draft working title: Transfomed

Currently this is only a draft of the story I have buzzing around inside my head. I've written the early chapters simply to help get my thoughts in order and story started. I don't write that frequently, so I can't guarantee if and when new chapters will appear.

However, I really would appreciate constructive criticism because I'm trying to learn how to write in a way people want to read, so thanks in advance for your comments!!

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1. Transformed - Introduction

 

A snowflake falls reluctantly to earth; I gaze absent mindedly out of the 6th floor office window at the Amsterdam skyline, without really seeing. I’m dreaming of a different time, of carefree days, my childhood far away from here. My thoughts are rudely interrupted by Julien’s angry, heavily accented, voice “pick up the phone!” pause, I wait for the rejoinder confident it will come, Julian doesn’t disappoint; “you’re not paid for dreaming, or staring out of the window, pick up the damn phone”.

Recently promoted, he feels a need to exercise his newly acquired authority, to flex his fledgling managerial muscles, which he does with considerable glee, if not finesse. In his late twenties, he is flushed with his own self importance and speaks to me in a voice louder than required, given I’m seated not more than two metres from him. He’s an actor, the office his stage, he speaks to be heard, to be heard by all. But mainly, he speaks to be heard by the senior business unit managers that he desperately wishes to impress. Image and respect are all important to him. Whether these ‘needs’ are a result of an impoverished upbringing in the poorer suburbs of Paris, as I suspect, is hard to say for sure but something has instilled in him a disproportionate need to be ‘seen’ to be succeeding and an unhealthy craving for money, for money's own sake. However, his overriding driving force, his oxygen, is respect, he needs it to survive. Respect from team members, business unit heads but mostly that of the global CEO of MakeUsEven, James Pinton. Pinton, who over the last twenty 20 years has clawed his way up the corporate ladder and now stands atop an edifice that is represented in twenty countries, has assumed, for Julien, a god like status. Julien’s body language, vocabulary and voice all change noticeably when in the company of Pinton. Yet Julian’s 29 years has taught him little of human nature, he’s unaware how to interact with people in a way that commands their respect. Try as he might, his approach frequently antagonises, setting people on the defensive, rather the than engendering their cooperation.

Instinctively, I pick up the phone and dial the next number on my prepared call list. I’ve learnt the futility of objection, for it would undoubtedly be met with a tirade of corporate gobbledygook, key performance indicators and assorted other half baked management theories, all delivered in his irritatingly pronounced French accent. Thankfully its 16:50, only 40 minutes to endure before I’m free, before I reclaim my life, if only until tomorrow morning. I offer up a silent pray to the god of ‘call centre operatives’, “please let time fly by, please let my calls go unanswered!”

I'm startled, a voice answers, “Hello Peter Williams, ….Hello,….. Hello, Peter Williams here, can you hear me?” I slam down the receiver and mumble, wishing to be heard, “bloody voice mail” conscious that I’m blushing slightly at my deception.

Today is 28th January 2010, it’s my 24th birthday. Although I’d prefer not to, I’m thinking about the people and events that have shaped my life, forced me to flee my beloved country; Lithuania.

How did I come to be living in Amsterdam, working at a call-centre selling sports hospitality? I will share my story with you but to fully understand, you need to know a little of the history of my country.

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