Thursday, August 27th
It was now 5:26 p.m, and for the seventh time today, I was crammed onto the crowded public bus. For the past twenty three minutes, I was the meat in a very uncomfortable sandwich, with an elderly, woman who smelled of artificial roses and a horny, teenage boy whose pesky hand wouldn't leave my knee. I've been in Seattle for three and half weeks, hoping to start life fresh. Far away from all the pain, I left back in Michigan.
But, I have to admit, hunting for an adequate job, that would financially support me, was proving to be harder than I thought. Then again, having a subpar business degree from a community college, and five years as a Hooter’s waitress for experience, is not exactly much to work with.
I was on my way to interview number seven, and after an unsucesful day filled with rejection, I was losing hope. I needed a job. The money my Nana left me in her will was nearly gone, along with the little money, I had to my name. I knew this interview was a long shot, given the high caliber of this company, but if they just gave me a chance, I know I can prove my value. The little I possessed.
Glancing down at my phone, to make sure I was getting off at the right stop, I smiled at the picture illuminating my face. Taking a much-needed deep breath, I reminded myself, why I needed to see this until the end, I hadn't been rejected yet.
With my destination in view, I pulled onto the string, more than ready to get out of this uncomfortable setting. Once, the bus came to a stop, myself and a few others got off, going our separate ways. The busy Washington streets quickly filled with people, as I moved myself out of the way, to stare into the glass storefront.
My makeup had held up nicely, while my messy wand curls were still semi intact, despite the humidity and the brief rain shower earlier today. Smoothing down the silky, white blouse and form-fitting, black pencil skirt, I gave myself a light smile. Positive mind, positive outcome Katie. Adjusting, my worn Louis Vuitton Never-full, on my right shoulder, I joined the crowd of people down the busy street. Luckily, I was used to wearing heels, but after all the walking I had done today, the seven-inch heel and the mild platform, were starting to ache my poor feet.
Continuing to push forward, I could see my destination quickly approaching, in the distance. After, a hundred more steps and apologizing to the many shoulders I bumped into, I was finally here.
Forbes, highly acclaimed multi-billion dollar company that has been on everyone's radar for a toursit visit. The company has been a popular staple in Seattle for nearly three decades, but just last year they finally made it into the billion dollar revenue of sales. I knew the odds of me getting this job were slim to none, but I knew I had to at least try.
Approaching the revolving door, I glanced in awe at the beautiful building. Though it was extremely busy and hectic, I couldn't help but stare. The gorgeous marbled floors, the eye-catching floor to ceiling windows, and the many posh looking workers, made me feel out of place, after being in here for only a few minutes.
I let my eyes linger for a moment longer, before I made my way to the front desk. An older woman, with perfectly curled black hair and red painted lips, was typing away at her large computer. A iMac. Wow.
“Um, excuse me?” Curse my stupid, soft voice. I stood there like an idiot, before the woman looked up at me and jumped. Clearly I had startled her. I offered an apologetic smile, which she sweetly returned, as her sultry green eyes, met my nervous gaze.
“Forgive me dear, I tend to get in the zone during office hours.” She chuckled lightly, tearing her attention away from the screen. “Now, what can I do for you?”
“I have an interview.” I attempted to make my voice sound more assertive. Epic. Fail. “I-I’m Katherine Prescott” I stuttered out, feeling nervous in the presence of all these people.
“Oh, honey no need to be nervous.” She gave me a sincere smile, that put me somewhat at ease.
“Sorry, it’s just so intimidating being here.” I whispered shyly, while my eyes glanced around the busy lobby, to give my nerves something to focus on.
“You get used to it after thirty years” We shared a laugh, as she dug through a huge pile of paperwork on her cluttered desk.
“Here you are.” She pulled a sleek black folder from the stack, handing it to me. It was quite heavy, and my eyes couldn't help scan the reflective metallic lettering, that glimmered in the light. This folder alone could pay my rent. “I will walk you to Mr. Harrington’s office.” I nodded, as she made her way from her large desk, leading me towards the elevator.
I trailed behind her, admiring her unintentional runway walk. It suited her perfectly. She pushed the shiny silver button, opening the spacious elevator, as we both stepped in. I watched her slender finger painted the perfect shade of ruby red, hit the ninth button, sending us to our destination, as soothing jazz music played lightly in the background.
“I’m Susanna by the way, but everyone calls me Sue.” I smiled, shaking her perfectly, manicured hand. It was something about her presence, that made me feel so secured.
“Nice to meet you.” I said timidly as the elevator doors opened again. Sue's expensive, red bottoms clicked against the floor, while we made our way down an extremely, long hallway. We stopped at the end of the hall, where a beautiful view accompanied the office. I could see downtown Seattle and then some from up here.
“Gustav, your 5:45, is here.” Sue spoke, as she knocked a few times. Anxiously, I was shifting my feet back and forth, waiting forth, Mr. Harrington to emerge from his office. After, a few moments that felt like an eternity, the door flew open. I stared at the older gentleman dressed in an expensive maroon suit, paired with a Rolex, and designer reading glasses. I never find older men attractive, but wow. He's attractive.
“Thank you, my dear sweet, Sue.” His voice was deep and husky, yet calmingly, playful. Sue, playful rolled her eyes before turning to me.
“Good luck, honey.” Sue, placed a loving rub to my arm accompanied by a friendly wink. Not wanting to be rude, I smiled before she disappeared back down the hallway.
“Come in, my dear.” I nodded, walking into the beautiful office, while Mr. Harrington shut the door behind us. “I must say you are quite the gorgeous, little thing.” He nudged my shoulder, before taking a seat at his impressive desk. I couldn’t help but laugh. The way Mr. Harrington gave the complement, didn't make me feel gross or sleazy. Unlike my first two interviews.
Taking a seat in one of the chairs in front of the large desk, Mr. Harrington gave me a sweet smile, as he sat down in his large leather chair. I sat my purse next to my feet, while holding the heavy folder in my lap, tracing my fingers against the lettering. I painted two quick coats of nude polish on my nails earlier this morning, I couln't afford a proper manicure right now.
As I brought my eyes up, I lightly to flinch, when I saw Mr, Harrington was staring at me with an expressionless look. He had the most mesmerizing baby blue eyes. His dark brown hair with spurts of gray was cropped on the sides to the perfect length, framing his chiseld cheeks bones, and salt and pepper beard perfectly. God, I don’t even think I should be breathing his air.
“So, shall we begin, Ms. Prescott?” I nodded, as he pulled a similar black folder in front of him, running his index finger over the metallic letters. He raised one of his perfectly groomed eyebrows, queuing me to speak with a a soft smile.
“Oh, um, I’m Katherine Prescott, age twenty-four applying for the assistant position.” I am a mess.
“Breathe my dear, I don’t bite, I’ve already had my lunch” I laughed softly, relaxing my very tense shoulders.
“No, need to apologize Hun, I’m not as intimidating as people make me out to be.” He was right. From what I have read, he was supposed to be an absolute shark. “Now, I’m going to be frank with you, Ms. Prescott, your lack of experience puts you at the bottom of the thirty applicants, I’ve interviewed.” Here it comes, a first class ticket to rejection express.
“Sir, I know my experience is not up to your standards, but I give you my word, I will work day in and day out to give you nothing, but a stellar performance. I give everything I have into whatever I do, always.” I really needed this job. My eyes nervously watched as Mr. Harrington stood up from his chair, walking in front of his desk, perching his bottom on the edge. He crossed his arms over his broad chest, as that expressionless look returned to his face. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, he had one hell of a poker face.
“When I wanted to start my business, I made a pitch to so many investors, and majority them turned me away because I didn't come from a strong background.” He gave me a warming smile, before reaching for the folder in my hands. “And when I finally got my chance, they never made me forget that I was the underdog, and because of that Ms. Prescott, I always root for the underdog.” Wait. Is he saying, what I think he’s saying?
“I-I don’t follow sir.” I wasn't going to get my hopes up, not yet.
“You have the job, my dear.”
“Welcome to the team, Ms. Prescott.” I don’t know what came over me, but I lunged towards him, wrapping my arms around his neck, hugging him tightly, feeling tears ready to fall. Mr. Harrington only laughed, accepting my unexpected embrace, patting my lower back with his right hand.
“Oh my gosh, I am so sorry!” I pulled away quickly fixing his crinkleld suit jacket, he is so going to fire me. “I got too excited, please don’t fire me.”
“Hahaha, no worries my dear.” I smiled, as we both returned to our seats, sharing a few chuckles until we got comfortable. “Now I have to warn you, my son is not as accommodating as I am.”
“Yes, I am stepping down as CEO, and my eldest son Liam will be taking my place.” I was rendered speechless. I knew nothing of Mr. Harrington’s son, but how bad could he be, his father is such a charming and kind man.
“Of course, Mr. Harrington, I won’t let you down.”
“I know you won’t, my dear.” He rose from his chair, buttoning the front of his suit. “Now that, that’s settled can you start Monday?”
“Yes, of course, sir.”
“Splendid! If you don’t mind staying, Sue will help you run through your duties to get you familiar with Liam’s work environment.” I nodded, feeling a little nervous now. What was Liam like? Mr. Harrington made his way to stand in front of me, his tall frame towered over me, as he held his hand out for a firm handshake.
“I can’t thank you, enough sir.”
“Don’t let me down, Ms. Prescott.” Though he spoke with a smile, I knew the severity of his words. I’m sure all the other candidates had Ivy League educations, and tons of experience in the corporate world. He was taking a chance with me, a risky one. I wasn't going to let him down.
Walking side by side, we exited his office, making our way down the long hallway, back to the elevators. I couldn’t help the smile that was now plastered on my face. After weeks of rejection, life was finally starting to look up.
As we walked back into the lobby, workers bowed their heads in respect as they passed Mr. Harrington. I couldn't blame them, this man was officially my heaven sent angel. I would lay down on this floor and be his personal foot rug, if he asked me too.
We finally arrived back to Sue’s desk, causing her eyes to light up as soon as she saw me.
“Sue, be a dearm and brief our new employee on her duties, please.”
“Of course.” Sue, said with a smile.
“I’ll see you bright and early Monday morning, Ms. Prescott.”
“Yes, sir.” He gave my shoulder a loving squeeze, before returning to his office.
“Come, come dear!” I joined Sue, behind her desk as she pulled up a rolling chair for me to sit down.
For the next hour, Sue helped me prepare for Monday the best she could. It was a lot of work and pre-planning, but I was determined to finish with an excellent performance for my new boss. I wasn't going to settle for anything less.
“We will meet again next week to see how you’re doing, dear.” I nodded my head, stuffing the armful of paperwork into my bag. I grabbed my phone that was resting in the inside stretched pocket, to check the time. 7:12. Maria is so going to kill me.
Standing up from the rolling chair, I stretched my limbs and let out a small yawn. Sue walked me to the door, preparing to say goodbye, with an equally tired smile.“Oh, wait before you leave.” She shuffled back behind her desk, returning with a large black bag, with Harrington Enterprises written on it with the same reflective, black lettering. “This is for you.” She handed me the heavy bag, watching as I looked inside. My eyes widened, as the contents of the bag stared at me in all their expensive glory. The newest Macbook and iPhone stared back at me.
“I’ve programed everything you need, feel free to email or call me if you need anything, dear.”
“Thank you, Sue.”
“See you Monday, Ms. Prescott.”
“Oh, um, Katie.” I smiled. “You can call me Katie if you’d like.”
“Goodnight, Katie.” Maybe I did make the right decision moving here.