Once upon a time in a busy busy city in a high high building there was a young woman who worked in the secretarial pool of an important—or so they considered themselves—corporation. Candidates were fished from this pool, when a position opened for executive secretary, administrative assistant or even some management positions.
You’ve have heard the phrase—small pond filled with big fish. Not only were some of the fish Jonah size, but they snapped with ambitious hunger to swim in the corporate ocean.
In comparison to most Noelle was an Olympic swimmer, but she didn’t bare her teeth, thrash in the water whipping her tail or lurk in the muck of the mud bottom. With quiet, efficient grace she glided through the water often unnoticed by the others. For Noelle peace out weighed the loneliness.
This particular Christmas season the pool was churning and foaming. A corporate wunderkind was coming from the European branch. He was young, handsome and had launched a new product line, which had the stock market pundits buzzing. Shortly he would be reading resumes and putting together his staff.
It was also time for the annual Christmas party. Unlike the grandly decorated parties of upper management with tables laden with gourmet delectables and champagne flutes in everyone’s hands, the lower management parties were stocked with cheap wine in plastic cups and Costco veggie platters complete with ranch dip.
Unfortunately the Christmas party was mandatory and everyone was encouraged to bring a contribution for the snack table. A few staff members would begrudgingly pick up a cheese ball and crackers from the local grocery store or Christmas cookies so laced with preservatives, they could be used as life boat rations.
Unknown to most Noelle was a joyful baker. Putting on her apron and turning on the oven Noelle thought if she had to go this annual boring party with the dismal food, she might as well take something she liked to eat. Out came the butter and flour as Noelle set about the task to recreate the German/Austrian cookie, Vanillekipferl her Grandma used to bake.
Dressed in a simple red skirt and a white top, Noelle slipped in rather late and put her cookies on the table. Men with loosen ties and women in lame and sequins were undulating to music provided by a disc jockey. The music was loud and the tree was bedraggled despite the festive lights. Noelle grabbed a couple cookies and a plastic cup of wine for show and headed for a leatherette bench situated out of the way down a hall. Her plan was to sit there for an hour and then escape. Her obligation to attend would be met.
Forty-five minutes later a young man she didn’t recognize came down the hall. He sat down beside her and said, ” I see you made an escape too. May I join you?”
Noelle patted the bench, ” Here I offer you refuge on my island.”
He laughed and said, ” I brought sustenance.” He unfolded a napkin and nestled inside were six of her cookies.
He bit into one and sighed. ” Oh my! Oh my! I can’t believe it. These taste just like my Grandmother’s cookies we had every year. I have to be polite and offer you one, but just one. I can’t bear to share. I know that sounds awful.”
And this was how Noelle met the European wunderkind, Klaus, who had come to the party to meet staff casually. She become his executive administrative assistant. and much much more.
Since this is a fairy tale, it is suffice to say—–They lived happily ever after.
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. ground almonds