I fidgeted, all ready knowing the job interviewer wasn't pleased with something. I was well qualified and everything, but there was a unreadable expression on her face. I'd read several books on positive interviews and really needed something quick, as the whole "dot com" blood bath had made upper management jobs totally expendable.
I prayed my desperation was hidden beneath my arched back straining shoulders, phony smile and spiffy little three hundred dollar business dress, jacket and designer high heels. Once hired I could relax and revert typical relaxed slumped posture, casual sneakers, jeans and baseball cap. I flashed my phony smile once more, with the same puzzling expression.
"I see you've worked a lot of places... Miss Corbitt is it?" She asked.
"Jennifer, please. And Yes, I've been "stolen" away from a lot of software companies of late, not to brag or anything..." I shrugging at my own lame lie. She started back, rubbing her chin and flicked a tousle of her autumn hair from out of her face, studying my resume.
I watching for any crack in her armor, trying to hide my desperateness. Nobody hires desperate. Couldn't hide I was looking, but I'd been on the hiring side of that desk, and I could smell desperation. I was an excellent bargaining chip, if someone was stupid enough to let it show.
"Weeeeell, you know what things are like out there Miss Corbitt." She said as I perched forward in my seat.
"Jennifer... please..." I said a little too fast.
"Okay. Jennifer. I do have a position you'd be perfect for It's something your completely qualified for. But it's not with this company. It's with me, personally. interested? " She said measuredly.
"Sounds great. I mean, could you explain..." I blinked.
She paused. "House girl."
I stared at her in shock.
For a moment everything froze. Her eyes held me there as my breath quickened, cheeks becoming warm. Her caustic tone made me flush in humiliation, and her possessive stare coercing my petulant reply.
"House girl? You mean like a housekeeper?" I was too stunned to even allow myself angry.
"That a problem?" She chirped.
My fists curled into little balls as I let my shoulders slump a bit, the high heels pinching my feet suddenly feeling like clown shoes. I mean, was this bitch deliberately trying to humiliate me or was she actually fucking serious here? I clearly had nine years experience in upper management in software development for god's sake. The bile to rose in my stomach, despite her attitude setting off something threatening to burst from inside.
"No offense, but don't you consider myself a little over qualified for a simple housekeeper?" I said, hating how I'd added "no offense" in the slim chance I'd miss understood.
"With your resume?" She lifted her gaze, eyes meeting mine.
"Well, yes. Nine years. at - "
"I'm not here to negotiate. There's fifty more like you outside my office who'll jump at the chance to work for me personally. Don't be stupid jenny."
"Jennifer." I snapped, aware my face was scarlet and my hands were now shaking with fury at myself for allowing her for think of me this way.
"It bothers you doesn't it?" She said with a a sympathetic smirk.
"Bothers is a understatement..." I said frostily, reaching for my purse and struggling to get up. n.
"Let me ask you something. This isn't really you, is it?" She asked, voice froze me me once again.
I paused, turned away from her gaze, facing the door.
"What do you mea-." I choked, as she continued.
"All this. All dolled up in a Kors Michael Kors dress, expensive designer Heels and trendy matching jacket. It's not the real Jennifer Corbitt, is it now? " She asked unflinchingly.
I should have known she'd see through me. Part of me was relieved, thought it also deepened my humiliation. My shoulders slumped even lower, if possible into mt rightful position before this stranger. And for some reason, I answered her.
Honestly answered in a quiet little suffocated whisper, back turned.
"I'll tell you want Jennifer. I'd like you to do me a favor. Go home, change into what you normally wear, and we'll start over, okay? " She asked without looking up at her paper work.
For a moment everything froze once again. I could imagine her eyes boring into me from behind me as my breath quickened, cheeks flushing from her the mock severity in her voice. Her authority and composed tone made me for some reason flush with wild excitement, and I felt an odd warmth, little by little, creep over my body, hands and nape of my moistening neck.
As I rushed home my body was exploding with strange anger and desire, as my mind raced in circles endlessly, wondering if I really had a shot in hell here. I collapsed on my bed and soaked myself in the remembrance of her firm warm voice in my head. Housgirl. Not even houselady or house woman? Why would she think of me for that? jesus, talk about degrading! I shed my expensive useless dress in a heap on the floor, and stood there naked and trembling. But not with fear. Anticipation.
Still nude, I dug through my file cabinet and pulled dozens of folders and awards I'd stacked up professional over the last nine years and carefully laid them out out on my bedroom floor. It didn't look like much. A padded resume, a few cheesy "best employee of the month" token gestures from each company I'd bluffed my way into, until they caught on what a fake I was. I felt a tingling inside at how close to the truth this woman may have been, and I had to fight the desire to touch myself as I started hatefully at my embarrassing excuse for a career sprawled across my bedroom floor.
.... There is more of this story ...