OK. So I didn't think that getting a job would be this hard.
On the news, they're always talking about the unemployment rate and how they need more people to be working, right? And our careers advisor is always telling us we should get part-time jobs, so that we can have some experience in the workforce.
But this is officially the sixth rejection I've had so far and I'm starting to feel more than a little discouraged.
It doesn't help that three-quarters of the jobs that get advertised are intended for people who have experience. How on earth are you supposed to get experience if nobody will hire you?
"Don't worry. You'll find something soon," Suze says encouragingly. "Seven's your lucky number, right? You've had six rejections now, so you're bound to get the next job."
I wish I had the same faith in me that Suze apparently does.
Actually, no, if I'm honest, I'd rather just have the same allowance that Suze does.
"Hey, look!" Suze says excitedly, tugging at my arm. "There's a shop right there and it's got a 'Help Wanted' sign in the window! It's a sign!"
My head snaps up immediately and I scan the window quickly. I'm not looking at the 'Help Wanted' sign – I'm checking at the clothes and bags on display. And I have to say, they're pretty nice.
I wouldn't mind working in this shop at all.
"Come on, Becky!" Suze says, her eyes shining brightly. "This is number seven. You're going to get it, I know you will!"
Five minutes later, I'm sitting in a small office and having my seventh job interview with a woman named Daniella.
She looks like she's in her mid-forties but she's still in reasonably good shape. She looks elegant in an impeccably ironed linen suit. Unfortunately the suit is a strange shade of pale lemon yellow which is completely unsuitable for someone with her white-blonde hair. She's also wearing a shade of plum-red lipstick which clashes severely with her pastel colours.
But I'm not here to judge her style. I'm here to have a job interview.
Focus, Becky. Focus.
"And how much experience have you had working in retail, Rebecca?"
I wince. This is always the part where the interview starts going wrong. In another few minutes, she'll be ushering me out the door with a polite "We'll call you."
You know what I found out after six rejections? They never call you.
"Uh, none," I admit quietly.
Daniella raises a perfectly plucked eyebrow. "None at all?"
"No," I say despondently, knowing the end is near.
She sighs. "Oh, dear. Well, I'm not quite sure that you'd be the right person to work here, then."
"Wait a minute," I interrupt, desperate not to let job number seven be snatched out of my grasp. "I may not have experience but I'm a quick learner. I love fashion and I'd really like the opportunity to get my foot into the industry. I'd be really good at working in retail. Please just give me a chance!"
Daniella still looks doubtful. "I don't know. I still have a few other interviews this afternoon..."
"Just a trial. Please!" I plead, hating to beg but really, really not wanting to be rejected again. "Just give me a try and then if it doesn't work, I won't mind if you fire me."
Daniella looks thoughtful.
"Alright, let's try a little role play," she suggests. "I'm going to be a customer and I want you to guide me around the shop, OK?"
This is so up my alley. I'm glad that I had some time to evaluate the stock earlier and I'm pretty familiar with what they sell here.
"OK, I can do that," I say confidently.
"Excuse me, miss," Daniella says, slipping into the role of customer. "I was wondering if you could get me this gold top in a size 10?"
I glance at the top and try not to wince. I'm secretly beginning to wonder if Daniella is colour blind or something because this top totally doesn't go with her hair and complexion. It's actually making her awful lemon suit look pretty good in comparison.
"I could," I say politely. "But if it's OK with you, I'd like to find something that I think might actually work better for you."
Daniella raises an eyebrow at this. It's like I've taken over her scripted dialogue and written my own lines.
"Alright," she says hesitantly, but she's frowning and doesn't look pleased.
I know that I probably only have one shot to impress her. I take a few minutes to gather up some items before I come back to her.
"See, this jade wraparound dress really suits your figure and brings out the colour of your eyes," I suggest helpfully, holding up the dress for Daniella's inspection. "And here's a pair of silver heels that go with the dress as well some onyx and jade jewellery. Finally, this little clutch ties it all together."
Daniella looks stunned.
"Or if you're still intent on something bright, you could try coral," I add helpfully. "See, this coral top goes great with your colouring and you can dress it down with a nice pair of jeans or black slacks. These coral-and-gold earrings and this gold necklace would finish it all off."
There's a very long pause as Daniella scrutinises me again.
"Congratulations, Rebecca. You get the job."
"I knew you could do it, Becky!" Suze says happily when I call her immediately to let her know the good news. "I told you that seven would be your lucky number!"
Mum and Dad aren't nearly as excited when I make the announcement at the dinner table that evening.
"Won't this get in the way of your studies, Becky?" Dad asks with a slight frown.
"Oh, no. It'll motivate me even more because it's so relevant to what I'm studying!" I explain. "My commerce classes will come to life now that I'm actually part of the economy!"
Mum has other concerns. "Becky, darling, what about your social life? You need to have time to spend with your friends, like that lovely Suze girl for example."
"I'll make time," I promise. "I'll keep on track of everything, honestly! Don't you trust me?"
My parents exchange glances. They're doing that parent thing where they have a conversation with their eyes that only they can understand.
"Alright, Becky. You can have a job. But the minute it starts interfering with your life, you'll have to quit," Dad says finally.
I beam and hug them both. "It won't! You'll see! Having this job is going to be the best thing ever."
Little did I know what was in store for me. No pun intended.
Author's Note: Thank you SO much to Howl-SheWulf, jediahsokaroxx, meezzy, smoshyuna, LoveUrStories, mcs2533, cellophanesoldiers, Jess4569 and Cybu for reviewing the last chapter!
I'm sorry that I've kept you guys waiting for this one. With your encouragement and support, I sure hope the next one comes faster. I'm planning another Becky-Luke encounter, so stay tuned!
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