It was Monday morning and the sun was up as early as Lee was, today was the day of his interview. James had given Lee the impression that this job would be his but he could still feel the butterflies in his stomach, he hated interviews. Lee gave himself a final pep talk in the mirror before turning on his heel and heading out the door.
As he walked through the glass doors of the building he was met with the smiling face of a young woman on the front desk, “morning sir,” she beamed, “welcome to Bridges Enterprises, how can I help?”
The girl raised an eyebrow, “you sure about that, hun?”
This caught Lee off guard, he could feel the heat in his neck rising up through to his cheeks, he went to open his mouth to speak but the girl cut him off, “I’m just messing with you, head around to your left there and take the lift to floor three.”
Lee forced a smile, “thanks.”
“Don’t mention it,” the girl flashed a grin at him again, “the name’s Lisa by the way, good luck!”
As the lift dinged and the doors opened, James was sitting there ready to greet Lee.
“Lee, how are you? Lisa called up to say you were on your way, come on now, follow me,” James shook Lee’s had and beckoned for him to follow.
As James led Lee along the corridor, he peered into each of the offices, everybody was fully suited, either working behind a computer or delivering a presentation. Lee started to feel doubtful that he’d ever fit in here, the only other jobs he’d had involved working behind bars and this all had a ‘real job’ type of feel to it.
Before long the men had reached their destination, James pointed to a small desk in a room with five other desks, “this’ll be you, Mark here will be in charge, he’ll show you the ropes,” and with that James turned and marched out of the room.
“Alright, new boy,” Mark teased, “I’m Mark King and this,” he waved his arm around the room, “is where the magic happens.”
Lee spent the rest of the day in training, it was mainly paper pushing but he was still grateful for the opportunity. As it neared the end of the day, Lee started to tidy up his desk.
Lee thought to himself for a second and Mark could see the flicker of doubt flash across Lee’s eyes, “it wasn’t that long ago that I was the new guy in town, it’ll be a laugh, we don’t bite, honest.”
Lee smiled, “sure, go on then, why not.”
The next day Lee tried to suppress his anxiety about going out as best as possible, it had been a long time since he’d gone out and actually enjoyed himself. The last time he’d been in a bar had been the catalyst to him moving away and despite the fact he knew that none of his new co-workers had any idea, Lee could still feel the sweat on his palms gathering every time he thought about it.
The closer it got to finishing time the louder the clock on the wall seemed to tick, Lee had been conscious of the fact that he kept checking it which was just making time drag on and his anxiety grow stronger.
The bar was only round the corner from their office and so the 10 or so people who were going all walked there after meeting in the reception, along with Lee and Mark was Lisa, the receptionist, Tony and Megan from his office and the rest he didn’t recognise.
Mark got the first round of drinks in as Lisa walked confidently right over to the karaoke machine. Setting a drink down in front of Lee, Mark sat down and turned to him, “so, how are you liking it hear so far?”
“Yeah, its ok,” Lee replied, “a little different from what I’m used to but I needed to get away, a fresh start, begin again…” Lee tailed off.
“What’s a girl gotta do to get a drink around here,” Lisa pouted as she sat down next to Lee, putting her hand on his arm, “congrats on the new job by the way, hun.”
“Thanks,” Lee smiled, “you’re a great singer, what are you drinking I’ll get the next round in.”
As Lee made his way to the bar Mark turned to Lisa, “you’re evil,” he said laughing.
“What?” Lisa exclaimed putting on her best innocent face, “I’m just welcoming our new colleague.”
Lee returned and handed Lisa her drink, “where did Mark go?” he asked.
Lisa patted the seat next to her, “oh don’t worry about him, hun, come sit next to me and I’ll fill you in on all the Bridges gossip.”
As Lee sat down he caught Mark’s eye at the next table, he raised his glass and winked at him as Lisa placed her hand on Lee’s leg and began a detailed run down of every member of staff at their office.