Author Note: The following story is fictional (maybe), only the names have been changed to protect the guilty (and the horny).
When the recession first hit, I wasn't too worried. I had a good job with a strong retailer working the back office, the price of gas and food had gone down, and the rent on my apartment was very reasonable. Then, we got word that my so-called strong retailer had filed bankruptcy and they were closing several of their stores. I wasn't worried since I was sure if my store was closed I'd just be transferred to another location. That was, until they announced that they were liquidating their assets, shutting down all the stores, and going out of business. I worked until the doors closed. Then packed my desk, and with my last check, got drunk with my fellow co-workers at a local bar.
The next day, I filed for my unemployment and began to search for work. I'm an educated woman with my master's in business administration and I knew I'd be a valuable asset to any company. The problem I didn't foresee was the number of other highly educated men and women just like me fighting for the tiny handful of jobs available. Unemployment had cut my annual pay by over half, and I was receiving the maximum amount of benefits. I was once told by an organization that "guaranteed" you would find work to submit ten applications a day for maximum success. Well, that advice works, except during a recession. I was applying to every company within a two-hundred mile radius, making phone calls, writing e-mails and hitting the pavement.
Two years later, I was still unemployed and on my last federal extension with two months left. All my credit cards were maxed out, and I had borrowed money from my family to keep my lights on. I had shut my land-line down to avoid the threatening phone calls from bill collectors who didn't understand the concept of my having no spare money and kept my worn out cell phone for the purpose of searching for work. I made daily treks to the local library to apply for jobs because I couldn't afford internet at home anymore, and was starting to figure out how I could live in my car comfortably. Moving back in with either of my parents was not an option.
It was on a Tuesday when I got the call. I always got nervous when I got a call from a number I didn't recognize because it might be a bill collector who got my cell number. But I also knew that I gave this number to every business I had applied to, so I answered my phone.
"Yes, may I speak with Cheyanne Lewis?" asked a man's voice.
"This is Cheyanne."
"Good afternoon, my name is Kaleb Winter and I'm with-" (the name of the company isn't important, especially if I'm telling a true story). "I received your resume and would like to schedule an interview with you."
My jaw dropped, my heart raced. After months of nothing but rejections or just being ignored, I had an interview. "Wonderful! When?"
I knew I sounded anxious, and I needed to calm down, but my hands were shaking as I grabbed a pen and piece of paper. "Well, our office is under construction right now due to the fact that we're relocating. Would you be willing to meet me tomorrow at, say, a Starbucks?"
"Sure," I said. It wasn't the first time I'd had a meeting at an odd location. I would have met this guy on the moon for a chance at a full-time job.
He gave me the address of the Starbucks that was about an hour away from where I lived and we agreed to meet at noon the next day. I Googled the address but when I did the street view, I couldn't find it. This wasn't that unusual as it appeared to be in a strip mall and sometimes they couldn't always get pictures of the shops, especially if there were businesses closer to the street. I spent the rest of my day selecting my best power suit, a wine skirt with matching blazer and black blouse. I pulled out my best black bra that I saved for interviews, and my sexiest black thong panties that gave me a sense of self-confidence and beauty. I did scrape together enough money to buy a new pair of nude thigh high stockings that I could use with my garter belt.
That morning, I woke up early, showered, shaved, and styled my blonde hair so it curled in a professional manner without being too casual. I dressed, put on my makeup, and took one last look. My heels helped give me the illusion of height, my blue eyes seemed to sparkle, and I looked sexy and professional. I was showing just enough cleavage to be sexy, without being slutty, and my skirt hugged my ass nicely without showing off my garters. I was ready, and early. I decided to head out, I didn't want to be late and there had been some construction on the roads in my town. So, I programed my GPS (a birthday gift from my dad when I missed an interview due to bad directions) and headed out.
I arrived half an hour early to the strip mall, and the address I was given was to a local supermarket. I thought maybe the whole strip mall used the same street number and I needed to find the right letter. I parked my car and began to look around. To my horror, the different business had different numbers, not letters. I looked inside the supermarket and there it was, the Starbucks kiosk. There were no tables anywhere available for us to sit at, and every few minutes I'd hear different announcements. "Attention shoppers. Today in our..."
I grabbed my phone to turn the ringer off when my interviewer called. "Hi Cheyanne. It's Kaleb Winter. I'm caught in traffic and running a bit late. I should be there in about ten minutes or so."
"Okay," I said. "Um, you do know this Starbucks is in a Vons, right?"
"I'm standing in the store as we speak."
"Attention shoppers..." rang out another announcement.
"Oh no," he said. "Is there someplace for us to meet?"
"Okay, how about I take you to lunch instead. I know a nice restaurant we can go and it won't be quite as noisy."
"Produce, pick up the call on line three, please."
"Okay, do you want me to meet you someplace?"
"How about I pick you up? You've already driven so far already."
"Um, well, that is-"
"Right. I understand. Is there a restaurant within a reasonable walking distance from you?"
I looked outside. "I can see an Applebee's across the parking lot."
"Okay, how about we meet there instead and I'll buy you lunch."
"You don't need to do that."
"Bakery, line two please. Bakery, line two please."
"I insist. I have you drive all this way and from what I can tell, that store is pretty busy."
I giggled. It was the beginning of the month and it seemed that everyone in the area was doing their monthly grocery shopping today. "Sure," I said. "I'll meet you there."
I put my phone back into my purse and walked across the parking lot and into the Applebee's. "Just one?" said the bubbly redhead hostess.
"Two. Actually, I'm meeting someone for a job interview," I said.
"Okay, well booth or table?"
"I prefer a booth."
"We'll have one available in a few minutes if you don't mind waiting."
"That's fine," I said.
The redhead disappeared and I sat down. She came back a moment later and said, "This way ma'am."
The restaurant was still pretty empty as she led me to a booth near the back, somewhat secluded, and I was curious why she wanted to seat me so quickly. "Thanks, but why the rush?"
"It's almost noon. In ten minutes we'll be packed with the lunch crowd."
"Ah," I said. "Well then thanks again."
I sat back and decided to look over the menu to find something cheap and filling. "Good afternoon, I'm Suzie. Can I start you with a glass of wine?"
I knew it was the suit that prompted such a question, and while I seriously wanted a glass of wine, I knew I needed to keep my wits about me, so I said, "How about a glass of water instead?"
"Coming right up," she said and spirited away.
I scanned the menu again when I heard a man's voice say, "Cheyanne?"
I looked up and saw a handsome man, with light brown hair and brown eyes, wearing a dark suit with a colorful tie. "Yes."
"Kaleb Winter," he said extending his hand.
I smiled, set the menu down, and took his hand. His grip was firm, and his hand was soft. "It's nice to finally meet you."
He sat across from me and said, "I'm so sorry about the Starbucks. I had no idea it was only a kiosk."
"It's fine," I said.
"Have you ordered yet?"
"Only a glass of water."
"What? No wine?"
I smiled. "I didn't think it would be appropriate, being this is a job interview after all."
"Good point. So how about this, we'll talk first, then after we'll share a glass of wine."
"Well, don't worry about being cheap. I insist you order whatever you want."
I smiled. What I really wanted besides a job was the Asian Grilled Chicken Salad. It was my favorite and wasn't overly expensive. The waitress returned and took our orders, though Kaleb insisted I could order something more expensive. I assured him it was my favorite and what I really wanted. He ordered a bottle of white wine and began my interview. I was so glad we were in this booth, since the restaurant quickly filled up just as the redhead had warned me. I shared about my experience, my education, and answered all his questions. Kaleb told me about the company, how they were finally expanding to this area and needed someone with my education and experience. The interview was going better than I could have expected, while we ate and talked. Then he poured me a glass of wine and we toasted to the end of the recession.
.... There is more of this story ...