Short Story Draft
Janet Harris, is a recently unemployed, unmarried 31-year-old female, good looking, average height, and not the type of woman to cause trouble. Janet enjoys biking, hiking, and swimming on the weekends. She has a lot of potential and likes to give everything she has when she likes the job she is doing. Janet often finds herself being undermined by others because she does not speak up for herself enough, more times than none she gives up her personal time to help others. Janet has been working on her authority skills to so she can be seen as more of a authoritarian figure within the workplace. As the result of a miss communication in her office Janet had to be let go. After a few days of contemplating what else to do with her life she decides that she needs to search for another job.
Janet has been looking online, in the papers, and asking friends if they have any leads on places that are hiring. She would like to get a job in her field (an office administrator). After a few weeks of having no income her savings are starting to dry up. she has been sending out resumes everyday but has not heard anything back yet. She is starting to doubt herself and over think everything that she did at her old job. She was never truly given any closure when she was fired but just new that she was asked not to come back. Janet is thinking to herself “If they just knew, that the mix up was not my fault, maybe… just maybe they would take me back.” Janet sees that this is a perfect time to work on her authority.
Janet makes her way to her old office she puts on her best clothes, and presents herself very professionally just like she had done the entire time as the office administrator. Janet is carrying an envelope letter in her hand, she plans to hand the letter to her boss to clear things up if he is not willing to speak with her. she walks into the building with her head heled high and confidence in her stride; the security guard is on edge to see her. He says “Hello Mrs. Harris…I am surprised to see you here today” Janet responds with “Don’t worry! I’m just here to drop off a few files that I had left at home.” This alarms the security guard because he does not see any files in her hand, he dismisses this felling thinking maybe they are in her bag. Janet gets into the elevator alone and clutches her handbag in nervousness her confidence is suddenly gone and her emotions are starting to get the best of her. She arrives up at floor 57, the elevator doors ding open, she walks through the glass doors to the main office. All conversation falls silent and everyone looks up from their computer screens.
“H..H…Hello… Janet…” the secretary says. You could hear a pin drop. There is no typing on the computers, not even the phone is ringing. “What can we help you with today?” says the secretary trying to figure out why she has come back to work after a month after being let go. All her clients have been taken care of and she has no lose ends to tie up in the office. Janet responds with “I am just here to speak with Mr. Scott.” The secretary looks confused, flipping through his calendar “do you have an appointment?” she says. “No…no…I don’t…I just wanted to explain my-self, and maybe hand in this letter?” the secretary asks her to have a seat in the waiting area. “I will let Mr. Scott know you are here and maybe he can fit you in.” At this point, no on in the office is very scared or on edge to see Janet here because throughout her seven years she has never been aggressive or even raised her voice in the office.
After about 15 minutes of waiting, Mr. Scott calls Janet into his office “what can I do for you today Janet?” he says. “W…W…ell Mr. Scott” she stutters in intimidation “I’m here to see if you will listen to my side of the story, but if not, maybe you could take a look at some information I find may be useful?” Mr. Scott is very hesitant to speak with Janet he responds with “Janet, we have been over this, it was your key card that unlocked the room leading to the supplies being stolen, I think you should leave.” Janet starts to get flustered, her face starts to turn red and her eyes start to well up. Janet can feel her stomach start to knot, she has never been good a burying her emotions. “Mr. Scott… I promise you my card was not with me that day!” She shouts. What Mr. Scott did not know was that earlier that week Janet’s swipe card had been stolen from her. “Janet, it does not matter, you are responsible for what happens when you card is used.” Mr. Scott replies. Janet is starting to lose her composure. “Please…take a look at this envelope and get back to me?” She asks with a lump in her throat while placing the letter down on his desk.
Janet walks out of his office into the main office, she sees every one’s eyes, looking at her with pity. She thinks back to her life a month ago, once in that swivel chair, working at the desk where her replacement sits. Janet walks up to her replacement with anger in her eyes. “You will never live up to the things I did for this company throughout my seven years!” she shouts while pointing at her replacement sternly. Mr. Scott comes flying out of his office after having called security as soon as he saw Janet walk over to her old desk “What the hell is going on out here!” he takes control of the room with his booming voice. Janet is looking very distraught; she starts to push things off her old desk, causing a scene, acting extremely out of character. Security comes racing up the stairs, both men grab her by both arms and drag her out of the office. Janet is extremely upset with what she has done. She knows she acted out of anger and should have kept her feelings to herself. Clearly Janet did not achieve what she went into the office for. Maybe if she had done things differently or acted with more composure she would have gotten her point across and gotten her job back, or at least a position within the company again.
Mr. Scott opens the letter that she had left on her desk, it is security prints of another employee using Janet’s key card to get into the supply room. He sits back in his chair very upset. A note falls out that says, “Please re-consider me for my old position. — Janet.” Mr. Scott now knows that he should have looked more into the situation rather than pointing fingers at someone who has been loyal to the company for seven years, longer than his kids have been alive. Mr. Scott thinks to himself “If only Janet had left this office on a more positive note we could have worked something out for her to come back.” He knows the new office administrator is just not the same as Janet.
Janet will never know if Mr. Scott opened her letter. The way Janet acted out was far against company policy and she may never find another job again in the same field after the stunt she just pulled. Janet walks upstairs to her apartment and sees a yellow “Eviction Notice” sign posted on the door. She tears it down, crumpling it up, walking into her tidy apartment, and throwing herself onto the couch with a bottle of wine. “What am I going to do now?” she whimpers. Janet feels as if her world is crumbling around her, she has not achieved the things she planned to by 31.
Janet calls up her mom, she informs her about everything that has gone wrong these past couple of months. Janet asks “Mom, can I please come back home, things are not good I am going to lose my apartment, I think I need to start over.” Janet’s mom replies with “sure thing sweetie, you can come home anytime, that’s what I’m here for.” Janet decides to make the decision to sell everything that she doesn’t need so she can have a little bit of money to start over with. Janet gets rid of many of her personal items, and things that once meant a lot to her. Nothing in this moment is more important than starting over to her. Janet says to her mom “I need to get out of this funk. I hate this feeling, and I hate not having structure in my life, I feel like a mess!” her mother leans in for a hug, Janet always loved the way her mom hugged her.
On Monday morning Janet starts the job hunt again. business after business, no one is hiring. She started out knowing finding a new job wasn’t going to be easy. Janet thinks back to something her mom said to her when she shared the news that she was starting over, “Nothing worth having ever comes easy.” The thought of her mother saying the cliché motivational quote puts a smile on her face, she picks herself up and goes to the next business. A whole week has gone by and Janet has not found anything. But, she is starting to feel better now that she has the support of her mother and a safe place to live until she is back on her feet. Hitting ‘rock bottom’ is a very humbling experience for her. Janet thinks it will be a good idea to start at the bottom of the food chain again, she walks past a local grocery store that is hiring a cash associate. With her resume in hand and a smile on her face Janet pushed the door open and walks into the store with confidence in her step once again. Janet goes up to customer service and says “can I speak with a manager please?” the young girl looks very surprised that Janet has a resume and responds with “aren’t you a little old to be applying at a grocery store.” Janet is very taken aback by this comment because she does not deal with conflict very well. “w…w…well I’m trying to get back on my feet I’ve been going through a hard time, now can I please speak to a manager” Janet stutters back, thinking she may have just told the stranger more information than she needed. Keeping her confidence knowing that appearances and first impressions are very important when meeting a potential superior. The manager comes out after about 3 minutes with a smile on her face. Janet thinks to herself “perfect, the manager is in a good mood, now to put my best foot forward.” Janet greets the manager with a “Good afternoon my name is Janet!” sticking out her hand in anticipation of a handshake. The manager says “Hello! I’m Stacy, how can I assist you? today” as she accepts the handshake. Janet pulls up her resume, she says “I am her to apply for the opening position as a cashier.” The manager smiles and says “perfect! I will take a look at your qualifications and give you a call to set up an interview. “Thank you!” Janet responds. Janet is feeling very confident about how her interaction went at the grocery store today and turns the volume up on her phone making sure she does not miss the call for an interview.
Janet is back at her mother’s home, telling her all about her day and the job she has applied for. Janet offers to cook dinner tonight as a thank you for her mom letting her move back home. A few days have passed and Janet has not yet heard from the grocery store, she starts to get worried, but then remembers back to her time as manager how resumes often got put off when it is a busy day. On the fifth day after Janet has applied, the manager finally called back. Janet picks up the phone “Hello! This is Janet Harris speaking!” she says cheerfully. Stacy replies “Hi Janet! I’m calling to see if you would like to set up an interview on Monday!” Janet pleasantly accepts the offer, and writes in her day planner “Interview: Monday, 2:30pm.” Janet is very excited, although working as a cashier is not her first choice for work right now, making minimum wage is better than not making any money at all. Janet has not done and interview in almost eight years, she begins to prepare for her interview by googling “Cashier interview questions” after reviewing all weekend Janet feels prepared for her interview.
Monday morning rolls around, Janet picks out a professional, but modest outfit to impress the manager. Janet arrives at the store at 2:10pm knowing that she needs to be early as punctuality is very important to business. Stacy comes out of her office greeting Janet with “Nice to see you again Janet! And so early too… impressive.” Janet smiles with confidence knowing the first interaction has gone well. Stacy starts the interview process, asking Janet all of the common questions such as; “How would you handle an angry customer? How do you feel you can benefit the company?” After studying all weekend Janet knows she is answering these correctly. All of a sudden, the tone of the interview changes. Stacy says “Now I see that you have previously worked as an office administrator, I’m afraid you may be over qualified for the cashier position.” Janet knows this is not good. She loses the smile on her face and her confidence. She responds with “W…W…ell, I… know I have a lot of experience but I feel my qualifications will help me in the workplace, working with costumers and helping with sales” Stacy thanks Janet for coming by saying “Thank you for taking time out of your day to come down here today, I will let you know if you have been successful in the interview by Wednesday.” Janet accepts her thank you, shaking her hand and walking out of the office. Janet has tears in her eyes. She feels as if she has failed again, and this time because she was too good at her job! Janet sulks all the way home, dragging herself into her mother’s home with no motivation left. She sits on the couch thinking to herself “why would she call me for an interview if she knew she was not going to hire me anyway?” Janet opens the newspaper looking for a more appropriate place for her to be working at.