Se­cret Story

Leanne, 38, has found a way to treat her­self at work

that's life (Australia) - - Contents - As told to Sarah Firth

So sorry!’ came Ni­cole’s voice down the line. ‘Lunch has over­run, I’ll be there by half past.’

‘No wor­ries,’ I mum­bled. There was no point ar­gu­ing, she wouldn’t ap­pear any sooner, and I didn’t want to lose my job.

Work­ing as a child carer for Ni­cole, I looked af­ter her kids, Char­lie, three, and Emmy, 18 months, while she ran her mar­ket­ing busi­ness.

Af­ter drop­ping my girls, Hayleigh, 14, and Casey, six, at school, I’d drive over to Ni­cole’s. I was meant to give Char­lie and Emmy the lunch Ni­cole had pre­pared, and keep the kitchen and lounge look­ing tidy.

But I couldn’t help feel­ing Ni­cole was start­ing to ask too much. As she was of­ten late, I’d have to ask a grumpy Hayleigh to pick up Casey or leave her wait­ing for me at school.

Ni­cole had also stopped mak­ing the kids’ lunches.

‘I didn’t have a chance,’ she’d say, sweep­ing out of the house. ‘There’s loads of toma­toes in the fridge, could you make them some pasta and sauce?’

The food had to be or­ganic and home-made – a good old Vegemite sand­wich would never do. So I’d find my­self over the stove.

‘If she spent less time on her hair she might man­age to find a saucepan,’ I mut­tered to my­self.

With per­fectly curled locks and flaw­less make-up, Ni­cole al­ways looked im­mac­u­late.

At 3.35pm, she breezed in.

‘Sorry!’ she said. She was al­ways sorry.

‘No wor­ries,’ I said. ‘It’s just Casey fin­ishes school at 3.30pm…’

‘Oh no!’ she said. ‘You should have told me.’

I have, I thought through grit­ted teeth.

‘Ac­tu­ally, I’ve been think­ing,’ she said as I rushed to get my shoes on. ‘You do such a fab job with the house, would you mind giv­ing the bath­room a quick wipe to­mor­row?’

There was no time to ar­gue.

‘Sure!’ I shouted, half­way out the door.

My hubby Pete and I re­ally needed the money, so I couldn’t af­ford to lose the job.

The next day, I had

Ni­cole’s en­suite gleam­ing.

Catch­ing sight of my tired face in the mir­rored cab­i­net, I couldn’t help won­der­ing what fancy lo­tions and po­tions she kept in there.

Wow! I thought, open­ing the door. There were heaps of mois­turis­ers, fa­cial sprays, and serums.

In­trigued, I opened up a barely used jar of anti-age­ing eye stuff promis­ing mir­a­cles.

Well, she’s not pay­ing me any ex­tra for this bath­room, I rea­soned, skim­ming some lo­tion off the top and rub­bing it around my eyes.

Af­ter that, I couldn’t help giv­ing my skin a lit­tle treat ev­ery day.

She’ll never no­tice, I thought, tucking it away at the back of the shelf.

Pretty soon though, the pot was def­i­nitely look­ing a lit­tle


Doubts set in. What if she found out? Did I want to end up sacked be­cause of an over­priced face cream? That’s when I had an idea. On my next trip to the su­per­mar­ket, I picked up a cheap brand of mois­turiser and took it to work.

Smells good, I thought, as I squeezed it into the nearly empty pot.

The truth is most of Ni­cole’s cab­i­net is now $3 cream in fancy pots.

And, putting it on her face for months, she’s none the wiser.

Ni­cole might be a ter­ri­ble boss, but at least my skin is look­ing good!

What if I was found out? Did I want to end up sacked?

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