Working in America was a dream come true for this British girl, but she had to pay a price
Diane Richards was a high achiever, destined, she believed, for a stellar career in big business. After A-levels she had spurned traditional courses in favour of an Applied Finance degree which guaranteed practical placements with international companies, and she had been overjoyed to learn that in the vacation before her second year she had secured an internship with a firm that not only paid her a good wage but promised experience at their Headquarters in Miami, Florida.
Once landed, Diane entered American life with gusto. She was provided with superb hotel accommodation and she shared a lavish open plan office with several other young and enthusiastic trainees. She was aware that, though the company was at the cutting edge of technology, the atmosphere was quite conservative and dominated by men who all wore immaculate suits and ties. She was glad that she had equipped herself before arrival with two expensive outfits, both consisting of a jacket and a tight knee-length skirt, which suited her slim figure admirably.
Out of hours, Diane and the other trainees socialised in the restaurants and bars of the big city. She was aware she ran a slight risk, being only nineteen, of being caught out by American underage drinking laws, but the warm and relaxed atmosphere of Miami prevailed. Her lavish pay meant she could indulge her growing alcoholic tastes every night until one morning, after returning to her hotel hopelessly drunk, she had been unable to get up for work. It was not until late afternoon that she surfaced, and then groggily phoned through her apologies for absence.
Diane arrived at work early the next morning after deciding to have a sober night. She was dismayed when Security on the door passed on instructions that she was not to head for her usual office but to report to the Human Resources suite. She could tell there was trouble ahead! Nervously she waited in the anteroom for about twenty minutes under the silent scrutiny of a secretary until told to enter the Head of Section’s inner office. Her heart sank as she saw, seated behind the desk, four male figures; the HR Head and his Deputy, plus her own Section Head and Deputy. As she seated herself in the solitary chair facing them all, she knew that she was in serious bother.
The interview started pleasantly enough, like any appraisal. The HR Head reported that all feedback on her work to date had been very positive, and her own chief nodded in agreement.
“But now, Diane,” he continued. “We come to your behaviour on the night before last. Your unexpected absence yesterday caused us to make some enquiries with your associates. At first they were reluctant to say anything, but a few remarks about their own future progress led them to admit that your behaviour was far from admirable, and that it had been steadily deteriorating for some time. Have you any comments to make?”
Inwardly Diane cursed her so-called friends who had informed on her, but then she would probably have done the same in order to save her own career. All she could do now was to blurt out heartfelt apologies and promise better behaviour in the future. But her interrogator was not satisfied.
“I’m afraid, Diane,” he continued. “That you just don’t appreciate the gravity of your offence. Your underage drinking has been in violation of the law, and could well revoke your chances of ever returning to America. And if it came to the notice of the press it could bring our company into disrepute. I have every right to fire you on the spot for what our British colleagues call ‘gross misconduct’.”
Diane’s heart sank. This seemed like the end to her glittering future. She would forfeit her placement and would probably have to give up her university course.
But then her own boss spoke. “There is an alternative for you, which we have discussed at length. It will save your time here and will also prevent any adverse publicity. We do have a penalty that we sometimes use with younger employees like yourself, one they might well have experienced at high school not long before. It’s quite simple; ten licks of the paddle.”
Diane looked at the man in bewilderment. Why would she be expected to lick whatever it was? He could not help grinning as he explained himself.
“I’m sorry, Diane, I forget that you don’t understand all our Americanisms. I’m talking here about corporal punishment; licks, swats, smacks if you prefer. And the paddle is still regularly used in our local schools. It’s just a wooden board. In your case, you would simply bend over and take it on the seat of your skirt. Painful, of course, but not much use if it wasn’t, and memorable. I really think it would do you good.”
All the way through a privileged childhood, Diane had never experienced any physical chastisement. It had been outlawed in British schools decades ago. But what choice did she have? A few minutes of pain and humiliation compared with the loss of a lifetime.
She fell into the new jargon when she replied: “Very well, I’ll take the licks, sir.”
“Good choice, Diane.” It was the HR boss speaking again. “If it’s OK with you, we’ll carry them out here and now. I shall do the paddling and the others will act as witnesses to guarantee fair play, so we need to ensure that all present can clearly see what’s happening. Stand up, take your jacket off, and kneel up on the chair you’re now sitting on.”
Though feeling overwhelmed at the speed of events, Diane hastened to comply. She draped her jacket over the short back of the armless chair. Pulling her skirt slightly above her knees she then knelt up and held on to the chair top. Although she could no longer see the panel, she was aware that one had left the room, returning as she got into position.
Diane cautiously peeked over her shoulder. What she saw in his hand made her shiver in spite of the warmth of the office. The paddle he held was no mere wooden stick. It looked to be about eighteen inches long and four inches wide, with one end cut into the shape of a handle. She even noticed that it was inscribed “Board of Correction”. This was a real instrument of punishment.
The HR boss took up the paddle and approached on her left, speaking quite gently. “Now Diane, I want you to bend right over the chair back and grip the sides. That’s the way. Stick your butt well out. It helps prevent any mishaps if I have a clear target.
Diane was aware of her skirt tightening over her posterior, now clearly on display to all the panel. Then she felt the paddle lightly stroke her behind.
“Is that all it is?” She thought.
As if in reply, the boss explained. “I have to make sure that I’m aiming for the right spot, Diane. Now grip that chair and hold on tight.” The girl gritted her teeth and screwed her eyes shut, not wanting to even glimpse the paddle in action. However, she could not but be aware of how it was raised well above her and then came crashing down right across the centre of her defenceless rear.
Diane heard the crack and for a second felt nothing. Then an incredible scorching pain filled her hindquarters, making her gasp and groan. Once again the paddle was rubbed gently against her, only to be raised and to land again exactly as before. The pain level rose accordingly. Diane felt as if she had sat on a hot stove and she moved her backside up and down to try and alleviate the burning.
“Stay still, Diane,” ordered her tormentor, “and it’ll soon be over.” Once again the paddle descended, on the same round target as before.
At this point Diane realised that all the strokes were going to land on the identical spot, with an added increase of pain each time. There was no way she could take another seven. Instead she leapt off the chair and frantically rubbed her buttocks. By now tears were uncontrollably coursing down her cheeks.
“This is very disappointing behaviour, Diane,” the HR boss complained. “After all, we want tough recruits who can stand a bit of discipline. You had better get your ass back over that chair right now; otherwise those three licks will have been a waste of everyone’s time and you’ll be going straight back home!”
But the girl could do nothing except sob incoherently. She had never expected or experienced any pain like the paddle had given her. She bent and stretched herself desperately for relief, but the burning just seemed to spread from her rear over her whole body.
Then her Section Head spoke from behind the desk. “I have a suggestion, folks. If Diane could wait outside for a few minutes, we could discuss it. Out you go, girl.”
Diane was relieved to exit this torture chamber and find a box of tissues in the now empty anteroom. With one hand she wiped her face while keeping the other firmly clamped to her backside. But she made an effort to keep her arms by her sides when called back.
The HR boss took command again. “Now Diane,” he started off in a soothing tone. “My colleagues have pointed out to me that as a British person you are perhaps not so used to our rough and ready ways of doling out correction. We are prepared to go easy on you. However, we can’t let you off just like that. So we suggest that instead of seven licks you take another three, but with two vital differences. First, we shall hold you in place over the chair, for your own benefit, you understand, so that you don’t cut your punishment short again. And second, we believe that if the pain of punishment is reduced then the humiliation should be increased. So you will get these remaining licks without the benefit of your skirt.”
What choice did she really have? Diane could scarcely speak, knowing that her voice would break if she opened her mouth. Instead she shrugged her shoulders and fumbled with the fastenings of her skirt, aware that all the male eyes in the room were on her as she wiggled it over her hips. Down it came, and she draped it over her jacket before resuming her position.
But there was worse to follow. “I’m sorry, Diane,” she heard. “I should have told you that the pantyhose were to come down as well. No need to get up again; just pull them down to your knees and we can get on with it.”
During her humiliating strip Diane had avoided any eye contact, but now she glared at the panel as she did what they ordered. In order to avoid any “visible panty line” beneath her tight skirt, she wore a thong which totally failed to cover her buttocks as she bent over. Then she was aware of both her upper arms being firmly grasped. Practically naked from the waist down, with two men on either side and another behind her, it was impossible to move. She could not help moaning as the paddle was once again stroked over her red, aching backside.
Afterwards she could barely recall the separate impacts of those last three strokes. They had blurred into a mass of pain. She remembered better her vain attempts to struggle against the forceful arms holding her in place. Then finally words reached her like echoes down a long corridor: “OK Diane, you’re done, get yourself together.” Even though she was released, she had to take a moment to raise herself up and slowly haul her tights back into place. Skirt and jacket followed, but this time she noticed that the four men, all back in their places, looked embarrassed and averted their eyes. Finally the HR chief spoke.
“You’ve taken your punishment, Diane, and we need say no more about it. Your colleagues are not even aware that you returned to work today. So we suggest that you take the rest of the day off and come back as normal tomorrow morning. Fine then, off you go.”
Diane shuffled out of the room in silence. She had given up sobbing or even rubbing her rear. Rather her whole body felt suffused with an overwhelming ache. Her one wish was to get back to the comfort of her hotel and ensuite bathroom.
Once returned, she stripped off everything and gazed at her backside in the full-length mirror. She was appalled at what she saw. Both her buttocks were bright red, but at the centre of each cheek was a livid circle like the bull’s-eye of a dartboard where the paddle had done its worst. Slowly and carefully she showered, dried herself and anointed the most sensitive areas with cold cream. The touch stung at first but its gentle application gradually had an effect. Finally she collapsed face forward on the bed. She would go back tomorrow and tell her so-called friends that she had been issued with a reprimand. She knew the pain would eventually wear off and that she would sit down in comfort again. But she would never forget the utter humiliation and degradation of baring her bottom before that panel of men and displaying herself for corporal punishment.
© David 2015