Eine böse Überraschung

Erinnern Sie sich an die Episode „Ein überraschender Gast“ aus der Septemberausgabe Ihrer English@work? Thilo Carstensen schickt Dedda Ritter zum Flughafen, um Dr. Perry vom Mutterunternehmen in Boston abzuholen. Beim Anblick seiner Assistentin schnappt Dedda nach Luft.

It was not Dr Perry who made Dedda gasp, she had met him before. It was his PA. Dedda rubbed her eyes, but when she looked again it was still the same heart-shaped face and the prominent chin she had seen before on Grace Fairchild, at Durango, the woman who had tried to blame Dedda for lost documents in order to get her job.

Dedda swallowed and admonished herself for allowing her thoughts to veer from her usual professional behaviour (BE)/behavior (AE). Dr Perry didn’t have to know about Durango. Dedda and Carstensen would get into trouble if Perry found out that they hadn’t been to Italy on a company trip as they had said, but had been to Durango for Carstensen’s private reasons.

After greeting Dr Perry, Dedda stretched out her hand towards Grace Fairchild. “Nice to meet you. My name is Dedda Ritter.”

“Nice to meet you, Dedda. I’m Grace Fairchild. Call me Grace, please.”

On their way to the company they talked about the flight and the hotel, small talk as usual, which gave Dedda time to think about Grace’s motives. Dedda was relieved that Grace hadn’t mentioned they had met before. Perhaps Grace was trying to cover the embarrassing situation in Durango. Which was understandable. But why was she here now? Dedda couldn’t imagine it was a coincidence that Grace had turned up now. There had to be a reason.

Dedda parked the car in front of the company building and led both visitors to the reception area. She called Carstensen, who immediately appeared from his office. Dedda watched him hesitate as he greeted Grace, but he, too, didn’t mention they had met before. Had Grace’s husband moved to Germany and she needed a job to follow him? Was Grace still after Dedda’s job? Dedda thought it would be just too far-fetched to change jobs in order to move to Germany. There should be easier ways …

Vocabulary Box

accomplishment – Ausführung
admonish – ermahnen
cover – verdecken
draw up – entwerfen, zusammenstellen
far-fetched – weit hergeholt
keep at hand – bereithalten
lead up – Einleitung
prominent – vorstehend
veer – abweichen 

Dr Perry didn’t realise (BE)/realize (AE) that there was a connection between the three of them, a negative one. And as Dedda nodded when Carstensen asked her to show Grace around the company she thought her boss had forgiven her American colleague. But on second thoughts he was simply being professional to prevent Dr Perry from getting suspicious.

Dedda decided to do the same. She led Grace out of the reception area and started her guided tour with the words: “Now let me show you our premises.”

Exercise: Fill in the Correct Word

1. This is our ::::_ (Buchhaltung).
2. Let me introduce Ms Falter to you. She is our ::::_ (Bürovorsteherin).
3. In that room we keep our office supplies and our :::____ ::___ and ::__ (Beamer, Folien und Schredder).
4. Please follow me to our ::_ :: (Personalabteilung).
5. Over there is our :::_ ::___ (Produktionsstätte).
6. Our meeting room is on the :___ :_ (AE)/::____ (BE) (erster Stock).

While they walked side by side Grace nodded and asked neutral questions about the company. Dedda relaxed a bit. Maybe it was indeed just a coincidence that Grace had come to their company? Maybe she had changed after the experience of getting sacked following her betrayal in Durango?

“May I ask you one question?” Grace interrupted Dedda’s explanation of the central production line. Dedda had no time to say no. Grace instantly went on: “Has the seeing aid worked? And why was it so important for Thilo?”

There we are, Dedda thought. She has a reason for being here. It has got to do with Thilo. “Why don’t you ask him?”

An hour later Dedda was sitting at her desk leaning towards the intercom. Dr. Perry was in a meeting with the Head of the Development Department. And Grace, “Amazing Grace”, was in Thilo’s office. He had instantly agreed to grant Grace some time but had signalled to Dedda to listen into their conversation. Dedda had understood at once. Her boss wanted her as a witness.

Dedda heard Thilo open the conversation with the question to Grace as to why she had moved from Durango to the Boston company. “Did you follow your husband? I thought he wanted to go to Germany.”

“No,” Dedda heard Grace’s reply, “My husband left me five month ago. He took our daughter with him and told her lies about me. Really bad lies. He has alienated her from me. Have you got any idea how it feels to lose your own kid? How badly it hurts?”

“No, I’m sorry. I don’t have kids,” Carstensen replied.

A short pause followed and Dedda heard feet shuffling around.

Then – much closer to the intercom than before – she heard Grace say in a very slow and deep voice: “Of course you have. You have a son, didn’t you know?”

to be continued

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