Alter-Ego brings Dorothy to Stan’s office. The first thing she notices is that his door is labeled: The Generalissimo. Alter-Ego pushes it and it creaks open. Dorothy peers in and sees what might be considered a desk buried under mounds of papers and artwork. TACK TACK TACK. She hears the clacking of a keyboard. Upon hearing the door groan, the typing stops, and a voice asks, “Nelson? Is that you?”
“Nick, Stan. It’s Nick.”
“Sure, that works. I have Dorothy Su, the new hire the agency sent over.”
Stan jumps up from behind the pile of work. He immediately bounds forward across the room. He’s about to trip over a pile of books stacked on the floor when Alter-Ego deftly shoves them out of the way with his foot.
“Hi! Pleasure to meet ya! Stan Lee,” Stan says as he extends his hand and firmly shakes Dorothy’s.
“Nice to finally meet you, sir. I’m a big fan.”
“Well of course you are! Who isn’t?”
“Oh goodness… I don’t know…”
“So you’re my new Office Manager? Good luck managing this group of weirdos!”
Stan swings his arm wide and knocks a potted plant off of a filing cabinet. Alter-Ego lunges forward and catches it. “Do you know what we do here, Dolores?” Stan asks.
“I have an idea…”
“We write and produce comic books,” Stan says while opening both his arms wide. Alter-Ego ducks, barely missing being accidentally slapped in the face. “Now I only hire a certain type of person here at POW! Those with extra ordinary powers. Some people say that’s crazy! They ask, ‘How can you run an office full of zany characters like that?’ But I believe it adds a bit of spice to the finished product. If you’re writing about superheroes, you might as well go right to the source! Am I right?”
Dorothy nods along to everything Stan says. “Mmm hmmm, that’s very forward thinking.”
“Do you know how I succeeded in this business all these years, Dawn?”
“Well, I assume…” Dorothy tries to respond.
“By sticking to my guns! My instincts!”
Stan pounds his fist down on the desk, splashing a cup of coffee on himself. Alter-Ego instantly hands him a napkin. Stan takes it and wipes himself off while continuing to talk.
“I thought, what kind of stories would I enjoy reading? Then I wrote ‘em!”
Dorothy nods her head, hanging on every word. Stan sits back down in front of his computer. “If you stick to that creed in the managerial profession, you’ll turn out okay, kid.”
Stan begins to go at it on his keyboard again. “Was that a great pep talk or what?” Stan cajoles.
“Oh yes! It was splendid, sir,” Dorothy responds.
Stan reaches for his cup of coffee. Just before he takes it, Alter-Ego swaps a fresh cup in without Stan noticing.
“Top notch, Stan,” Alter-Ego chimes in.
Stan finishes, “It was nice to meet ya, Daisy. I know you won’t let me down.”
Dorothy takes that as her cue to leave and stands to go. “Thank you for this opportunity, Mr. Lee.” She begins to walk toward the exit when Stan stops her.
“Oh, one more thing, dear. If you come across a glowing doorway in the office where there shouldn’t be one, don’t open it. That’s how we lost the last Office Manager. God rest Shannon’s soul.”
Alter-Ego shakes his head. “That was Shirley, Stan.”
Stan agrees, “Oh that’s right. Terrible thing. Anyway, I’ll be seeing ya!” Stan gleefully waves goodbye.
Dorothy raises an eyebrow, smiles, and exits, followed by Alter-Ego. What a whirlwind first meeting with the boss that was, she thinks.
You’ve reached the end of this chapter