As we mentioned yesterday, this edition of our bookish little coffeeklatsch revolves around a work of literature whose villainess reminds us a bit of one of our favorite Gawker whipping gals: freshly canned publisher Judith Regan. That might be because author Bridie Clark used to work for her, but then again, it might not. Who's to say? (Well, besides lawyers). Anyway, in today's excerpt, we learn how "Vivian Grant's" employees go about guarding their lives and sanity. Our favorite part? "I'm not saying our phones are tapped. I'm just saying that it's not a bad precaution to leave the building when making a private call."
Phil cleared his throat and held up his index finger. "Number one: Under no circumstances should you give her or anyone in this office your home phone number. Not for any reason. You won't get a moment's peace." "Really?" Vivian's assistant had just emailed me asking for it this morning, but I hadn't had time to write back. "But what if — " Phil waved his finger to silence me. " Give her your cell, fine. Not your home number. Do I make myself clear?" "Um, yes. I got it." "Rule two: don't trust Graham — nicknamed Himmler by the assistants — a whit more than you trust Lulu [the office bitch]. In fact, trust him less. All the abuse that Vivian heaps upon him, he dumps on the poor assistants here. His tantrums are almost as legendary as hers. It's terrible to see. Oh, and the same goes for the entire HR department. A bunch of goons. They'll betray you time and again if it means a moment in Vivian's favor." "Got it," I said uneasily. "Number three," — Phil reached into his pocket and fished out a business card, which he handed to me — "a good therapist. Start going now. This woman has been working with Grant Books employees for years, so she knows the drill. She's expensive, and our insurance policy doesn't cover it — but HR will. Grant Books has put her kids through graduate school at this pont, but believe me, it's the least HR can do." "Thanks, but I really don't think I need — " "Yeah, I know you don't now," Phil interrupted, "but just wait. Rule four: Okay, I'm not saying our phones are tapped. I'm just saying that it's not a bad precaustion to leave the building when making a private call."