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life of erin, Two-and-a-half-minute Fiction Prahject

Two-and-a-half-minute Fiction ‘Prahject’: Take 17

This week’s creation is the child of a Gchat conversation I had with an old college friend, “old” in regards to length of relationship, not age 😉

Somehow whenever we chat we come up with some pretty amazing ideas. One of those ideas was writing a romantic comedy about two unemployed members of society. Inevitably, they meet at a job interview. Inevitably, they fall in love. Inevitably, they want to get married. Inevitably, one of them gets the job they both interviewed for right before the wedding, even though they were rooting for each other, “no matter what.” Inevitably, this causes lots of tension, hilarity, and the classic romantic comedy mishaps. This thing writes itself!

So, Woytko, consider this week’s edition a pilot for our romantic comedy movie in the making. And if I find this in the theaters any time soon, I know where you all live. Well, most of you. (Drew Curley, where are you?? We need you for script dialogue!!)

Enjoy! Take 17: “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sears Tower.”

cary grant, katharine hepburn

Hepburn: "Darling, don't take the job. You can't do this to me!" Grant: "But I've got to Red! I'm doing this for us!" Hepburn: "You won't!" Grant: "I must!" etc, etc, etc...

Enjoy Take 17: “Till Employment Do Us Part”

Sitting in her robe, drinking her 2.5 cups of coffee, she stared at the pressed suit hanging on the door. Her slick black pumps stood at attention on the floor below.
This pre-game rehearsal no longer brought out the churning stomach, the quickened heart rate, the bulging eyes. In fact, five interviews ago, she wouldn’t even be able to drink 1 cup of coffee, let alone 2.5. She felt relaxed to a fault. What was she forgetting, she thought? What was the hiring manager’s name, she thought? Would he notice her immaculately starched ruffled collar, she thought?
“You’re shirt is very pretty,” he will say.
“Thank you very much. It’s very comfortable too,” she will reply.
That’s a lie. That shirt is not comfortable. Especially when she has to tuck it in.
Would he know that this is the 168th job she has applied for, she thought? Would he know that this is the 30th interview she’s had in 6 months, she thought? Could he get that from her relaxed face and I-have-nothing-to-lose attitude, she thought?
“You have excellent work experience,” he will say, “why are you still searching?”
“I’m looking for the job that’s just right,” she will say.
She practices the encounter with alternate endings, like those kid’s books. Turn to page 50 if you want to imagine a way to bring up your diverse hobbies. Turn to page 75 if you’d like to discuss your work history. It’s a tired song on loop in her brain. So well practiced, she can look into the interviewer’s eyes without forgetting what she wants to say. It’s a very special talent.
—-
Sitting on the incredibly lumpy waiting room couch, she shifts and readjusts. She pulls at her skirt and combs her hair with her hand.
“Are you nervous?”
She looks up. It’s a man. And he is smug. In her head, his facial expression is so smug, it doesn’t make her think, “he looks smug,” it makes her think, “he is smug.” His suit is kind of smug too.
Unconsciously she returns his smug gaze. Then she realizes she hasn’t answered him yet.
“This couch is very uncomfortable.”
“I doubt they select their waiting room furniture on its level of comfortability.”
“I am not nervous.”
“Why are you rearranging your clothes?”
“I told you the couch is uncomfortable.”
“What number job application is this for you?”
“One-hundred and sixty-eight.”
She had dreamed of this moment, but it was never realized. But she never thought she’d just spit the number out like that. It was a proud moment, and yet incredibly unfulfilling. How did he know to ask, she thought? She did have it written on her face, she thought?
“You don’t look nervous,” he finally said. “That’s why I asked.”
She wondered what to say in reply. Thanks for asking? That’s very sweet of you? He did look sweet, she thought.
“What’s your number?” she asked.
“One-hundred and fifty,” he said. “It’s actually a momentous occasion for me.”
“Oh, Congratulations.”
“In fact, I’d like to celebrate afterward.”
“How do you celebrate a job interview?”
“For the 50th I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a leather planner. For the 100th interview I went to a Cubs game and bought expensive beer. So it should at least top a Cubs game.”
“That shouldn’t be too difficult,” she said.
“It wouldn’t be if you joined me, one-hundred and sixty-eight.”
“What did you have in mind?”
“Miss Martin, we’re ready for you now,” the hiring manager called.
She instinctively grabbed her briefcase. She sat on the edge of the lumpy couch ready to stand and go. She looked from the hiring manager back to him.
“I’ll be here when you’re done,” he said.
She stood up to go. She smiled.
“Knock-em dead, one-hundred and sixty-eight.”
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