Once again I sat in the ante-room to Ms Pearson's office to find out what my future held. I felt the familiar fear that the meeting would be to tell me I didn't fit into the ancient, top law firm, even though I'd been assured by my manager it would be to discuss a promotion and pay rise following my coup at gaining Retinski Industries as a client for our firm, and the influx of other blue chip clients which had followed Retinski's lead. It was only three months since I'd finished my traineeship, and been given the opportunity to join Pearson Hardwick's corporate division. I knew that promotions and pay rises generally took years of hard work, and it could be argued that I simply got lucky, because the owner of Retinski fancied me. The truth was that I had worked my butt off on his account, and had delivered the goods, efficiently and within the time allocated. I had also headed a team of fifteen lawyers and five secretaries, which had also gone to plan.
I had a good fallback position, as the day before, a Sunday, I'd had a phone call from a head-hunter working for a rival law firm, sounding me out as to whether or not I could be persuaded to move. The figures discussed were tempting, but I was happy at Pearson Hardwick, and felt a sense of loyalty towards the company which had given me my big break into corporate law. It didn't hurt to have a backup plan though.
I tried to calm myself. Mrs Pearson was the managing partner, and was a super-sharp woman who didn't miss a trick. I didn't want to show any nerves, or self doubt in front of her. I should be confident about this, I told myself. Retinski, Ivan Porenski's company, was likely to net Pearson Hardwick at least two and a half million a year in revenue, with five other large, blue chip companies following Ivan's lead, and instructing us as their legal representatives. With an extra ten million in revenue predicted that year, I should have been swaggering around, instead I was sitting worrying about getting demoted to the back room for not being 'posh' enough. It was an inbuilt inadequacy that I carried around, the feeling of being an outsider. I didn't attend the same schools as my peers, and had clawed my way up from the council estate. I covered up my humble start in life by being dedicated, focused and hardworking. The strategy had seemed to work alright so far.
Ms Pearson's secretary interrupted my musings, and indicated that I should go in. I knocked on the door first, and on hearing a cheery 'come in', opened the door. Ms Pearson was sat behind a large, pale oak desk. She gestured to the seat opposite, and after shaking her hand, I sat down. She peered at me through her stylish little glasses.
"Elle, how lovely to see you again. It only seems like yesterday that I was sending you over to corporate. Yet you appear to have made quite an impact."
"It's been a busy time over there, but it's an enjoyable busy," I replied, trying to gauge her expression.
"You appear to be quite the star of the show Elle. I gather from Mr Carey that you have made quite a mark. It's very impressive. Now, I asked to see you today for two reasons. As you no doubt know, we don't normally review pay or position until you have been in a role for a year, but Mr Carey is concerned that you may be approached by our rivals due to your coup with Retinski. Can I ask if that's happened yet?"
"I've been approached, yes."
"I see. Can I ask what your response was?"
"I listened to what they had to say. I didn't give a response. I have a sense of loyalty to this company, and I would prefer to remain working here, if that's at all possible."
"What did they offer you?"
"I'd rather not divulge that information. I'd prefer to listen to what you would like to offer. It makes it fairer." I looked her straight in the eye. Keeping away from a Dutch auction would earn me points for integrity. "I'm projected to be gaining the company approximately ten million pounds worth of revenue this year, and six blue chip clients. I'd like you to bear that in mind."#p#分页标题#e#
"Of course. What kind of ball park figure do you have in mind?"
I took a deep breath. "Around 250 thousand per year, plus a bonus structure that is based on what I deliver."
"I see. That's a very big ask for someone just out of a traineeship."
"Yes, I know, however I have billed nearly three hundred thousand this month alone, plus delivered six new clients. I'm aware that my work output rate is extremely high, and I have contributed to the impeccable reputation of the firm by delivering a difficult project quickly and efficiently, plus giving added value to the client." I was talking about a project I'd done for Ivan's company, uncovering a massive fraud as well as setting up a new payroll and HR system, which had been flawless.