Craig preceded Manny into his office then stood behind his desk and watched as she closed the door and sat down at the table. He frowned at her.
“It’s not like you to not pay attention in a meeting,” he said.
Manny sighed and shrugged. “Sorry, Craig.”
“This isn’t about losing out on that promotion, is it?”
“Not intentionally, but now that you mention it–”
“I’ve already explained it to you. We had no concerns that you could have done the job.”
“That’s a relief, especially since I’ve been doing it.”
Craig gave her a warning look at her slightly sarcastic tone and continued, “We want to go in a new direction. We decided we needed somebody fresh, not burdened by the years of history and ‘how things used to be’. We needed somebody–”
Craig’s lips tightened. “New ideas, Manny. Somebody with new ideas, to take your area from the status quo to high achievement.”
“Our status quo is high achievement.”
“Higher, then.” Craig paused and stared hard at her. “Are you going to be able to work with Steph?”
“Of course. I’m nothing if not professional and dedicated to my job.”
Craig nodded, his eyes boring into hers. “And I appreciate that. I’d hate to think you’re not a team player.”
Manny flushed but held his gaze for several beats. Craig seemed satisfied by what he saw and nodded to indicate the conversation was over. Manny walked to the door, then paused and turned back to him.
“Craig? Do I have any chance at all of moving up in this company? I mean, I’ve been here for fifteen years–”
“There’s always a chance, Manny. You’ll just have to wait and see what comes up.” He gave her a thin smile, then sat and turned his attention to his computer.
Manny left thoughtfully; she knew a brush-off when she heard it.
For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Genre – ChickLit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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