Rebecca gaped at the assembled men before her. ‘Wait what? What do you mean it was Nate who leaked the panic attacks? Ted did you know this?’ She turned to the man who squirmed in his seat under her stare.
‘Yes. Trent told me when he sent me the article. It’s why he got fired.’
Her jaw dropped. ‘You’ve known for two months? And you never said anything to me?’
‘He was hurting Rebecca. I don’t blame him for what he did. I let him down.’
‘He betrayed you, and us, and now he’s gone to another team? To Ruperts team?’
‘Please don’t me mad at him. Don’t be mad at Rupert. This is my fault I should have noticed he was struggling. I-‘ he broke off as her face turned stony. She rose from her chair, walking over to tower above him.
‘You’re damn right I’m mad at you Ted! Not because of some stupid fight you had with Nathan because he was throwing a tantrum but because you didn’t tell me about it.’
‘Rebecca you’re my friend, and I appreciate you, but this was between he and I-‘
‘No Ted I am not your friend.’ His face dropped. She rolled her eyes. ‘I mean yes of course you are my friend but I’m also your boss Ted. I need to know what’s going on in my club!’
She snapped, spinning to pace the room, narrowly avoiding smacking into Roy in the doorway. He held out an arm to halt her.
‘Rebecca-‘ she glared him down and he dropped his arm. She let out a heavy sigh, hand rubbing across her temple.
‘Christ I’m sorry, it’s not any of your faults, it’s mine. I knew it was a mistake to become friendly with the team. Clearly the hierarchy has gotten lost. God the press are going to have a field day if they find out-weak Welton, the woman whose staff don’t respect her as a boss because she’s too nice to them so it doesn’t even occur to them to tell her when there’s a serious issue amongst the staff. Karren and Delia are going to have my guts for garters. I’ve set the woman’s lib front back at least 10 years. Well that’s all going to have to stop. I love the relationship I have with this team but it’s going to have to go back to Ms Welton, not Rebecca, and we’re going to have to have strict ground rules for our friendship Ted-you’re one of my dearest friends and I don’t know what I’d do without you but maybe we should keep friends to outside of work hours. God Biscuits with the Boss will have to end of course. And Roy maybe I should just be your girlfriends bestfriend not your occasional lunch buddy. And Beard you know I love our chats but perhaps we should restrict them to work, not putting the world to rights.’
Ted could take it no longer and grabbed her arm, halting her mid stride.
‘Rebecca! Stop! What on Earth are you rambling on about? That’s usually my wheelhouse.’
‘Ted I have dozens of peoples livelihoods depending on me, I have thousands and thousands of people who live for this club. I can’t let it fall apart, I can’t have it rot from the inside out. I have to be the leader, I have to be strong. The Lasso way-kindness and openness-might work for coaching but it clearly doesn’t work for owning. I’ve damaged this team enough in the last 18 months, I can’t afford to slip up again. And Roy and Beard- you both thought there was something funky with him too? God if you’d all told me I could have spoken to Nathan, I could have reprimanded him for his actions. I could have fired him for breach of contract. I could have mediated or launched an investigation into all of this. Instead we’ve lost a valuable member of our team to a rival club and he got a handsome leaving gift too.’
‘I know you always want to help people but this is a workplace and I am your boss Ted! I thought…I know we’ve had this weird distance between us for a few months whilst we were dealing with our respective shit but I thought you still at least respected me enough as a boss to tell me when one of my members of staff publicly undermines the club-I know you were the focus of his ire but none of us were unscathed. I just…I wish you could have told me. I know you only found out after the article came out and we’re blindsided but…was it because of Sam? Is that when you stopped respecting me? I know I fucked up there but …. You said you were okay with it so either you lied and didn’t respect me enough as a friend to tell me the truth or you didn’t respect me enough as a boss to see what a shitty thing I did?’
‘Rebecca please stop! I’m sorry.’
‘I can’t do this right now. I’m going to leave before I say anything more that I’ll regret. I’m going to miss those biscuits you know. Can we change it to evening biscuits with Becca or something? No. Perhaps not. I think we should take a break from all that. Go to Kansas, go be with your son. I’ll always be there for you as a boss but right now I’m hurting too much as your friend to see you. Bye Ted. Safe travels.’ She walked out, leaving three speechless men behind her.
‘I’ve fucked up.’ Ted dropped back into his chair, head in his hands.
‘We all did. We should have told you Nate was being shitty a long time before it all came to a head. We all need to do better next season. Christ Keeley is going to have my head when she finds out.’
‘How do I fix this?‘