The woman behind the counter probably didn’t mean to come off as combative. She squeezed off a hard, polite smile as she said, “It’s all done on computer now. We have several available in the room over there.” She pointed to the room to the right.
“Oh.” Suzie hadn’t been in Job Service in so long that she might as well have no experience at all. Everything had changed in the intervening years. “Um…”
“This way.” With a small sigh of exasperation, the petty bureaucrat came out from behind her counter and strode toward the computers with a single minded determination.
“Wait. All I want is….” Suzie couldn’t finish the sentence.
What she wanted was a job.
Used to be you could walk up to the counter and ask what was available in your specialty and the clerks would look it up for you. It only made sense that they would computerize it. She could probably access the system from home and see all the offerings on their web site.
She grabbed a business card out of a dispenser on the counter before following the woman. No name, but sure enough the URL of their web site. Suzie was half tempted to cut and run right then.
“Do you have a resume yet?” The woman held a chair out for her to sit in front of a computer.
“Um. Sort of.” Suzie sat. She fished through her bag for the folder that had print outs of her vita. What she had of one, anyway.
She had done her best to put it together at home over the last week or two. It had forced her to look at herself far more closely than she wanted.
How was she supposed to represent herself now? As an accountant who hadn’t done any bookkeeping in years? As the owner of a boarding house? All right, she was the failed owner of a boarding house looking to re-enter the world of accounting after having been summarily fired from her previous job.
As to references, that was even more frightening. She couldn’t expect her previous employer to say anything good about her. But she’d worked there for years. When she tried to call the employer before that, she found the business had gone under and there was no sign of the owner or her boss. She couldn’t even remember the last name of the employer before that. Essentially, she had no references.
“Just type in your information here.” The bureaucrat glanced at Suzie’s paper. “Oh. Well, you’ll still have to enter the information in our system.” She leaned over and pressed a few keys to bring up a screen that looked time consuming. “Well, I leave you to it then.”
“Um…” Suzie raised a hand as if to grab the woman as she turned away, then stopped herself. She desperately needed help, but maybe not from this individual.
“Unless you need a job councilor?” The woman said it with a clear attitude of condescension. Apparently only complete losers needed counseling.
“No.” Suzie regretted saying it as soon as the word popped out, but had no intention of taking it back. Not in front of this particular person. She stood up and collected her things. “I’ll do it from home.” At least there she could eat crow in peace.
If you enjoy Suzie’s House and would like to see more, please leave a comment. Suzie’s House is powered by its readers. I will be taking next week off for Christmas. Suzie’s House will be back on schedule starting the following week. Yeah, New Years Day. You’ll just have to read it with a hang over.