A New Understanding


corner time at workAmy Holman wearily shook her head and sighed. At 28 she was young enough to have the new ideas but sufficiently experienced to carry them out and it looked like she had arrived at Hartman and Hartman in the nick of time. The old firm was a joke, completely submerged in the dark ages, she thought casting an incredulous eye at the Dickensian desk in the corner. How did an office like this still survive in the heart of the City in this day and age?

Her smart 21st century business suit with pinstripe skirt and black chrome iPad jarred heavily with the room as did her cascade of long chestnut hair. She would have been more at home in crinolines, she snorted to herself. Well except that she wouldn’t. If anything, things would have to change.

Amy was still lost in her seething analysis when the elder John Hartman entered the room.

He was a tall imposing man with steel-grey hair and the kind of reading glasses that looked intimidating when he peered over them. His suit was the old-fashioned three piece kind and he moved with the confidence of well-practiced certainty. Even the way he held the paper in his hand spoke of authority. It sat gently in his strong grasp like a holy writ.

“Settling in I see,” he said with stern but genuine smile.

“After a fashion,” Amy sighed.

“Oh, is there something wrong?” Hartman asked solicitously.

He was standing upright like a pillar and regarding her with the kind of patience headmasters use when they have heard it all before.

“This office… well it is…” she began carefully.

“Yes?” Hartman’s voice was crisp.

“I don’t think you understand, this is not how business is done these days,” she said in a voice that suggested pity rather than scorn.

It was a tone that reminded him of his late wife and when she had said such things in that tone she tended to add the word “bless” at the end. It amused him rather.

“I don’t think you understand, I don’t really care Miss Holman,” he said.

His use of Miss irritated her and she frowned.

“You were enlisted by my son to handle the more ‘modern’ clients with their Interweb, computer-based business and legal problems,” he told her patiently, “Not to get involved in the running of this law firm.”

Amy almost giggled out loud at the word ‘Interweb’ but she noticed the hint of disapproval in the way he said ‘enlisted by my son.’ But the salary was more half again what she was earning in Manchester and the firm’s reputation was legend. It unsettled her to think she might have been there in sufferance. She felt the heat rise in her face and her mouth went dry.

“Mr Hartman I think we may have got off on the wrong foot. It is just a little misunderstanding I am sure. I only meant…” she backpedalled.

“Miss Holman,” Hartman said sharply cutting her off, “I fully understand what you meant, better than you I suspect. Do you think you are the only bright young thing who has passed through this office over the years?”

With that he handed the paper he held and smiled.

“Your client list,” he beamed, “It is very short so there is no excuse for not getting up to speed is there?”

“No Sir,” she said and then blushed, she had never called anyone ‘Sir’ before and at her last position even the chair was addressed as Dave.

“Good,” Hartman smiled again and then strolled back out of the room.


None of the clients were what she had expected. Instead of slick no nonsense business sharks they were a menagerie of eccentric billionaires, has-been celebrities she had to pretend to remember and half-senile old ladies who wanted to chat about soap operas she didn’t watch.

One of them even phoned her at home in the middle of the night to tell her that the papers they thought they had lost weren’t after all and would be dispatched the next day. Before Amy could suggest that they could have rung and told her during working hours they rang off. Finally she cracked and told a silky voiced octogenarian that she had never seen one of his old movies because he had stopped making them 20 years before she was even born.

There were many other such incidents but little by little she rationalised all the files and set-up a digital system for the clerks. She even managed to offload some of the lesser cases to a subordinate in the outer office and pare down the workload to focus on internet banking and copyright messes caused by private photos escaping into the wild and suchlike.

She was still feeling rightly proud when Mr Hartman summoned her to his office.

“I see you have managed to put out a few fires,” he intoned.

Amy noticed that she hadn’t been invited to sit and so didn’t.

“Yes I think…” she began.

“By putting petrol on some of them,” Hartman interrupted sharply. “Sir Daniel Dexter was very amused at your rudeness,” then in a hard slow deadpan voice Hartman added, “Oh how we laughed.”

“Quite a character isn’t he? I mean have you ever seen any of his movies?” Amy sensed that Hartman was pissed off with her.

“I have little time to hob-nob with pillars of our noble theatre to pretend amusement and un-ruffle feathers,” Hartman growled. “Nor have I time to reassure the fourth richest man in Europe that his interests are being handled with a deft 24-hour service…”

“But he called me at three in the morning to ask if next time he had a report could the folder be black and not brown,” Amy protested.

“I don’t care if he called you during church to demand a gold leaf cover and a handwritten copy,” Hartman gaped as if she were bordering on mad. “Who do you think our clients are?”

Amy was still dwelling on the mention of church? What planet was Mr Hartman on?

“You don’t understand…” she began. In her stress her voice carried a whine.

“No Miss Holman, you don’t understand,” Hartman said wearily.

“This firm is the most… have you any idea… I mean… this is completely ridiculous,” Amy was close to yelling in her frustration.

Hartman sat back and regarded the girl, as he saw her, with a weary disdain. She had potential, but like all women of her age did not understand how certain corners of the world worked.

“Miss Holman,” he said, “Go away and compose yourself. Then you can think about how you intend to apologise.”

“Apologise,” Amy spat, her mouth hanging open in a literal gape at the stupid old man. “But that’s… I won’t do it. You really don’t understand do you?”

Hartman shook his head in disbelief. Even in so-called modern establishments young lawyers apologised all the time to keep a client onside.

“What you don’t understand is that if I hear one more word out of your mouth I don’t like then I am going to put you over my knee and spank your pretty little bare bottom for you,” Hartman told her firmly.

“Wh-what…?” Amy closed her mouth and blanched.

“Too rich for you blood no doubt, then perhaps you should go back to Manchester,” Hartman sighed.

“Too rich…? You’re insane, if you think that I am… that you would…” Amy blushed in confusion. She should have been more outraged, but instead she felt about six-years old.

Hartman knew the type; he had never misjudged such a situation in almost 38 years. “Miss Holman, come here,” his voice was heavy with disappointment.

As he spoke with a crook of his finger he stood up and moved around his desk to sit in one of the old Georgian armless seats against the wall by the window.

Amy gulped.

“You don’t understand, people just don’t do this anymore, I‘m 28 for God’s sake and I am not your daughter,” she blustered.

Where the hell did that crack come from she wondered amid her embarrassment?

“A young lady is never too old for a good sound spanking,” Hartman said imperiously and patted his lap.

“I won’t,” Amy said with a pout.

But all the same she found herself drawn and nervously tottered forward on uncertain legs.

“I think you will,” he said removing his jacket.

Amy was shamefaced and incredulous as she watched him carefully roll up each sleeve. He wasn’t in bad shape for a man approaching 60 she noted and then blushed as she suppressed inappropriate thoughts.

“Miss Holman, I don’t have all day and I think this will take quite some time. I suggest you remove your jacket and skirt first,” Hartman barked as an order.

Amy blushed again and eyed the door.

“No one will come in, no one would dare and if they did it wouldn’t be the first spanking in this office,” he said impatiently.

She wasn’t surprised by that. Then for reasons she did not understand Amy nodded and with a face the colour of a London bus she slowly unbuttoned her jacket and turned away before attending to her skirt. That morning she had felt the picture of sophistication in her stockings and silk blouse. Now she felt like a half-dressed schoolgirl hauled out in front of the class.

Suddenly she realised what she was doing and began to bounce up and down in a parody of eagerness. “Look Mr Hartman, this is totally ridiculous. I know I messed up but you can’t do this,” she wailed.

“Over my knee right now,” Hartman barked.

Amy’s eyes made like saucers and she took half a step forward and then another until her stockings were against the material of Hartman’s suit trousers. Hartman glared at her and patted his lap and she caved.

It was shameful to voluntarily bend over and she held that pose for a long moment before flopping across his lap. Her weight settled in a way that was strangely comforting.

“Just so that there is no misunderstanding I want you to take your own knickers down,” he said sternly.

Amy fixed her gaze on a point on the wall and tried out a defiant glare. It failed. So with an undignified shuffle on his lap and much heavy breathing she shucked her underwear down while hiding a heroic blush by dipping her head.

Hartman snorted at her silly protestations and patted her comely bare bottom where it domed up in his lap.

“Usually I have a clothes brush to hand and I have a cane for recalcitrant girls,” he told her. “But I think for a first timer like you my hand will suffice.”

An involuntary “yes sir” blurted from her mouth and she was mortified by her easy acquiescence.

“Good girl,” he answered and then let his hand fall sharply.

Amy wasn’t ready for the biting sting and silently grimaced. It was a short-lived quiescence. After only half a dozen spanks she began to buck and squeal and within a minute she was heartedly wail in distress.

“Oh Jesus, oh Christ,” she groaned as she kicked out and squirmed. Then amid heavy panting she added, “Oh Sir, please I’m so sorry.”

“I know,” he said gently slapping his palm down all the harder.

It took 15 minutes for the robust Amy to finally brake down crying and another five before she was truly bawling. If that was his hand, what was a brush or cane like she wondered?

“I’m sorry,” she boo-hooed.

“Do we understand one another now?” he asked adding a few more swats.

“Yes Sir,” she gasped emphatically.

“Are you sure?” he pressed her.

“Absolutely Sir,” said replied in wet misery.

“So what do you think will happen if you don’t live up to this firm’s high standards?” he asked still spanking her hard.

“I’ll be spanked,” she shouted out.

“And soundly spanked,” he put in.

“Yes Sir,” she agreed.

“So we understand one another then?” he chuckled.

“Yes Sir,” she panted realising that the spanking had stopped.

“You may go and stand in the corner until you pull yourself together,” Hartman told her.

Already staggering to her feet Amy’s mouth moved in silent protest before she found the words, “Look Mr Hartman, Sir, you made your point… couldn’t I just… I mean that is so embarrassing… please…”

“I could just send you back to your office as you are for the rest of the day or make you go and stand in the corner of the clerks’ office,” Hartman said slowly, “You really don’t doubt that that could happen do you?”

“No Sir,” she gulped.

Then with a tearful tug on the front of her blouse in a futile attempt at modest she came to attention and made an ostentatious half turn towards the corner.

“I’ll… eh… go and stand in the corner then Sir,” she said with a reluctant bravado.

“That would be good Miss Holman,” Hartman smiled.

Amy blushed and marched herself to the corner lest her see more than just her bare bottom.

“Oh and Miss Holman,” he added, “Put your hands on your head will you?”

“Yes Sir,” Amy said as she obeyed. This is crazy, she cursed inwardly, but she wished she was more convinced of that because in a way it seemed to suddenly make sense.

Hartman eyed her scarlet bare bottom and the almost comfortable submissive posture she had assumed and then returned to his papers.

“Eh, Mr Hartman,” Amy sniffed from the corner, “How… eh… long…?”

“Take a guess,” Hartman replied.

“Yes Sir, until I am dismissed,” Amy answered.

“Good girl,” Hartman told her.

In fact Hartman kept her with her nose to the wall for almost an hour before he gave her his full attention again. By then she had been rocking quietly in small twisting movements and shuffle from one foot to the other.

“Now Miss Holman if you are quite ready I want you to telephone all the clients you have upset and apologise,” Hartman told her.

Amy sighed and after a tense pause dropped her hands in front of her and turned around to reach for her skirt with one hand while fumbling for her knickers at her knees with the other.

“No Miss Holman,” Hartman stopped her, “As you are,” he said, “You can make your calls from my phone. If they are satisfactory then you may dress and go back to your office.”

Amy rolled her eyes and blushed but a fierce glare from her boss sent to the phone.

A moment later she said into it, “Ah… Sir Daniel, yes it is… yes that’s right.” Her face almost melted. “I am so sorry if I… offended you the other day. I was just… look if there is anything I can do? Hartman and Hartman are always at your service. Oh… that is very nice of you, yes… Did I… yes I did rather. Did Mr Hartman…? Oh eh… smack my naughty botty for me… well yes he did as a matter of fact…” Amy prayed that his question was metaphorical and that he would accept her answer in the same spirit. “Thank you again Sir Daniel and I am so sorry about our misunderstanding… yes goodbye.”

Furiously blushing Amy shot a glance at Hartman but he appeared to be engrossed in his papers. But as she picked up the phone again he muttered, “I expect Barrington-Shand will ask for details about your spanking. He knows damn well how I handle flibbertigibbets like you.”

“Ooh,” Amy groaned as her face melted again.

It was going to be a long day.

4 Responses to “A New Understanding”

  1. 1 cindy2

    This hit the spot. Great story. I had no problem suspending disbelief given the litigious society in which we live.

    Just imagine, a new employee, so eager to please, that after her initial shock, she lowers her panties, drapes herself over her employer’s lap to receive a bare-bottom spanking for her wrongdoing. And from the sound of it, she may be drawn to him.

  2. 2 zaza

    bravo. encore!

  3. Excellent workplace story. Money and force of will, will always win out.

  4. 4 DJ

    Thanks people – glad you liked it 🙂

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