Paris to Amsterdam

by Colette Martin

It was just the two of us and a bottle of red wine in a first class cabin on a train from Paris to Amsterdam. The wine was Charlotte’s idea after standing in six queues to correct her ticket to Amsterdam. Settling into the cabin with our feet on opposing benches, no one dared to join us as Charlotte poured the wine into the plastic cups she had secured from the porter. She made sure the cups stayed full as she talked about the men she dated, and complained about virtually everyone we had worked with that day. But mostly she talked about herself – how she was treated badly by her manager, how she had almost been fired but given a second chance, how hard it is to be her, how all of her male peers felt threatened by her because she was smarter than them (smarter than most people really) – and as the train was pulling into the station she declared, “In my next life I really want to be less... complicated.” The confessions wouldn’t have been so odd if it weren’t that Charlotte was my boss.


Colette Martin is a "marketing executive turned writer" who blogs about life in Corporate America here.