Andrea’s palms were itching. She looked down at them; they’d never done that before. Weren’t you just supposed to sweat when you were anxious? Scratching them with her fingertips, she closed her eyes and took a breath. It was nothing, just an interview. In the grand scheme of things, her nerves were nothing more than a whisper on a long travelled wind. Wasn’t that what her gran had always said? Exhaling, she opened her eyes again and looked across the busy street to the front of the shop.
It looked so normal from the outside, casually sitting between a Barclays and a florist. People walked by it, occasionally turning their heads to check their reflections in the glass of the windows. Andrea could just make out her own from where she was sitting. It was all mirrored and bright and modern and large gold letters formed the name of the place in cursive above the door.
The leading providers of top quality systems
Give your special occasion some real atmosphere!
Andrea picked up her bag from where she’d set it at her feet. She glanced at the watch on her wrist as she opened it. Fifteen twenty three. Seven minutes to go. Breathe, just breathe. She checked through the front pocket of her bag, fingers clutching at her CV. She’d already emailed them a copy, but it was always best to be prepared. What if her interviewer had misplaced it? What if they’d wanted to print another copy but had run out of ink?
Fifteen twenty five. She started to stand, hand braced against the seat of the bench. Five minutes early was acceptable right? Or would it be better to wait until she was right on time? It was always good to look well organised and it would show she was a good time keeper, but what if she had to wait for five whole minutes? Just standing inside the shop looking awkward would be ridiculous. What if a customer approached her? What if the people already working there tried to make small talk?
She sat back down. Fifteen twenty eight.
She stood up and snatched her bag into her arms. Just go for it!
A small bell rang as Andrea pushed open the door, but when she looked up there wasn’t one there. She let the door fall closed again behind her.
“It’s a pressure plate under the floor.” Someone announced from the front of the shop. “It does that even if no one comes in, watch!”
A guy shorter than her and twice as excited darted forward and grabbed her shoulders, moving her to one side. He then proceeded to jump on the small patch of white lino in front of the door then off it again. The bell sound went off each time. It didn’t take many jumps for it to become one of the more annoying noises Andrea had ever heard.
“Okay, yeah cool. I got it.” She said, forcing a smile.
The man stopped. His hair stuck up in every direction except the one he tried to smooth it over to as he smiled up at her. “It supposed to make people feel warm and welcome and nostalgic, I think.” He said.
“Then why not just have a real bell?”
The man’s smile dipped. “Oh.” He said. “I don’t know.” He shook his head and held out a hand for her to shake. “I’m Will, nice to meet you! You’re not here for a dome, are you?”
Andrea reached out and took his hand. “No, I’m here for a job. I’m supposed to ask for Mr-” She broke the shake and reached down to rummage through her bag again. How could she have forgotten his name, she’d read over the letter a dozen times! “Mr- um…”
“You probably want Niel. He’s out back.”
“He isn’t, I haven’t seen him for hours.” Another voice said.
Andrea took her nose away from her bag and looked passed Will. Another man ducked under the counter and walked towards them. “If it goes real quiet in the afternoons he buggers off down the pub.” He stuck his hand out. “I’m Sam, Head of Branch Sales.”
Will rolled his eyes. “Means he does the most shifts behind the till cos he has no social life.”
Andrea almost smiled. “But, I have an interview today.” Her hand found the letter and she held it out for them both to see. She paused while they read it, hoping they wouldn’t notice how it shook slightly.
“I guess he forgot.” Will said, taking the letter from her.
“Typical.” Sam shrugged. “I can try calling him but he won’t pick up.” He finished the remark on a mutter, returning to the counter and jumping over it this time. Andrea watched as he reached down behind it a picked up a small device and clipped it to his ear. He tapped it twice. “Oi, moron, some chick is here for an interview.”
Will grinned and grabbed her hand. “Wanna look around? Know much about the place? Haven’t seen you in here before why you wanna work here? I mean I’m alright but the other two are dickheads.”
Andrea let him pull her over towards the wall. The shop was a startling range of different shades of… well, white. The floor and checkout counter were a bright dazzling gloss, while the display units along the walls were a dimmed matt finish. There were a few small chairs scattered around in the middle of the floor but not much else. She supposed the products spoke for themselves.
Every wall was sectioned off into dozens of small squares and inside them miniature half domes like snow globes stood in the centre. Inside them where different types of weather. In the one closest to her, Andrea watched as a small bunch of fluffy clouds floated in circles. In another a glowing yellow dot shone down on the bottom of the dome.
“This wall is just the standards.” Will told her. “Clear skies with different UV resolutions. Cloud types and regularities, shit like that. But over here-” He pulled her across them empty expanse to the other wall. “Here is the magic stuff! Tornadoes, tropical storms, snow falls!”
Andrea looked into the dome just above her head. A tiny twister was raging inside, bouncing off against the clear sides and back into the centre again. “Do people seriously pay out for their own tornadoes?” She asked.
Will opened his mouth, but it was Sam who answered her. “Mostly ex-wifes looking to spoil their former bloke’s wedding.” He grinned.
Andrea looked back to Will, who simply shrugged. “Wow.” She said.
“So Neil is on his way back, sends his apologies, he had an important meeting that ran over blah blah blah various other bullshit.” Sam told her.
“I hope you get the job.” Will said. “You seem alright.”
Sam sniggered and leaned across the counter. “How you ever get laid is a mystery to me dude.”
“Least I’m not married to the till!”
Andrea laughed, her nerves seemed to have given up attacking her small intestine at least. She sat down in one of the chairs and watched a sun (UV factor 50) circle lazily around its dome. In the corner of her eye she saw Will go to chuck a rolled up piece of paper at Sam. It was probably her interview letter. She sighed. She kind of hoped she got the job too.
Copyright © 2013 robotichermitblog.com All Rights Reserved.
I have this vision in my head of a fantastic future in which technology will make all sorts of random things possible. Want to ensure you have good weather for your BBQ next weekend? Just go buy some to put up over your garden! But no matter how far science takes us, there will always be some bloke somewhere insisting you rate their ‘customer service’.
Inspired by an invitation to an outdoor function during which I know it will rain because I live in England. And by the shop I went into today that didn’t look like it actually sold anything except white chairs.