This is for Karen and Jimmy. Karen answers our phones at work and Jimmy is an ex-Marine drill instructor. Try to guess why it's for them.

Always thanks to TAE for the beta and the calming vibes ;-)

Finally thanks to my Mom who taught me to always keep the important people happy and just who those important people are.

Secretary's Day
Lila Kulp


Rhonda listened patiently as the caller ignored her and continued to rant.

"Sir, I...?" she repeated a bit louder, but with no effect.

Every head in the bullpen turned towards the sharp click as Rhonda hit the mute button on her phone. "I do not need this today."

Rolling her eyes and uttering a few curses that only Jim heard clearly, she prepared to take the phone off mute. She paused when she noticed Captain Banks standing in front of her desk.

"Is there a problem?" he asked. His tone left no question to what he expected the answer to be. The hand that was held out, ready to accept the phone, eliminated any lingering doubts.

With a sigh of relief, she handed the receiver over to her boss and explained, "This guy called in wanting to know the lastest developments in his case. He insists on speaking with the detective in charge. When I asked for his case number he just started ranting."

Captain Banks accepted the handset and motioned for Rhonda to take the phone off mute. "This is Captain Simon Banks of the Major Crime Department. To whom am I speaking?"

There was a brief pause as Simon allowed the caller to state his name.

All the detectives and officers in the room were careful to appear busy while still covertly observing their commander in action.

"First thing, Mr. Schrader, you need to understand that the lady you were speaking so harshly to is my secretary. She answers the phone. She is not a detective. She is a civilian who is gracious enough to help us do our jobs," Simon's tone was very calm and controlled. It was a tone that everyone in the room recognized instantly and that normally caused them to seek activities elsewhere.

"She is the first person that you will speak with when you call Major Crime and she has the power to connect you to a detective or place you on hold. You do NOT call here and treat her in the manner that you just did. You treat her with honor and respect." Never once did Simon raise his voice. He did not swear or curse. He very politely explained to Mr. Schrader the facts of reality according to the Major Crime department.

"Now that we have that understood, how can I help you?" Simon stood silently listening to the caller speak. Occasionally he'd nod his head and say "uh huh".

After a few moments he completed the call with, "I can understand your concern and I'll look into it. Thank you."

He quietly handed the phone back to Rhonda and without a word walked into his office.


Rhonda came back from her lunch break to find flowers sitting on her desk. It wasn't abnormal for 'her boys' to do such things to cheer her up after such a morning.

She looked around to see if any of the usual suspects had a suspicious look on their face, but saw nothing out of place.

Glancing into the Captain's office, she saw that he had a visitor, so instead of asking Simon about the flowers, she simply sat at her desk and began going through the voicemail from lunch.

She was placing the various phone messages on the appropriate desks when Captain Banks and his visitor came out of the office.

"Oh, Rhonda," Simon said as the two men walked over to the secretary, "I want you to meet Mr. Schrader." Simon stepped aside to reveal a nervous looking Mr. Schrader.

Rhonda glanced at her boss to make sure he was serious and politely held her hand out to the visitor.

Mr. Schrader glanced around before carefully taking the proffered hand and gently kissing it.

The secretary had to lean in to hear what he said, "Ma'am, please allow me to apologize for my atrocious behavior earlier on the phone. It was completely uncalled for."

Anxious to have the attention diverted elsewhere, he gestured over his shoulder towards Rhonda's desk. "Um, I hope you don't mind. I, uh, thought maybe some flowers might... That you'd... Uh, I got you some flowers."

"Those are from you?" Rhonda asked with a hint of disbelief.

Mr. Schrader worked at a spot on the floor with his foot and nodded.

Suddenly aware of the gathered detectives and officers, who were watching, Rhonda quickly assured the man, "You're forgiven. This time."

This earned a nervous smile from the visitor.

Simon placed a hand Mr. Schrader's shoulder, "Mr. Schrader just wanted to apologize before he left." That said, the Captain steered the visitor towards the doors and escorted him out of the bullpen.

Rhonda placed the last message note on Detective Ellison's desk and walked back to her own to smell her flowers.

She was joined by Rafe who, for some reason, was almost as nervous as Mr. Schrader. "Um, Rhonda, now that you have those flowers, I guess you don't need cheering up."

She looked suspiciously at her friend and co-worker, "Rafe, what did you do?" He shuffled his feet a bit before bringing his hand from behind his back to show her what he had.

It was a container of bubble fluid on a plasting string to form a necklace. It was shaped and painted like a bright yellow smiley face.

Rhonda almost squealed as she grabbed the party favor and immediately began to fill the bullpen with bubbles.

The End

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