Allies & Scapegoats

"You can't get in, the secretary told Miss Khan, the chairman is busy."

The secretary was ready to grab her arm and pull the young woman away, but at the same time she really didn't want to try that move on that person.

"You know what, I'm just going to go in, Miss Khan stated, because your excuse isn't even creative today."

She opened the chairman's office door, unapologetically walked in. She couldn't help but notice that all the offices in the hospital were luminous: his office looked like he was running a morgue, if you can think of a cliché one. She walked up to the desk, the chairman wasn't surprised, nor was the tall young man standing in front of the office.

She smirked... what a perfect pairing.

"Miss Khan, what can I do for you", the chairman asked with his politically correct tone, smile, hair, suit... which had really nothing to do with his true nature.

"I came to talk about our new surgeon, she said, hired without my approval and more importantly without my knowledge."

She didn't directly look at the young man standing, but they all knew she was talking about him. The chairman smiled, the young man didn't budge.

"I heard you had him double checked", the chairman said.

"What else could I do, I happen to have been to his previous practice... The least I can say is that I was less than impressed."

The young man couldn't supress a brief chuckle, she wasn't telling the whole story...

"We need to process the applicants according to the procedure, to make sure we're hiring the very best", she affirmed.

The chairman started playing with his fancy fountain pen.

"I thought you would be happy I took something out of your plate", he said.

His smile was nothing if it wasn't sarcastic.

"You should always run that through me, that's protocol", she stated.

They stared at each other for a while.

"That man right here, she said pointing at the young man behind her, aside from being unprofessional, was unable to last more than 2 months in the same hospital and has significant gaps in his curriculum, which is rather alarming..."

"I don't think so", the chairman cut her off.

He stood up, calmly. The young woman felt like the atmosphere had turned like expired milk.

"What I think, the chairman said leaning against the desk in front of her, is that you torture yourself too much. Don't you feel overworked? Ms Khan, you should really clock out sometimes. You should appreciate people taking some of your workload of your shoulders. I'm not like the former chairman, I'm more progressive. I appreciate you but I think you're putting too much pressure on yourself."

She couldn't decipher how grave of a threat this was, all she knew is that it wasn't a praise and it surely didn't come from a kind heart.

"Dr Feng present here, he added, is a very skilled surgeon whom I happen to know."

The young woman hesitated to open her mouth, it seemed like a bad idea but...

"Had you talked to me about it, she said anyway, you would know that our indicators don't recommend hiring another cardiothoracic staff. We don't need one more."

He smiled, she was a pain in the ass he couldn't wait to get of his back.

"We're going to need one more, he stated, very soon."

She grimaced at how conceited he looked now.

What are you, she thought, an HR fortune teller?

"Is there something else", the chairman asked.

"Since you're not open to conversation, she stated, no."

"Good", he concluded showing her the door.

She studied his face, kind features with a terrible mind.

Once she had stepped out, closing the door behind herself, the chairman laughed.

"Doesn't she look like the perfect scapegoat", he stated to himself.

He sighed.

"I should have replaced her first, he added, but she's quite good at her job. I have a soft spot for self-made individuals. It's such a shame she's so uptight when it comes to rules... that won't do."

He looked at the young man, still standing practically at attention.

"Did you take a look at the penthouse and the basement", the chairman asked him, sitting down behind his desk.

The young man nodded, disciplined like a soldier.

"Personally keep track of the people working there", he ordered him.

The young man nodded just as austerely.

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