(2018-11-24) Hire Thought
Vyv invites Cassidy for lunch and a proposition (no, not that kind).

It's about 10am on Saturday morning that an email arrives to the address listed on the card Cassidy gives out about her blog. 'Checked out the blog' is the very informative and gushing subject line, with a slightly more-informative return address of vvydal@patisserievydal.com. The email reads:

Ms. Carr —

Good morning. I took a look at your blog after the ball the other day — not bad. You have a good eye. I've also been giving some thought to our conversation, and wondered if you might be interested in joining me for lunch today. I could do anywhere between noon and 1, and would suggest Chakra, which is a gastropub near Smelter and University and distinctly better than it sounds.

— V. Vydal

Cassidy was over the moon to receive word from Chef Vydal. The young woman shows up promptly to their appointment time, wearing a daring ensemble of black silk blouse with leopard print bow at the throat, black faux-leather pleated mini skirt, and suede thigh high boots. It might have gone to a trashy place if it weren't so tailored, and if the top weren't so modest in sharp contrast to her lower half. It's daring, but current.
When she enters the restaurant, blue eyes sweep the room to land on Vyv and she strides to his table, with a Michael Kors laptop bag/leather tote in hand. She gives him a smile and a small dip of her head in greeting. "Chef, I was so thrilled to get your message. Thank you for your kind words."

The restaurant is clearly fairly new, and could fit more patrons than are currently here. Still, there's enough people for the sound of general chatter to hit one's ears on entry. Vyv is seated at a table in what looks likely to be one of the quieter portions of the dining area, with a fair view of the windows, outside of which… well, the area isn't overflowing with wonderful views, but it's not an unpleasant framing of the building across the street and the river beyond. He's a bit less daringly attired, but no less tailored, and unsurprisingly a good deal more casually than the last time they met. Granted, that doesn't narrow the range a whole lot. A camel overcoat is hung on one of the hooks the restaurant has helpfully installed on the walls by the tables, and in front of him on the table is a small white cardboard box, the sort that often contains pastry, about four inches on a side. He's clearly arrived slightly early, long enough to have settled in and been served a glass of what looks as though it's probably beer of some description, but not so long that more than a sip or two of it is missing.
He's half-watching the door, and when he spots Cassidy, she gets a small inclination of his head and slight, one-sided smile in return. There's no immediate comment on her outfit, but it gets an appraising look as she approaches, and seems to be approved. "Ms. Carr. Thank you for coming," he replies in return, and gestures toward the other chair, "Please, make yourself comfortable. And really, don't feel you must address me as chef — unless you're in my kitchen, anyway. How have things been going working for The Man?"

Cassidy hangs her own wool coat on a hook and takes a seat, setting her bag at her feet and smoothing her skirt beneath her before settling a napkin in her lap. It seems she has manners. At least she does now. Knees together, ankles crossed, perfectly lady-like! Prior to her life being thrown into a blender, she was less sophisticated, mannered, or girlish. Now there is not a hair out of place, not a speck of makeup that is not applied flawlessly, and she can probably run in those high heeled boots. She is, as was WitSec's intention, completely unrecognizable from who she was in her former life.
"Ah, well, the same I would have to say," Cassidy notes in regards to her job. "It makes me curious how so very many utterly disorganized people chose to enter politics, where their every waking moment will require them to be organized." She chuckles a bit and shakes her head at the irony of it. "And you? How is your brick and mortar coming along, Mister Vydal?"

"Well, I haven't knifed anyone yet, but I won't claim it hasn't been a close-run thing," Vyv replies, "Construction could do with a good few more organized people in it as well, apparently. They're apparently about two days behind on the shop proper." He doesn't make any attempt to hide the annoyance with that fact, and not really the touch of disdain, either. A small shake of his head, and he pushes the box gently across the table toward her. "I can't say I'm surprised about the politicians. I believe the job's meant to require they be intelligent and charismatic as well, and that hasn't stopped many of them. Would you mind tasting this for me?" There's silverware at her place already. If she opens the box, she'll find a small dome-shaped cake, enrobed in shiny dark chocolate, decorated with what looks like the world's tiniest candied orange slice, about the size of a quarter, stood upright and off to one side, like a coin. Might be kumquat, actually.

Cassidy blinks curiously at the box and takes it in her hands. One manicured nail slides under the lid for any tape to be severed, before she opens it carefully. Her eyes widen at the sight of the delicately made confection. "I most certainly can try it, but part of me feels it would be an absolute crime to slice into such a thing of beauty. Is that…is that a candied kumquat?" she asks, carefully using her knife and fork to carve off a portion of the cake, clever eyes observing every nuance of it, from the sheen of the chocolate, to the scent emanating when it is sliced into. She takes the portion to give it a quick sniff, closing her eyes before she takes the bite.

"It is," Vyv confirms, looking faintly pleased that she recognizes it. The cake cuts easily — she could definitely get away with just the fork, if she wanted — and reveals clear layers, light chocolate mousse over chopped dark chocolate atop sharp orange and kumquat gelatin, on a base of vanilla sponge. The scent is, as one might expect, largely citrus and chocolate, with that bare hint of vanilla underlying it. He watches the way she observes it in turn, looking more thoughtful than nervous about her potential opinion. "And please do be honest," he adds.

The layers are studied with the eye of someone with clinical OCD, and Cassidy seems delighted at their perfect balance. "I don't believe I've ever seen an entremets more perfectly layered, Chef. And the combination of the citrus and chocolate, the balance of the light vanilla sponge, it's just exquisite. All it needs it the tiniest fleck of gold leaf beside the candied kumquat to catch more of the light off the glossy mirror glaze."

One might expect Vyv to look at least a bit pleased by that, and one would not be disappointed. Perhaps impressed, too, though that's even subtler. Clearer is the considering look, a faint moment of defocusing and slightly pursed lips before he nods. "Yes," he decides, "that might work nicely, if… mm. Thank you." He inclines his head to her along with the words, and is quiet for a moment.
"I do remember you had said you'd prefer to work for a private enterprise than in government," he says, then, and pauses again, glancing up as a waiter nears their table. It's only after menus have been offered and Cassidy's had a chance to order a drink if she'd like that he goes on. "…as I was saying. Were you thinking more in the realm of assisting a business, per se, or an individual?"

Cassidy orders herself some hot tea, because the weather is something she's not been able to adapt to. She's not from Colorado and she always feels frozen in the late fall and winter months. "An individual or a business would suit me fine. As long as the person or employees I'm assisting are on my same organizational wavelength. Why do you ask?" she queries, perusing the menu's food offerings with a curious eye.

Vyv scans the menu almost absently. The menu isn't notably long, but the descriptions are detailed, with various mentions of local sourcing and aiolis and crostinis and remoulades and the like. Beer and ale show up in a lot of sauces and batters; there's definitely a microbrew sort of thing going on.
"Well," he says, "because as I said, I've been thinking about our conversation at the ball, initially in the form of, do I need a PA?" He glances up from the menu. "To which the answer is, no, not technically, I'm quite organized to begin with." Picking up his glass, he takes a small sip. "But on the other hand… just because I =can= do something doesn't mean it's the best use of my time. Any time I'm using for accounting or going through initial applications or drycleaning or dealing with people," which is not a skin disease, but one might be forgiven for briefly thinking so, "is time I'm not baking, or designing, or finding new ingredients, or watching ridiculously bad reality TV." That one might be a joke. Maybe. Hard to be sure. "So I decided it might be worth looking into a bit more deeply. And," he tilts his head slightly, "so far, I think I may rather like you."

The menu is lowered as Cassidy looks over it at Vyv in surprise. A small smile grows into a larger one on her face. "I think that I would find working for you absolutely delightful, Mister Vydal. The fact you come pre-organized is a bonus, and I firmly agree. There are far better uses for your time than on menial tasks! There are simply not enough hours in the day for the best creatives to live and make their art. So I like to help with the living part, while admiring the art."

The smile she gets back is still small, but it's more definite than the others. "Then that's a good start," Vyv says. "We'll have to establish various things, I suppose — hours, wages, what are and are not acceptable duties and the like. And I probably ought to warn you before you agree to anything that I =was= on my second-best behaviour the other night, and not pointing out that that woman trailing spangles like a junior-prom Hansel and Gretel looked like a deep-fried Dolly Parton, or musing on how much it would cost to run a PSA on proper pocket square deployment." The smile that time is back to smaller and more one-sided. A hint of a shrug, and a somewhat dry, "Apparently some people find that sort of thing offputting."

Cassidy chuckles. "I was on my best behavior not to write about it on my blog. So I completely understand it," she points out with a grin. She dips into her bag to pull out a different business card, one with her phone and address on it as well as a more business-like email. "We can work the rest out through email to make it easier on you, if you'd like?" she offers.

Vyv reaches over to take the card, of course, and glances at it; this time, his fingers dip into the inner pocket of his jacket and emerge with a slim metal case. He opens it and trades her card for one of the ones inside, which he offers in return. "At the moment, the shop number's forwarded to me," he says. "And email is fine, if you'd prefer it to discussing over," a flick of his eyes to the menu, "'Pan seared chicken with pecorino romano, lemon herb beurre blanc, balsamic marinated tomatoes,' etc. I'm reasonably sure this qualifies as legally a working lunch at this point regardless."
He settles back in the chair, not enough to qualify as poor posture, but it does give a sense of a little relaxation, and maybe a touch of relief. "Good. Always nice having someone around who doesn't think 'flippant, sardonic, and arch' is a law firm. Almost a shame you held out; I'd be interested to see what you'd have written."

"One of my simplest rules of business, Mister Vydal. Email is preferred for any sort of legal negotiations, or important information, because it is easier to keep handy to refer to later. However, I think I can make an exception in this case, for good food and good company." Cassidy smiles at him again and orders the pan-seared rockfish with mushroom risotto and asparagus.
"About the only thing I don't do is clean bathrooms, and even that is negotiable or doable in an emergency circumstance. More likely I'd contact someone to take care of it for me," the young woman explains. "I can handle errands, scheduling, trip planning and reservations, and serving as a buffer between you and your adoring public of course."

"Not unwise," Vyv says, "Email me a synopsis of what we discuss, later, and I'll reply and agree. Or not, if I don't, and we can continue there, but either way, best of both worlds." He orders that chicken — sounded rather good, actually — and has another sip of his beer. Not in any hurry to get through it.
"As for cleaning bathrooms, I think — outside the aforementioned strange emergency circumstance — that would qualify as not the best use of =your= time. Contacting someone suitable to do it would be ideal. Actually, there's quite a good chance I'll be asking you to hunt down someone who does, for the flat. I've arranged with a commercial company to do the kitchen and shop proper, but not for upstairs. I think that should qualify as serving as a buffer between me and the insufficiently adoring public. How do you think hours would be best defined?"

"I consider myself permanently on call if need be, Mister Vydal," Cassidy quips, sipping her tea. "But there can of course be set office hours in which I can monitor calls and the like on your behalf, hire craftspeople you need for specific jobs, hold preliminary interviews on your behalf for personnel, and oversee projects you need me to. However, if we agree on a salary, I can always be available as needed."

"That's handy, means I won't have to remind myself you aren't." Hopefully not a bad portent of things to come; sounds a bit flippant, but that doesn't mean it's inaccurate. Vyv studies her for a moment, and nods. "Send me your resume and such when you get home, will you? Just for the files and my curiosity; I've seen enough it doesn't really matter. All of those are things I'm likely to ask you to do. Most likely I'll give you the information you need to do them and leave you to it, so most of that timing will really be up to you. So, that would seem to bring us to the question of salary. What range would you be looking for?"

Cassidy ponders a long moment over her tea, then she pulls out a notepad and writes down a figure on a slip of paper. She slides it across the table to him. It is a fair number for the kind of work she is promising to do, and promising to do well. She doesn't undershoot or overshoot.

Vyv's watching her again as she ponders, and the way she decides to handle it. It probably wasn't actually a test, just that assessing way he looks at many things… but if it was, she passes. He picks up the notepad, looking over the number (and her writing), and considers it a long moment of his own before nodding. "All right," he says, offering the notepad back, "That seems fair on both sides." Another small smile. "Which is good, since I may ask you to negotiate with vendors at times, and it suggests we're on a similar page. But we'll see on that. So, then — does the city require two week's notice?"

"Colorado is an "at-will" employment state, so no, the two weeks is not required. I do think I should give them a week to bring someone else in though, just to be fair?" Cassidy offers. She takes back the paper and tucks it into her bag.

"Tch, you're going to make me be considerate?" Vyv asks, shaking his head. "Yes, all right. Wouldn't do to leave them resenting you." A beat. "Particularly if we ever need anything from them later. In the meantime, we can work out details, get things set up and properly contracted and so on. Mn. Am I forgetting anything important? Your job to remind me, now."

"Indeed. City Hall is a wealth of opportunities for things like zoning and construction permits, Mister Vydal," Cassidy notes. "Also tax breaks depending on how your business affects the neighborhood around it." She taps a finger on her chin as she considers his question. "Just that I don't mind being called Cassidy. No Cass though, I wind up being thought of as a Cassandra and that's never a good connotation for a personal assistant." Having no one believe anything you say like the Greek figure.

"Oh, yes, I'd meant to ask you what you preferred," Vyv says, "…and quite. Cassidy will do nicely. If I'm working in the kitchen you may be best served by 'chef', just because it's what I'm most likely to be listening for; in businessy public interactions Mr. Vydal is lovely; privately or essentially off-the-clock I don't mind Vyv if you prefer. And that, I think, just about covers that." Just in time, too, as the food arrives, the cake box moved to a corner of the table as the plates are set before them.
"Now," the patissier says as he cuts a forkful of chicken, "let's say you =hadn't= been on your best behaviour… what would you have written?"

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