‘I know,’ he said, ‘you’re just trying to spare my feelings – but it is hurtful.’
He turned his head to her and pulled her close to him.
She decided not to argue. It would just make things worse. It was the wrong time and the wrong place. She’d pick her moment in her own time. He kissed her forehead and they cuddled, as if comforting each other, but Mel didn’t feel comforted.
A Chance Opportunity
Jamie asked, ‘Do you have a job at the moment – either full or part-time?’ He sat with his legs extended in front of him, crossed at the ankles. She liked his highly-polished tan leather ankle boots – they looked expensive. His fingers were loosely interlaced on the knees of his chinos. His smile couldn’t conceal his steady gaze and the fact that he was listening intently to her responses to their questions.
She’d already given him her CV, but Mel smiled and told him that she had only a few hours a week of bar work. She was partly covering her mouth with her right hand to disguise her slight overbite. The two men who were asking her questions seemed friendly enough, but she was wondering if she’d made a mistake in coming.
She had no need to worry. Both men had already decided independently in their minds that she would be an asset to their business – if for different reasons. Her initiative in asking for work, and having a good degree and an interest in photography were a good start. Twenty-five years old, she was worried that she was under-dressed and under-prepared for the interview and really needed to get the job.
Her concerns about her looks were misplaced. Her clothes were fine for the position she had come in about. Her long, shiny, softly waving hair cascaded gently to her below her shoulders and framed her clear-skinned oval face. She had a wide mouth and a small, even nose – her hand masked her mouth and her even, white teeth.
Complementing her figure, she was wearing a black vee-neck pullover with overlong sleeves, paired with black yoga pants and gleaming white trainers. She’d removed her duffel coat before she sat down.
Less than half-an-hour previously she’d been walking past the camera shop when she stopped to look at the window display. It was then that she’d seen the notice advertising for a full-time assistant with retail experience and an interest in photography. “Apply Within” it had said, so she had.
She’d waited until the middle-aged woman behind the counter had finished serving a customer before approaching her and mentioning the advert. The woman had smiled at her and asked her to wait a moment. The woman called across to a man who looked to be in his mid-twenties.
‘Jamie!’ she said, ‘Would you tell your Dad that there’s someone in the shop interested in the job please?’
Jamie – she assumed he was the person referred to – turned from a carousel display of camera accessories and looked at her. He smiled and waved to Mel.
‘Hi,’ he said, ‘I won’t be a minute.’
Mel noted that he was probably about the same age as her, also tall, slim and with wavy fair hair. She liked the idea that this seemed to be a family business, and Jamie had certainly seemed friendly – and quite dishy. This was a good start.
She wandered round the shop while she waited, looking at the range of stock. It was clear that the technology had moved on since she’d left university. She noticed the range of high-end smartphones on sale – no doubt reflecting the way that such phones were now being promoted on the basis of the quality of their built-in cameras.
The man – Jamie – had left the shopfloor through a door to the back, but he returned within a couple of minutes and approached Mel.
‘My name’s Jamie – as you must have gathered,’ he said, ‘This is my dad’s shop and that’s Lucy, my mum.’ He pointed to the woman behind the counter who was now serving someone else. Lucy seemed to Mel to be about the same age as her own mum – perhaps a little older ‘Come with me and meet my dad, Tony, and we’ll have a chat about the job and why you’re interested.’
I don’t have any photos that would reflect today’s post about job-seeking so I’ve just included a photo that I took last Wednesday at Crosby Beach, Liverpool at sunset. The beach is home to a permanent installation of Iron Men statues by the sculptor Anthony Gormley. I used my Pentax K-1 36 MP full-frame camera paired with a Pentax 28-70 mm f/2.8 lens.
The EXIF data are as follows: Shutter speed 1/60 secs @ f/14 and 24 mm. The ISO was 100.