I’m walking across the park and the undulating mounds of grass are being sculpted back into their glory by the council groundsmen. The smell of summer dances around the children kicking a football into the goal, the ground in front still marshy from the weekend’s delayed April showers. The trees are bursting into song with their young leaves and a female blackbird squawks at my passing. I should have followed the path; I need to keep my shoes clean but I’ve been lured away by the opportunity to hear the blades of grass swooshing with each stride forwards.
I’m wearing my favourite piece of clothing; a yellow blouse trimmed with black piping. I love it because it’s so versatile and only good things can happen when I put it on. And I need something good to happen. A job would be good. It’s not like I’m expecting a place on the Rich List although naturally, I wouldn’t pass up the chance to be there either.
Actually, it’s chillier than I expected. Maybe it’s the fear; I’m not very good at interviews. I feel as though every person I pass in the park knows where I’m going, stares at me and laughs, willing me to fail. I try to refocus. What was his name again? That’s it, Mr Price. I wonder if he’s the type of boss who looks for looks or brains? I’ll find out in a minute.
I can see the glass-cubed office building in front of me, the other side of the oak trees and I wonder how they got away with building it there; it sticks out like a snake in an avalanche . I walk into the reception, a minimalist void with a huge desk made of rock. I am politely asked to wait by the lady whose head is just about visible to me. The chairs are squishy but at least I am starting to warm up.
Mr Price arrives in the hexagonal glass lift and he’s a sharper dresser than I expected. He is standing in front of me and as I remove my briefcase from my lap to stand up and greet him, he smiles. So what’s wrong with his smile? I stop to think.
‘Miss Clements, I’m afraid you aren’t suitable for this position.’
‘I’m sorry, it would be a waste of time to go ahead with your interview. The Company places a high value on transparency but unfortunately, there are certain limitations. It would be quite inappropriate for you to be employed as my assistant.’
Unable to believe that I am being rejected yet again, I bow my head down so that he doesn’t see my flushing cheeks and the tears burning my eyes. At that moment, I notice my bare legs. How could I be so stupid as to forget my lucky skirt?