"I really need to finish this report before John hands me my head," Adrienne said.
"Oh, lay off it. John'll hand you your head no matter what you do. Bad enough that he's always skip-leveling without being impossible to please," Linda said, stepping into the cubicle and leaning against the desk. She glanced at the garment bag. "Not going home before the party?"
"By the time I got home, I'd be late," Adrienne said. She turned her chair from the keyboard and rested her hands in her lap. If she waited long enough--
Linda leaned forward. "So, you'll never guess who I heard crying in the bathroom."
"Who?" Adrienne asked.
A shiver stole down Adrienne's spine. "Beth? Are you sure?"
Linda snickered. "Oh, yes. Definitely. Can you imagine? The oh-so-powerful veep, sniffling in the ladies' room."
"No," Adrienne murmured, "I can't imagine at all."
The bag crinkled as Linda shifted against the desk. Her scarlet press-ons plucked at the fabric. "I can only wonder what she was crying about. What do you think? Domestic or business? I know the senior VP's been taking flak about the division, and rumor has it our department is dragging everyone down."
"I honestly don't know," Adrienne said, turning back to the computer.
Impervious to subtle hints, Linda said, "I know they expect her to turn the place around, but it's only been a few months. Of course, we know it's a hopeless situation anyway."
"Right," Adrienne said.
"Hey, I thought I heard talking. . . ."
"Dan! What's up?"
Adrienne suppressed the desire to hang her head. What was it about her cubicle today? At least Dan was better company than Linda. A nice man, if a weak manager. She turned to face them both. "Good morning, Dan."