The Oxford English dictionary defines a shrew as a "Bad tempered or Scolding woman" This gave me an idea for a story. I hope it works out and you enjoy it as much as I did writing it.
Tony was 29 years old unmarried, and had recently been appointed as the Works Manager of a medium size Engineering works, employing about 500 people. His PA had left to have a baby, and she had indicated that she would not be returning after the birth. After several complaints to the Human Resources department regarding the unfilled vacancy. a young lady arrived at his office, taking him a little by surprise at the speed to his latest request.
He looked up, as his office door opened without anyone bothering to knock, to see an attractive young lady of about 5'7' tall, with a slim figure; a good complexion, auburn hair, and blue eyes. Her make up and dress was impeccable. She came in without a smile or a sign of any emotion on her face. She sat down in the chair opposite his desk without speaking. She looked to be about 25 years of age.
Tony was slightly irritated at her lack of courtesy and just looked up at her and said.
"Miss Hannah Webster your new temporary PA. I have been sent by the Human Resources Department, until they can appoint someone else to be your dog's body."
All this was said without any sign of emotion, had she smiled he would have taken it as a touch of humour, then she continued.
"If I stay, you will always refer to me as Miss Webster. I don't make coffee for you, or anyone else. I don't run personal errands, or take clothes to the dry cleaner, or any of that crap and I don't stop over."
Tony was rather taken aback by her attitude, although quietly he was a little amused.
"Well miss Webster I am Mr. Tony Nash I am the Works Manager and I don't take any crap from any employee, be they male or female. If I ask you to make coffee for myself, or anyone else, then you will make coffee. If you wish to come into my room you will knock the door first, and wait to be called. Now if you don't like that, go back to Human Resources, and tell them I am not that desperate, that I need to have someone like you around. I am far too busy to be pestered by female adolescent prima donna's. Goodbye. Now go out to the room next door, and if you wish to stay come back in ten minutes with an apology, and some tangible proof that you are not just a foul mouth harridan..."
She looked shocked as she picked up her bag, and swished out of the room letting the door bang behind her. Tony picked up the telephone, and rang human resources. "What do you think you are doing sending me that dragon as my PA?" He asked.
The Human Resources manager answered. "Well you were desperate, and no-one else will tolerate her."
"Guess what." Tony said. "If she does not shape up I will not tolerate her either. In about ten minutes she will probably be on her way back to you. Now just listen to this. I have spent every night here until late, running this department on my own. I have been doing clerical jobs, without either a PA or a typist, and if we don't produce - we are all out of a job. You as well. Tonight I am going home on time. So tomorrow there will be no production schedules, and no-one working until I get them sorted, no wage sheets to the pay office for wages, and no orders raised for new materials. So get off your ass, and get me someone who is prepared to work, unless you are prepared to tell the Managing Director why the factory has closed down. "
As Tony put the phone down he looked up to see Hannah standing there. She held a bundle of letters in each hand.
"I did not hear you knock." He said.
"You were shouting on the phone, that's why and I am not a dragon." Hannah replied.
"No you don't look like one. But looks are deceiving." Tony said.
Without waiting for a further comment she said.
"These seem to be urgent and these seem to be routine." She said as she placed both piles on the desk in front of him.
To his surprise she gave a little smile.
"Please give me a chance Mr. Nash. I was just pissed off at being moved around from job to job."
"Well if you have spoken to other managers the way you spoke to me then I can see why. Just get it into your head I am not interested in fucking you, or taking you out on a date. All I am interested in is getting the job done. Now Hannah leave the door open so that we can communicate. By the way I take milk and no sugar in my coffee."
A few minutes later Hannah came in with a mug of coffee and placed it gently on his desk.
"Thank you Hannah, now bring your coffee and a note book, and I will run through what I want you to do, to help me keep this place running."
For about an hour Tony ran through the works routine with her, and then he left her to get on with her work. Meanwhile he made his daily tour of the different departments to speak to the various managers and supervisors.
Tony was quite pleasantly surprised with what she achieved in her first day, despite the fact she spent the day with little bursts of temper throwing biros and moaning At one time she threw one of her shoes at the door, and she was quite abrupt, almost rude with visitors to his office.
As she was about to leave at the normal finishing time, Tony called out
"Hannah do you want to come back tomorrow?"
"Yes you have done tolerably well today — tomorrow will be easier. But if you want to throw pens around buy your own."
Tony stopped very late; he checked her work, and was very pleased with the result. He managed to catch up with the arrears, so that in the morning, they could both make a fresh start.
Hannah came in on time, but within a minute she stormed into his office in rage.
"Who has been doing my work?
"I did. I stopped late. You did brilliantly yesterday. But today, I want you to go and interview three girls who are coming for the clerk typist job, to work with you in the office. I want you to select the right girl to work with you."
"I don't want a typist." She said.
"I do." Tony replied. "If you decide to stop here, and I hope you do. We need backup. Sometimes I have to be away on business, and the office has to have proper staffing. Anyway it is too much for two people, unless you like to do all the boring jobs like typing and filing yourself." She turned and stormed out of the office.
Two weeks went by, and her work rate was phenomenal. Both in the amount she got through, and the accuracy and dedication she displayed. The first clerk typist she appointed could not work with her, and left after two days. Then followed a succession of young ladies as clerk typist — but none of them could work with her The various Managers and Supervisors complained about her lack of courtesy, and her bursts of temper, and moaning over incidentals became a little wearing. It all came to a head one Friday morning when her computer would not power up.
Tony heard her stamping and swearing and crying as she rampaged around the office. Throwing books and papers around. He went into her office, and grabbed her, and just hugged her tight to his body. At first she struggled and tried to fight him.
"Get off me." She shouted. As he held her tight to his body. He could see smiling faces peering through the window.
Then he said quietly "Cool down Hannah. Stop being so hard on yourself."
After a few moments she stopped struggling and crying, and stood back and he released her. She stood back and looked up at him.
"Thank you Tony" She said quietly.
"What is the problem?" he asked.