The One With The President
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ok, I know this concept will seem a bit far fetched, but just go with me on this.
More notes below…
--"…and the President is down to 40% in the recent polls, a drop from his all-time low of 43% last month…"
"Monica," Kathy gained her attention as she entered the large kitchen. "I need to talk to you."
Monica continued to fly about the kitchen as she cooked. "You'll have to talk while I cook. I am behind schedule as it is."
"That's fine," Kathy murmured as she turned the volume down on the tiny TV that was tuned to the latest news reports about the President.
"Nick wants me to bring you along tomorrow."
Monica stopped her flurried movements. "Go with?" she repeated. "As in, to the White House?"
Kathy sighed. "Yes. He thinks it will make a better impression if our best chef is there," Kathy explained. "To explain recipe possibilities or whatever. I told him I didn't think it was a very good idea…"
Monica glared at her supervisor before turning her attention back to cooking. "I have the Ontario event tomorrow," she informed.
Kathy nodded. "He knows. He says Tim can do it."
Monica scoffed, "Has he met Tim?"
"All he has to do is heat and serve," Kathy stated exasperatedly. "How hard can that be?"
"For Tim?" Monica chuckled shortly. "Hard."
"Look, I'm not happy about this either," Kathy grumbled. "You will just be in my way down there, but, this is what Nick wants."
"Oh, I'll try not to get in your highness' way!" she shot back sarcastically, rolling her eyes when her back was turned.
"Look, you can stop with the attitude any time now," Kathy spat. "If you weren't such a great chef, you wouldn't even have this job!"
"And if you didn't kiss Nick's ass every day of your life," Monica growled, "you wouldn't have your job!"
Kathy glared hard at Monica, who refused to back down off her look, even when the pot behind her started to boil over.
"Monica!" Rachel yelled, rushing towards the stove.
That caught Monica's attention, and she turned away from her stare-down with Kathy in order to tend to the food.
"The meeting is at 2," Kathy informed glibly, then left the kitchen.
Monica glared after her, then grunted in anger. "She infuriates me!"
"I know," Rachel acknowledged, "but you need to just find a way to work with her."
Monica chuckled grimly, "I don't want to."
"Oh, that's mature," Rachel laughed.
"She just brings it out in me," Monica sighed. "And now I have to go to the White House with her tomorrow."
Rachel's brow furrowed. "Why?"
"Nick deems it necessary," Monica replied, taking the large pot of food she had rescued off the heat.
"What about the Ontario event?"
"He wants Tim to do it."
Rachel laughed. "Has he met Tim?"
Monica shrugged. "Apparently, Nick thinks he can handle it."
"Well, guess we can kiss that event goodbye next year!" Rachel exclaimed.
"I mean, there's no point to having me there!" Monica continued. "I'm not in charge of schmoozing! I'm just the chef!"
"You're not 'just the chef', Mon," Rachel stated supportively. "You are the head chef of the most prestigious catering service in the whole United States!"
Monica smiled at her friend's praise. "I know I am important within the company, I just meant that winning new clients isn't in my job description."
"Well, Kathy will probably do most of the talking," Rachel surmised.
"Yeah," Monica agreed. "And ass kissing," she added with a smirk, causing Rachel to laugh. "You're serving at The Ontario event, right?"
"Keep an eye on Tim for me?"
Rachel smiled. "Absolutely."
--"Hey, Joey," Chandler greeted him as he approached.
"You dropped the whole last paragraph!" Joey whined, shaking the paper in Chandler's face.
"It was a judgement call," Chandler informed his uptight friend. "We were running long."
Joey exhaled sharply, "Why have me on staff at all if you're just gonna be dropping whole paragraphs out of the speeches?"
"Joe, relax. It was a good speech. All your speeches are good," Chandler added. "I will try not to let it happen again."
Chandler's tone, though not at all cross or upset, caused Joey to remember who he was talking to.
"I'm sorry Mr. President," Joey apologized. "It's just, you left off the best part!"
Chandler patted his friend's shoulder. "I'm sorry."
"What are you sorry about, sir?" Ross asked, entering the large office.
"He dropped the last paragraph!" Joey exclaimed.
"I noticed," Ross replied, smiling at Chandler. "Good morning Mr. President."
"Good morning Mr. President," Phoebe greeted as she too entered the room, just behind Ross.
"Mornin' Pheebs! What's on the agenda for today?"
Phoebe flipped the agenda open to the correct day, then began to fill Chandler in on all he had on schedule.
Chandler clapped his hands, then rubbed them together, "Sounds like a busy day ahead."
"Yes, sir," Phoebe replied.
"Oh, and sir," Ross interjected, waiting for Chandler's signal before continuing. "We got the latest poll results."
The smile dropped from Chandler's face as he nodded. "Alright. Up or down?"
"Um," Ross hesitated. "Down, sir."
Chandler sighed, "By how much?"
"Three points, sir," Ross replied.
"I don't get it!" Chandler exclaimed. "I'm a good guy, right?"
"Yes, sir." "Of course, sir." "Absolutely, sir," came the responses from his friends and employees.
"I mean, I know I'm no Andrew Douglas, but, I'm doing my best!" Chandler sighed, "Why do the numbers drop lower and lower every month?"
They all fidgeted slightly, until Ross eventually spoke up.
"If I could speak with you alone, sir?"
Phoebe and Joey immediately took the hint.
"I have a few calls to make," Phoebe announced as she closed the agenda and turned towards the door.
"And I have to write another speech that you'll just hack the end off of," Joey teased as he followed behind Phoebe.
Chandler chuckled. "Thanks guys."
The two men stared at each other until the door clicked closed, then Chandler gave Ross an up-nod… a gesture to speak freely.
"The public sees you as immature, sir. You are the youngest president to take office. You are unmarried, and you have a casual approach that some view as a poor quality in a leader."
"What happened to the idea that some will see all of that as a positive?" Chandler asked. "That some will see me as an 'everyday man like them'? They out hiding when the poll gets passed?"
Ross sighed, "I'm not sure, Mr. President."
"Ross, call me Chandler! When we're alone, having a conversation, you can call me Chandler. It is my name, ya'know."
"Yes, sir, but I will not be addressing you in that casual manner."
"Why? Cause I'm the president? Because I'm your boss?" Chandler groaned. "We've been friends a long time, haven't we?"
"Yes, sir. Since college."
"I think, regardless to my title, that we know each other well enough for you to call me by my given name."
"Yes, sir," Ross replied stiffly.
"But you won't, will you?"
"Fine," Chandler sighed. "So, tell me, what do I do to fix this?"
--"It's hard for him," Phoebe mused as she and Joey spoke softly at her desk. "He loved Andy like a brother. He only ran as his vice-president because he was so certain Andy was a strong enough leader to be both president and vice-president."
"I hate to say it," Joey whispered sotto, "but he doesn't seem very… political."
"Well, his dad pushed him into it," Phoebe explained. "When he met Andy, Andy sort of took him under his wing. Chandler still had so much to learn when he agreed to run as Andy's vice-president. He even said no at first," Phoebe informed in a whisper. "But when Andy's other running mate bowed out… Chandler was the only other man Andy would consider. Chandler agreed as a favor. He did it cause he knew that if Andy didn't have a running mate, he would have to drop out."
"Didn't he realize that he would have to, 'do stuff'?" Joey asked. "You know, political-type stuff?"
"Well, sure! But he always thought he would have Andy's guidance! When he died, it left Chandler without that unique tutelage. Luckily," she added, "Ross is a great advisor."
"Maybe that's why his numbers are so low?" Joey questioned. "Because people sense he doesn't exactly know what he's doing?"
Phoebe just shrugged.
Ok, I need feedback guys! I will continue if people are interested, but if people think this is just too far fetched, I'll stop and pull it. PLEASE, let me know!
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