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Note: A few weeks back someone on one of the cyberboards requested more stories involving secretaries feminizing their bosses. This is my response to that request. This is a work of fiction. All the characters in this story are fictional. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead is accidental. This story also deals with mature themes.
Just a Temporary Flaw by: MartiB
Martin wasnt a bad boss. In fact, as far as bosses went he ranked up at the top. He was considerate and compassionate. He got the job done but he also took time to consider those who worked for him. He only had one flaw. He was male. Well, that wouldnt be a problem much longer, thought Julie as she fixed Martins coffee. After three months of the special hormone mix that Julie added to his coffee the effects were becoming very obvious. Julie smiled as she added the prescribed dosage and stirred Martins coffee. The dosage wasnt exactly prescribed since Julie usually just added a dollup from the medicine bottle to each cup she prepared. That meant that there were days that Martin received just a light dose and other days when the dosage was really massive. At first Julie worried. Especially that Tuesday evening when they were getting the quarterly figures out to the financial backers. It was just a little past eight and they were about to go into production. Martin swallowed the last cold puddle of coffee in the bottom of his cup and asked for another. Julie was halfway out the door when he changed his mind saying that he really should limit himself to no more than twenty cups a day.
Twenty cups! Julie had estimated that Martin received the recommended daily dosage for transition with three to four cups per day. He averaged five or six on most days so, in effect, he was on double dosage. Seven times the normal dosage? Julie made a mental note to keep a better count in the future. She watched carefully over the next few days only relaxing when Martin made it through the next week without any obvious problems.
Now, after three and a half months of hormone therapy the results were becoming too obvious to hide. What was Martin thinking? Did he suspect? Obviously not since he hadnt said a word. He had bought some new suits over the last few weeks. However, like the one he was wearing today, the fit just wasnt right. Well, time to move to phase two of the plan.
"New suit?" Julie asked. "I love the color and the subtle pattern but the fit just isnt up to your normal standards. Maybe you should find another tailor."
"I didnt go to my tailor." Said Martin sheepishly. "I dont understand whats happening. I havent changed my routine. I still watch what I eat and get plenty of exercise but Im gaining weight in the weirdest places. My old suits dont fit here (indicating his developing breasts) and here (pointing at his hips). I tried to find a size that fits but nothing seems to work. If I get them to fit across my chest and hips, theyre too big around my waist. I probably should go see Charlie but, right now I really dont want anyone taking my measurements."
"I dont know how to put this, but isnt gaining weight and a gradual redistribution part of the normal aging process?" Asked Julie.
"First of all, Im only thirty-one." Replied Martin in a bit of a huff. "And theres nothing normal about this shift. I seem to be losing muscle mass in my arms and adding a layer of padding to my hips and butt."
"Are those the only changes?" Asked Julie with a smirk.
"Ah, no. I wish they were. I think I could deal with that but " Martin paused as if he was trying to gather his courage. "I seem to be developing breasts. They started a lot smaller but seem to be growing each day. Its gotten to the point where theres a lot of discomfort in my chest area unless I cross my arms here and hold them up." Said Martin demonstrating.
"Theres also the moodiness. I used to be in total control. Now, the slightest things can set me off. I cried watching "ER" last night."
There, it was out in the open. Phase two of her plan had officially started.
"What did Doctor Webster say?" Asked Julie.
"I havent asked him. I was hoping the problem would go away. Do you realize how embarrassing it is for a guy to go in for a breast exam?"
"Look Martin. It may be embarrassing to be seen but it will be a lot more embarrassing if you could be cured and delayed because of your pride. Ill call and get you an appointment today."
As Julie left to call the doctor Martin thought that he was the luckiest man alive to have suck a loyal friend and worker. Julie had only been with the company for six months but she was his closest confidant. She knew the business. There was no arguing with the facts. Sales had grown by leaps and bounds since he tried her idea. Julie was more than a secretary and executive assistant though. Martin considered her a true friend. She cared about him. Thats why he was able to tell her about the physical changes he was undergoing. He was scared! He knew that his condition wasnt normal but, who can a guy talk to about these things. Call mom and dad? Sure, Dad, I seem to be developing a nice set of tits is a great ice breaker with the family.
Mom would be more understanding but there was the issue of his crossdressing activities in junior high. It really wasnt much. He tried on his moms panties several times. He even wore a pair to school one day forgetting that it was gym day. In a panic he faked a severe headache. Mom came to school to take him home. He thought he was home free until she insisted on helping him get ready for bed. He convinced her that he needed a little privacy to change into his pajamas but she was waiting at the door and scooped up his clothes for the hamper. Nothing was ever said but, mom always seemed to have a weve got a secret smile.
No, Julie would help him get through this personal crisis.
Julie returned telling him that she had good and bad news. The bad news was that Dr. Cranston couldnt see Martin for another two weeks. His nurse had insisted that, without a detailed description of the ailment and determination of the emergency nature of the illness, she absolutely could not find an opening. Julie told Martin that, while she thought his condition needed immediate medical attention, she was reluctant to confide in an office nurse.
"Thanks Julie!" Said Martin. "I know Jenny. She be telling the whole world that they had a guy with breasts coming in. You said you had some good news?"
"Well, like I said, you need to see someone soon. I called my doctor and got you an appointment for three this afternoon. Dr. Massey is great and Ill go with you for moral support."
At two-forty five Martin and Julie entered Dr. Masseys well appointed waiting room. Martin went over to the window to check in. A cute brunette asked a few questions and handed Martin the patient information forms. Martin returned to his seat next to Julie and filled out the paperwork. He hesitated on the box asking him to describe any medical conditions or complaints.
"What do you think I should put here?"
"I dont know. Julie thought for just a few seconds. "Why dont you just put abnormal weight gain?"
Martin completed the form and turned it into the receptionist. At exactly three oclock the door opened and a beautiful blonde in a white lab coat called for Martin. Martin examined the beautiful creature as he moved across the room. She was about five-six with platinum blonde hair cut in a shoulder length pageboy style. Her eyes sparkled with the azure blue of the late fall sky. Her lips were perfectly shaped with a well defined bow. They were a bright red that matched her nails.
"Good afternoon Martin. Im Doctor Massey. Julie told me a little bit about your problem when she called but Id like to talk to you and get some additional information before we start some tests."
Martin responded without thinking. He quickly rose and crossed the room. As he started down the hall though several concerns burst upon his consciousness. First, Dr Massey was a woman! Julie never mentioned that her doctor was a woman. It did make some sense but, youd think shed mention an important fact like that. Martin didnt have anything against women doctors per say. It was bad enough having to tell a male doctor about the changes that were taking place but a woman.
All these thoughts were racing through Martins head when he realized that Dr. Massey had asked him a question and was waiting for an answer. Martin tried to replay the last few minutes of the conversation but drew a blank.
"Sorry Dr Massey, I must have been thinking about something else. Could you repeat that last question."
"What I asked Martin, was when did you begin to notice the symptoms?"
"About a month ago doctor. I was getting ready to go jogging and my favorite T-shirt didnt fit right. It was stretched tight across here." Martin said indicating his noticeably swelling bosom.
"I see. Well, here we are. Martin, Id like you to go into this examining room and put on the gown with the ties at the back. Im going to consult some of my medical journals and Ill be right back to start the exam. You can have a seat on the table."
Martin entered the examining room. The first thing he noticed was the pale pink gown folded neatly on the examining table. The second thing he noticed were the stirups mounted on the end of the table. Maybe he had come to the wrong place. Well, if a man begins to develop a womans breast then its probably best to be seen by a woman doctor. Martin got undressed quickly and hung his pants and shirt on the hanger behind the door. He put his arms in the sleeves of the gown and was fumbling with the tie at the back of the neck when the door opened and Dr Massey entered. A smile flashed across her face at the sight of this poor young man going through all these contortions just to tie a simple gown.
"I never was very good at this." Martin grinned sheepishly.
Dr. Massey laughed openly this time. "Thats alright Martin. Here, let me help"
With Dr. Masseys help, Martin was able to get properly situated in the gown. Dr. Massey (she told him to call her Elenore) had Martin sit on the side of the exam table. She said that she would ask several questions as her nurse Rose took some blood samples. Elenore asked several questions about Martins condition and degree of discomfort while Rose placed a tourniquet on his left arm. Martin watched with fascination until Rose began to prepare the needle. He looked away quickly, caught Dr. Massey looking at him and quietly explained, "I never liked needles."
Martin and the doctor continued to talk with martin purposefully not looking at the ministrations to his left arm. Rose finished getting the samples. As she removed the first needle from Martins vein she deftly injected a second needle containing a slightly cloudy liquid into his arm. Martin didnt seem to notice at all but Dr. Massey did. At first his speech was just slightly slurred. After a few minutes, Martin seemed to have increasing difficulty forming sentences in response to Dr. Masseys questions. As his head lolled to the side Dr. Massey suggested that Martin lie back on the examining table so he didnt fall off. Martin didnt even think twice when he was told to place his legs in the stirups. Once he was strapped in place Rose returned and placed a set of headphones over his ears. Although the rhythmic rise and fall of Martins chest made it appear that he was asleep, he was really in a drug induced trance. The headphones provided soothing music along with a set of powerful post-hypnotic commands.
Dr. Massey and a second nurse conducted a complete examination of Martin. They noted his breast size along with waist and hip measurements. She poked and prodded his penis and testicles. Dr. Massey commented that she really needed both before and after measurements to do an adequate assessment. Rose returned with the test results.
"Damn! Rose, go out to the waiting area and have Julie come back here. Im sure shed like to get a closer look at her creation and I have a few questions for her as well."
A couple of minutes later Julie moved behind the doctor. Peering over Elenores shoulder she saw Martins breasts for the first time.
"Gosh, those are real beauties!" She exclaimed.
"They may be beauties, but they shouldnt be this developed at this point in time. Just how much of the hormone mixture are you giving this poor fellow each day?"
"I started mixing it with his coffee and I figured that he would get the prescribed dose with three cups. That was his normal intake at first. But he seems to drink a lot more coffee when he' under stress and theres been a lot of stress lately with the new product rollout. All in all, Id say he gets two to three times the daily dose."
"Two to three times! Do you know what could have happened? We agreed on a very specific timetable for the transition! Now youve gone and screwed it up. Well, I think we can move into a combined phases two and three. This makes the rest of the process much more difficult. I hope youre happy!"
Dr. Massey told Rose to prep the patient while she got the consent form signed. The doctor moved around the table and removed Martins headset. She moved close to his ear and whispered, "Martin, can you hear me?"
Martin answered yes groggily.
"Good. Now we found out part of the cause of your problem and I can take care of that right now. All you have to do is sign this form."
Martin took the offered pen. He had to concentrate really hard to focus on the page and the line marked signature. As the pen moved across the page Martin was very proud of himself.
Dr. Massey thanked Martin for being such a good patient. She promised him that hed be a new person in just a couple of hours. The headphones were replaced and Martin quickly drifted off into his trance-like state while his brain was bombarded with messages and commands that would be unlocked with a few well chosen words.
Dr. Massey moved back around the table. She inspected the area between martins legs. Rose had done her usually excellent job. The area was shaved completely hairless. Dr. Massey noted with some amusement that Rose had even shaved the pubic hair above the penis. Well, Martin would wonder what happened when he saw the neat heart shaped patch of hair. She turned back to the task at hand. She made several injections in the area. She picked up the scalpel and, with one neat cut, Martin became a gelding. Dropping the testicles into the metal pan, Dr Massey turned her attention to the task of completely removing the scrotum. As she cut the now useless sack away she left just enough skin to provide a neat joint and a smooth area.
After stitching Martin up Dr Massey stepped back to look at her work. Perfect, as usual. The small stitches and neat skin joint would render this incision virtually invisible in about three months. She thought about starting the phase three suggestions to Martins programming but decided that the shock would be too great. Better to wait a couple of weeks and enhance the programming on a follow-up visit. After all, part of the programming made her Martins regular doctor.
Martin was allowed to relax on the table while the programming finished. The drugs would wear off in about two hours and hed start to come around. Elenore, Julie and Rose talked about the accelerated phase two plans. Julie was given her code word to initiate the programmed behavior. The girls were very happy. This could be the best one yet!
Martin awoke slowly. Someone was talking and whoever it was, was angry. He realized that it was Dr. Massey and she was saying something about legal forms. Martin tried very hard to focus on the doctor.
"My lawyer told me that you had to sign this form Martin. This protects me just in case you change your mind after the fact."
Martin read the form. It said something about him insisting that surgery be performed immediately. The form waived his rights to any subsequent legal action and reaffirmed his stated desire for immediate surgery without benefit of a second opinion. He signed the form just as hed been programmed to do. He could feel the dressing between his legs and was still a little sore. Rose explained how to care for the wound as Martin got dressed. Dr. Massey told Martin that, until she could work on a cure, he should wear a bra to help support is breasts. Julie volunteered to help Martin get properly fitted on the way home. They left in Martins car with Julie driving.
Martin was extremely confused. He kept asking Julie what happened? She told him that she had stayed in the waiting room the whole time. She got concerned when he was in the office for over an hour. Julie told him how the doctor came out and asked her to verify Martins signature on the surgery consent form. She told him how she refused to sign as a witness until she talked with him. She told Martin how she pleaded with him to wait and get a second opinion. She started crying as she related his angry outburst and the ugly names he had called her insisting that she witness the consent form.
Martin felt like the lowest scum on the face of the earth. How could he treat such a loyal employee and good friend that way? He made a promise to himself that somehow, someway, hed find a way to reward Julie for her loyalty.
Julie pulled into the parking lot at Southcrest Mall. She found a parking spot close to the entrance she needed and helped Martin get out of the car. They walked slowly into the mall and Julie guided him directly into Victorias Secret. As soon as they entered, a young sales girl asked if she could help. Without giving Martin time react Julie told everything. She explained how her poor boss had started growing breasts. She talked about doctor visits and treatments. She explained how they needed to find a few bras to help support Martins developing breasts. Martin wanted to crawl into some deep dark hole. The entire time Julie was talking he had the feeling that everyone was looking at him. The sales girls voice expressed concern for his condition but her eyes were laughing hysterically. Others in the store were drawn by Julies voice which seemed louder than necessary. It even seemed to raise in volume each time she said his breasts.
Soon there was a crowd around the two of them. Everyone said they wanted to help but most were just there to look and laugh.
Julie was in heaven. Martin was living through hell. Women and girls held out the most scandalous items for him to try on. A few more suggested that he buy matching outfits. The sales girl shouted over the noise trying to find out what size Martin was. In the commotion, Julie was shoved aside and separated from her boss. Every time they made eye contact she pretended to be trying to get to him but, every time he looked, she seemed to be further away. Martin was surrounded by women pushing and pulling at him. Someone suggested that he take his shirt and jacket off. After that, he didnt have a choice. Numerous hands grabbed at his jacket. He felt it slide down his arms. Hands reached out to touch and squeeze his breasts. His jacket had disappeared. He cried when he felt the first shirt button pop.
A collective Ah went up from the crowd of women as Martins breasts were exposed. The women pressed closer. Each seemed to have her own personal favorite bra for Martin to model. Suddenly the women moved back as a loud female voice restored order. A tall, gray haired woman stepped from the crowd and moved to Martins side. She ordered the ladies to calm down. Turning to Martin, she informed the poor breasted man that he would have to model the bras for the crowd. She explained that she was the manager and that she would donate the top ten bras to Martin based on the crowds vote.
Martin started looking around then headed toward the left side of the store. A powerful, feminine hand reached out and grabbed his arm.
"Just where do you think youre going?" She inquired.
Martin explained that he was going to the dressing room. She laughed and explained that Martin would try on bras in the center of the store so that everyone could see. He was pushed toward a raised platform in the center of the store. The manager and Martin stepped up on the platform. The manager selected the first bra for the show from a girl of about seventeen. It didnt come close to fitting. The manager took a measuring tape out and checked Martins dimensions. She announced to the crowd that He was a 36B. Women began to scurry around the store while others, a little better at choosing sizes held up their selections. The manager expertly guided the bra over his arms and ensured the straps were adjusted just right. She fastened the clasps in back as Martin gazed with horror at the assembling mob.
There were faces in every corner of the store. More were outside trying to peer in through the windows. Several sales girls were controlling the door, or trying to. A tear streaked down his cheek as he looked out at the sea of female faces laughing at him. He spotted Julie off to the right. She seemed to be frantically trying to get through the crowd but with little success. He coughed as someone sprayed him with Dream Angels Divine perfume.
Martins mind went numb from the shock. In the end, most of the women left. They lost interest as Martin mechanically went through the motions of putting bras on and taking them off. Julie finally reached Martin. She jumped up on the stage and wrapped him in a big hug. The manager looked at Martin for the first time since the beginning of the show an hour ago. She saw the tears streaming down his face. She saw the lifeless eyes. She quickly hustled the remaining women out of the area. She helped Julie get Martin down from the stage and escorted then to a quiet corner of the store. While Julie continued to comfort Martin the manager sent one of the girls out with special instructions.
Martin was wearing a Dream Angles bra in a soft pastel. It was one of the crowd favorites. His shirt and jacket had disappeared with the crowd. His pants were torn in several places. At least no one had gotten Martins wallet.
The sales girl returned with a bag from Express. Martin really didnt hear as the manager expressed her sorrow for his humiliation. He didnt respond as she presented him wit a replacement outfit. He understood something about a better fit as the soft smooth ivory blouse was pulled up his arms. He neither helped or prevented the hands that removed hi tattered pants. He did step out of his pants and raised each foot as instructed as his new garment was pulled up around his waist. He realized that he was wearing a skirt but, after everything else that happened that day, he really didnt care. The girls at Victorias Secret produced a stunning hat with a wide flowing brim. It matched the outfit perfectly. Accompanied by a pair of dark glasses and it was almost impossible to tell that Julie left the store with a man.
Julie had plans for that afternoon but, one look at her devastated boss and she knew that the next stop was home. Martin followed the doctors orders and recuperated at home for the next three days. Every day Julie arrived with both incoming and outgoing mail for his signature. She usually timed her arrival around lunch time and would bring a low cal lunch for Martin. After lunch theyd sit and talk for about an hour. After Julie left the first day Martin realized that they had engaged in girl talk but, he really did like the company. Julie stopped in on her way home each evening to fix some dinner and for more conversation.
Martin returned to work that Friday. On the way to work Julie mentioned that she had a nail appointment that afternoon. She showed her broken nail on the left index finger to Martin. She told him that she had decided to take the plunge and et a set of acrylics. "How do you think I would look in bright crimson nails?"
This was the code phrase that would unlock all the programming embedded in Martins mind. The change was neither dramatic nor immediate. Julie began to doubt the effect of the post hypnotic messages when se caught Martin looking at his nails. She casually suggested that Martin join her. At least for a manicure and maybe a pedicure. He reluctantly agreed but worried about just walking in. Julie told him that she would call as soon as the shop opened to see if there was an opening. What she didnt say was that Martin already was booked.
That afternoon they left at four for the quick trip to the nail salon. Martin was assailed by the hustle and bustle of the busy salon and by the strong smell of acetone. Martin and Julie were shown to adjacent stations. Lucy asked Martin if he wanted a plain manicure. Martin however was lost in thought staring at the picture advertising Radical Forever French nails. Lucy looked over her shoulder at the picture. She laughed as she turned around and asked Martin if he wanted nails like the picture. Martin could only nod. He sat almost in a trance as Lucy set to work. First she had Martin soak his fingers. Then she trimmed his cuticle the whole time telling him that he should take better care of his nails in the future. Next, Lucy selected several plastic tips in various sizes comparing each to Martins nails. She trimmed martins nails and began gluing the tips to the ends of the nails with superglue. Martin snapped out of his trance when Lucy asked him how long he wanted his nails. He started to indicate an extremely long length.
Julie leaned over and said, "Be careful boss. You dont want to go too long the first time. Maybe this would be a good length for the first time." She pointed at a length that extended about a quarter inch beyond the end of martins finger tips.
Lucy trimmed the tips to the indicated length. She turned on the mini sander and began to rough up the top of Martins nails as well as blending in the joint between the nail and the plastic tip. Martin watched in fascination as Lucy got out two small containers of powder and one of a clear liquid. She proceeded to dip her paint brush into the liquid then collect a small mound of powder on the tip of the wet brush. This thick paste was applied to each of martins finger nails. He marveled at the pure pink color of the paste. Lucy continued working. She topped each finger off with a bright white paste forming a perfect french tip.
The following Monday Julie arrived at precisely seven-thirty to pick her boss up for work. Martin had gone through his entire wardrobe that morning. Nothing seemed to fit except the suit he received at Victorias Secret. It was clearly a womans outfit but it fit so well. It looked classy on him so he wore it. Julie seemed surprised when she pulled up in front of Martins condo that morning. She thought to herself This is going to be easy! Martins hair was just long enough that it was tough to tell his sex for sure. As he slid into the right seat Julie noted that the legs were shaved. Yep, too easy!
The ride downtown was fun. Julie started the conversation by asking Whats up in an imitation of the TV commercial. Martin was clearly embarrassed at first but, when Julie didnt laugh, he told her about the frustration of not having a thing to wear.
"It was ok when these things hung down and I could get my shirt buttoned. Now with the bra, they stand at attention and none of my old stuff fits. Its almost as bad trying to get a pair of pants to fit over my hips. Do you think my butts too big?"
Julie almost rear-ended the car in front. Where did that last statement come from? When she stopped laughing, she looked over at Martin intent on answering his question. Instead, she burst out laughing again. He was pouting! Pouting!
"No honey, your butt looks just fine for a girl your age."
"Thats what I was afraid youd say."
They rode in silence for a couple of blocks.
"Julie, will you do me a big favor?"
"Sure, name it."
"Will you take some time this afternoon and help me pick out some new clothes."
"Oh Marti, Id love to. Will you please answer one question though? What are you going to do?"
"What do you mean?" Martin responded, knowing full well what Julie really wanted to know.
"Come on Marti! Dont play games with me. You know what Im asking." A tear ran down Julies cheek. "All of this has come so fast. First you start changing into a female at work, then you insist on having yourself castrated, now, I come to pick you up for work and youre dressed in womens clothes with some lame excuse about having nothing to wear. Do you really want to be a girl? Is that what this is all about? Why didnt you just say something before putting me through all of this misery!"
"Look Julie. I didnt plan any of this. Youve got to believe me because, right now, I need you more than Ive ever needed anyone in my life!" Martin continued. "That first night, when we came back from Dr Massseys, after you left me off at home. I was confused. I really didnt remember asking for any surgery, yet all of you were so consistent in your stories, I had to believe you. Anyway, after you left, I had to find out what happened. I reached down between my legs and was comforted when I could feel my manhood still there. I realized that the pain was coming from below my member and felt there. Im sure the neighbors heard me scream. I was afraid that the police would come and break down the door before I could answer. I wanted to call you. To talk to you. Instead, I lay there with my fears. That first night was horrible. I was no longer a man. I had the body of a woman and the sexual apparatus of neither. I was a freak!"
"I cried that night. I wanted to end it all but, deep down inside a tiny voice was telling me that I had a wonderful opportunity to start over. To reshape my life. I did some checking on the internet about transgenderism. I had never heard of it before. Do you know how long it takes to find something if you dont know what its called? Anyway, Ive been doing a lot of reading and I think Ive made a decision. For reasons unknown to me, the powers that be have decided to give me the outward appearance of a woman. I could fight it but what would I gain? So, instead, Im going to accept it as a challenge and embrace the change. With your help, I want to become the woman that fate has determined that I should be."
This time the tears that flowed down Julies cheek were genuine. "Oh Marti! Ill do anything you want. Youre more than a boss, youre a friend. The sexual innuendoes kept our friendship from fully developing but now, we can be the best of girl friends."
That afternoon they shut the office at two-thirty and headed for Southgate Mall. Julie parked near the entrance on the opposite end from Victorias Secret. They went into Macys. Martin headed for the womens section but Julie had other ideas. She guided him to the make-up counters. Despite his protests, Martin ended up sitting on one of those high stools with the sales man giving him a make over. Julie stood to the side offering suggestions concerning colors and effects. They left with two bags of products. Martin looked stunning if a little over done. Foundation had smoothed out is complexion. His eyebrows were a little on the heavy side but looked good in a sable brown. He had the most beautiful eyes. They were completely encircled with jet black eyeliner. The eyeliner was smudged into two smoky accents above Martis eyes. This was blended perfectly with the coppery tones the sales girl had brushed over Martis eyelids. A dramatic streak of rose blush highlighted Martis strong cheek bones. The lips though were the focal point of Martis face. Distinctly outlined in a dark red bordering on burgundy Martis lips glowed like a good glass of merlot in the afternoon sun. She was a heart stealer!
Julie and Marti went of a rampage through the clothing section. Work clothes, evening clothes, casual outfits. Sleepwear, play wear, all of them went on martins credit card which bent but did not break under the weight of all the charges. They got back to Martins condo and Julie insisted on clearing the closets and hanging all the new purchases. That night Martin thanked the heavens that he had a friend like Julie.
Over the next three months Julie took over the day to day operation of the company. Martin was busy with a series of counselors and coaches learning to be a good woman. Marti and Julie would meet for lunch three days a week to discuss things and Julie provided weekly reports for Martis review over the weekend.
Under Julies skilled management, business was good. It was more than good, it was great. Revenue and Sales were up thirty percent. Income was up a whopping thirty two percent. It wasnt, Marti noticed, that Julie made any major changes. It was a whole series of small changes that added up to a big impact. Products were shipping faster, shipping costs were down, and production was up. Marti decided that she had to do something for her friend and she knew what that something was.
After three months Marti returned to a company wide celebration. Marti stood up and spoke of the loyalty of his employees and the hard work that put them where they were. He had to pause briefly to compose herself before continuing.
"Theres one very special person here today that we all owe a great deal to. Shes the one with the vision and the skills that resulted in double digit growth. Over the past three months Ive thought about her and the work she was doing for all of us. I tried to come up with the appropriate reward. So today, in front of all these witnesses, Id like to introduce my new partner, Julie!"
Julie was truly moved by the applause as she stood. She moved to the mike and stood for about a minute waiting for the noise to subside.
"Marti, I dont know what to say. No, thats not true. I do know what I have to say. I have to say that Im sorry, but I have to turn down the partnership. You see, over the past months I have come to know and love Marti as a friend. I have a strict rule that one should never mix friends and business because one risks losing both. For that reason, Im turning in my resignation, effective today. I love all of you and I know youll continue to prosper. Ant to Marti, Ill always be your friend!"
Julie walked out of the office that afternoon and never returned. She accepted a position at Newman Pharmacuticals as Joseph Newmans executive assistant. She and Marti talked regularly but the frequency of their conversations became less and less as time marched on. It had been almost three weeks Marti reflected as he picked up the phone, since he had talked to Julie. He waited for the bright cheery "Good Morning, Mr Newmans office, Julie speaking!"
The voice that answered was not Julies. It was the message though that caused a knot to form in Martis stomach.
"Good Morning, Ms. Newmans office, Jennifer speaking."
Marti identified himself and asked to speak to Joe Newman. Jennifer replied that she would see if Jo Beth could take the call. As Marti waited on hold she thought about what she would say. She didnt know the details but she could probably provide the story line for Joes transition into Jo Beth. As she thought about how to start she looked at the financial charts on the wall. Sales were still climbing. An IPO was in the immediate future. Everyone connected with the company would be rich.
He put down the phone without talking. He remembered his first conversation with Julie following her departure. She had told him that she didnt want to work for a woman. Julie had said that there were special challenges when she worked for a man. It was these challenges that kept life interesting.
Marti stood and looked at herself in the mirror on the back of the door. Yes, his association with Julie had definitely changed his life. Probably for the better. He wondered how Jo Beth was feeling right now.
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