by Puddle Diver
Possible beginning of a short story or novel. It's a quick character snapshot.
| Kenzie calculated exactly how much her fancy, really not so fancy, degree cost her, this being the 100th time doing so, and imagined spitting on the intimidatingly big desk in front of her.
“Can you tell me five qualities your closest friends and family would say about you?” Dennis asked, smiling his mega watt grin at her. Sure, Sleazy Dennis, no problem. Kenzie felt a pang because she really didn’t know if her friends and family would actually say anything nice. Her face stretched into a fake mega watt grin to match Sleazy Dennis’. It seemed easier for her to lie with a smile on her face. Maybe that was true for most people.
“Well, Dennis,” she personalized, “I’m great with people. I’m motivated and a self-starter. I have great communication skills and I’m punctual.”
She dared not to unclench her jaw muscles. Good God, I really ended with I’m punctual? She wanted to smack herself in the forehead. Her answers sounded copy and pasted from a how to do a good interview article off Google. Which is what she had been reading on her bus ride there.
“That sounds great. Now, tell me about a weakness you have.”
Kenzie sat frozen. No words came to mind. Several weaknesses flew through her head, but none were to be spoken out loud in close company let alone in an interview. She cycled through options, imagining the look on his face if she told him that she was codependent, drank too much, and hasn’t yet figured out why the fuck she gets up in the mornings.
“Come on, everyone has a weakness!” he exclaimed.
“Of course they do!” she agreed, perhaps too forcefully, “I just need to consider this one. Perhaps you could say I care too much?”
“Sure,” he wrote down her answer with a flourish. He so obviously wanted her out of his office so he could continue with his interviews. The job position was a scam. Soon after her arrival, at least four others had entered the lobby area to be interviewed. It was a door-to-door canvassing job that was to be based on commission. The sad fact is that if anyone actually bought the product, they wouldn’t buy it while Kenzie was selling it. They’d tell her they’d need to consider it and then buy it later directly from the agency. That’d be zero dollars for Kenzie and lots of profit for Sleazy Dennis.
“I’m sorry,” Kenzie apologized, “I’m just taking the whole job information in. Could you repeat that?”
Dennis had continued talking while Kenzie zoned out, wondering if she was really desperate enough to take the job.
“Can you come back tomorrow from 1:30 to 8pm? It’s the second part of the interview process. You’ll shadow our current employees and after you're done, we’ll see if you’re a good fit!”
Kenzie almost rolled her eyes, but remembered she was twenty-three and not three and controlled herself. Sure, Sleazy Dennis! I’ll work 6 and half hours for you for free!
“Sure!” she actually said, surprising herself. “I’d love to!”
Dennis stood, reaching his hand out to shake hers and when she stepped into the lobby area, it was crowded with interviewees. She might have almost tripped on her way out the door, but she thought really hard about how she had not actually tripped and that no one possibly noticed and eventually forgot about it.