Before she could sit down, Mr. Tiller asked Miranda to remain standing and present her qualifications and work experience as if she were making a very important sale. Having spent the last 48 hours practicing the very same, Miranda Stowe was ready. Since her conversation with Rita, she gave her speech to anyone who would listen– the dockmates, Rosie the bartender, and to herself in front of a mirror in the lady’s room. With Neil Lipman loitering outside the door, she hoped he was impressed, too.
Miranda cleared her throat. Tiller said, ”You may begin.”
“My most recent employer was Stowe Publishing. The name is the same as my own because the company is owned by my former husband, Harry Stowe. This does not, in any away, diminish my contribution or success as it relates to my position there. As you may have noted, Harry Stowe is listed as a business reference.”
Emerson James Tiller sat at a large desk with the deportment of a State Highway Patrolman, hands neatly folded in front of him. He was watching her over the top of his reading glasses– possibly amused, probably not.
“I began my career with Stowe Publishing as an assistant editor and copywriter. I quickly gained a reputation for doing quality work, and completed writing assignments for a major market newspaper and several broadcast media outlets. I also did ghostwriting for a political candidate, preparing campaign speeches and correspondence. Each project eventually added to Stowe’s bottom line by introducing local organizations to our complete printing and publishing services.”
“As I gained experience, Harry included me in sales presentations on a broader scale. (She could feel herself missing Harry. Miranda needed to stay focussed.) I began to prospect and develop new business, working mostly with colleges and universities. I wrote proposals, studied needs-analysis data, and researched marketing trends.
By building good relationships with my clients and being responsive to their needs, I was consistently recognized for bringing in the highest dollar volume of new business. I’m a strong negotiator, Mr. Tiller. I’m not ashamed to say I like making money.”
Tiller looked down at her resume, wrote something on a legal pad, and said, “Continue.”
“Like everyone else on the payroll, I was at the office anytime the workload demanded it. We operated as a team, and put out an exceptional product.” Miranda paused. “If I may say so, Mr. Tiller, I loved my work, made a notable contribution, and look forward to achieving the same level of success with your firm.” (Level of success doing what? Miranda still had no idea what she was doing there.)
Miranda may have been a drunk and a party girl, but no one could ever call her stupid or lazy. And while she enjoyed the ten years she spent living a life of luxury with Harry Stowe, a girl can only buy so many cute shoes and Gucci bags. When she took a job at his office, she never drank a drop. It occurred to her, as if for the first time, that she had to stay sober.
Tiller looked up from her resume and asked, trying to hide a grin, “About your volunteer position with the Orchid Society– Does that somehow relate to your work experience, or do you just like flowers?”
She met his gaze, also trying not to grin. “When I became editor-in-chief of the Orchid Society newsletter, I had never grown a plant in my life. But I’m a quick study, sir, and my orchids are thriving.”
“And this makes you qualified to work for me.”
“Yes Mr. Tiller, I believe it does.”
To be continued…
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.