Setting the sun...

Crowds: Preeti Part Four

Hello, hello again Knight Life followers! Gosh, I must say I am so warmed by the responses that I received from my: Illustrai-hate-her rant, thank you so much for your positive words and your thoughts both on my blog, and via email and in person. I am so excited to now share with you the fourth instalment of Preeti!

Preeti: Part Four

Preeti sat in the stylish black armchair; her knees were shaking involuntarily and her palms where sweating. What was this, her seventieth interview? Seventy first? Seventy second? She tried to count them again and again in her head. The memories of rejection and disappointment layered in her mind like pieces of unwanted paper stacking up and in her frazzled state couldn’t take its weight.
“You’ll need to fill out this paperwork,” an assistant with a head piece clipped on her ear and a sleeked backed ponytail instructed her, “They’ll be with you in a moment.”
“Thank you,” Preeti said, grabbing the clipboard. The assistant gave her a smug smile, full on insincerity and forced muscle movements. Preeti uncapped the ballpoint pen on the clipboard and began scribbling down her details in her usual floury cursive writing. As she signed below she felt as if she was signing herself away to another fifteen minuets of pain and torture. She glanced out into the reception room and observed; the assistant was behind the desk, powdering her nose and chatting into her ear piece as she glanced at the massive Mac screen and clicked the white mouse repetitively, and three other people sat in the black chairs around the room. One was a cream-coloured man who had tanned skin, sandy hair and perfectly sculptured teeth. Preeti rolled her eyes and wondered if he was a model on the side, or if he just graduated, left his job or was fired for having abnormal shoulder muscles. His suit was clearly designer; the jacket button was left opened so his tight white business shirt outlined the muscularly contours of his chest. The other two candidates were both women; thin and willowy. They both looked as if they hadn’t eaten breakfast, or dinner the night before, and gone specifically to a Myer counter to get their makeup and hair done before the interview.
“So I’ll take that,” the receptionist said appearing beside her and slowly taking the clipboard as if it was dripping in Ebola.
Preeti sighed; she didn’t realize that ridiculous beauty was a part of the job requirement. She was strangely reminded of Devil Wears Prada as the doors to her left opened and the receptionist indicated to her and then the door, “They’ll see you now.”

“So Pretty is it?”
“It’s Preeti actually,” she said, “You emphasize the ‘t’ with a ‘th’ sound.”
“Hm,” the woman made an unimpressed sound in her mouth like she had to contain her disapproval, “Indian is it?”
“It is, I was named after a famous Bollywood actress, but I’m actually Bengali.”
“Fascinating,” the man said, putting a hand over his white beard. As he began tapping his fingers on his cheek he added, “So, no experience Pretty?”
“Well right now I volunteer at my Dad’s accounting firm, and sometimes I work at my Mum’s bakery,” Preeti began her spiel, and instantly she her stomach knot like acid had saturated her intestines.
“Accounting? Baking?” the woman chirped, and sliding down her Prada glasses she laughed quietly to herself, “How quaint. Pretty, I must confess, I am unsure why you are applying with us.”
“Ah,” Preeti glanced nervously out at the window, the eighteenth storey view of Melbourne’s skyscrapers encased her like a concrete cobra, “I’m applying because I passed the phone interview.”
“Yes, well we do scan those with the relevant degree,” the woman placed her i-pad down and opened her black Michael Kors bag, “However this step of the process is designed to eliminate those with irrelevant experience.”
“I think what Candice is trying to say Pretty-”
“It’s okay Roger,” Candice retrieved a Aesop hand balm and twisted its’ little black screw top off, “What I am trying to subtly discuss with you, Miss Bhaduri is that you have no relevant experience within our field.”
Pretty began to feel her chest tightened and her breathing shallow.
“Ah,” She crossed her feet under her chair to stop them from shaking, “Well, how am I meant to get experience if no one will hire me?”
Candice scoffed and looked at Roger, “You get experience by standing our Miss Bhaduri.”
“I don’t stand out?”
“Hm,” the woman dropped her balm into her bag and rubbed her hands together, Preeti leaned back in her chair as if sparks were about to fly off the woman’s fingertips, “Well I suppose in your case Pretty you stand out for the wrong reasons. I have other candidates for this position who have master degrees in business, who have interned at five different offices, now you tell me why I should hire you?”
Preeti gulped, and it felt as if she had swallowed a mouthful of hot sand. It travelled down her throat as her eyes began to well, “I’m not sure, clearly I don’t deserve this job.”
“It was very nice meeting you Pretty,” Rodger said, “I think I’ve asked all the questions that I have.”
“I have also,” Candice declared, she looked to her Swarovski watch and looked up, “That’s all for today Pretty, I don’t think that you should bother waiting for us to call you.”
Preeti blinked for a few times before registering exactly what had happened. Slinging her handbag up her shoulder, small tears began to spill from her eyes as she stood and made her way to the door.
“Oh, and Miss Bhaduri?”
Preeti stopped at the door, put a hand to her cheek and looked back at Candice.
“Perhaps consider wearing something other than a dirty old sale jacket before interviewing for a job next time?”
Preeti nodded at the woman and then left the interview room quietly.


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