It's flashback time!
"Mrs. Arnswald, Tiffany will see you in a moment. Thank you for waiting." The young secretary turned and typed on her computer. Even though she sat across the room, Nancy could see she was on Facebook.
The room was decorated in a retro avocado green on one wall with some type of largish, hanging light fixture that looked like it was bought from Ikea. Very trendy and modern. It reminded her of something her mother would have picked out when she was a girl.
The phone hadn't rang since she came at 10:30, half an hour before Nancy's appointment. There were two people ahead of her, both of them younger. Tiffany, who was conducting the interview, was cordial and polite to the first one; a black man who appeared to be in his late 30s. He looked a little overweight but seemed poised and a little grim. That interview was quick. The next interview was with a much younger girl, probably just out of college. Tiffany remarked that she had the same shoes at home; it was now 11:30pm.
The secretary turned off her computer, got her purse and walked out of the room. Nancy took out her Blackberry to check for messages, leaned her head back on the white wall and closed her eyes with a sigh.
Thirty years ago she was as young as that secretary and just out of college. She was gorgeous, with great billows of dishwater blonde hair, styled just like Jaclyn Smith. She wore a navy power dress complete with shoulder pads and large, white button earrings. Her first interview at the law offices of Beloit Haskell and Seins went quite well. She had sex with one of the junior partners who hired her on the spot.
Nancy let the affair come to its natural conclusion and the two of them got along quite well. They attended each others weddings and baptisms of children. Nancy organized soccer practices from the office; after he made partner, she stayed with him and served as a patient go between him and his first wife.
She remembered when he introduced her to his girlfriend. Nancy had seen her many times before at various events and knew that she was trouble. This girlfriend was sweet as sugar to her face but she knew her time was up. Girlfriend had been a secretary. Her boss gave her a pretty good severance package; it was guilt money. According to her office friends, new wife now sat outside her husband's office.
Nancy heard the door open and sat straight. No reason to give Tiffany any more reason not to hire her. She knew she was going through the motions when she saw the two of them laugh and pause at the open door to get each other's e-mail.
The young woman did not look her in the eye as she left. Tiffany smiled, cordially and politely. Nancy stood up, smiled back grimly and entered her office.
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