Graduated from college just over three months ago, I had managed to find an apartment and accumulated some furnishings to make it seem like home. Since I was born and raised in the northwest, the dry and often hostile temperatures of the desert southwest were alien to this body. I had attended a college in southern Arizona, where I had been given a four year scholarship for my excellent grades and community involvement. College was alright, but something was still missing in my life. While settling into my apartment I had already did some job searching in the area. I managed to mail out over two hundred resumes, so far no response to my inquiries.
I majored in communication during college. I studied radio, TV and promotion, a fancy word for obtaining publicity for a minimal of expense. In my four years I did a lot of videos, did stints on the local radio station and wrote and executed a lot of commercials both for products and people. I am fairly outgoing, it only took me a few moments to get someone to open up to me, then just sat back and let them talk. I did several interviews for TV, where that ability showed itself off to the best advantage.
Every morning I would search the want ads, looking for any possibilities. That particular morning I found five that interested me. I dressed casually, but smart and headed out to see what I might be able to connect with. The first three had already been filled, the ad placed several days before the newspaper ran the ad. The fourth one seems like a possibility, but I couldn’t get past the receptionist. She took my resume but steadfastly refused to let anyone know I was here, just saying they would call me if they are interested. I suspected something else, but couldn’t exactly figure out what is going on.
I went to the last place that had run a want ad, even managed to get an interview. After thirty minutes the person conducting the interviews told me that someone else seemed to have better qualifications so they would offer the job to them first, but if that fell through they would contact me. I walked slowly back to my car, another day wasted and not anything on the horizon.
Before heading home I decided to try the place with the receptionist again, maybe she has went home early and I can get my foot in the door. When I entered the building she was not at her desk, I smiled and went up to the desk. Someone from one of the nearby offices came over to help me, I told them that I was here for the advertised job and would like to speak with someone about it. I saw my resume in the trash at the side of her desk, picked it out and handed it to the lady. The lady watched as I retrieved my resume then looked it over as she blushed a little.
Have a seat and I will be right back. The receptionist returned a few minutes later, but did not say anything to me. The lady returned and asked me to follow her. We walked down a short hall, then into an impressive office. The lady pointed to a chair in front of her desk and I sat down. I started the conversation stating that I had seen her ad, and am very interested in the job. I gave a brief recap of my resume, and my college experiences in communication. I mentioned that I am confident, a fast learner and open to different methods to get to a specific goal.
“My name is Anna Haverty, and CEO of the company and I would like to offer you a one week trial to see if we can work together. The job pays five hundred a week for the trial period, if you do well we will talk salary when the week is up. Expect to be doing a little of everything while I see what you can handle. I apologize for the receptionist that matter will be dealt with later. Think it over tonight, and if you are interested I will see you at seven AM tomorrow morning. Casual dress and be prompt.” She shook my hand and I left the room as she had a phone call.
I held my head high as I walked out, the receptionist being taken to the back as I left the building. I set out some nicer clothes for tomorrow, casual but almost dressy. I set my alarm and after nibbling on a peanut butter sandwich made my way to bed.
The alarm the next morning was quickly squashed, in fact I may have to replace it, since there are now parts hanging out the side of the clock case. A quick shower, then slip on the clothes and head to my car. A brief stop at a drive thru then on to work. That sounded so good, after many weeks actually having a job even if it was only for a week was great.
When I entered the building the reception desk is empty. I wonder if she is still employed by the company. I walked the hall like yesterday, stopped and knocked on Ms. Haverty’s office door, then entered when I was summoned. She looked at her watch, smiled but didn’t say anything about me being fifteen minutes early.
“As you probably noticed, we are short one receptionist today, so that is where you will start. Gina will familiarize you with our phone system and the name of the executives here at our corporate headquarters. If you have any trouble you can’t handle my extension is 313, feel free to call if needed. I thanked her and left for the reception desk. A few minutes later Gina showed up, but had to wait because I had taken a call already.
She watched me for about ten minutes, one call after another, I was using a sheet left on the desk with each executive and their extension. The system is pretty basic, I had no trouble with it, I just hoped it would not be this busy all day. It did slack off some after the first hour, then the mailman left the corporate mail. I looked for a letter opener, slit each envelope, flattened the letter and stapled it above the envelope.
I sorted them on my desk as to their destination with a pile that I was not sure where they should go. Gina did check on me several times, this last time she smiled and wrote the office of each addressee on the top sheet of paper. The unknown pile she helped me to sort to the proper executive, then told me she would cover while I delivered the mail.
I made my way around the offices, most down the hall, a few one floor up. I introduced myself to each, handed them their mail and asked if there is anything I could do for them. Boy was I surprised when almost every one handed me some things to make copies of or to be typed. I returned to my desk, an armful of paper in my arms.
Gina giggled, then showed me where the copier was, the same place anything I had typed would be printed at. Then back to my desk where she handed me a headset, and showed me how it worked. I could answer calls, touch a button to put them on hold, then say the extension and the call would be transferred. That would allow me to make copies or retrieve printed work, while still doing the receptionist’s duties.
I got into the swing of things making my copies first, then typed the letters or proposals that the various executives wanted. It did make the day move faster for me, soon Gina was there wanting to know if I wanted to go to lunch. I told her not today, I had eaten a little larger breakfast, since I didn’t know what the arrangements for lunch were. When I got all caught up, I checked with Ms. Haverty to see if she had anything for me to do. I saw the biggest smile on her face.
I have been hearing some good things about you today, we will talk later after the offices are closed. Now as to what I have for you to do, here is our financial report for this quarter, rough version. Please redo it making it more factual and clear cut. If you need additional data consult the division executive for the material needed. Now scoot.
I read the report over five times, trying to figure how to lay it out. I made notes on a pad of things needing clarification. I started typing it up changing how it was laid out, grouping all of the general financial matters together, and all the departmental statistics near the end. I changed it several times when I had to get some additional data from the department. They cooperated with my request for data, maybe not happy about it, but they did eventually surrender the data I requested.
I changed a few things after seeing how it laid out, trying to get the appearance of the document to be a little more professional. On my fifth revision, I was happy, made several copies, and delivered one to Ms. Haverty. She was busy on the phone so I laid it on her desk and then returned to reception. I had barely set down when she called me back to her office. I went in and stood in front of her desk. She asked who I managed to con into helping me do the report. As I was about to respond Gina showed up, telling her that I had no help, even a couple of departments had delayed their response to my questions on purpose. Ms. Haverty dug in one of her desk drawers looking for something. She pulled out another report, much thicker than the one I had just finished and handed it to me. Do this one too, now get back to work. I liked her, she was firm, but even when she is sending me back to work she has this smile on her face.
I had three hours left in the day, but I didn’t want to carry this project over to tomorrow. Maybe, if I did well, she would move me somewhere else tomorrow, it is not that I disliked the receptionist job, I just thought my skills might be used more proficiently elsewhere. I dug into it, suddenly realizing it didn’t have all of the financial data like the first one I did. That might make it easier to redo. I read it several times, making notes as I went.
Then I started typing it, since I had a some exposure with the other report this one went much faster. Three and a half hours later I had it finished and took a copy to Ms. Haverty. It was a few minutes after quitting time, so the switchboard had closed down. On a separate file I had kept a list of calls received and who they were for. Just a backup in case I had been asked any questions about what I did that day. I did it on a spreadsheet, so the calls were totaled at the bottom of the sheet.
Just for heck I handed her a copy of that, along with the redone report. Gina was in the office with her, and was surprised when I handed the report back to her. I walked to my desk and picked up a copy for Gina and presented her with one. They paged through the report, making eye contact with each other several times. Then Gina looked at the call list, getting up and showing her boss something on the list. About twenty minutes later they laid down the papers and smiled at me.
Gina asked what else could I do, I mentioned a couple of the things on my resume, but didn’t dwell on anything in particular. Ms. Haverty was pleased with what I had accomplished today, she and Gina were talking about me when I entered the office. She however dismissed me, telling me that she would see me in the morning. I was disappointed, I thought I might have done enough to gain some new position for tomorrow, but nothing was said as I left the office.
I was happy with how I had done things today, the time had flown by since I was busy all day. I hoped for something better tomorrow, but even if I got put back on reception it wouldn’t be that bad. I treated myself to some take out, a reward for finally finding a job. I hoped that my enthusiasm was not pre-mature, one day on the job not necessarily a commitment for continued future employment. I did as yesterday, a big breakfast since I was not sure about when and if there would be a lunch.
I reported to Ms. Haverty as soon as I arrived and she sent me to the office next to Gina’s. I looked around the desk, seeing what was there and where everything was situated. Gina appeared a few minutes later and handed me a bunch of correspondence to respond to and answer. Some of it was from companies that supplied us and others were from our customers. Most of the information was answered on the top letter, so all I had to do was put the info in proper form and get it ready to send out. There was seventy five letters, ten of which needed a copy sent to another department or supplier.
At eleven I handed the stack of letters back to Gina, then the stack of envelopes ready to be mailed. The copies she was reading for approval were for our files, if she had no objections the rest were ready to be mailed. I asked her if there was anything else, she pointed to a chair in front of her desk and kept reading. When she finished the last one she summoned Ms. Haverty and told me to leave the letters to be mailed at reception. I did so and returned to her office since she had not told me what to do next. She handed me the copies for the files and told me to put them in the appropriate files.
I smiled and told her these were for her files, the appropriate company customer files already had a copy of the correspondence in their file. Ms. Haverty sitting over on a couch at the side of the office told Gina, Madison is way ahead of you. They wanted to know what I couldn’t do, since everything they have given me has been handled in a very professional matter.
I am not really very good at secretarial stuff, my expertise is in the field of communication, getting information out, or interviewing to entice what I want out from a person or group. Ms. Haverty smiled and told me to take a brief lunch and then come see her in an hour. I left Gina’s office, but instead of leaving I set at my desk and did some internet searches on the company. I had done some already when I was hired, but figured that I need to know a little more to be of help to the basic corporate structure.
Sure enough when I went to see Ms. Haverty after my lunch she had several people with her in her office. She wanted me to pretend these were customers of the company and to make a presentation to convince them of the need to buy from us. I introduced myself to each of them, getting their name and the company they represented. Ms. Haverty had set each one up as the head of one of their current customers, so that the sales pitch would be more realistic.
I remembered some of their info from the reports that I had typed yesterday and the letters that I had typed up today. I started my pitch stressing the benefits of buying from us, then some of the history of the company and then specifics of how we could help them with their business. I encouraged all of them to interact with me, asking specific questions even correcting them on some of the details that they had wrongly cited. At the end I had them sign fake contracts, promising them excellent service and our dedication to their specific needs.
When I had finished Ms. Haverty excused them, all of them shaking their heads as they left her office. She sported a bigger than life smile, then handed me a list of companies that had requested info, possibly to become a customer. The sales people had not gotten around to them yet, so she suggested that I phone them, and see if I could convince them to sign up. I knew cold contact calls like this were a million to one at best, but nothing ventured nothing gained. I did research each listing first, finding out all I could from the internet. Luckily I had a contact person to make the initial conversation with, so it wasn’t life a frigid contact call, just icy as hell.
The first one went quite well, although it took me thirty minutes to get anywhere. They were coming into the office tomorrow to talk with me further and possibly sign up. I wasn’t sure if that is alright with Ms. Haverty, but she did assign these to me, so I was only doing as I was told. I made six other calls that afternoon, four hours and five more businesses coming in to sign tomorrow. When I was finished for the evening I went to her office to ask if there was anything else she wanted.
Didn’t get any signatures then? No not a one, you know that is the hardest type of call to make, what did you expect. Gina came in and I summarized what I had said to Ms. Haverty. She smiled then asked if I was going to tell her the rest. The rest of what.
“Okay, go home, I will see you in the morning then same office, I believe your first appointment is at nine so be prompt.” I left before I heard what was said, giggling to myself, I wonder if Gina will tell her of my success. As I figured Gina must have listened in some to the conversations. Wait and see what tomorrow will bring. I headed home feeling good for once, could it be that I will finally attain a job, one that might take advantage of my skills.
I was early getting ready for my first appointment. Gina stopped by, looked to see what I was doing then headed to her own office. A few minutes before the customer was to show up she walked in asking me to have all future dealings with the customer to be assigned to a female named Madison. I stared at her, her giggling about to break into full blown laughter. The customer showing up, stopped any further conversation.
I met with each of my perspective customers over the next five hours, managing to sign all of them. I did inform them that in the future a female would handle their accounts, they preferred me, but I guess being assigned to someone else is not unheard of. I finished and went to see Gina.
“Well how did you do?”
“How about you guessing how I did, and then we can go from there?”
She smiled. “You aced them all, and are little too cocky at the moment, but I have a proposal that will quell that erection and quickly.” We are prepared to offer you a position at the company, but not what you might be expecting. Are you interested?”
“Sure, but I already know what you are offering, we just need to discuss salary.”
“In that case let’s go see Ms. Haverty and you two can discuss money.” I nodded but that was not what I was expecting to happen.
As we entered her office Gina proclaimed that I had accepted their offer, just need to discuss salary. That kind of put me on the spot, not knowing exactly what I had accepted. Ms. Haverty had a huge smile on her face, then welcomed me to the company as a full time female employee. As that last sentence sunk in I fell back into a nearby chair, repeating over and over female employee. Gina was giggling freely, telling Ms. Haverty to offer her a salary while she is not totally coherent. I was offered six-hundred a week plus a signing bonus of fifty dollars for every new customer I brought on board. That temporarily made me forget that my employment was going to be as a female.
Story Incomplete At Present
© 2016 thru 2021 Fran Cesca Walker