I stare down at my resume as it lays on my lap in front of me. I’m seated in the waiting room of an exquisite looking office waiting to be interviewed for a job as a personal assistant. It isn’t a job I want to take but at this point, I’m pretty desperate. At this point, I would work just about anywhere that would be willing to hire me.
My resume states my name: Melanie Moore. My age: 18. And my prior job experience: Babysitting for the Carson family and running the gift shop at the local amusement park last summer.
I have no experience as a personal assistant whatsoever but I’ve applied at what feels like over a hundred places and this was the only call back I received for a face-to-face interview.
I look around the office space I’m in. It’s completely empty except for the man who will be interviewing me. I can hear him behind a closed door shuffling papers around. When I first walked in he told me he’d be right with me but he’s shut me out here in the waiting area for over twenty minutes now.
In this office there are plants all around, beautiful pieces of artwork lining every wall, and a large bookshelf filled with books, novels, and magazines. There is a desk to my left with a desktop computer on it, a landline phone, and a plush chair. It looks like a desk meant for a receptionist but there is no one seated there. Maybe the personal assistant he chooses to hire will be the one to take that desk.
He pokes his head out from behind the door and says, “I’m ready to interview you now.”
I nervously stand to my feet and step inside. I take a seat across from him and notice that he is dressed in a really nice suit and looks to be in his late forties or early fifties.
I hand him my resume but he doesn’t even look at it. He just stares at me. He looks me directly in my eyes as if he’s trying to reach into my soul. I look down and pretend to fumble with my purse strap.
“Melanie,” he says, in a deep voice, “My name is Vincent Jax.”
“It’s nice to meet you.”
“Likewise. Tell me about yourself.”
“Um, okay. I just graduated from high school about a month ago and now I’m trying to find a place I can work long-term.”
“No college plans for you then?” he asks.
I clear my throat and shake my head no. “Much to my parents’ dismay, I don’t plan on further education. I didn’t enjoy high school very much so I figured… why put myself through more suffering?”
“Astute decision-making skills,” he responds. “I didn’t like school much myself.”
I nod my head in agreement with a smile.
“Do you know what I do here?” he asks me.
“Uh… business?” I ask. What a stupid response.
“Yes,” he nods, “But the type of business?”
“I’m not sure. The job listing wasn’t specific… it just mentioned that a personal assistant was needed.”
“I run a talent agency in New York City. The New York office is really where my bread and butter comes from. Here in California, I don’t often schedule appointments to meet aspiring models or actors. I prefer to treat my time in Los Angeles like my vacation time. I do still schedule appointments here but it’s far less frequent.”
“I haven’t needed a personal assistant in about ten years but these days I’m quite overwhelmed. The hours I need the most help are Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM. I would need you to book my flights to and from Los Angeles and New York, go get coffee for me when I ask, print out & file all of my documents alphabetically, schedule my monthly boating trips & any other obligation or appointment I might have to my calendar, call in to make dinner reservations for me if I need, answer the phone if it rings & take a message for me, even if I’m in the office, and answer any emails I might receive.”
“I can do all of that,” I tell him.
“When can you start?” he asks.
“Really?” I ask, perking up in my seat. “You want to hire me?”
“Well, why wouldn’t I want to?” he asks.
“I can start as soon as possible,” I respond, trying not to sound too eager. The sooner I can get started working for him, the sooner I can get my first paycheck in my hands.
“The pay is $500 per week,” he tells me. “Will that suffice?”
“It definitely will,” I respond.
“Okay great. I’ll see you back here tomorrow at 9 AM.”
He hands my back my resume. He never once looked down at it. I take it and leave his office. As soon as I get outside, I call my best friend, Gina.
“I got the job!” I squeal to her on the phone.
“You did?” she squeals right back, “Congratulations, Melanie!”
“I’ll see you when I get home,” I tell her excitedly.
I walk over to my bucket of a vehicle and climb in. I put the key into the ignition and pray that it starts. Every time I sit down behind the wheel of this car, it’s a gamble on whether it wants to get me from point A to point B or not.
It starts. I breathe a sigh of relief and start driving to Gina’s place.