I’m not sure where these sort of tales come from. Maybe because I’ve had an extended mental vacation from writing, or maybe it’s the change in seasons, or maybe I’m just super horny right now, but idea’s for stories are just burning through my brain. Unlike the last one, this tale begs to be a long drawn out affair. ~nilla~“Local bar looking for a janitor. Must be reliable, have references. No free booze, don’t apply if that’s your goal. Looking for self-motivated person that takes pride in their work. WE do, you should too. Respond to this ad by texting to 555-111-5555.”
Mandy picked up her phone and sent the text.
Looking for work. Never missed a day at my old job, just got laid off when new owner cleaned house. Ha ha. (not) Have experience, transportation, and references. And I don’t drink.
The ping of her phone less than two minutes after sending the text shocked her. There had been too many dead ends to hope…yet the text was a response to hers.
134 So. Main Street. Be there at 3 and the job could be yours. Why don’t you drink? AA?
She supposed that was a reasonable question.
I hate the taste of alcohol. And I get drunk super easy, and…I guess I’m too much of a self-control freak to let go like that.
She frowned. Three o’clock was in 90 minutes. She should likely put on somewhat decent jeans, janitor or not. And a bra. Definitely a bra. And run a comb through the rat’s nest that she hadn’t bothered to brush when she got up this morning.
*ping* her phone chimed.
You just haven’t had the right sort of alcohol then. See you at 3.
Pompous, was her first thought.
whatever. you said no drinking. that won’t be a problem, so you don’t need to ‘solve’ it.
He or she should know up front that she was a no bullshit kind of woman.
Whomever it was, male or female, there was a hint of condescension that irked a bit. Still, she was desperate for a job. Her unemployment bennies would end soon, and there were not that many offerings there, at least not for permanent jobs. One-offs had helped, to be sure, but she needed steady income. She trudged off to prepare to impress.
*** *** ***
Finding the parking space right out front had to be a good omen, right? She slid out of her car, locking it, then looked across the street. The bar, Nettles, looked pretty nondescript, though it was the only business housed in the large brick building. She slide her purse over her shoulder, took a deep breath, and crossed. There was a door that looked like it might have once graced the front door of a medieval manor, thick and imposing. Though there was a gargoyle-faced knocker, she chose the modern route and depressed the doorbell under the brass numerals ‘134’.
The door swung open, soundless on the thick brass hinges.
She was uncertain for a moment, then taking a deep breath, stepped up, and in.
*** *** ***
“You’re here for the job, right?”
The girl who closed the door behind Mandy looked to be about 12, but was maybe early 20’s. Her hair was center-parted and drawn up into two high ponytails on each side of her head. Her outfit was schoolgirlish, in that slutty way. Super short, her blouse tight, unbuttoned, and tied below a set of impressive breasts. Mandy might have felt out of place–if she gave a shit.
Which she didn’t.
She was here for a job, and not to be a dressed up slutty barmaid. She nodded briefly, yes, and tried not to stare at where the hemline landed as the girl turned. Sashaying, for surely that was the epitome of that odd word, the girl abjured her to “walk this way.” Mandy had never walked that way in her life. If she was a super-feminist type she might have gotten all protest-y about the girls attire, but really it was none of her concern how the kid dressed.
They walked through the open bar area, and then behind to a full kitchen. Through the kitchen, into a hallway, and Mandy figured they must be at the back of the huge building now. Behind the kitchen was another hallway with three doors. The girl knocked on the door with a brass plate on it that read “NO!” and opened the door when a man’s voice spoke.
“Your three O’clock appointment is here, Sir.”
The barmaid’s attitude was shy, almost.
“Show him in.”
“Actually, Sir, he is a she.”
There was a muttered curse, then a curt “show her in.”
The girl stepped away from the door, and ushered Mandy inside. She had a quick glance around at what was very obviously a man’s domain; leather tall-backed chairs on each side of the huge desk, dark curtains at the tall window, and a large man with tattooed ‘sleeves’ up both bare arms. He stared at Mandy for a long moment. She spoke, as much to fill the awkward silence as to speak her mind.
“So I’m not a guy. I work hard. I’m honest. If you think you can’t hire me because I don’t have the same plumbing as you do, then that’s your loss.”
She had NO idea where that spurt of rage had come from. Maybe months of job hunting and never quite being enough. This time the lack of “enough” was a penis? No, she wasn’t going to deal with this shit any more. She turned on her heel and started for the door. Her hand was on the knob when the voice from behind her spoke.
“So, you’re a quitter then?”
“You’re the one who freaked when you discovered I’m not a guy.”
“Just to clarify, saying “oh fuck” is not freaking. You’re not what I expected, but I can live with it. As long as you show up, and do your job, that’s what I need.”
“I’m not planning on dressing up like her.”
Mandy turned, her back against the door, and thumbed her finger behind her. He laughed, deep and genuine.
“I should hope not! I sincerely doubt you are a little…and it isn’t the right attire for an industrial engineer anyway.”
She cracked a smile. People always wanted to fancy up the title.
“I’m fine with being a janitor, doesn’t bother me a bit. I like the work most days. Mostly right now? I need the work. I want a chance. Okay, I don’t have a penis. But I work steady, quickly, hard.”
“How about I show you around and see if this is something you feel….comfortable with.”
Something in the way he looked when he said that made her wonder. What exactly was this bar expecting her to do? Scrub the floor with a toothbrush? He rose, and she had to stare a moment. The guy was a fucking giant! She was, as she often described herself, vertically challenged. This guy was going to make her feel like a damned midget!
“No…just…you’re really tall.”
“Funny. I was just thinking you’re really short.”
She didn’t intend to giggle, but it just spurted out from her mouth. With a smile, He took her arm , drew her out into the hallway, and began showing her around.