Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

The Job Interview Part Three

“Wow, Jill,” said Toby as she finished grading my typing test.  “Eighty-six wpm, with three errors.  I’m impressed!”

“Thank you, Toby,” I said, still not believing I passed.  Must have been that amazingly quick, new typewriter, so responsive to the touch.  “I think I can do better, though, if you want me to give it another run.  I was pretty nervous.”

“Absolutely not necessary, my sweet!  Now Gabe should be here any minute, if you don’t mind waiting?  Oh Lynn dear, when do you think we’ll see Gabe, do you know?”

Lynn looked up from her ledger with a scowl and said, “How the fuck do I know?  I’m so ass-deep in work I can’t even get a break to take a goddamn pee.”

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing in this interview straight from the Twilight Zone.  I just tried to stay focused on that winning smile, with a confident, positive attitude.

Ignoring Lynn’s outburst with amazing finesse, Toby walked me to the chair beside her desk and said, “Relax here while we wait, Jill.  Can I get you some coffee?  Lynn can make us a fresh pot.”

“Oh my God no!  Thank you!”  The thought of Lynn’s reaction to being given yet another task had me shaking in my core.  “Um, Toby, from my observations, I see the dress-code here is, uh, casual.  Am I correct?”  No doubt I was feeling way overdressed in my black business suit and patent leather pumps.

“Oh sure.  Anything goes.  We don’t come in contact with the public in this place, thank God.  You should see how the boss shows up some days.  Or, how he wakes up, I should say.  Half the time he spends the night on the couch in his office.  He wakes up in the morning as we’re clocking in.  All stubbly and hung over, he staggers straight to his desk, yells for coffee, and goes to work.  Personally, I don’t understand it.  He leases a luxury penthouse Mid-Wilshire, and the guy only uses it to shower and change clothes.  What a waste!” 

“I’ll say it is!” I dutifully agreed.

“But of course,” she continued, “I have to say Gabe is a wonderful boss.  He pays for our health insurance, even family members.  We have a pension plan.  Paid holidays.  And he is an absolute genius at making money.  Oh, he can be a real son-of-a-bitch sometimes when he feels like going on one of his rampages.  But you just have to stand up to him, that’s all.  Lynn, isn’t Gabe a great boss?  Tell Jill what a fine boss Gabe is!”

Lynn looked up from her ledger, her fingers still clickety-clicking on her calculator, and said, “Are you kid–?”

“Never mind,” Toby broke in.  “I think I remember him telling me he had to drop the Rolls off at the mechanic’s, and then he’d grab a bite and be back to interview you.”

“Rolls?  As in Royce?

Toby laughed.  “Yes, Jill, as in Royce.  Plus, get this, Gabe manages a punk band.  The Slam-Dancing Quartet.  Do you love that or what?  Personally, I don’t care for that kind of bang-bang-bang shit they call music.”

As I was about to respond with God knows what, I noticed Toby’s eyes suddenly focusing on a distant place behind me and I turned around.  On the floor behind Lynn’s desk, a wiry, longhaired man crouched like a cat on his hands and knees, as if readying to pounce.  Shiny green snakeskin boots jutted out from tight-fitting bell-bottomed jeans.  Lynn’s fingers flew over the calculator keys.  Clickety-click-click.  The man, quick as lightening, reached his arm under her chair, grabbed her ankle and squeezed.

“PIECE OF SHIT!!” Lynn shrieked as she shot upward out of her chair, arms flailing and ledger flying.  Laughing loudly, the man jumped up and ran past Toby and me into his office, slamming the door behind him.  I watched through the glass wall as he sat down at his desk, leaned back in his chair, threw back his head and laughed some more.

I closed my mouth, which had apparently fallen open during this most recent Twilight Zoney episode.  Lynn picked up her hated ledger and went straight back to work as if nothing had happened.  And Toby just sat there, shaking her head from side to side and rubbing her right temple.  Then she pumped her fist on the glass wall and yelled, “Gabe, for the love of Christ, you just made a complete ass out of yourself in front of our twelve-o’clock interview!”

He stopped laughing, sat up straight in his chair and looked at me, wide-eyed and blinking, through the glass.

So this was Gabe.

Stay Tuned for Part Four…


March 15, 2011 - Posted by | Jobs | , ,


  1. Just excellent! I’m dying to know what’s truth and what’s fiction 🙂

    Comment by Becky Day Wilson | March 15, 2011 | Reply

    • Becky, it’s all truth. I can’t make this stuff up! Thanks so much for your comment!

      Comment by standingonachair | March 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. Unbelievable! And I thought our office was offbeat and weird. Looking forward to the next sequel.

    Comment by Abbie | March 15, 2011 | Reply

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