Updated: Jan 13, 2021
I wasn't excited to be told today was my designated day to run the HR department, but did it even though, as the company's CEO, I could have easily told them I was too busy.
I was sitting at a common table with other HR team members and Natalie, my assistant, who told me a new girl would be coming in momentarily and that I should remember to "be nice" to her.
The woman arrived and sat opposite Natalie and I.
I was taken aback as the woman simply sat down without introducing herself or making eye contact with Natalie or myself, so I made the first move and reached my hand across the table to welcome the woman.
She reluctantly took my hand and glanced up at me momentarily giving me a first look at her.
She was an attractive Asian woman, smartly dressed, though I was a bit put off by the fact she seemed to be wearing some sort of hat, so I turned to Natalie and asked her in a soft voice what the woman was wearing.
"It's a beret," Natalie whispered back.
I introduced myself to the woman and she responded in Dutch which, not only surprised me but made me a bit unnerved.
I asked her if she spoke English to which the woman replied in the affirmative by nodding her head.
I again turned to Natalie who suggested the woman may have been shy, seeing it was, after all, her first day at work and she seemed somewhat intimidated having the first person she meets on day one turning out to be the CEO.
I was confused by this as I was working in the HR department just like any other HR representative and couldn't understand why the woman would feel intimidated.
Just then, Natalie reached into her oversized bag and pulled out a magazine with my photo on the cover, explaining how the woman knew who I was, thus making it clear why she must have been intimidated.
I leaned over once again to whisper into Natalie's ear and asked her to remind me what she called the hat the woman was wearing.
"It's called a beret," replied Natalie.
Then I woke up.