, loved some photos, and stumbled into a pictured posted by Taeyeon couple hours ago. It was a picture of their lunch earlier that day with her side profile took half of the frame and the rest of the team on the rest of the frame was being the background. She read the caption:

taeyeon_ss: Welcome to the company, Fany^^! Let’s work hard together! #NewEmployee #NewSpirit

Tiffany smiled and tapped the love icon on the bottom of picture. She found her boss was being so cute for posting the picture. She felt really welcomed.

“Let’s go, Fany!” Taeyeon’s voice snapped her. Taeyeon was ready to leave and already hold her car keys in her right hand. Tiffany immediately stood up from her chair and followed Taeyeon’s way out of the room, out of from the building, to the car park.

Taeyeon pressed her car keys in front of a Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 and got into the car. Tiffany looked in awe to the car in front of her. She knew that Taeyeon’s salary must be a lot but to be able to afford this kind of car in such a young age still made her surprised.

“Fany? Are you coming in?” Taeyeon’s voice successfully diverted Tiffany’s attention the car. She quickly opened the car’s door, sat on the passenger’s seat, and buckled up the safety belt. Taeyeon started the car and drive their way out from parking lot to the café mentioned by Yuri and Jessica. On their way there, Tiffany asked Taeyeon about the reporting system in the office as she noticed that she and Jessica were in the same department but had different title. Jessica was the Marketing Manager while Tiffany’s title was Junior Marketing Manager. It was a bit confusing because her direct report was Taeyeon instead of Jessica. Taeyeon explained that GG Corporation used matrix organization system, which made some certain layer of positions were able to report directly to some level above them but Jessica as her senior also would be partly responsible for her performance. Tiffany kept asking question about the organizations and some of her colleagues to Taeyeon since she felt way more comfortable with Taeyeon’s calm self beside office hour. She knew that she had to adapt fast to Taeyeon’s professional mode but for her first days on work, she thought it was nor a crime to have this side of Taeyeon answering her hopefully-not-stupid questions about her new job.

Both girls finally arrived in a homey café. The café was definitely newly opened since there were still a lot of empty parking spot. Taeyeon parked her car near the entrance door. Tiffany entered the café followed by Taeyeon. She scanned around to find her two new friends, soon spotting Yuri who sat side by side with Jessica waved her hand to get her attention. Both girls made their way to their friends’ table while Jessica waved to the waiter, asking for menu book. Taeyeon took her seat in front of Yuri, while Tiffany sat beside her, facing Jessica. The waiter brought the menu to their table. The four girls looked at the menu briefly then mentioned their order to the waiter. A cup of hot long black for Taeyeon, a cup of hot chai tea for Tiffany, a glass of iced Americano for Yuri, and a cup of hot cappuccino for Jessica.

“Wow! Taeyeon! This is our first time hanging out with you. It’s a pleasure for us.” Yuri said as soon as the waiter left.

“Really? You guys never hung out with Taeyeon before?” Tiffany surprised.

“Yes, Yuri’s right. I usually stay in office until ten o’clock to finish some works or prepare for the next day’s meeting.” Taeyeon answered, followed with nods from Yuri and Jessica.

“Then I should consider myself lucky to get this opportunity in my first day of work then. Even though it’s actually my third time having tea time with Taeyeon.” Tiffany said.

“Really, Tiff? You are super lucky then! It’s not easy to ask her out.” Jessica responded.

“Yah, Sica! Your sentence sounds like Tiffany asked Taeyeon for a date.” Yuri laughed at Jessica’s remark, making Jessica and Tiffany burst into laughter while Taeyeon smiled sheepishly wishing if Tiffany would really ask her for a date someday.

 


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Also check them out:

Multi-Shot Stories   EVERYLITTLETHING (1)   One-Shot Stories

One thought on “Catch Me When I Fall (002)

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