Emerson James Tiller

Page 47… in a fiction series

Miranda parked her car in front of the address Janet had written on the card, checked her lipstick, and stepped out into the snow. She had been to Petoskey a few times before, and found the office without any trouble. The building was two blocks west of the post office– a mix of residential homes and private offices.  It was only thirty minutes from Charlevoix, a scenic drive along the frozen beauty of Little Traverse Bay. 

The steps leading up to a restored craftsman bungalow were neatly shoveled and salted. ”Mr. Tiller isn’t in right now. Is there something I can help you with?” A receptionist named Rita was in her mid-fifties, pretty, with a southern accent. Miranda looked around.

The lobby was understated and masculine in design. There were some modern paintings, pottery, and a life-size German Shepherd statue in the corner… probably there for security.  Ha ha.

Several offices were visible from the entrance hall, all within view of a closed door with a placard that said, Emerson James Tiller.  The space was modern, beautifully remodelled.  Great attention had been paid to the smallest detail.  But there was no sign, no logo, nothing on the mailbox or front door, not even a brochure on an end table that would indicate the nature of this business.  Was that disturbing or exciting?  Miranda couldn’t be sure.

The reception desk was stylish, neat, and appointed with a computer, wide monitor, printer, and a complex phone system.  A small black box with blinking lights was mounted off to one side.  The cables and cords were neatly dressed and disappeared magically into the floor. Miranda was low tech, didn’t even carry a cell phone. What on earth was Janet thinking? Feeling a little deflated, she cleared her throat and told the receptionist that Janet had sent her. She hoped that name would carry some weight.

Rita looked up and smiled. “Why, of course.  Mr. Tiller will be happy to meet with you,” and she scheduled an appointment for an interview. Rita took a card from a chrome holder on her desk and handed it to Miranda. Except for her name, phone number, and extension, the card was blank. Miranda handed Rita her resume and said she had just one question. “I hope I can help,” Rita smiled.

“I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about …”

“Well of course… Mr. Tiller will be happy to talk to you about our business after your meeting.  And Miranda–just a word of advice.  Be prepared, and don’t be late.”

Going back to work was going to be harder than Miranda thought.

“Better to be ordinary and work for a living than act important and starve in the process.”  Proverbs 12:9 (Message Bible)

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.

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20 Responses to Emerson James Tiller

  1. Theresa says:

    Oh, this post is too short! I want to hear about the interview! The suspense is killing me. :)

    • Linda says:

      : ) In honor of Miranda’s interview, I put on a great outfit to go grocery shopping at Target and did my make-up extra nice… eyeliner and everything! Thought of you…

      There will be a big change in Miranda as well…

  2. Jan says:

    What suspense! I can’t wait to find out what kind of business this is, and why it is so secretive. I don’t know if I would have had the nerve to go back for the interview. Have to admit, though, I have done strange things in the job search department. I once interviewed in a phone booth in Indiana with a man in Texas who I had never met, and took the job without even knowing how much it paid, or what I was going to teach. God just spoke to me in that phone booth, and I stepped out on faith.

    • Linda says:

      In a phone booth in Indiana? You took the job without knowing the pay? You and Miranda should meet for lunch. She could learn from you!

      God’s hand in this matter was even more mysterious than you might think. Years later, Mr. Tiller swore he didn’t know a lady named Janet at the unemployment office. And when Miranda went back later to thank her, she was gone. Real not imaginary.

      P.S. So what subject did you end up teaching?

      • Jan says:

        English and social studies in a disciplinary alternative program–I stayed 7 years. I’ll write a post about it, if you want to know the whole story.

        • Linda says:

          Yes… I’d love to hear more about that. I don’t understand what a “disciplinary alternative program” is. I went to an alternative high school and loved it! We were all geeks and outcasts. Please write about it! ; )

  3. .endtransmission. says:

    “Better to be ordinary and work for a living than act important and starve in the process.” Proverbs 12:9 (Message Bible)

    In my line of work, there are so many delusional folk that strut about acting important, trying to convince the rest of the world that they are far more valuable than they truly are. Although each soul is valuable on this earth, I also believe that there is a difference between worth and value. :-)

    This tale is becoming so wonderful. I, too, am waiting for the next page.

    • Linda says:

      e.t, my friend. For all our endless correspondence, you’ve never mentioned the climate at your workplace, AKA the coolest job in the world. Having said that, I guess it’s to be expected that some of your collegues would be confused about their own self-importance.

      I was usually the jerk with the attitude. We’ll soon find out if lightening can strike twice. (? hmmm)

      P.S. You must go back to writing your blog.

  4. Linda, You are keeping us hanging on the edge of our seats again! I hope not for too long. This mysterious Mr. Tiller and his secretive business seem like something one should run from, but I suspect that this venture will be good for Miranda. At least I hope so. That poor girl has been through so much. Peace, Linda

    • Linda says:

      It’s interesting how some things don’t seem to matter much as we’re living through them, but under closer scutiny, become the most important turning points. Believe me, the best thing for Miranda was to shape up, get real about her drinking, find a job, and live with the same responsibilities as everyone else. I have no sympathy for her whatsoever. But reliving her journey has been a wonderful gift. I like her more than I realized… ; )

  5. Debbie says:

    Miranda is so brave!!! And the details you shared with Jan are really something! This reminds me of what my oldest told me the other day when she went for an interview recently. It was for an established law firm. They wouldn’t disclose how they got her name. They locked her in their library with a pen, one piece of paper and told her she had 30 min. to prepare to meet with a client. She said she was flying around. The older partner in the firm came in and was impressed with what she had put together. Said most under 30 don’t know how to use a library, only computers. haha!
    God bless you and this amazing story and journey. Have you been looking for an agent? :) You need to! love and prayers!

    • Linda says:

      OMGosh, Debbie. Your daughter is a lawyer? You guys must be so proud… that’s wonderful!

      I like the sound of that interview. What an opportunity to show ‘em what she’s make of! So, I’m assuming she got it? Do tell…

      Miranda’s interview will be a nail biter, too. Coming soon… : )

      • Debbie says:

        Sweet Linda . .. she is not, but works in an Immigration Law Office and is going to Law School. She knew the law firms don’t hire students, but yet there they were, interviewing her. haha! So, she didn’t get the job because she is still a student. Kind of funny in a crazy way. She knew she wanted to be a lawyer back in Middle School. She is an amazing young woman, but then I’m her momma so I get to say stuff like that! :) And she’s beautiful too!
        love and prayers and best wishes as you keep writing!!!!

        • Linda says:

          Still, what a fantastic opportuniity to fine-tune her skills for future interviews. This is just a guess, but I bet you read to your kids like crazy when they were young. Yes, your daughter sounds amazing. : )

  6. Larry Who says:

    “…The building was two blocks west of the post office– a mix of residential homes and private offices…”

    This is a sentence that people read and enjoy, but don’t realize just how hard it is to accurately place it in a story. Good job.

    Okay, I’m ready. Let’s turn the page.

    • Linda says:

      Larry, thanks for pointing out how hard it can be to craft the simplest stuff. So much to learn, all good. : )

  7. Jim Travis says:

    Awesome, love the way this story goes, so interesting, exciting, heartbreaking, painful and triumphant all woven together like a fine scarf. The scripture reference in the end is actually one of my favorites, I love it, chock full of wisdom. “Better to be ordinary and work for a living than act important and starve in the process.” Awaiting the next installment Linda, God Bless-Jim

    • Linda says:

      That verse runs a nice paralell to alot of your posts and mine.

      I was praying for you two nights ago, that you would have balance in your life even with your commitment to school. I guess I was worried about you taking on so much. ; ) Hope everything’s going great for you. So many people are going to benefit from your kind heart and wisdom.

      I’m learning alot by searching for the right verse for every post. I just discovered Bible Gateway! I’m the last kid on the block to know. : )

  8. Theresa says:

    I can’t wait to read your next post! :)

    • Linda says:

      Hey… your new blog looks great! Sometimes I forget what a computer whiz you are. It took me a month to set up mine– nice work!

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