|Posted by Admin on March 10, 2015 at 1:45 AM|
The swinging glass door swished shut behind me and the girl at the receptionists desk looked up. She looked again. What she saw didn’t seem to match some kind of pattern she had in her mind. There I stood, six foot one, a hundred and fifty five pounds, wearing an eighty dollar suit that I had saved up and bought for occasions like this, when I wanted to impress folks. Maybe that suit did look a little like it was hanging from a coat hanger instead of a body, but I thought the store had done a good job of taking up the pants. They’d taken enough slack out of the waist of those pants so that the pockets met in the back. But the salesman had assured me that was the coming style, so I was proud to be standing there, a trend setter.
My skinny red neck poked out of a starched collar two sizes too big, my hair was slicked back with Vitalis, which was running down the side of my head along with the sweat. I had on a pair of borrowed regulation black US Navy shoes that my uncle Ben had worn at Pearl Harbor during World War Two, with white socks, rolled down to the shoe tops, country style. I stood there before that receptionist’s admiring eyes, not surprised at all by her speechlessness. I knew she was probably hesitating while trying to think of some flattering remark to throw me off guard.
Before she got a chance to put in her two cents, I threw out my chest and spoke right up.
“I’d like to see Mister, uh….” I fished the paper out of my pocket again and glanced at it. “Uh, Mister Gordon,” I said. “Mr. Gordon, please.” I thought I sounded awfully professional. Maybe California had brought something out in me.
“Cert – certainly, sir,” the girl stammered, reaching for the phone. I noticed she kept looking at me out of the corner of her eye. Never seen anybody like me before, I realized, reaching to straighten my tie. Why – the dadgum thing had come loose and was hanging off the first button of my coat! Danged bothersome….
“Uh – what’s that, ma’am?”
“I said, who are you with, sir?” the girl asked, holding one hand over the intercom phone.
Now, what kind of question was that? I took a glance behind me, first over one shoulder, then over the other. There was nobody else in the room.
“Why – nobody, ma’am,” I said gently. The poor girl was either seeing things or needed glasses. “I’m by myself, “Ma’am.”
That girl managed to announce me to Mr. Gordon and got me directed through the building to his office, but she sure made a mess of it. She kept choking over her words, like, “Carlos, choke – I’ve got a live one – gasp – I mean…a gentleman out here – gurgle, choke…” and stuff like that. Why, if I’d been the big shot who owned that company I’d of never hired a girl who stuttered to sit at the front desk to answer the phone and meet the public.
“If I get a job here,” I says to myself, “I’ll have to coach this girl how to be more sophisticated.
As I strutted confidently down the hall to my interview, the straw and manure from my shoes blended nicely with the green carpet.
The End. Come Back Next Week for more.......