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When Karen McDonald was promoted to supervisor at Underworld, Joe Carter (despite Mike Baldwin's warning that she was trouble) decided to develop what she saw as her potential and invited her to join him at an evening business meal with client Chrissy Barker.

Unfortunately, while Karen was delighted at this chance to show her prowess, husband Steve suspected that Joe had designs on Karen but he tried to hide his jealousy. The meal got off to a bad start when Joe told Karen that Chrissy was something of a man-eater and he wanted her there as "protection". When the client arrived, she was none too pleased to see that Joe had brought another woman with him and the atmosphere became frosty. The situation was not helped when Chrissy became aware of Karen's past as working on the shop floor of the factory and made disparaging comments about the people who worked there. Karen proceeded to get drunk and, after Chrissy had gone, was livid when Steve arrived, supposedly to see if she and Joe needed a lift home, but as everyone knew, really to check up on her and her boss.

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