-You Are My Favorite Distraction-
It wasn't that Harry didn't love his job. He did and he loved the company, but the building was understaffed, and Harry was doing five different jobs at once. His official title was Chief Media Officer, however at the moment he also filled in the roles of Chief Communications Officer, Chief Costumer Officer, Chief Listening Officer, and Chief Brand Officer. Granted most of those jobs could he pushed into three separate ones however the Manchester Branch wasn't exactly paying much attention. To say he and other Chief Officers were overworked and underpaid for all the work they did was an understatement. It came as no surprise when Janitors started getting fired then lower employees and then finally the first top level employee was let go. Despite Liam, Chief Networking Officer along with Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Human Resources Officer, in constant communications with the other Chief Networking Officer at the Main Branch located in London, nothing was ever done about it.
"Hey Haz, what do you think is going to happen?" Liam asked entering his office with his laptop and a few files.
"I think we should probably pack up our desks and find new jobs." Harry said as he continued to type out an email to one of their Manchester customers.
"But which position do we apply for?" Liam questioned.
"Your favorite." Harry guessed with a shrug, "can I help you with something Liam?" Harry asked looking over at his best friend since childhood.
"Yes, actually you can help me decide on what to do if- no when we get shut down." Harry sighed as he saved his work then stood up and rounded his desk, "I like working here...well not here but here."
"Yeah, so do I and I know it sucks because you done everything you could, we all did, but it's not our fault." Harry told him.
"I know that. I just-" They were interrupted by Liam's phone ringing inside his office across from Harry's, "We'll talk later."
Harry has worked for Preserve Earth ever since he was eighteen working in the warehouse having to wear tacky white polo shirts. Back then Preserve Earth was still new and was barely considered more than a small business. They only had biodegradable dinnerware like cups, silverware, plates, and bowls. Standard things. They had just started biodegradable bags of various types when Harry had applied for an office position in London. He had worked in customer service on the second floor for two years. Then the accident happened, and Harry hadn't been able to stay in London after that and had applied for a transfer to the, at the time, new Manchester location. He had started interning with the Chief Media Officer and then had gotten a position as his assistant. Fourteen months after that he had left to train new employees at Liverpool and Harry had been given the job six months later when he decided to stay in Liverpool.
He had been the youngest Chief Officer of the entire company which had gotten a lot of attention from everyone. Everyone had told them it was a bad idea having someone in their early twenties be the front man for the media. The President of the Manchester Branch had stood by his decision and by Harry and Harry had made sure to do his absolute best in his work and it showed by twenty-five, two years after being put in his position Harry had been wanted as the Chief Media Office by large corporate organizations all over the UK and even some from America. The Manchester branch revenue grew in twenty-eight months more than it had grown in the past four years it had been opened. The President had retired soon after and a new president came, and Harry had tentatively brought up social media and how it could grow the business and connect to the customers better and the new CEO had agreed to a trial run of six months. Harry watched a few training videos online and then started ''Preserve Earth Manchester'' social media profiles on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The first two months only showed minimal growth as Harry grew the platforms, but then he wore a pink suit and apparently it was very controversial, and his picture traveled everywhere and then they found his personal Instagram account which promoted his work because he did love the company and he really did love the products. Then the company had to start limiting sales of the products they sold to regular people like backpacks and water bottles and even ecofriendly biodegradable phones cases. Even then it was in high demand and had shipping wait times.
Harry had been called into the President's office while he had been on the phone with the Owner of the company. He had apologized as soon as he entered the room then had sat there quietly for two hours not able to listen to anything they said. When he had ended the call, Harry had wasted in silence for five anxious minutes before he had grinned and told Harry that he was welcome to keep the social medias and that he needed everything Harry had done and read by tomorrow so he could send it off to the other branches. However, they had been a few companies that had left the company as they didn't think a man in a pink suit was a good representation of the company. Or whatever the bullshit excuse was. Every President and the Owner had done a press release stating,
"Preserve Earth is an ecofriendly, biodegradable, and compostable company that is LGBT plus friendly. Our employees are encouraged to wear whatever they feel comfortable in as long as it is appropriate for their position. We encourage all of our employees to be their authentic selves and to be whoever they want to be and to wear whatever they wish to wear. The Chief Media Officer dress policy states and I quote, "The Chief Media Officer must wear business formal attire during press releases that will be aired on television. They are not required, but are encouraged to have their skirts, if they so choose to wear them, at their knee. However, they are allowed to wear them to their thighs, miniskirts are not allowed it must be two to three inches below the bottom. This is to prevent cameras from getting inappropriate shots of a person as they bend, squat, walk up or down stairs, or sit down this is not an act to prevent 'distractions' in the workplace. The Chief Media Officer is required to wear business casual attire to work unless told otherwise." With that said Mr. Styles did not break dress code policy and therefore will not be 'held responsible'. That is all thank you."
Harry had been very embarrassed and had apologized multiple times to his boss, but he had laughed and waved it off.
"Harry I'm forty-three years old and even I know that the world is changing for the better. You can wear whatever you want as long as I do see Harry junior or his two buddies down there. Got that?"
"Good. Get back to work kid."
Harry had loved his boss and had been saddened when he announced his retirement only three years ago. Mr. Fritz wasn't a terrible boss right away, but after eighteen months Harry and everyone else got a pay cut. Which...okay it was reasonable since they wanted to divert some of the money towards opening another branch and Harry was paid a lot. Then six months later and there was another pay cut. Then employees started getting fired and well...here they were. Three years with a new boss and completely overworked and fearing they were next on the firing list.
"Excuse me." Harry looked up from his computer to see a woman dressed in a black blazer and skirt combo.
"I need to speak to Mister Payne where is he office?"
"Directly across the hall he's on the phone at the moment."
"Thank you." Harry didn't bother reminding her he was on the phone and went back to typing when he heard another male's voice coming from Liam's office. Harry paused furrowing his brow as he listened to the conversation.
"Sir-" that was Liam, Harry knew that for sure.
"Your job was to contact my networking officers. Miss Caldor is head of Networking at the London branch. I had to find out this branch was broke was through my financial officers. I understand everyone here is overworked and I apologize for that however you did not do your job-" Harry stood up and stormed across the hall entering the office.
"Who the hell are you talking to like that?" Harry asked only faltering slightly when he noticed the large group of people in Liam's office one of them being the CEO/Owner of the entire company.
"Excuse me." Louis said raising a brow.
"Liam has been in constant communication with Eleanor since he started working here five years ago. They exchange weekly emails he told her when we got the first pay cut then the second then the firings. I've been in constant communications with her for over a year. So don't you dare come into his office yelling at him as if he's on the wrong when it was your side who didn't do their job. We barely have enough time to pee during the day let alone write twenty-five emails to your employee to make sure she takes us seriously. I don't give a damn who you are I will not allow anyone who has stuck out this long with this treatment to be blamed while your bullshit Networking officers spent three weeks in the Bahamas two months ago for doing excellent work while this man has put in one hundred hours a fucking week with three pay cuts in less than two years. Also let's not forget that when you first opened your second branch you promised one to two annual visits only for you not to show up for the past six years. So how about you talk to your officers before you come over here and start pointing fingers at people who barley sleep five hours a night for your company. If you would have let Liam speak before jumping down on him, I'm sure he would have been more than happy to show you the email your officer sent us telling us we are being overly dramatic, and no one can possibly work roughly fourteen hours a day. Which we don't we clock out after ten and work the rest of the six off the clock for free. You're welcome for that by the way. Also-"
"Harry." Liam hissed.
"What? No fuck this guy I have a whole lot more to say to this fuck head who thinks he can just waltz right in here and-" Liam covered his mouth and quickly shoved him out of his office locking the door once Harry was out, "Pansy!" Harry shouted before he closed and locked his office door around his office to stare at the document upfront of him. Harry slowly calmed down and continued working until he was interrupted yet again, but this time by three sharp knocks at his door.
"Go away." Harry said.
"Can I at least apologize?"
"There you just did now go away." Harry groaned when he heard his lock turn and he glared at Liam who held up the spare key Harry gave him out of trust, "you're a traitor."
"Sue me." Liam said pocketing the key as Louis Tomlinson walked into his office.
"May I explain myself?" Louis asked.
"That depends is this going to be where you make up an excuse of stress then I, for whatever reason, forgives you despite you not learning from it and doing it again later on? Because if so, then no you may not." Harry spoke as he continued to type too focused on getting this document finished before his train of thought left him.
"He watches too many Hallmark movies around the holidays, and I sort of messed up his tea this morning. He's pissy."
"And not sorry by the way so if you're expecting me to apologize after you I won't. I shouldn't have snapped nor cursed at you, but I don't regret it. Oh, and this isn't me trying to be rude this is me trying to get these words on screen before my train of thought leaves me for a different task." Harry explained.
"Good luck." Liam said before he was hurrying out of his office.
"What is it that you want then?" Harry asked.
"I apologize I didn't realize my Networking Officer wasn't completely honest with me when she told me of the only email she had received which was yesterday morning."
"Yeah, we're fine."
"It doesn't feel like we're fine." Harry looked away from his screen towards Louis who admittedly not two hours ago he thought was extremely hot.
"I do not apologize for what I said however I do apologize for the way it came out. I should have spoken to you more calmly and more rationally. We're fine now I do have to finish this template before we all meet up together and discuss what's going to happen next. So, give me like...thirty minutes?"
"Thank you, but you didn't need to do that."
"I'm a grown mature man I know when I'm wrong- well in this case half wrong."
"We'll have a meeting in an hour." Harry nodded in acknowledgement then looked at him when he didn't leave right away.
"Nothing just... Why haven't we met before?"
"Because I live in Manchester, and you live in London?"
"Yes, but I have visited this office quite a few times."
"I lock my office door or I'm busy on the phone. Besides during the annual gala, we all sort of stick to our own coworkers and don't mingle. I especially tend to stick with Liam and Niall who stick close to the back, so we're not spotted sneaking sips of a flask."
"Right. Well, it was nice to meet you, Harry." Louis said giving him an appreciative once over that, unfortunately, made heat rise in his cheeks as Harry focused on the screen upfront of him.
"Yeah...you too." Louis smiled at him before he turned and walked out of the office, Harry quickly stood up and locked his office door again shaking his head. Absolutely fucking not.
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