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Incandescence (Part I)

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New Beginnings

Two days had passed since the interview and my head was still a mess.

Mr Salvatore came good on his offer and within an hour of leaving the interview, I received an email with the Offer of Employment and all other relevant paperwork.

A week ago, I would have jumped at the chance, but after the interview that had taken place a mere 48-hours earlier; I was starting to believe this wasn’t the job for me.

My thoughts were abruptly interrupted when I heard knocking on my front door. Leaving a copy of the Employment Offer on my dining table beside my glass of wine, I made my way to the front door, not knowing who to expect.

To say I was surprised to find Mr Salvatore and Leonard standing in my doorway would be an understatement. I had been employed at my current job for three years and during that time not once did my employer visit me at home. This unannounced visit was certainly unusual and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Without hesitating, I greeted them and welcomed them inside; all the while thinking what on earth they were doing in my home.

The thought of having the Salvatore’s inside my home wasn’t intimidating. At 29 years of age I was the owner of a lovely 4-bedroom house. I was proud of my accomplishments and achievements, and I certainly wasn’t after validation from anyone. I had grown up with relatively wealthy parents, by no means were they in the same league as the Salvatore’s, but we did have money. Having had grown up around wealth, I found myself immune to the intimidation most people experienced around the elite rich and powerful. To be honest, excessive wealth neither impressed nor intimidated me; it had nil effect.

Yet here I was, impacted by Bradley’s comments and reaction. Being scrutinized by the likes Bradley Salvatore during the interview should never impacted me; yet it had and worse still, it was the thing keeping me from moving forward and accepting my dream position.

‘You have a lovely home’ Mr Salvatore stated as he entered my home, breaking my train of thought.

‘Thank you’ I replied, as I guided my guests towards the dining room.

Walking over to my glass of wine still placed on my dining table, I offered my guests a drink, which they both surprisingly accepted. As I proceeded to pour everyone a glass of red Mr Salvatore made his way over to my dining table and looked down to see his Offer of Employment. ‘I see you received my email’ he stated rather matter-of-factly. ‘May I ask why you haven’t replied’?

I was rather taken aback by his question but appreciated his honesty. ‘To be perfectly honest Mr Salvatore, after the events that took place at the interview, I don’t know that I’m the best fit for your company’. I was surprised by my honesty, maybe it was because I was in the comfort of my own home or maybe it was courtesy of the two glasses of wine I had already consumed. I wasn’t sure why, but I continued ‘it’s clear Bradley has issues with me, why – I honestly can’t answer; but I don’t want to cause issues at BL Corp or within your family’.

‘What would make you think that?’ Leonard surprised me with his question, this was the first time he had spoken.

‘Leonard, with all due respect, you were present at the interview, you heard how your brother spoke to me, you saw how he stormed out of the interview when I went to shake his hand. I don’t know that I want to subject myself to such behavior in the workplace. I can’t performance manage one of the Directors of the Company; so how can I be expected to work in such conditions?’.

‘May we have a seat?’ Mr Salvatore asked. I couldn’t believe how rude I had been, not even offering my guests a seat. I quickly invited them to sit at the dining table while I put together a simple cheese platter and grabbed a second bottle of wine.

We all sat at the dining table and chatted candidly for the next hour. It was strange how quickly I felt comfortable in Mr Salvatore’s presence, even Leonard was growing on me, though he hardly spoke. I don’t know why, but I remained adamant that I couldn’t work for them because I couldn’t work with Bradley. Hearing myself, I didn’t know why I was so certain Bradley was going to be a problem, but somehow Bradley had managed to get in my head and convince me to stay away from this role.

Leonard quite cleverly managed to change topics and we found ourselves talking about business matters and HR strategies. We discussed my education and the Honors I received but no matter how hard Leonard tried to avoid the elephant in the room, the discussion inadvertently gravitated back to my reluctance to accept the position.

‘Tori, we have come here after-hours hoping you would give this offer the consideration it deserves. Why are you so hesitant to accept?’ asked Mr Salvatore

‘Mr Salvatore, why are you so determined to have me work for you? Surely you received numerous applications for this role, no doubt many of whom were more experienced for the role. Why do you want me to work for you?’ I asked, not even attempting to answer his initial question.

‘Tori, you might not believe this, but I believe you’re the perfect person for this role; if I didn’t think so, I would have never offered you the role. My business has been suffering for a while, we’re not retaining quality staff and profits have dropped. I have built my business empire and cannot stand back and watch it fall. I want you to take charge of our people and help us turn this ship around’. Mr Salvatore’s words surprised me.

I hadn’t realized BL Corp had serious staffing issues; in all my research I hadn’t read anything to indicate business was declining. Mr Salvatore had no reason to lie to me, he was honest and everything a good employer should be and I knew at that moment I wanted to work for him.

Without responding, I picked up a pen, signed the contract, handed it to Mr Salvatore and thanked him for the opportunity. I told Mr Salvatore that I would provide my current employers with 2-weeks’ notice, and would commence work at BL Corp in a fortnights time. Mr Salvatore seemed delighted in my decision and promptly placed my signed contract in his briefcase.

My guests stayed for another 30-minutes, we continued chatting about general things before they finishing their glasses and left. This was by far one of the strangest evenings I’d experienced. Mr Salvatore, Leonard and I conversing in my home. I was somehow compelled to go against my gut and signed up to a job that I wasn’t sure I actually wanted. But what surprised me most was that I actually had a lovely evening and found myself wanting the night to continue.

Before giving myself a chance to second guess the decision I had just made, I quickly pulled out my laptop and typed a letter of resignation to my current employers, thanking them for the opportunity and advising them of my last day of work. Content with my decision I sent the email and went to bed.

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