Word Count: 638
Jack checked his watch to make sure he was on time. It was the seventh time in the last ten minutes that he had looked at his old Seiko Digital. Although Jack had never been late to an appointment in his life, he was extremely anxious about this meeting.
“Jack Kensington?” asked the overweight, balding store manager, as he opened the door to his small office.
“Yes sir,” Jack answered in a quivering and shaky voice, “that’s me.”
“You’re late.” The manager grunted harshly to Jack.
Jack looked at his watch; it was 3.30 pm on the dot. The job interview didn’t start until 3.45, so he was actually fifteen minutes early. To confirm that his watch wasn’t slow, Jack looked at the large, red numbers on the oversized digital clock above the manager’s office door.
“Sorry sir, I thought that the interview was at 3.45 pm.” Jack said sheepishly, not wanting to correct an adult, but also not wanting to make a bad impression before he even had a chance to get his first part time job.
“It is,” said the manger “but I am the customer, therefore, I am always right son.”
The manager began to laugh and slapped Jack on the back while motioning for him to enter the small crowded office. Jack felt totally off kilter now. If he was nervous before, and boy was he, then he was totally petrified now. He had spent the last half an hour after school going to the toilet from a bad case of the jitters. This alternated between spraying on more deodorant to cover the smell of sweat from a hard day at high school.
“The first thing that you will learn working at Basil’s Bigga Foodstore is that the customer is always right, son.”
“Yes sir.” Jack replied.
“Good, you’ve got manners. A lot of you teenagers seem to have no respect or manners these days. The last week has been a waste of time with no hopers and punks turning up to interviews with scruffy hair do’s and piercings all over their faces.”
The manager looked over Jack’s face and nodded, “Good, neat hair and no metal. Sit down.”
Jack waited for the manager to walk around the messy, polished wood desk and take a seat before sitting down. If he kept up his display of good manners then he would have his foot in the door without even saying a word. That is if he could get a word in edge way. With the manger doing all of the talking, he didn’t have to worry about how nervous he was or saying the wrong thing and spoiling his chances of getting the job.
“I’ve seen you before, haven’t I?” the manager said. “You’re one of Max’s friends aren’t you?
Jack was about to say that Max had organized the interview for him but was abruptly cut off before he even got his mouth open.
“Yeh, that’s where I’ve seen you, you were in the shop last week helping max lift those bags of potatoes. Heavy bastards those bags of spuds, aren’t they. A lot of kids your age can’t lift a fifty kilo bag of spuds, not that you’re supposed to. Workplace health and safety, fuh, when I was a kid we’d carry bags of spuds twice as big from the storeroom to the front of the shop by ourselves. No trolley and two men lifting back in the good old days.”
“Well, Max has probably already told you that my name is Mr. Belano,” The manager said with an emphasis on the Mr. “Basil to my friends and long term customers and Mr. Belano to the staff and suppliers. I don’t go for any of that modern fangled call me by my Christian name.
To Be Continued
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