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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Comedy · #2158578
First day on the job. Could Henrietta cut the mustard?
Entry for "The Writer's Cramp Prompt: You go to a job interview and are offered the job. That’s great, except when you ask what the company makes/does, no one will tell you. What do you do?

“I’m here for the job?” Henrietta couldn’t believe what they were paying for unskilled labor. The rigorous on-the-job training was free and counted as work time. That was a plus.

“You’re hired.” Mac’s tag gave his position as a job coach. It made Henrietta feel a little funny. Weren’t those for people in special ed. Hired for low paying entry level stuff no-one else wanted?

“Hired? But what about an interview? What Will I be doing?” She stalled.

Mac’s friendly smile eased her mind. “Things change pretty fast around here. It is the price we pay for being a leader in our field. You can quit at any time after you sign this. Papers fluttered into her hands. “Nondisclosure agreement? That one’s easy. I don’t know what I”m getting into. How could I tell anyone . . . “

But Mac was already on to the next item of business. He took back his pen and signed papers, almost yanking them from her. “Wear this. Amazon gave us the idea. It tracks everything you do while at work. You’re already on the clock, see?”

One look at the bracelet being slipped on her hand made her gasp. “I’ve already gotten a raise?”

“Yep, for staying flexible. Some just can’t handle the pace.” Mac sniffed.

“What’s next? This is some company.” They hadn’t even gotten through the employees only door yet. She was anxious to find out just what an Assistant Executive Trainee did. It could be anything.

Mac opened the door, handing her a hard hat and safety glasses. “Upgrading again. You’ll get used to it. There. That was going to be your office. Nice, huh?” He pointed to a hole in a wall where one crew was tearing down while another was building up behind them.

“Specialists. That’s all they ever do. Rarely move up the corporate ladder. Doesn’t mean we don’t value them.” Mac said disparagingly. He moved Henrietta around the work area and through another door marked private. “Here ya go. We’ll set you up here.”

“Wait. I thought I was an Assistant Executive Trainee.” The sign on the desk with fresh paint still wet said Executive Assistant Henrietta Moore. The name was right but the title was wrong.

Mac patted her on the back. Congratulations on moving up a position. You are showing first class promise by keeping such a positive outlook. That is so important it’s almost our business motto,”

Henrietta was feeling a bit overwhelmed. “It’s really nothing.” Under her breath, she whispered to herself “That’s for sure.”

“Pretty hectic, isn’t it?” Mac announced proudly. “No one does it better. We have left our competition in the dust.”

“Competition? Henrietta watched plush furniture being hauled in over a thick carpet being rolled out. The largest desk she’d ever seen was rolled in and then out. Within seconds a larger one was rolled in. “You’re joking. How could anyone compete with this?”

Mac looked a little startled, then laughed. “Sense of humor, too. Glad we got you before the other guys did.

Henrietta had had about enough. She was second guessing everything happening to her. “Uh, Mac?” The man bowed politely, taking off his job coach badge and handing it to her. He pointed to his earpiece.

“Thanks a lot, Henrietta. I knew you’d work out. I’m retiring. This is for the replacement you’ll be hiring. You just moved up from middle management to head of personnel. That director got transferred to being in charge of direct service. I’m impressed.”

He saluted her, flashed her a smile, shook her hand. “If change happens any faster around here you’ll be CEO in no time . . . unless they replace you with a robot. Don’t worry, I’m sure you make the board of directors. See ya’.”

With no idea what she was doing or who she was working for, Henrietta shrugged her shoulders, walked around and finally noticed a room she’d fit into in any company in the world. “Break Room. Just in time.”

Henrietta ducked in grabbing a cup of coffee from the dispenser and a doughnut roll before the upgrade team hustled in to take the room apart.

“Sorry boys. Change of plan. This has been made a company historical site. Move on to the next place on the agenda.” They seemed to take it in stride, just nodding and gathering up their power tools and supplies.

Henrietta sat down, put her feet up, and stretched. She was starting to feel like she had a handle on this job.

"Oh, there you are. We've changed product lines. Means we'll be needing someone with your experience over there. Sorry about the mix-up. Think you are up to the challenge?"

The woman standing before Henrietta didn't have a tag pinned to her business suit. Henrietta palmed the job coach tag and nodded. "If it's anything like what I've been trained to do so far, you can just bet your booties I'll be on top of the game."
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