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Against all odds

June 21, 2011

I walked in and threw my bags to the ground. It wasn’t fair. I had hyped myself up so much for this newspaper job that I didn’t even prepare myself for the fall. I knew now it was going to come. How could I have screwed up the job interview so badly! Words could not even come out of my mouth. On the train journey home, my mom kept calling me, wanting to know how it went I suppose. But I couldn’t answer the call, I couldn’t go over the shame all over again. Not yet.

As I do with all mess ups, I  went straight to the kitchen to bake. Chocolate chip cookies were my saviour but I wasn’t a huge fan of the shop brought packets. Luckily, I had all the ingredients to make me a batch of at least twenty-four cookies. Enough to last me a night in my suburban cottage with a glass of red. An hour in, and the whole place was already smelling like a bakery. It didn’t help that the building was small. But my senses were going crazy over the smell and not to mention the taste. I’m not trying to blow my own horn or anything, but I’m an amazing cookie master. My double chocolate chip cookies are to die for. I would say it was a recipe passed down from generation to generation till my mother gave it to me when I was ready. But that’s not the case. I live in the twenty-first century. I downloaded the recipe off the internet and made a few changes.

I divulged myself into self pity and fattening cookie munching before my mother tried once again to talk to me. I was feeling a little less self pitiful so I answered. “Hi Mum” When I flipped the phone up, I barely had a chance to say my greeting before my mother started. “Where have you been Indi!? I have been trying to call you for hours! I want to know how it went. When did you get home? Have you eaten?” This was my mother through and though. Scold, get to point, ask if I have eaten. Always in that order, if not, then you can assume something is wrong. “Hi Mum!” I tried again and this time I got my word in. “I was busy, it went crap, im eating now.” My reply always in the format of her questions. Short and simple. I smirked slightly. Conversations with my mother always cheered me up, even the angry ones, though I’d never really admit it.

“Oh hunni tell me about it. What happened?” I filled my mother in. Told her how unprepared I had been, how I stood out from the other candidates, how I fluffed up almost every question asked to me. My mother was sympathetic, as every mother would be. If she wasn’t I wouldn’t have felt better at the end of the two hour call. After my self sorrow, she filled me in on the current affairs in her area. She works in a corner shop so she is always hearing interesting things. Apparently there was a fight between two people living across the streets from her shop. Police had to intervene. “Twenty years ago I felt safe walking out of my front door! now I wonder if I’m ever going to make it home!” My mother had this thinking ever since my dad passed away. I was very young and he had gotten himself involved in a bar fight. By the time the ambulance arrived he was already dead.

She finally decided she needed to sleep around 10pm. She said she was tired but I know she knew I was more interested in my American drama than her call near the end. So she hung up and I continued to watch. Even though the entire time I was thinking ‘don’t these writers do anything original? This happened last season! and its so stupid!!!’ But I kept watching. For the whole hour. Including the adverts.

I actually fell asleep on the couch. I couldn’t believe I was so lazy. I always make sure I move to the bedroom if I get tired, but I hadn’t bothered this time. Instead I stayed on the couch and I fell asleep. What woke me was a call at the dreaded 9am the next morning. It wasn’t a number I recognised but I answered it anyway.


“Hello is that Miss….er…” some paper rummaging makes the pause a little amusing. “Independant?”

“This is she.” I held back a laugh as I heard him question my name. Like every other cold caller, they paused at the look of my name, thinking it was some sort of joke.

“Oh. Hello. I’m calling from the newspaper. You had an interview with us yesterday.” My heart stopped for a minute. Now was this a joke?

“Yes. I know. Is there something I can help with?”

“Yes… Miss.. er… Independent..” I corrected his mistake before he continued. I hate people who think my name is said like Independent. Its In-de-pen-DANT! “yes Miss Independant. We would like you to come back for two weeks for a provisional period. The Editor was impressed and wants to see what you can add to the paper.”

Was he serious? They wanted me back? My silence voiced my shock but the messenger just waited politely for my answer. I was so sure I was not going to get the job. How on earth had they decided to offer me a provisional period. I don’t know but I wasn’t going to knock it. Maybe good plans were laying out for me, finally. Against all the odds, I was finally getting a break.

“When do I start?”

10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2011 6:10 am

    I love this psudo-blog of an imaginary person. Awesome idea and very well done.

    “I would say it was a recipe passed down from generation to generation till my mother gave it to me when I was ready. But that’s not the case. I live in the twenty-first century. I downloaded the recipe off the internet and made a few changes.”

    Priceless. I feel the same way all the time…. oh yeah, this recipe was passed all the way down from great grandma google to me; I treasure it…

    Out of curiosity would you be interested in “real” responses to your character’s posts? Like, “let’s say she’s real, what would I say to her”–that kind of thing?

    In this case, I’d tell her to be wary of a job she didn’t think she should get. Maybe there’s some reason she got the job besides her prowess in the interview (prowess which apparently she didn’t possess.) Careful, careful.

    • June 22, 2011 9:00 am

      I think that is a great idea. I really wanted this character to connect with the audience. So feedback TO my character would be great!

      • Cobra Caine permalink
        September 29, 2011 2:41 am

        It was easy for us to connect with the character because of your use of familiarity. I mean, who doesn’t like backed cookies? Most people are able to remember their grandmother preparing some food item, in a way that no one could ever mimick, and the emptiness your character seemed to feel as she noticed just how distanced we’ve become, from one another, to the point where, we don’t call aunts for recipe’s or uncles for hunting tips. We all just go online. Great work.

  2. June 22, 2011 12:49 am

    A fictional congratulations! 🙂 . In today’s job market I’m sure readers will appreciate your happy ending …

    • June 22, 2011 9:00 am

      thank you 😀
      but the story has yet to continue 😀

  3. marcialoyd permalink
    June 21, 2011 7:47 pm

    I did not realize this was fictional either. I was all ready to offer my congratulations. Nevertheless, fantastic writing!

    • June 21, 2011 8:01 pm

      Thank you 😀
      I blame the widgets being so far down (I have my disclaimer there and a characters bio link). But this theme is perfect for me!

  4. June 21, 2011 6:43 pm

    oh..your work is fictional. *bangs head on desk*. Ignore the comments I have made then.

    • June 21, 2011 7:07 pm

      Hey its fine. Sorry you thought it was real. But thank you for taking the time to read my work.

  5. June 21, 2011 6:41 pm

    Congratulations. There’s always a silver lining waiting for you. I have yet to find mine.

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