A day in the life of Myra Wilkinson by Barb Goffman

50-shades-of-cabernetDear Douglas,

Take this job and shove it!


Leaning back in my swivel chair, I stared at the words on my computer screen. My friend Gwen was right. It was cathartic to type them out, even if I’d never actually say them or send them. It’s silly to burn bridges, and these words would start a fire. Gwen knows. She runs the Human Resources department here at the Washington, DC, law firm we both work at, and she received a bridge-burner email a few years ago. It didn’t work out well for the sender in the long run.

I deleted the unsent email and glanced around. It was after seven p.m. on a Tuesday night, and our floor was quiet. The attorneys who were still here were busy and focused, hunkered down in their offices, writing briefs or reading case law. No one was paying attention to me, which is as it should be. As secretary to the head of the litigation department, my job was to make others’ lives easier. I arranged schedules and couriers, set up meetings and depositions, filed, typed, ordered supplies, and, most importantly, anticipated problems and solved them.

I’ve been assisting Douglas—our department head—in this manner for forty years. Some people wouldn’t like my job, always taking a supporting role, never being in the limelight. But it’s been just fine for me. In fact, up until this week, I’ve been darn happy. It’s only since I started trying to train Jessica to take over for me—I retire on Friday—that I’ve gotten aggravated enough to toy with taking a stand.

I mean, honestly, what does it say about me that my boss thinks I can be replaced by a twenty-something bimbo who clearly cares nothing about the job and is only here to land a rich husband? I tried to tell Douglas yesterday that he’s chosen the wrong person for his new assistant, but he wouldn’t hear it. As if my word means nothing.

Maybe I should tell him to take this job and shove it.

No no no. I love my job. And I love Douglas. And I only have three days left before I retire. I should focus on the positive. Maybe I could get through to Jessica before the end of the day Friday, make her see how important this job is, how she needs to focus on the details. Or at the very least, to wear longer skirts. Oh, who was I kidding? I needed to work on Douglas. Make him see reason.

Besides, I couldn’t leave before my goodbye party on Friday afternoon. I’d been planning them for years, and finally, this one was going to be for me—a public acknowledgment of all my years of dedication. There should be great food, as well as delicious wine. Organic cabernet sauvignon. We always have organic red wine at litigation department events because Douglas is allergic to the real thing. I’ll have to make sure Jessica knows about Douglas’s allergy and understands how important it is that his allergy remains a secret. He thinks if word got out, it would undermine his scary litigator persona.

Entrusting a big secret to a woman who isn’t detail oriented? What could go wrong with that?

Pick up a copy of 50 Shades of Cabernet, published March 20th by Koehler Books, to find out. This short-story anthology opens with Agatha Award-winning author Barb Goffman’s newest story—“Whose Wine Is It Anyway?”—about Myra’s last days at the law firm.

In vino mysterium is the theme for this anthology, each story blending a baffling mystery and a glass (or more) of cabernet. When eighteen mystery writers combine their talents, the result is the perfect “flight” of stories that range from the light-bodied puzzles to sparkling cozy mysteries to darker, heavier tales of deceit and murder. While cabernet is the featured wine, this anthology will appeal to connoisseurs of all varietals—in both wine preference and mystery style.

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About the author
Barb Goffman edits mysteries by day and writes them by night. She’s won the Agatha, Macavity, and Silver Falchion awards for her short stories, and she’s been a finalist for national crime-writing awards nineteen times: ten times for the Agatha, four times for the Macavity, three times for the Anthony, and once each for the Derringer and Silver Falchion awards. Her book Don’t Get Mad, Get Even won the Silver Falchion for the best short-story collection of 2013. When not writing, Barb runs a freelance editing and proofreading service. She lives in Winchester, Virginia, and blogs every third Tuesday at www.SleuthSayers.org. In her spare time, she reads, reads, reads and plays with her dog. Learn more at www.barbgoffman.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a Kindle copy of 50 Shades of Cabernet. The giveaway ends March 24, 2017. Good luck everyone!

50 Shades of Cabernet is available at retail and online booksellers.

19 responses to “A day in the life of Myra Wilkinson by Barb Goffman

  1. Looking forward to reading “50 Shades of Cabernet”.


  2. Deborah A Muir

    Looks like a fun reaf


  3. Love the title, Barb! 😀


  4. A great teaser for a fun read.


  5. thanks for the chance.


  6. Sounds like a fun book to read, thanks


  7. Thanks for the chance!


  8. Many thanks to Elaine, Deborah, Meg, Carolyn, Judy, Bobbi, and CJ, for stopping by. And thanks to everyone (Carolyn!) who’s read or will read my story, and the book as a whole. I hope you all enjoy it!


  9. Grace Topping

    Barb, the description of your story leaves me dying to find out what happens. I’ve been in jobs that I’ve dedicated a lot to and grieved over who was assigned to take over after I left. So I can really relate to this story.


  10. Mary Jane H.

    I know the feeling and I felt the same when my job came to an end! What a dilemma she has. Can’t wait to read the ending.


  11. Really enjoyed the post anf and the book sounds like an amazing read.


  12. Barb Goffman

    Grace, Mary Jane, and Dianne, thanks so much for stopping by. It’s hard to leave a job you’ve dedicated yourself to. I once went back to visit a newspaper I’d worked at. It was weird to see someone else sitting at my desk. Anyway, I hope you get to read the story and the whole book. Have a great rest of your day.


  13. This anthology sounds wonderful! Looking forward to checking it out.


  14. **** WINNER ****
    of 50 Shades of Cabernet is Elaine N.