a continuation of…. Serial Saturdays: Part One
Rachel did not want to dilly-dally in the restroom. If Mr. Swisher got off the telephone, and she was not in the reception area waiting for him, she worried it would give the wrong impression. Nonetheless, she was wearing make-up and she wanted to make sure everything looked proportionate. She wore very little make-up in real life, but she really wanted this job, and she wanted to make an impression. Recently, she had gone back to a short bob, and she realized that it made her look extremely young. Last week, she actually got carded going to an “R” rated movie. The attendant was slightly embarrassed when in fact he realized that she was 23 years old. The occurrence just made her realize that she didn’t want anyone to think she was too young or too immature for a career. She had been waiting to start her life for some time now, and she wanted to make the right impression.
Pleased with her appearance, she opened the restroom door and exited back to the waiting area. When she walked through the door, a twenty-something man was sitting in the winged-back chair reading a magazine. He was wearing a very sleek dark brown suit, which looked really nice against his tanned face and light brown hair. Rachel thought that he might also be interviewing for the Junior Executive position. This man could be her competition.
She sat back down on the couch, crossed her legs, and tried to appear confident.
He looked up from his magazine and made eye contact. His eyes were a rich chocolate-brown.
“Hello,” he said. He closed the magazine and looked at his watch.
“Hi.” Rachel smiled. She wrapped her hair behind her ear again. He was staring at her, and it made her a bit uncomfortable. She pretended to need to check her email on her phone so as not to have to start an awkward conversation.
“Are you here for an interview?” he asked. Rachel realized he was still staring at her. He was talking to her. She would never think to ask someone their personal business.
“Yes.” She did not know what else to say. She was usually so talkative, but she did not want to give too much away in case this man was her competition. However, he did not have a portfolio; maybe he was a client. She felt like she needed to assert herself so that she did not seem rude, in case this man knew Mr. Swisher and gave an opinion of her. She smiled warmly and batted her eyes ever so slightly. “And you? Are you hear for an interview or are you a client?” She asked.
“Me?” he smiled wide. “I work here, I was just waiting for my interviewee to get out of the restroom. You wouldn’t happen to be Rachel, would you?”
She felt her face grow hot. She jumped to her feet and threw out her hand. “Mr Swisher? Yes, I am Rachel Dexter. I am so sorry to have kept you waiting.”
Swisher laughed, stood, and shook her hand hard. She was pleased that he did not give her a weak handshake. No. He squeezed her hand and she felt like it was a sign that he took her seriously. She stood a bit taller.
“Please. I left you waiting, I should be apologizing to you. And please, let’s make this as comfortable as possible for both of us. Please call me Jason.”
“Okay, Jason it is.” He was much younger than she expected. She assumed that the person who was going to interview her would be someone in his forties or fifties. This man looked like someone she would want to talk to in a bar. He looked like someone you would want to catch a ballgame with. He did not seem like an executive. Rachel felt like he was inviting her into his confidence. She needed to make sure she remained professional. She needed this job.
“If you don’t mind, can we start this interview on the move. I am craving an espresso, and there is a coffee shop in the lobby. I thought we could grab a cup of coffee and then come back upstairs and look through your portfolio.”
She had been on a few interviews and they always started and ended in the conference room. Never had she been asked out for coffee. Was she being asked for coffee? Should she buy her own? Maybe she should offer to buy his coffee, or would that be considered extortion?
“That would be lovely,” she said. She decided she would offer to pay for both and see what happened.
“Awesome!” he leaned down and grabbed the handles of her portfolio. “Susan?” he said walking over to the receptionist sitting at the desk. She stood, and Rachel realized she was probably only five feet tall. “Could you please place Miss Dexter’s portfolio in my office?”
“Certainly, Sir,” she said warmly.
He turned around and as he walked toward her, he took his fingers and ran them through his hair. His hair was thick and sleek, and she was sure it had to have been recently cut in a salon. This type of cut did not happen in a barber’s chair.
“Are you ready?” he asked. Buoyant. That’s the word that popped into her head as he held the door for her. He seemed to be floating, and somehow, she was being pulled along.