November 29, 2014 by helenwaldron
An important meeting.
The meeting did not go well. There were three Americans representing an investment company, three more Happlons, who were definitely on the side of the Americans, and on the other side (although she did not know exactly what was happening) Writewell herself and Hamburg Happlon.
Even Frau Reppentrop was visibly nervous as she showed the participants the way to the boardroom down the corridor from her office.
“Please, Herr Happlon,” she implored. “Let me call Herr Meyenfeld. It is important.”
Herr Meyenfeld was the company’s legal advisor.
“They have disagreed. Fallen out,” she hissed, pale-faced. “Herr Happlon has chosen to have you with him instead. It is a stupid decision.”
Feeling that it was a stupid decision to put a man like Happlon in charge of several thousand employees and assets of millions, Writewell walked past Frau Reppentrop wordlessly and took her place at the huge polished table.
The language of the meeting was English, which Hamburg openly resented.
“Whose company is this?” he hissed at his cousins at one point.
His cousins looked exasperated.
When the Americans started to talk figures and wave papers, Hamburg Happlon looked to Writewell to intervene, and when she didn’t, he hardly hid his scorn.
The meeting went on for nearly three hours. Frau Reppentrop was in the room serving tea and bottled water (no coffee!), when Hamburg Happlon suddenly threw down his pen, picked it up again and then signed a document.
“Should I call for Herr Meyenfeld?” Frau Reppentrop asked from the refreshments trolley, her eyes wide and meaningful behind the steel rimmed glasses.
Writewell did not doubt that her lenses were spotless, but she believed she glimpsed a tear behind the steel and glass, as her boss flounced past her and out of the room.
Three hundred years of family tradition.
Signed away in a childish tantrum.
The Americans started talking and smiling, the Happlons stared at the door and shook their heads. It didn’t have to be like that. Frau Reppentrop finished serving all the participants of the meeting, then excused herself and left the room. Writewell didn’t know what to do at first, then decided she could leave as well.