The week passed uneventfully. Bill made his usual rounds and it was business as usual. Finally it was Friday.
The secretary came in and said Bill Clements wanted to see me at noon.
`Well, this is probably it,‘ I thought to myself. When I walked into his office, he motioned me to sit down as he was on the phone. Covering the phone, he asked the secretary to get some sandwiches and coffee. It was all business as usual.
I waited patiently as he finally got off the phone. “Bob,” he began, “have you ever heard of Anzelia?" (He pronounced it `ann ZAY lee uh’.)
“No, should I?”
“Not particularly. It is a small country that most people have never have heard of. Roughly the size of Oregon and Washington together, surrounded by mountains. Located in central Africa. Small, but rich. They have some of the best heavy metal mines in the world. You know, platinum, gold, that sort of thing. They are coming into the 20th century; and, we have a chance at some good business. Last year they spent a bundle on a new telephone system and now they want someone to computerize their mining operations.
We are hoping for several million dollars worth of business follow-on over the next few years. Currently, we have a small contract to automate one of their mines. Our Boston office wrote the proposal and I realize you haven’t seen it.”
He waited for some reaction and went on.
“I have a particular reason for wanting you involved. They are a theocracy with a twist. Women hold all important positions in the church and government. One of the reasons why we are in a unique position to do this contract aside from our technical expertise.”
“What is that?” I asked absolutely dumbfounded.
“Oh, they don`t allow ordinary male consultants into the country.”
At first what he said didn’t hit me. Then I blushed. I looked over at him.
“Actually, until Friday night we were in a bit of a jam,” he paused to flash an amused grin, and then went on, “It seems that you don’t have to be a genetic woman, but you do have to look the part. I had in mind sending yourself, Linda, and Jeannette.”
Still blushing I mumbled that it sounded interesting.