Alice got up from her desk and walked through the small office space, past Joan the typist, Chuck the salesman and Tom the accountant. She knocked at the open door, where her father stood talking with his partner Don, and Alex, the comptroller.
“Phone call, Dad.”
“Who is it?”
Alice shrugged. “He didn’t say.”
“Go ask who it is.” Her father turned back to Don.
Alice returned, passing by Tom and Chuck and Joan, smiling aimlessly, unsure of the pertinent office etiquette. She sat and picked up the phone.
“May I ask who’s calling?” She remembered the line from some TV show.
“Ed Duncan, just a moment.”
Alice got up from her desk and walked past Joan, who smiled, and Chuck and Tom. She tapped at the doorframe of her father’s office.
“Dad? It’s Ed Duncan.”
“What company?” he asked, without looking up from a flowchart.
Alice looked at him for a beat or two. Seriously? she thought. She turned away and walked past Tom and Chuck and Joan.
‘I’m learning the business,’ she mouthed to Joan who was typing furiously. Even in her head she could hear how weak it sounded. She still wasn’t even sure exactly what the business was.
She picked up the phone.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Dunlop. What company are you calling from?”
“Mr. Duncan, I’m sorry.”
“Com Lighting, thank you.”
Alice counted her footsteps as she walked past Joan, who stopped typing to gaze at her, past Chuck, who had yet to look up from the phone, and past Tom. She stood in the doorway as Don but not her father looked up.
“Ed Dunlop from Com Lighting.”
Her father turned, the phone to his ear.
“Ed Duncan,” he said. “Take a message, I’m on another call.”
Alice turned and walked past Tom, Chuck, Joan, her face burning a bright pink.
By the end of the summer, Alice had learned how to be a secretary.
33 words for , including WEAK (adjective) 3: not factually grounded or logically presented: weakargument>