by Jackie J
With Mrs Tutteridge’s uniform meticulously laundered and folded back into the case Cassandra showered and slipped into her long silk negligee and peignoir. Sipping on a glass of Prieur Montrachet she stared out over the city lights from the company’s penthouse apartment she enjoyed and chuckled reflecting on the week passed. Was it her high-pressure job, the power and control she held over others, perhaps the self-imposed loneliness of her lifestyle brought on by her failed Sapphic relationships, guilt at her significant wealth? Maybe it was just something within her? Whatever the root cause Cassandra had given up trying to reconcile why many years ago. All Cassandra knew was that whilst she could control it, she could not stop, she had tried many times it was like a drug. Even when she had moved cities, she could not help herself and found a way, there was always a way to appease her obsession always aware, no matter how fastidious her planning, that one day she could be exposed. What then? would she willingly, be subtly coerced or perhaps even be forced to offer up her total capitulation to her inner demons and secret supressed desires. For her part time pretence to become her reality, to be truly aproned and subjugated. Many restless dreams filled with such tempting imaginings.
Another glass of wine Cassandra, swathed in her fine silk, snuggled down on the sofa with her thoughts and chuckled reflecting on her latest experiences and to update her diary. A detailed log of all her past assignments and placements of her alter ego maid Cassie. Squirming with relish she noted the duties and the feelings they engendered within her along with other musings that fed her tortured soul.
Outwardly Miss Cassandra Fellows was a successful executive twenty-eight, pretty, a lithe figure, well spoken, articulate and confident. Admired and envied in equal measure but behind their politeness many men feeling threatened most women insanely jealous.
Cassandra’s week away from her usual profession had been satisfyingly demeaning but that was over now and before going to the office a trip to the beauty salon was an absolute must. Nails and hair restored and, ready to leave, the girl on reception admiringly helped Cassandra into her Dior jacket which slid effortlessly over her translucent silk blouse. Leaving a generous tip Cassandra left the salon and headed to her offices.
The week went well and visits to the European offices were planned. During the following month only one snag Cassandra’s assistant could not make the visit to Rome and she was accompanied by a junior, an excitable internee Jennifer Fairbright –Jones. A wealthy family’s daughter, new to the business willing to work for nothing to gain experience and hopefully a position in the company at the conclusion of her internship. The young lady’s naivety amused Cassandra but her insistence on taking selfies during their evening meal infuriated her and Jennifer was most apologetic when told to cease. Apart from the episode with her mobile Cassandra was most impressed with Jennifer her knowledge of live screen updates into the new pan European systems was excellent and a great help during Cassandra’s meetings. The report forwarded to Human resources, submitted by Cassandra on her return, reflected positively on Jennifer’s attitude and skills.
Locking up her basic apartment in the city Jennifer could hardly contain herself returning to the family home for the weekend. Mrs Wilson, the HR director, had called her into her office and praised her for her work in Rome which would stand her in good stead for her future at the company, although she must keep up the good work. It was not a job offer but obviously she had made an impression on Miss Fellows, a senior director at Hobson and Lloyd.
Jennifer’s paternal father had died tragically in a boating accident many years before and her mother had remarried. Whilst Jennifer’s mother took her new husband’s name of Crawford Jennifer held onto the memory of her father retaining the name Fairbright-Jones. The home of Samuel and Mellissa Crawford was a splendid rambling mansion set in five secluded rural acres some twenty miles from the city. Samuel had fought hard for Jennifer’s internship at Hobson and Lloyd and was always eager to hear of her progress during her often only fleeting and irregular visits.
“Well, that’s wonderful news Jennifer to be given the opportunity to accompany this director was fantastic but being able to make a meaningful contribution to the meetings wonderful. She must be quite some woman this Miss Fellows giving you such a recommendation, it could be the difference in gaining a full-time position?”
Jennifer then went on to wax lyrical about Miss Fellows
“O father she is, she is beautiful, she really is, always wearing such fashionable clothes, hair, makeup, and nails always perfect and so clever, reviewing the books in Rome she was razor sharp. I have a picture of her on my phone she didn’t like me taking it, but I did, look this is me and Miss Fellows in the restaurant.”
Samuel took the mobile from Jennifer and stared at the image?
“Very pretty and looking at the picture quiet young, under thirty I would say, keep on her coat tails Jennifer”
“Mellissa, look at this, this is the director at Jennifer’s company, the one Jennifer went to Rome with”
Mellissa only half interested glanced at the photograph then took the phone from Samuel and took a second look before handing the phone back to Jennifer.
“Beautiful eyes, so alive, is she married, does she have a partner, I would like to meet this director of yours?”
Jennifer glared at her mother and Samuel sniggered, the main reason that Jennifer’s visits to Kingston hall, the family home, were few and short being the open marriage of her Mother and Samuel and it had been most distressing having seen her mother with another woman on more than one occasion.
“MOTHER, stop it, she is not like that, I don’t mind what you and Samuel get up to, well I do, but that’s your choice.”
“You never know about people, just teasing you Jennifer, like I am ever likely to meet her. Dinner is ready let us go through to the dining room Paula will be waiting to serve.”
Six months passed and Miss Cassandra Fellows, the confident and authoritative Europe contracts director of Hobson and Lloyd went about her work with the usual cold efficiency for which she was known.
Despite her travelling and demanding work schedule Miss Fellows always found time for her “Little hobby”. Some weekend work, anonymously donning her apron for Mrs Tutteridge’s exclusive agency. Cassie was the perfect maid dressed in one of Mrs Tutteridge’s plain uniforms, low heeled laced shoes, minimal makeup, bereft of her expensive jewellery and her hair scrapped back into a tight ponytail. Dressed down as she was, and exhibiting such a meek and humble persona, no one would consider questioning the validity of this skilled domestic drone. That it was a senior executive for an international business? Never.
Cassie’s latest weekend assignment had been rewarding in more ways than one. Casandra Fellows, through failed experience, had no desire for relationship’s but a needy maid Cassie always found the attentions of female predators too exquisite to resist. What that client, the hostess of the event had done with her, to her, over the weekend, would not be soon forgotten.
Every three years, at the insistence of the chairman, senior executives at Hobson and Lloyd undertook a week-long residential psychiatric evaluation at Temples retreat. The facilities located at the secluded Mansfield manor. Unknown to Casandra, Miss Casandra Fellows was being considered by the chairman of the company to head up the North American division. Miss Fellows work record was exemplary, and she would be perfect for the role, but It was a main board position and there could be no risk of any scandal. Having spoken with the main director at Temples the chairman of Hobson and Lloyd had made it clear no stone must be left unturned.
An unwanted distraction, from her busy work schedule, Cassandra’s last assessment at Temples was prior to her promotion to European Contracts director. Cassandra was a little apprehensive but not unduly so, the psychologist on her previous visit never exposed or probed her alter ego and she would be on her guard again.
The appointment made by Stephanie, Miss Fellows secretary, Cassandra travelled out to Mansfield manor and waited in the reception area.
Some time passed and a smiling Dr Jenkins picked up a file from reception and walked across to the seated Cassandra and held out her hand.
“Miss Fellows, Hobson and Lloyd? I am Dr Jenkins, Sandra, I will be leading on your assessment pleased to meet you.”
Cassandra put down her laptop on the seat next to her and stood to take the doctor’s hand.
“Yes, Cassandra Fellows, pleased to meet you Dr Jenkins?”
Dr Jenkins looked down at the computer a mild frown on her face.
“You know the rules here, no outside contact?”
Cassandra was apologetic.
“Yes, sorry just finishing something before I am enrolled.”
Cassandra was taken behind reception where Cassandra was seated for the obligatory photograph for her ID badge to be used during her stay.
Cassandra then followed Dr Jenkins into a small office for her enrolment. Her passport and secondary identification checked Doctor Jenkins stood from the desk and opened up one of the lockers situated at the back of the office.
“Something we have introduced since your last stay with us. We understand how difficult it is for senior executive clients to isolate themselves from their roles at work and to a lesser degree their personal lives, but it is essential for our evaluations. if you could put all your work related and personal belongings inside, everything you will need is here at Temples. It removes any temptation to circumvent our policies. They will be securely locked away during your time with us.”
Dr Jenkins pointed to Cassandra’s case.
“Could you open that check there is nothing in there that should go in the locker?”
Cassandra was hesitant but placed her travel case on the desk and flipped the catch
Seeing the leather satchel, which contained Cassandra’s personal things and private phone, on top of the clothing, Doctor Jenkins smiled.
“Naughty, naughty, no distractions, put that in the locker with your other items.”
Cassandra would have no need of anything during her stay at Temples everything was provided, it made sense in a way, could she really have resisted checking her emails, making a call? It was for one week and she would have to endure her isolation.
With everything deposited inside, Dr Jenkins closed the locker and turned the key making a joke.
“Don’t worry I will help you with any withdrawal symptoms.”
With the enrolment forms signed Dr Jenkins took Cassandra to her accommodation.
“I will leave you to settle in if you need anything just ring the service bell. I will be back in an hour to collect you.”
Clothes hung in the closet and put into the drawers Cassandra looked around her room. Much improved from her first visit, much like the high-end hotel’s she stayed in on her travels with the noticeable omission of a mini bar.
Seeing the service call bell Cassandra smiled and pressed the ornate button. A coffee would be most welcome. Within a few minutes a gentle knock on the door was answered and in stepped a maid.
“You rang Miss, my name is Judy, your housemaid today, how can I help you?
Cassandra stared at the young domestic, a shiver running through her, the uniform most familiar, it was like her own, one of Mrs Tutteridge’s uniforms.
Cassandra struggled to gather her thoughts; she did not recognise the girl hopefully the pretty maid did not recognise her!
“Erm, erm, Just a coffee, white no sugar”
The Maid looked at the guest questioningly.
“Yes Miss, certainly, right away”
The maid left and Cassandra began to panic. She did not recognise the maid, she had not worked with her, had she? What if she had, the girl would not recognise her, would she? Just seeing the uniform had made Cassandra quiver, like it always did when she slipped into her own vestiges of servitude, her mind filling with thoughts of her supressed submissive alter ego.
The girl returned with her tray and placed the ordered beverage on the low table in the centre of the room and smiled.
“Your coffee Miss, will there be anything else?”
Cassandra stared out of the window avoiding eye contact.
“No, nothing, that’s all thank you.”
Under the stewardship of Dr Jenkins, who collected her from her room, the majority of Cassandra’s first day at Temples was spent completing various psychometric tests. With Cassandra’s thoughts filled with her meeting with the maid it was a distracted Cassandra with Cassie at the front of her mind being analysed. Reviewing the results in the early evening Dr Jenkins was puzzled comparing them to those recorded during Miss Fellows previous assessments. This just did not happen. So concerned was she Dr Jenkins took the results to the senior partner, Miss Longwood.
“Well Sandra, this is very interesting, of course you will have to run these tests again but the whole program of tests indicates the same, they are consistent, like we would expect. Re set the computer and have this Miss Fellows complete the tests again. People change as we know, but not like this.”
The restaurant at the retreat was compact but most impressive with a varied menu and attentive staff, not that Cassandra had much of an appetite. Her mind was in turmoil over her meeting with this Judy girl. Cassandra had not seen the maid since the morning but knew it would only be a matter of time before she did. Cassandra could not get the thoughts of her potential exposure and being a maid herself out of her mind. Cassandra, with sapphic imaginings of what this young maid would want of her, in return for her silence, smiled, a pleasing ripple of arousal causing her to squirm on her seat.
A friendly voice broke Cassandra from her Cassie fuelled thoughts
“Do you mind if I join you?”
Cassandra looked up and smiled
“Not at all please take a seat.”
The Gentleman, smart and handsome in a mature sort of way, sat and smiled.
“it’s just like being away on business is it not, the tables in the restaurant populated by singletons. Paul Balfour by the way.”
“Cassandra Fellows, so you are also here for the “Spanish inquisition” I presume?”
“That is how you see it is it, no, no I work here for my sins. I saw your name on the board you arrived today didn’t you, I think I am seeing you on Thursday morning.”
Paul laughed again.
“I better get my thumb screws ready.”
Cassandra smiled politely but nothing more.
“Cheer up Cassandra, you are with Dr Jenkins aren’t you, she is very good, thorough, she will have you bearing your soul, good therapy, she is quite new here, came shortly after all the changes. Have you been here before?”
Cassandra swirled her glass and took a sip.
“Yes, three years ago, a lot of changes to the décor, this restaurant, my room much brighter and welcoming than I remember, all good.”
Pauls meal ordered he was soon eating.
“It’s not only the decor that has changed as you will find out as the week progresses, much more thorough and in depth. Miss Longwood, who you will no doubt meet during the week, introduced some remarkable techniques here at Temples. Like I say to all clients, go with the flow and enjoy your time at Temples.”
Cassandra did not linger at the table and forsaking the gym and pool picked up a magazine and headed back to her room.
Cassandra had slept well and without the thoughts of Judy, or Cassie in her mind, she enthusiastically whisked through the Belbin and other psychometric tests of the morning session. A disguised repeat of the tests from the previous afternoon and Cassandra recognised the process.
A break for lunch Cassandra smiled.
“The tests seemed very similar to yesterday Doctor Jenkins still you know what you are doing.”
Doctor Jenkins shuffled her papers.
“Yes, Cassandra that’s right but trust me it’s all part of the program.”
Doctor Jenkins was eager to interpret and compare the results with those of the previous day and whilst Cassandra sat in the restaurant at lunch Doctor Jenkins was in Miss Longwoods office.
With the historic, yesterdays and the mornings profiles up on the screen Miss Longwood turned to the young doctor.
“That is impossible, the computer program was not corrupted, I had it checked last night. It is like two different personalities a wolf, that we would expect from Miss Fellows profile but yesterday a sheep and this morning, the wolf returns. Well, well Sandra, it would appear that interesting days lay ahead for you with our Miss Fellows.”
Cassandra taking lunch in the restaurant placed her serviette on the table and drained her teacup having admiringly watched the waitress at her work about the tables. Opening her file, she smiled at the afternoons program for her. Word association followed by a group session, that should be fun, not.
Sat facing each other Doctor Jenkins explained the principle of the exercise and they began. Doctor Jenkins saying seemingly random words and Cassandra responding with an associated word. After a series of words and responses, whatever Cassandra’s response had been to the various first words spoken, they were repeated back to her for a subsequent response this forming a chain of words from each of the first words raised by Dr Jenkins.
Feverish taps on the Doctors tablet recorded the word chains and, punctuated with a few short breaks to set the new start words, the exercise continued well into the afternoon.
With the session ended a weary Cassandra sat back and sighed.
“I am not sure what all that will tell you I think I ran out of words at the end, I had to really think.”
Doctor Jenkins closed her folder.
“It’s the instinctive responses that count that and the record of your associated eye movements, the small camera behind me synchronises with the words, a new technique we have adopted that separates random and meaningful words. A true pattern of your subconscious if you will”
Doctor Jenkins uploaded the sessions data from her tablet to her PC and turned to Cassandra.
“You will recall the group sessions from your last visit no doubt.”
“Yes, no wrong or right answer if I remember, it’s all about process?”
Sitting forward in her chair Doctor Jenkins smiled.
“Well not quite, you may find things a little different, but you will see.”
Following a hurried coffee in the restaurant Cassandra found her way to the conference room.
Three small round tables four chairs at each, a few spaces remained when Cassandra entered to be shown to a seat at one of the tables.
The first task given to the group involved their survival in a desert following the forced landing of a plane they were travelling on. All the attendees had plenty to say some more than others. Cassandra being quite vocal on a number of issues during the first period. Refreshment’s served Cassandra took a comfort break.
Leaving the cubicle, straightening her skirt, Cassandra was confronted by a smiling Judy, the maid from the previous day, who was just entering the lady’s room.
“Hello again Miss, I trust you are settling in, you looked a little worried yesterday when you arrived. I brought you a coffee, remember?”
Casandra moved quickly to the washbasins.
“Yes, yes fine thank you, the coffee, yes, it was perfect and most welcome, now I must be on my way, nice to see you again.”
“Silly I know, but yesterday, when I saw you, I thought I recognised you to be someone else. ridiculous really, it is just the eyes Miss, you have the same eyes.”
Cassandra dumped her hand towel into the basket.
“Really how strange, bye”
Cassandra hurried through the door and out into the hallway taking a deep controlling breath. Seeing the uniform again, the girl a hairs breadth from recognising her, exposing her, what was she going to do?
Back in the group session a new task was described, and the composition of the groups was changed by the facilitator. The activity eventually ended, Cassandra having been rather subdued and distracted in the later session. Little wonder following the meeting with Judy having put thoughts of Judy and Cassie back to the front of her mind.
The morning and afternoon program complete it was not long after six and Cassandra, back in her room, soaked in a bubble filled bathtub, her mind reflecting on the day’s tests, but more concerningly the maid Judy. There was to be an evening session that she was not looking forward to. Career path analysis.
Whist Cassandra soaked, Dr Jenkins and Miss Longwood reviewed the results from the days programs. Miss Longwood particularly interested in the results of Miss Fellows.
“Interesting the group sessions from this afternoon, again Miss Fellows exhibited different characteristics. The first task, as one would expect, dominant and opinionated. The last two tasks passive and accepting? Something is just not right, I sense it. Nothing was picked up on her last visit here, nothing. Proud, articulate, a leader, a shaper, a wolf, traits shown throughout her evaluations. She shows all those characteristics again but then, but then humble, hesitant almost a wallflower, a team-worker for goodness sake? It does not make sense. Show me your work from this morning again, the word associations strip out the opening phrases and the first line responses.”
The data flicked up on the screen. The instantaneous responses, apart from the lead in phrases such as dog – cat, day – night, mainly work related as one would expect. However, scattered amongst these instantaneous responses some word association strings that seemed out of place.
Miss Lockwood sat back in her chair.
“This gets more intriguing by the minute Sandra, now put those on the screen again with the new technology, there is only one truth with that, nowhere to hide. isolate the deep words, the hesitant words, the guarded words, from the linked eye movements.”
The words blinked onto the screen one by one, then the repeats.
Doctor Jenkins and Miss Lockwood turned away from the screen to face each other and Miss Lockwood could not resist.
“Well bless my soul, Baa, Baa, Baa”
The two laughed in unison
Miss Longwood picked up Cassandra’s file and chuckled
“First the test data now this, I do believe we may have a sheep in wolves clothing Doctor Jenkins. I wonder if we can get that sheep into a pen and hold it there?
Doctor Jenkins smirked
“If Hobson Lloyd do have a sheep in their pack, perhaps they would prefer it back with the flock? I just need to find its triggers and we are good at that here at Temples aren’t we, with the changes we have made.”
Miss Lockwood offered words of caution.
“Off Course Doctor Jenkins we will need to be absolutely sure, one swallow does not make a summer, Hobson and Lloyd are good and profitable clients. Find her tiggers, they are here at Temples somewhere, they must be. You have a one to one with Miss Fellows this evening, skip the standard career path analysis. Use the sensors chair in the Lofthouse suite and run a memory evaluation, since she arrived at Temples, that should tell us what we need to know.”
Doctor Jenkins smiled, picked up her file’s, and left to prepare for her evening session with Miss Fellows.
The bath had been most relaxing, and Casandra picked out some casual clothes to wear for her one-to-one meeting with Dr Jenkins later. She was not particularly hungry but having time she would go up to the restaurant and have something to eat before the final session for the day. The restaurant was not particular busy, and Cassandra enjoyed the mackerel salad with a quality glass of wine. Passing on a second glass of wine offered, Cassandra checked her watch. It was twenty-five past seven and she made her way to Doctor Jenkins office.
The Doctor smiled.
“Cassandra, right on time very punctual, please, take a seat.”
Cassandra settled into a chair and Dr Jenkins closed the file she had been studying.
“We have a slight change of plan this evening, we should be covering career path but, due to some rescheduling, the Lofthouse suite is free and we can move to memory and observation evaluation a little earlier than planned. We can go over the career path later in the week.”
Cassandra shrugged her shoulders.
“That’s fine by me, you are in charge.”
Doctor Jenkins stood picking up a set of keys from her desk.
“Right, let’s go then, follow me.”
Cassandra followed Doctor Jenkins across the reception area and down to the end of a long corridor.
Keys in the lock and the door opened both entered the Lofthouse suite. Lights on Cassandra looked around. The room was smaller than she had expected having a slightly clinical feel to it. In the centre a booth with its door open, a large leather chair inside. Facing the booth, a desk with a screen and a control panel with a number of dials.
“I little like a quiz show, I presume I will be sitting in the booth, the chair looks comfortable?”
Doctor Jenkins flicked some switches and with a few lights flashing approached Cassandra
“Yes, you are in the booth, but you are right, the chair is very comfortable. This is one of Miss Lockwood’s systems that she introduced to Temples. Tests memory and reaction time to respond, I am sure you will be fine with this exercise.”
With Cassandra sinking into the embracing chair Dr Jenkins explained the procedure and applied the attachments. Earphones and microphone a wired wristband and a pair of oversize spectacles, a cross between normal glasses and goggles. The Doctor would ask specific questions and Cassandra would respond; the session should take between thirty and forty-five minutes.
When the door of the booth closed to commence the session the walls and door became mirrored. Cassandra thought it all most elaborate. The oversize glasses to track eye movements, the pulse monitor on her wrist the earphones and microphone? She was sure that on her previous visit, with all the interviews, she had just sat across the desk from the doctor asking questions who scribbled on a note pad?
The doctors voice came through the earphones rather loud making Cassandra tense in the chair, but the volume was quickly adjusted.
“Sorry about that Cassandra, just setting the levels, don’t be intimidated with all the attachments they are necessary I assure you. Could you just speak a few words so I can set your levels at this end?
Cassandra obliged and Doctor Jenkins watched the needle scrawl on the virtual chart, all was set and ready.
The questions started quite benign, commencing from her arrival at Temples and Cassandra had little problem in providing timely answers. Progressively the test of her memory became more challenging and less chronological. The first morning then the recent events of today then back to the first afternoon, a little disorientating and Cassandra had to think hard. What was the receptionist wearing on her arrival? Who sat with her in the first group session? what shape is the vase in her room? The questions seemed to come at a much faster rate. Cassandra not even noticing that some questions were not memory related at all, eager to keep up with the pace. What was her biggest worry before coming to Temples? Had there being anything unexpected? Where is the clock in the reception? How many chairs in the group sessions? How many staff had she met? The sound of a buzzer eventually halted flow of questions and Cassandra sighed.
“Is that it, can I take these things off and come out?”
Doctor Jenkins smiled at the results and pressed the upload button.
“No, I will come in and do that, so how was that, quite intense isn’t it, I struggle keeping up with the timer for the questions. You will be pleased to know that you did remarkably well.”
It had been a blur, but Cassandra was content that she, according to the doctor, had done well.
“It was strange and being shut in here, all wired up, I seemed to lose track of time.”
Sandra, happy she had what Miss Lockwood wanted smirked.
The door to the booth opened and a smiling Sandra removed the glasses and headset then unfastened the wrist band.
“There finished and I will see you in the morning, role play tomorrow, something to look forward to?”
Cassandra stood from the chair and stretched.
“Well, I think I will call in the bar, I am not sure of the protocol, but would you care to join me?”
The doctor smiled.
“I would love to join you, but sorry, I am afraid not, I will need to process this data and prepare for tomorrow’s sessions, another time perhaps, before you leave.”
Cassandra left the suite and found a table in the bar area of the restaurant and settled with a glass of wine. She wasn’t seeking company but could not really refuse when one of the members see remembered from the group sessions came to join her. Then another lost soul joined them. William was quite relaxed, he was joining a pharmaceutical company and had been on similar evaluations before, were as Jenny was rather nervous about the whole affair finding the probing quite intrusive. Cassandra was not into networking and having finished her drink made her excuses and left the pair debating if the extra sails had been necessary for one of the scenario’s set them in the afternoon. Scooping up a magazine Cassandra headed for her room unaware of the implications from her latest session with Doctor Jenkins.
Dr Jenkins and Miss Lockwood had studied the polygraph, voice modulation and eye movements along with hesitation from the planted questions. There was something hidden for sure, but what? Nothing in isolation, from what they had viewed, could be considered a trigger for such a change in personality? Had they been looking for something that was not there? But the tests had never been wrong before?
Miss Lockwood reviewed what was known from the data.
“The most glaring example revealed was regarding something unexpected. The answer was a categorical no, then the afterthought, delayed response of being wired up in the booth. The results, polygraph, eye movement, hesitation, and her voice pitch tell us something else. Find the unexpected and we have her trigger. The time frame, from you showing her to her room and your preliminary analysis on the first day, then during the group session break, what happened? What was so unexpected to have such an effect, whatever Miss Fellows is hiding it is suppressed and deep rooted, controlled even, what made her lose that control?”
Doctor Jenkins prepared two coffee’s and retook her seat.
“We still have the recordings to watch, shall we do that?
Miss Lockwood picked up her coffee and took a sip.
“Yes, we may as well, and something may come up during your role play tomorrow.”
“The two sat and watched the footage from Miss Fellows arrival. Both commented on the concern Miss Fellows showed in having her personal belongings locked away but little else. She had unpacked and ordered a coffee from room service and that was it, nothing revealing.”
Miss Lockwood yawned and looked at her watch.
“Well, that’s three hours I won’t get back, look, its late let’s leave it until tomorrow, I will look at the group session footage in the morning and let you know if I find anything. I know we are meticulous but are we absolutely sure that Miss Fellows knows no one on the staff here at Temples or the other delegates, probably worth a double check?”
Breakfast taken and with a top up for her coffee Cassandra sat glancing through a morning paper before her day was to start. A few nods to people she recognised from the group sessions when she made her way back to her room and Cassandra wondered what the third day at Temples would bring.
Doctor Jenkins had been called to Miss Lockwood’s office early and both sat staring at the images on the split screen, much revealed. Both had thought nothing of the coffee Miss Fellows ordered after arriving and waiting to be collected by Doctor Jenkins, but now that all changed. A common denominator found. There was nothing seen by Miss Lockwood viewing the end of the first group sessions and only by chance had she picked up on the camera from the hallway at the mid- session break. Both chuckled, Sandra had confirmed that none of the other delegates could have had previous interaction with Miss Fellows and none of the staff at Temples could possibly be known to Miss Fellows. Temporary staff however, that were recruited at such short notice, it was never considered, and a maid? How could Miss Fellows know this Judy Finnigan girl and for this maid to have been the catalyst for such a drastic change in her performance, indeed her personality.
“Well, Sandra we seem to have located the trigger but why and how does this girl have such an effect on the normally confident Miss Fellows?”
Doctor Jenkins sought an explanation.
“Well, she could have used the maid, Tutteridge’s are a prestigious agency, that’s where this girl comes from, that would be embarrassing for Miss Fellows, being recognised here at Temples?”
Miss Lockwood eased back in her chair.
“Really? That would have put her head in a spin would it, really?”
Miss Lockwood considered another alternative.
“We know Miss Fellows is of a certain persuasion, there is no secret of that, perhaps she has a thing about maid’s, maids in general, or this particular one?”
Doctor Jenkins laughed and made an unknowingly prophetic comment.
“You say that, from the secondary profile, the submissive traits shown, she would make a good maid herself?”
Miss Lockwood smiled.
“You are right, indeed she would, but an highly unlikely career choice for our Miss Fellows.”
Doctor Jenkins laughed again.
“Well, you never know, an executive by day and maid by night. I guess stranger things have happened, even here. Mr Ferris, if you remember, left Temples in a dress I recall. Swapped his directorship for the role of a secretary, and a good secretary she made in the end I understand.”
Miss Lockwood stood a smile on her face.
“Yes, I do remember Simon Ferris, Simone. But this is all conjecture, all we know is that this maid is the probable cause of distracting Miss Fellows during her time here at Temples. We are being paid good money by Hobson and Lloyd to identify any weaknesses that could be exploited and have a detrimental effect on their business. We know Miss Fellows to be a Wolf and she has proved this in her work and here previously when evaluated. Like we are paid to do we have unearthed something within Miss Fellows that we must seek to investigate fully. If she can become weak here, like she has shown, her judgement effected, then it could surely occur back in her working environment. If it is just a case of coming across an old flame, which I suspect on reflection it may be, then perhaps Miss Fellow’s temporary distraction is somewhat understandable. If it is more than this then we would be duty bound to advise Hobson and Lloyd accordingly. Have a discrete word with this maid and see if she can through any light on the matter.”
Doctor Jenkins glanced at her watch and stood quickly gathering her files from the desk.
“Nine thirty, I had better be on my way if I am to catch up with this maid before my morning session with Miss Fellows.”
Unaware that her secret passion was being unravelled Cassandra left her room and was soon sat in the conference room waiting for Dr Jenkins and for the morning session to start. The Spanish office should have completed the Miguel contract and she was anxious to know all had gone well. Being stuck at Temples she had no way of knowing, no phone, no internet no lap top it was so frustrating for her. She would be glad when this pseudo isolation was over, and she could get back to normality.
Asked into Dr Jenkins office Judy was quite flustered and anxious to know why.
“Is there a problem Miss, I cleaned your office first thing, have I missed something.”
The maid was soon put at ease and invited her to sit by the doctor’s desk.
“No problem, no problem at all I just want a word with you, something you may be able to help me with. Judy isn’t it, from Miss Tutteridge’s agency you’re here on a temporary contract?
“Yes Miss, that’s right, Miss Tutteridge got the contract at Temples two months ago. I have only been here this week, Mr Roberts the facility manager arranged it. Betty the fulltime maid who is resident is away, I am filling in for her, I should be here for another month”
Dr Jenkins smiled seeing the girl relax and become quite chatty.
“Now what we discuss, what you say, what you tell me, will go no further it is absolutely confidential you understand that don’t you?”
“Yes Miss, Mr Roberts explained that to me when I started everything here at Temples is very private, highly confidential. I had to sign some papers.”
Doctor Jenkins removed her glasses and smiled.
“Good, so you have nothing to fear. We have a client here and we believe you know her, that she knows you is that true?
Judy looked at the Doctor with a puzzled expression.
“No? Like I would know anyone here, everyone here is rich I am just a maid?”
“So, you don’t know Miss Fellows the lady in room seven, the lady your served coffee to on the morning of her arrival?”
Judy’s eyes turned away in thought then smiled.
“No, I do not know her at all, but I know who you mean, room seven, tall, although that is probably those heel’s she wears, very elegant, I think she was quite surprised to see me on that first day, probably did not expect to see a proper maid dressed like this serving her coffee. She seemed a little embarrassed if that is the right word, awkward if you know what I mean. It seems to impress a lot of the people who stay here, the uniform and everything.”
The doctor continued
“Surprised you say and that’s all, and you are sure you have never seen her before or perhaps that she could know you? Nothing will go beyond these walls, trust me.”
“No Miss, I do not know her or what she has said, but it is funny that you should be asking this, It’s the ladies’ eyes it’s odd, and yesterday, when I saw her again, I did apologise to her for just for thinking it. The lady’s eyes, they are so distinctive, you must have noticed them, we have a girl who works at Mrs Tutteridge’s, only part time, but she has the very same eyes, ridiculous I know, but when I saw her at first, I thought it was her! But no, I do not know the lady, it cannot be the same person. Her hair, makeup, jewellery, her clothes, and those heels. I would kill for a pair like those.”
Sandra stood and smiled considering her thoughts from earlier, could it really be? An executive by day and a maid by night?
“Interesting, thank you for clearing that up and you have nothing to worry about, you have been most helpful. I ask Judy, could you organise tea for three in the conference room for eleven please?”
Judy stood to leave.
“If the lady said something, I am sorry, and yes tea for three, in the conference room at eleven, certainly Miss.”
Having called into Miss Lockwood’s office, to update her on her meeting with the maid, Doctor Jenkins eventually arrived and apologised for being a little late before opening a file.
“The results from last night Cassandra, the memory test, excellent I must say, you are obviously very observant eighty seven percent.”
“You will have seen from the program we are scheduled to run through some role play today, how do you feel about that?”
Cassandra had been sat waiting for the doctor for twenty minutes or more and the good results from the memory test were nothing more that she expected. If she had an internet connection and her lap-top, she could have been working and was not best pleased just wanting to get whatever was planned for the session over but forced a smile.
“Fine, role play, just the two of us not a syndicate?”
Doctor Jenkins smiled anxious to see if she could draw out Miss Fellows weaker personality that she had shown during the evaluations of the previous day’s observations.
“A syndicate, like the group sessions, no Cassandra it will be just the two of us this morning.”
Removing a sheet of paper from her file Dr Jenkins passed it to Casandra.
“This is your role read it through and then we can begin.”
Cassandra was to be a subordinate in a busy direct sales office who had undercharged a client, she was already on a warning from her boss for a similar infraction. Her supervisor had asked to see Cassandra, and this was their meeting.
Cassandra read through the background; this poor girl was bang to rights for sure. Cassandra had worked through role play before, they were free- wheeling and the agenda fluid, she would need to control the agenda.
“Right, I am ready will you start?”
Cassandra was sharp, very sharp and Dr Jenkins had a high degree of admiration for how Miss Fellows, with calm dignity, manipulated the situation to her advantage. At the conclusion of the interview, Wendy, the girl in question, had come out very well. Increased work-station space, a modern split screen PC, doubt cast on two co-workers who worked adjacent to her and a small rise in her basic pay. Why, Wendy was potentially the best staff member on the floor. Wendy’s difficulties had all been the company’s fault!
Cassandra’s performance had exceeded all expectations, even for one holding such a senior executive role within a company. Doctor Jenkins looked at her mark sheet every box ticked. This was Miss Fellows at her very best, a Wolf on the prowl of that there could be no doubt.
Temples were nothing if not thorough in their work, that is why organisations paid top dollar for their services. If there was any flaw suspected in an attendee’s character, they prided themselves on finding it, and exposing it. Having invested heavily in the latest technology and techniques they had saved many a company an embarrassing or costly outcome.
Dr Jenkins had reported to Miss Lockwood on her interview with the maid having assured herself that the Judy girl had been open and honest having studied the eye scanner footage. No excessive blinking, no eye movement, upper left or right, she had been truthful. There was nor had there ever been any relationship between this maid and Miss Fellows although the scanner showed that the maid had genuinely believed, on first meeting, that Miss Fellows and a work colleague were one and the same.
Miss Lockwood had pondered on what Dr Jenkins had told her and was sceptical that anything would come of an inquiry, but every avenue had to be explored.
Mr Roberts showed some concern when Miss Lockwood asked for the contact details of the Tutteridge’s agency but was assured there was no problem with the maid, it was an unrelated and private matter.
Finishing her telephone call with Miss Tutteridge, she now understood a little more why the maid had such a distracting effect of Miss Fellows. But, even calling on all her years of professional experience, Miss Lockwood struggled to explain why the confrontation had proved to be so mentally debilitating?
It surely could not just be the embarrassment of having to explain such a strange hobby if exposed by this maid? Could this in fact be Dissociative Identity Disorder in the most extreme? Dual Identities at the two poles of the Social spectrum. Miss Fellows executive existence obviously dominant, the maid within suppressed, ordinarily controlled, and released at will. But, here at Temples, being already in a stressed state, the confrontation with maid Judy, the visual stimulus of seeing her own uniform before her, creating a powerful mental paradox, drawing the Maid Cassie within to the fore of her consciousness. What an internal mental struggle that must have been and yes that would explain the dichotomy of the evaluation results.
A hurried reading of Professor Monroe’s paper on the subject of Dissociative Identity Disorder appeared to confirm Miss Lockwood’s suspicions. She would need to delve deeper, read more on the subject before she could be sure. The examples given in Professor Monroe’s studies separating the fine line between nature from nurture.
Nurture, Miss Fellows would have surely been capable of riding the potential storm without such an impact on her mental abilities. Nature, and, with such stimulus, according to Professor Monroe, her Alter ego would have unknowingly flooded her conscious mind and, oblivious to such an intrusion, she would have unconsciously responded not has the sharp executive but a servile maid. This would certainly explain Miss Fellows strange responses.
What to do? Ordinarily such findings would be added to the Temples confidential report for submission at the conclusion of the evaluations. What happened beyond that would be a matter for Hobson and Lloyd. But there was nothing ordinary about Miss Cassandra Fellows. The techniques and technology she had developed and introduced at Temples had exposed the extreme character flaws in this outwardly successful executive where previous evaluations had failed. She was not going to let that be buried in a confidential client report.
Miss Lockwood had agreed to meet with Dr Jenkins and Miss Fellows just after eleven. An intrusion by maid Judy having been arranged just prior to her arrival. With what she now knew Miss Lockwood was ready to make and offer to Miss Fellows she would find hard to refuse.
The first role play exercise concluded Cassandra smiled at the outcome and with Dr Jenkins reviewing the salient points a knock on the door heralded the arrival of the tea requested. With an unnerved Cassandra looking on, whilst the maid dispensed the tea and cups from her small trolley Miss Lockwood entered the room.
“Good morning ladies, tea how nice, thank you Judy, you may leave us now.” I have come to join you Doctor Jenkin’s, Miss Fellows I presume, pleased to meet you. I am Evelyn Lockwood, co- owner of Temples I am sorry I have not had the opportunity to meet with you earlier.”
Cassandra effected by the entrance of the maid half stumbled to her feet holding out her hand to that offered by Miss Lockwood.
“Yes, Cassandra Fellows, pleased to meet you, sorry about that I caught my heel when I stood.”
Miss Lockwood smiled.
“Of course, you did dear, please sit we need to talk.”
Miss Lockwood opened her laptop and plugged it into the connector for the large monitor on the wall before tapping at the keyboard and sets of data flickered up onto the screen.
Sandra Jenkins set about pouring the tea whilst Miss Lockwood continued
“I thought you would be interested in what Doctor Jenkins evaluations have revealed during your time at Temples.
Cassandra sat without a word whilst the personality disparities from the various tests she had undertaken were revealed. She then blushed when Miss Lockwood showed how they had located the triggers causing the differences but felt beyond faint and went ashen when Miss Lockwood’s discussion with Miss Tutteridge was disclosed.
Miss Lockwood let Cassandra stare into her drained teacup for a few minutes and turned off her laptop, the large monitor going blank.
“I am not one to judge Miss Fellows, Cassandra, and our work here is strictly confidential as you know but what your company Hobson and Lloyd, your chairman, would make of this, well I don’t think I need to paint a picture do I?”
Cassandra just nodded.
“Good, so you can see the dilemma, you are obviously very talented the higher marked results indicate that. Miss Cassandra Fellows the executive would have left Temples with a glowing report of that there is no doubt. However, maid Cassie, who was exposed during the evaluations, not so.”
Cassandra interjected starting to feel quite threatened.
“Alright stop, yes I do work being a maid, a maid for Miss Tutteridge’s agency, well done for tracking that down, I have done for years it has never affected my work, never.”
Miss Lockwood smirked
“Until now that is, until now. How do we know, how does your chairman know that there have not been similar episodes in the past, when your judgement was affected, how would you know come to that, you suspected nothing regarding your performance here at Temples until I just made these revelations?”
Miss Lockwood asked Dr Jenkins to pour more tea and took a sip
“Like I said at the outset I am not one to judge so please hear me out.”
“I am sure with your exemplary record at Hobson and Lloyd the chairman would rather you remained in his organisation, but, unless we can seek to prevent such potential for lapses in judgement, like those that we have isolated, well, that may well be a risk the chairman would not be willing to take. Wanting to be a maid, actually being a maid is not the problem. It is the potential for the maid within you to surface whilst within your executive role.”
“Only if you are willing of course I, well we at Temples, can help eliminate this tendency remove the risk and, given we can, Hobson and Lloyd, your chairman, need never be made aware. I would have no problem in signing off a report that reflects only the positive aspects of your time here. Of course, you can spurn my help and I regret, in that case, your potential weakness will be reported accordingly.”
Miss Lockwood looked into the beautiful eyes that had betrayed her and smiled sensing Miss Fellows was reviewing her options but decided against seeking an immediate answer.
“Look, this is lot to take in but for you Miss Fellows, the course is complete. We have concluded our assessment and have all that we need to report back to your company chairman. What that report will indicate is very much in your hands now. Come to my office at four and let me know if you would like my help. If you do, I am sure the report your chairman will receive will be very different from the one I would be obliged to write now.
Miss Lockwood turned to open the door.
“Doctor Jenkins please come with me. Miss Fellows I hope to see you at four in my office.”