21The New Boss

EIGHTEEN MONTHS AFTER ARRIVING AT the Dallas office, Vicky tapped lightly on the frame of the open office door. “Got a minute?”

Michael looked up. “Not really.” He turned back to the files on his desk as Vicky entered the office and took a seat. She waited for him to look up.

“What's your problem now?” Michael said before looking down again at his work.

“Michael, I've been offered another job and I'm going to take it.”

He looked up. “Not too surprised. I toughen you up and someone else benefits. Sorry I'll miss your farewell party.”

“I've learned a lot in Dallas, and I feel good about what we've been able to do.”

“So who's the lucky suitor?” Michael said as he again looked down at the work in front of him.

“I'm going to Corporate, Michael. Head of North American operations. There'll be a formal announcement next Monday. I want to tell the team beforehand.”

Michael looked up. Vicky had never seen him so completely stunned. His cheeks grew red as her words sunk in. When he spoke, his anger was barely controlled. “I've been working my butt off here for eight years. Six operations. Fighting fire after fire. You come in and jump over me, and get the job I want. How the hell did you do that, sister?”

“That's a good question. A short answer is that it was part of a plan that I didn't know about. They figured if I could make a go of this job, I'd be ready for something bigger. I want to talk about that. We also need to talk about transition.”

“Oh, yeah. Or should I say, ...

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