Hyacinth steps off the elevator at the appropriate floor. The deep wood paneled, leather seated corporate headquarters looking every inch the ancient ivory tower of old school money she knew it would be. The receptionist was expecting her and escorted her to the boardroom where the meeting was well in progress.
Nearly twenty suited faces turn from the projection screen as she enters the room. No words exchange as Kendrick, the CEO and person who invited her to the meeting, simply nods toward the empty seat across from him at the front of the massive conference table. She nods in return, takes a seat and signals to the moderator to continue speaking. All heads turn to face the screen again, but she knows there are many surreptitious looks in her direction as well. No one knows who she is or why she is at this meeting.
That was the way she and Kendrick wanted it.
The meeting is still in progress when a serving cart arrives with a complete tea service. Again, no speaks other than the moderator still going through the facts, figures, and data necessary for the meeting. She calmly makes a cup of tea, her eyes only on the projection when not on the details of making the tea. As the Kendrick has not acknowledged her presence other than to indicate where to sit, no one else has said anything.
There is a tangible notice of tension rising as the meeting continues.
Greg, the company’s junior CIO finally stops the meeting demanding to know her identity and her purpose here. Hyacinth’s expression is the face of cool composure, while Kendrick’s face twists as he mentally curses at the loss $500. Kendrick just knew the senior CIO Frances would crack first. Hyacinth had bet that it would be Greg. Still, it had taken him almost an hour to do so and that was not good. Kendrick nods at her to begin. Hyacinth calmly sips the remainder of her tea and turns the empty cup over on its saucer.
She makes a small show of displaying the empty tea canister and empty teapot before she stands and faces the group.
“Ladies and gentlemen, your company is in trouble. I’m here to kick ass and drink tea. And I’m all out of tea.”