Flash Fiction Friday: The Interview (no…not THAT The Interview)

It might be possible that I am, at the moment of writing this, mentally preparing for an actual job interview and thinking about all the terrible things that can go along with sitting in a room trying to convince someone that they want you for a job…maybe.

 

“Please have a seat over there, Mr. Smith.  Ms. Johnson will be right out for you shortly.”

Okay, I think to myself as I straighten my tie for the 400th time this morning.  Almost there.  Take a deep breath. Oh crap, what’s the smell?  That’s not my breath is it?

I breathe into my hands, attempting to do so as inconspicuously as possible.

No, I don’t think that’s it.  All the same, I really wish I had remembered to bring a breath mint.  Wouldn’t have hurt.  Why the hell didn’t I bring a breath mint?

Not that I ever use them or anything.

Jeez…calm down, Marcus.  We’ll get through this.

I look down at my lap and notice my shirt laying funny against my stomach.  Looking around, I see no one appears to be looking my direction, so I lay my resume down on the table beside me and smooth out the shirt against myself, tucking the extra fabric into my pants as I keep an eye at the receptionist to make sure she doesn’t happen to glance my way.

Another deep breath.

“Mr. Smith,” the receptionist says loudly.

I jump in my seat before standing at attention.

“Yes?” I say, then curse myself for sounding a little too eager.

“Ms. Johnson says she’ll be just another minute.  Would you care for a cup of coffee?”

Oh crap, I mutter inwardly.  Coffee would probably be a great way to mask any sort of breath issues, but what do they always say about interview etiquette?  Is it that you should always take something if offered, or NEVER take something when offered?

I can never remember this stuff.  I really should probably actually read one of those Preparing for a Job Interview books sometime, they would probably make it a whole lot easier on me for moments like this.

I mean, what’s the worst that could happen if I take the coffee?  On the bright side, it might wake me up a little.  I’m feeling way too sluggish.

“Mr. Smith?”

“Oh, yeah.  Sorry.  Yeah, I’d love some coffee.  Where would I go to get it?”

“I’ll get it for you, Mr. Smith,” she says as she happily gets up from her chair and goes into an adjoining room.

Crap!  Now I’ve made her do extra work.  It might not mean anything against the interview itself, but I’d hate for the receptionist to have a bad vibe about me right off the bat.  Jeez, I shouldn’t have gotten the coffee.  It was a terrible idea.  What if I spill some on my resume, or on my shirt, or my pants, or–

“Would you like cream or sugar, Mr. Smith?” the receptionist asks as she pokes her head back into the foyer.

“Black is fine, thanks,” I reply, suddenly cursing myself that I completely forgot the name she gave me when she introduced herself.  Actually, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I know her from somewhere.  Wasn’t she a friend of Langdon’s?  Crap, if she remembers me and I didn’t act like I remembered her, that’s probably a strike against me as well, isn’t it?

“Here you go, Mr. Smith,” she says as she strides toward me with a steaming black mug in her hands.  I stand, awkwardly, and retrieve the mug from her.

“Mr. Smith?” a voice says from behind me.  I turn a see a tall brunette looking at me, a curious smirk on her face.

Damn!  I knew I shouldn’t have taken the coffee.

“Ms. Johnson?” I ask, knowing the answer already from the research I had done on her earlier in the week.  I hastily retrieve my resume off the table before realizing she’s got her hand out to shake mine.

I shove the resume under an arm and shuffle the coffee mug into my left hand to accept the gesture.

Her smile grows wider.

“I hope you don’t mind that we’re going to have a few other people join us in the interview today.  We’ve got three different supervisors looking for someone and we thought this might work easier.”

“Not a problem at all,” I gulp.  Three supervisors for the same interview?  I mean, I guess that means I’ve got a better chance of getting the job, but, I’m just not prepared for that.

I’ll be fine, I mentally remind myself as I take a quiet deep breath.  I’ll be fine.

“Right this way, Mr. Smith.  I’m sure you’ll be just fine.”

Crap, she noticed that I’m nervous.

I hate job interviews!

 

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