Here we go! I’m pleased to announce that the paperback of The Promotion is now for sale at Amazon.com! Kindle version is also available. Amazon’s currently running a sale on both The Race and The Promotion in honor of the new release.
And now…a special bonus episode of The Promotion. Enjoy!
Previously in The Promotion: Minisode #3: In Which The Narrator Refutes His Critics and Begins a Critical New Position
Today’s Excerpt: The Promotion Minisode #4: In Which the Narrator Meets the Deputies Who Will Make or Break His Fortune
Later that afternoon I met with the two assistant directors that Jennifer had scraped from the dregs of the firm’s partnership. The first was Martin Shvets, a transaction lawyer twenty years into his career but who had only been at our firm for a year or two. He was a tall, Slavic-looking man with longish brown hair and round, gold-framed glasses. Thin nose, permanent sneer.
He began our meeting by informing me that Jennifer had offered him the directorship—my position—and that he had “of course” refused to accept. Too much thankless work, he said, and no extra pay, not even a bonus. And dealing with all those résumés, all those law school morons who think they’re smart enough to work at our firm but who know nothing at all.
“Nothing at all,” he repeated, as if he were accusing me of something. “Less than nothing. Worse than nothing.”
I offered a feeble shrug in return.
“Only a jackass would take that job,” he said, staring at me with contempt.
He had a manner of speaking in which his lips were always on the verge of curling with disgust, not exactly a smile but not exactly not a smile.
He had another characteristic I soon learned firsthand: whenever he shook hands with you, he stepped on your foot and made eye contact in an aggressive way. It was never clear if he’d done so on purpose or if he was merely clumsy, but this didn’t matter. Either way his response was the same. He hurt you. He defied you to do something about it. No one ever did.
Now, in his office, I mumbled something about looking forward to working with him and made my exit. Fight or flight, and the jackass chose flight. Not so much from fear but exhaustion. Let Martin go back to his stupid little desk with his stupid little phone calls and the rest of his stupid little world. I was on a high and did not want to let him drag me down.
The other assistant director, Linn, was famous in the office and even beyond, in a certain sense. Linn was the twin sister of a Swedish model who had been married to one of the most famous people in the world before a spectacular scandal had made his wife—and her twin sister—an internationally recognizable face. And just like her sister, Linn was tall and blonde and striking, a Nordic queen whose beauty stopped conversations cold. I had really only seen her a few times in the elevator and hallways—a vivid experience each time—and I could hardly believe we were working together.
She squinted as I introduced myself. Her eyes became little blue hyphens. Everything about her was adorable and perfect.
“We should take a coffee,” she said. “Do you like espresso?”
“Love it,” I heard myself shout.
We went to a nearby chain that was technically from Minnesota but had a Scandinavian feel. Although this was late August and D.C. was insufferably hot and humid, the coffee house had the air conditioning on full blast. With the wooden floors and tables and a silent fireplace cozying up the place, I felt as if I was watching her in her native habitat. Fresh off the slopes, enjoying a pick-me-up in the lodge before heading to the sauna.
My heart was pounding.