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Holly’s Inbox: Scandal in the City

  • For Holly Denham, life seems too good to be true. She loves her job as a receptionist at swanky investment bank D.K Huerst. And she’s going out with the man of her dreams. All she has to do is stay out of trouble But things are about to go disastrously wrong. There’s a scandal in the City and the gossip is all about Holly. And she discovers someone’s been keeping a very big secret from her…. Can she save her job and her relationship? For Holly, time is running out…

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    MONTH 1

    WEEK 1

    TUESDAY
    Subject: Something seriously wrong at this company
    From Holly
    To Jason

    No, it's definitely not right.

    Holly Denham, Receptionist, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London

    From Jason
    To Holly

    You're not lost again, are you?

    Jason Granger, Reception Manager, LHS Hotels, London, W1V 6TT

    From Holly
    To Jason

    No, although I'm not saying it won't happen again. I can't get used to this building - it's huge and 40 floors exactly the same is just silly.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    Has the office merger finished yet?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    No, we've still got more DK staff coming, grrrrr.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    Change is good, Holly, we accept change. Deep breaths, remember - mice and cheese.

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Stop saying mice and cheese, it's not helpful, got to go.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    Wait, tell me what's so suspicious???

    Subject: Meeting
    From Richard Mosley
    To Holly

    Dear Holly

    Thank you for attending today's meeting, we will keep you updated with any developments.

    Yours sincerely

    Richard Mosley

    Head of Facilities, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London

    Subject: Pssst
    From Holly
    To Jason

    They're keeping me updated with any developments.

    From Jason

    To Holly

    Who are?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Facilities.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    So what's so suspicious?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    They are, management, HR, the Head of Facilities, the whole lot.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    So it's a conspiracy?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Yes.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    Involving everyone in the bank?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Possibly.

    Subject: RECEPTION DESK ALLOCATION FOR COMING MONTH
    From Richard Mosley
    To Holly, Trisha & Claire

    The Bank's Front of House Services operate best with the team laid out as below.

    Holly and Trisha on the main hall ground floor desk, meeting all staff, clients and anyone entering the building, with the security staff obviously by the main door. Once you've checked any clients arriving at DK Huerst for meetings, keep them sitting in the waiting room area opposite you until Claire is ready to greet them upstairs. I don't want Claire's smaller reception area there becoming so full that clients aren't able to sit down.

    30th Floor Hospitality Suite: Claire

    Ground Floor Main Entrance: Trisha & Holly

    We will be employing another receptionist shortly to sit with Claire on the hospitality floor, and of course Marie Lopez will be coming over from the old DK building to merge with us in the coming weeks. She will operate as a lone switchboard operator in the basement.

    Subject: That last email
    From Trisha
    To Holly

    Wouldn't be in her shoes.

    Patricia Gillot, Senior Receptionist, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    Who's that?

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    Marie Lopez, sitting down there in the basement all on her tod, with no sunlight.

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    I think she's in the basement at the moment anyway.

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    She won't complain then. They should go in, smack her over the head, drag her out and wake her up downstairs pretending nothing's happened. Hey, why is that man staring at you?

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    Who?

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    That man in the corner. Keeps looking at you over his paper?

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    No idea. I don't like his eyes though.

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    Shifty.

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    Very shifty, and alarmingly bushy.

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    Would you go to bed with a man like that?

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    If he shaved them and didn't stare at me like that.

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    What about if he stared at you like this....

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    HOW DID YOU DO THAT?

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    Don't know, look I can make em disappear an all.

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    TRISHA, that's revolting.

    Subject: I'm still confused....
    From Jason
    To Holly

    It's a conspiracy because they gave you a verbal warning??

    From Holly
    To Jason

    No, it's a conspiracy because they didn't give me a verbal warning.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    It's a double bluff?? Is that what you think?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    I've just heard they've brought the CEO into it all now. Should be meeting him this week so I think this is just the calm before the storm, could be about to be sacked.

    There's definitely something fishy going on.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    A fishy storm you think!?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Are you taking the pee, Jason?

    From Jason
    To Holly

    No. What happened at your works do on Friday?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    I met the catering manager, the one Toby knows, the one I thought I'd hate.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    But you ended up liking her.

    From Holly
    To Jason

    You think you're so smart (but yes, she's nice).

    Subject: Last Friday night
    From Holly
    To Tanya Mason

    Dear Tanya

    Really enjoyed meeting you on Friday.

    Hope I didn't embarrass myself too much - I remember cornering you for quite some time and declaring my undying love for your apple strudels.

    Kindest regards.

    Holly

    Subject: Greetings from Spain
    From Mum
    To Holly

    Holly

    I've been going back through your old school books and remembered how good you always were at Art. They're running all kinds of exciting evening courses these days, some very near you in Maida Vale, what do you think?

    From Holly
    To Mum

    About what?

    From Mum
    To Holly

    These art courses. Your father is making some extra cash out here selling paintings to the locals. Every penny helps.

    From Holly
    To Mum

    I know it does, Mum, but Dad's very good.

    From Mum
    To Holly

    Well, you just need a bit of positive thinking.

    From Holly
    To Mum

    I don't want to paint, Mum

    From Mum
    To Holly

    What about if you become pregnant? What with your chap not doing so well these days with his credit house thing, you need to start saving.

    From Holly
    To Mum

    He's in banking, Mum just like James was.

    From Mum
    To Holly

    I know he is and we're told these bankers are so smart but they gave mortgages to people in caravans and these people had no jobs, no careers or any kind of way of paying the money back, then everyone's so surprised when it went wrong. I could have told them.

    From Holly
    To Mum

    Mum, I'm really busy here, can I go now?

    From Mum
    To Holly

    Of course, can I just ask one thing?

    From Holly
    To Mum

    Yes.

    From Mum
    To Holly

    Are you pregnant?

    From Holly
    To Mum

    No.

    From Mum
    To Holly

    Are you engaged yet?

    From Holly
    To Mum

    No.

    From Mum
    To Holly

    OK, well there's no pressure. You take your time, darling, I'll send Dad your love. And have a think about another career path. You can't be a receptionist all your life, can you?

    Subject: Problem with the scheduler
    From Richard Mosley
    To Holly

    Dear Holly

    We have discovered some discrepancies with the scheduler. Items like champagne and wine which were booked in by one of the reception team onto the system, weren't actually ordered by anyone. When you have a moment will you give me a call and let me know how you think this could have happened?

    Kind regards

    Richard

    Subject: Mystery solved
    From Holly
    To Jason

    They think I've been fiddling the company.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    Are you sure?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Think so, this will be interesting.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    By the way, I’m leaving Marco – well I’m not leaving him, I could never do that to him, but I’m going to get him to leave me! Problem solved!

    From Holly
    To Jason

    He never will, he’s in love with you. Sorry Jason, but you’ve just got to be strong and tell him honestly…

    From Jason
    To Holly

    Hmmm rubbish, I just need a plan -

    WEDNESDAY
    Subject: Boardroom Booking
    From William Duncan
    To Holly

    I need the boardroom. I emailed through to the Bookings email, but they said no. Can you sort this for me please? I'm meeting the Dutch Prime Minister this afternoon.

    Will

    William Duncan, VP Corporate Finance, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London

    From Holly
    To William Duncan

    Are you really?

    Holly

    From William Duncan
    To Holly

    No, not really, but I do want the boardroom.

    From Holly
    To William

    Sorry, Will, but that room is already taken for that slot. Would you like us to find you a similar-sized room?

    Regards.

    Holly

    Subject: Answers???
    From Holly
    To Jason

    Are you going to help me work out what's going on here or not?

    From Jason
    To Holly

    I will if you give me more information, I'm trying to read between the lines, but there aren't enough of them.

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Had another call from HR, they just kept asking me loads of strange questions.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    Maybe they're recruiting for MI5??

    Subject: From Mr Fraser your friendly upstairs neighbour (121 Springfield Ave, Maida Vale)
    From Frank Fraser
    To Holly

    Holly

    Found a mouse today.

    From Holly
    To Frank Fraser

    Did you, Frank? I'm sorry to hear that.

    From Frank Fraser
    To Holly

    He was sitting on top of my bin watching me so I hit him with a saucepan, flattened him.

    From Holly
    To Frank Fraser

    Thank you for letting me know, Frank.

    Subject: Important clients coming
    From Holly
    To Claire

    About to put the lot for the board room in the lift now.

    From Claire
    To Holly

    No, no, it's occupied. Hold on to them, Holly, while I find us another room.

    Receptionist, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London

    From Holly
    To Claire

    How is it occupied?

    From Claire
    To Holly

    I don't know, but it is and when I asked to speak to the host, someone came to the door and told me they were holding a séance for the late president George Washington.

    From Holly
    To Claire

    Did he now?

    From Claire
    To Holly

    He said if I had any respect for the dead at all to leave them in peace. I didn't even know he'd died.

    THURSDAY

    Subject: Your email
    From Tanya Mason
    To Holly

    Dear Holly

    Thank you for your kind email, you were very funny on Friday, very entertaining.

    Did you manage to get home alright?

    Tanya Mason

    Catering Manager, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London

    From Holly

    To Tanya Mason

    Yes thanks, Tanya, I did get home OK. Hope I didn't embarrass myself too much!

    Regards.

    Holly

    From Tanya Mason
    To Holly

    No you didn't at all, you were very complimentary on my cooking, although I did try and point out that I was the Catering Manager and not a Chef, but you weren't having it.

    But a good time had by all.

    Tanya

    From Holly
    To Tanya Mason

    Sorry about that.

    We should just make a drunken assault on the West End next time - let me know when you're free and I'll be there.

    Subject: More Attention Needed
    From Natasha Springer
    To Holly

    Dear Receptionist

    Regarding yesterday's total mess when I specifically booked the boardroom.

    Can you ensure you book the room I reserve; I thought that was what you did down there???????

    I want the correct room next time. I'm sure it's not difficult to follow simple instructions or have I missed something here??

    Regards

    Natasha

    Natasha Springer, Head of Commodities Trading, DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London

    From Holly
    To Natasha Springer

    Hi Natasha

    I did book the boardroom for you yesterday. However, another important meeting over-ran.

    I'm really sorry to have to put you in this situation, Natasha. I will ensure you never go through this again.

    Regards

    Holly

    Subject: Your boardroom séance
    From Holly
    To William Duncan

    You got me in trouble just now by using the wrong room when I told you it was booked. Please try and make our lives easier on reception by sticking to the rules.

    Holly

    From William Duncan
    To Holly

    Sorry about that – I’ll remember in future. Promise.

    So remind me again why you won't have dinner with me?

    From Holly
    To William Duncan

    You're an incredible womaniser and I am married.

    From William Duncan
    To Holly

    Neither statements are true. I am single, totally honest and completely in love with you, and you have a boyfriend, who's never around, always in France and one day will probably stay there.

    From Holly
    To William Duncan

    Do you know anything about women at all??

    From William Duncan
    To Holly

    No.

    Subject: Meeting Request
    From HR Administrator
    To Holly

    For attendance on Friday, 7th March at 11am, Meeting Room 23.

    Regards

    Human Resources

    DK Huerst, 50 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London

    Subject: Being called up again
    From Holly
    To Trisha

    This is beginning to be a nightmare, I've another meeting tomorrow? What's that about now????

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    Don't know, maybe this is when they sack you?

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    Thanks, Trish.

    FRIDAY
    Subject: Not so good
    From Holly
    To Jason; Aisha

    Anyone know what time we left the club?

    From Aisha
    To Holly; Jason

    Aisha was a good girl, she cares about her job at HLS. She went home before either of you and got here early this morning. Tell her, Jason, how early I was for work today.

    Receptionist, LHS Hotels, London W1V 6TT

    From Jason
    To Holly; Aisha

    Aisha, firstly you're working for LHS not HLS. Secondly, from you erratic behaviour, I think you probably have not been to bed yet.

    From Aisha
    To Holly; Jason

    Shame on you!

    Little me races to get here early, all spick and span, to have you pick on me. Well, I never!

    From Jason
    To Holly; Aisha

    See what I have to put with, Holly?

    Subject: Charlie's Newsletter
    From Charlie@SubmissionEnterprises
    To Holly; Mum; Alice

    Dear Family

    Having discovered that Dutch musical taste doesn't stretch to thrash-metal played by strippers on cellos, I have spent the remainder of our tour budget on plane tickets for Tatiana, Tina and Therese to bring Sextalica to the Norwegians. Also found a monkey who pretends to play bass. Adds to the spectacle.

    Let's hope the Scandis have more class.

    Charlie

    Subject: My Brother
    From Holly
    To Rubber Ron

    If you're going to write something from Charlie's email address, couldn't you write something a little less ridiculous?

    From Rubber Ron
    To Holly

    I'm just writing exactly what he wants me to write, I really am. I couldn't make this up.

    Sorry, Holly.

    Subject: Your mum called while you on a break
    From Trisha
    To Holly

    So I'll deal with this lot, you've got to call her back. It's about your granny and your mum didn't sound very happy, so good luck.

    Subject: Should have run away with Granny
    From Holly
    To Trisha

    Would have been fun. Better than going for this meeting with HR, I'm really nervous.

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    Stand your ground and if they start laying into you for anything just take notes or something.

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    Thanks, Trisha.

    I suppose if things go wrong I could always get a job somewhere where they actually let you talk to the person sitting next to you????

    Imagine that?

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    Not sure I'd want you with your bad breath in my earhole all day.

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    I do not have bad breath!!!

    Stop trying to make me feel more nervous. By the way, have you seen what our star guest has been up to now?

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    You mean grumpy jaws by the last couch?

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    She's moved every magazine and newspaper to another part of the reception in less than ten minutes.

    Right, I'm off.

    From Trisha
    To Holly

    Hold on, let me have a fag first. I'll straighten up them mags on the way back, and growl at her when I pass.

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    OK, but quick and it won't count unless she turns her head, then I better leave because I can't be late.

    Subject: Granny
    From Mum
    To Holly

    Dear Holly

    I'm sorry I got so angry with you. I understand you didn't realise, but I think sometimes you encourage her.

    Mum

    From Holly
    To Trisha

    That's unfair, you really can't blame me for this. Is she OK? Where is she?

    From Mum
    To Holly

    She's asleep upstairs.

    The home won't take her back as they say she's too difficult to manage, that’s the fourth time she’s run away so we've organised an ensuite room upstairs. It'll be like her own little flat.

    From Holly
    To Mum

    Good. She'll be much happier with you. I thought you'd put her address on a card in her pocket or something?

    From Mum
    To Holly

    I put addresses everywhere, on her walking stick, her sunglasses. She's taken them all off. I even stitched an address into your granny's handkerchief but she threw it away. She told me ‘I’m not Paddington Bear!’

    From Holly
    To Mum

    Where did they find her?

    From Mum
    To Holly

    Sitting in a bar, surrounded by men of course, smiling away.

    From Holly
    To Mum

    Will you give her a hug from me when she wakes?

    Xxx

    From Mum
    To Holly

    I’ve set her up with my old computer, she’ll be online soon, so expect some emails.

    Xxx

    Subject: URGENT
    From Holly
    To Jason

    Just had my meeting with all the bosses. Call me Jason. Quickly.

    Subject: Holly Holly Holly
    From Jason
    To Holly

    It’s Jason, Jason, Jason (I got your repeated bubbling message). Tell me then??

    From Holly
    To Jason

    I went to the HR meeting...

    From Jason
    To Holly

    And?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Guess....

    From Jason
    To Holly

    You were given a warning?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Guess again.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    Don't tell me you were sacked on the spot?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Keep guessing.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    You were dressed up like a French nun and made to parade around their office with a bucket on your head?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Really?

    From Jason
    To Holly

    While Richard played “Knees up Mother Brown”

    From Holly
    To Jason

    ??

    From Jason
    To Holly

    On a ukulele, dressed as Officer Dibble...

    From Holly
    To Jason

    ??

    From Jason
    To Holly

    From Top Cat?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    OK, you can stop guessing... They're discussing a supervisory position for me....

    From Jason
    To Holly

    NO? Doing what?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    As DK Huerst Front of House Manager of the whole bank....

    From Jason
    To Holly

    You have got to be joking! Why you?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Because they are looking for someone “organised, client focussed, professional and, above all, mature”. While they were telling me I was stifling a fit of giggles while trying not to pee myself.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    Always the lady. Do they really mean this?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Yes they do and you shouldn't be so surprised!

    (Having said that, imagine, me in charge of a team????)

    Also, they're employing another receptionist next week I think.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    So you would be in charge of Trisha?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Yes, and I know ; that's not so good.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    She's been there for twenty years, you've been there for just a year??

    From Holly
    To Jason

    I realise this, Jason.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    And she's your friend, you sit next to her every day. Poor Trisha

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Stop it, don't make me feel bad. It hasn't happened yet anyway.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    She will kill you.

    From Holly
    To Jason

    No, she won't

    From Jason
    To Holly

    She will drag you out in front of the whole bank and drown you in the fountain.

    From Holly
    To Jason

    She won't, because I lied to her. I told her I'd been given a verbal warning.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    You will have to tell her the truth at some stage.

    From Holly
    To Jason

    But will I?

    From Jason
    To Holly

    Yes, Holly, you will. Unless you think you could somehow manage Trisha without her actually knowing you're in charge of her?

    From Holly
    To Jason

    Is that possible?

    From Jason
    To Holly

    No, Holly, it isn't.

    You have to tell her the truth.

    Also, I’ve been thinking about how I can split up with Marco, without hurting him.

    From Holly
    To Jason

    That’s definitely not possible.

    From Jason
    To Holly

    It is with:

    JASON’S AMAZING BREAK UP GUIDE

    Do you love your partner, but just can’t carry on?

    Can’t think of hurting them – so want THEM to break up with YOU?

    These simple steps will guarantee a guilt free break up.

    (ps I’m starting it this week, if it goes well I might try and market it)

    WEEK 1

    Be smelly, the smellier the better. Make sure when he walks in that room that he wishes he had died – cheat if you have to, cat food is particularly repellent; keep an open sachet in your pocket

    Be physically repulsive, from rotting teeth to a new horrifying taste in clothes. Put fake sweat patches under the arms, let your hair grow long and out of shape, don’t shave anywhere

    Develop a taste for the unusual. Leave whips, chains and strange looking sexual contraptions everywhere. Begin wearing a dog lead at home and sometimes bark during sex

    Take up the violin

    WEEK 2

    Giggle nervously when he’s around, stutter shake and dribble. Be waiting for him by the door, grinning. Keep tabs on him, ask where he is all the time, even when he’s with you. Explain it’s just because you love him so much

    Be horrible to live with, wait until he’s in the bathroom before you run in there and use the toilet. Eat everything that doesn’t agree with your digestive system, burp, fart, leave your pants on the floor

    Use the last of the household products without replacing them

    Develop a hacking cough and put a spittoon by your bed

    Take up the clarinet

    WEEK 3

    Play with matches a lot

    Buy an air horn and press it regularly, buy bangers and explode them in the garden every Sunday afternoon

    Find religion; begin quoting from the Bible during arguments. When you win an argument, pummel the air and scream 10 points for the Grrrrangers (or your surname)

    Whenever he talks, slap your knees to an imaginary drum beat, wear your trousers up high to reveal odd socks, wear your pants on top of your trousers

    Always wear odd socks

    Exercise. Buy an exercise bike, work out at home, in spandex, in front of him, while he’s on the phone, watch him closely

    Admire everyone else, tell him you wished you could only be as sexy as they are. Tell him every day you’re so lucky to be with him. Get caught sniffing his underwear

    WEEK 4

    Say ‘lovin it’ and ‘defo’ in every sentence.

    Creep up on him and explode balloons behind his head regularly, then lie on the floor belly laughing afterwards

    Accumulate a list of the oldest jokes ever, begin telling them when you’re at dinner parties. Repeat one in particular all the time

    Leave black muck stains around the bath rim. Get caught sniffing his shoes

    Walk dirt through the house

    Puke in bed at night and pee yourself in the morning

    Pick your teeth with your toe-nail clippings

    WEEK 5

    Freshen your socks by stretching them over the cold drinks cans in the fridge

    Paint his portrait once a week, badly, and insist on hanging it in the gallery you’ve created in the hall, just of him

    Get caught putting pins in a doll, keep petrol in canisters under the bed. When someone comes on the TV you like, pinch your nipples and growl

    Rearrange everything in the cupboards in alphabetical order, and put labels on everything in the fridge which you’ve bought with MINE written on them

    Spend the evenings polishing the doorknobs and scream in pain when he uses them without gloves. Sit around the house in rubber shorts.

    MONDAY

    Subject: Unknown
    From UnknownAngel101@yahoo.co.uk
    To Holly

    And the Lord said “secrets are the undoing of the soul’

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    THE PERFECT FEEL-GOOD READ FOR AN iPHONE


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