Chapter 1 (Nicole)
My alarm clock is blaring again. My covers feel like they weigh fifty pounds. There’s no way it’s six thirty already. I let out a sigh and debate whether to hit snooze a third time. Well, I already don’t have time for breakfast so I’d better get up and get going. Why are Monday’s the hardest day to get up? I peel myself away from my pillow-top mattress bed and jump into action. I don’t have much time to spare. I’m in and out of the bathroom in less than twenty minutes. I go to my walk-in closet and pick out an outfit from the five I ironed on Saturday and top it off with Mandy, my short-styled wig. I quickly choose my earrings and matching necklace out of my armoire then snatch my watch off of the dresser and head back to the bathroom for make-up. After applying my foundation I peak at my watch. “Oh, I’ll have to finish in the car.” I grab my make-up bag and stuff it in my purse, get my laptop bag, and charge to the kitchen to retrieve a banana and a bottle of water.
My thirty to forty minute ride into work hit the usual slow down spots and I’m able to finish my make-up waiting at the long stoplights, including penciling in my thin eyebrows and adding liner to my full lips. I pull up into the parking lot and turn the car off right at seven fifty-five, and wash my banana down with water. After applying my lipstick, I grab my things and head to the front door. I get to my floor and walk past the row of interview rooms, one of the doors is closed which means a recruiter is already conducting a candidate screening or interview. I remember those days, going through my inbox scanning for candidates, and revisiting files looking for the perfect candidate for an open position. Being a headhunter, as the industry calls it, is not for the faint at heart, if not for the fast-pace, the hours can be long, and especially having your paycheck be eighty percent commission based. I’m a go getter though, which is how I’ve worked my way up to being an Accounts Executive which means I no longer deal with the potential candidates who are looking for a job, but the companies who want to hire our agency to supply them with a work force of either temporary, contract, or permanent employees.
“WorkReady Staffing Agency how may I help you?” I hear the receptionist say in the background. The office is awakening with calls; one person is walking a candidate through what they will expect when they take a test at a job site, another is asking a candidate if they are willing to relocate to a small town, and another is trying to pinpoint what his candidate’s salary walkaway point is so they’ll know when to let a potential job go as they conduct negotiations. I smile and walk into my office.
“You really put that outfit together. I never catch you slipping.”
I turn around. “Thanks Jenny.”
“You always dress to a T.”
I look down at my purple blouse and belted A-line skirt and shrug my shoulders. “It matches the buckles on my heels.”
“And your purse. You sure you don’t do a fashion blog on the side?”
I laugh. “No, not at all. My plate is full enough already.”
“Well, if you ever have a garage sale or give your clothes to Goodwill, please keep me in mind.”
Although Jenny is a little taller than I am, she could probably fit my clothes if she altered them to be about two inches smaller, especially in the derriére. I shake my head and turn on my computer to get started. Our meeting starts in less than an hour and I want to look at a few things before I head over.
I step into the conference room and join the usual crew. I immediately notice Jenny at the coffee pot, not because she’s the only one walking around, but because her dark red hair can’t help but be noticed. I sit and wait with the others for our manager to start the meeting. Gary rolls in a little after nine, apologizing because he had just gotten off of a conference call with his boss. He goes over some industry news, corporate initiatives, and shares where we are against our target numbers and gives us our marching orders for the week. He also announces that he’s picked me to work on the proposal for a big potential client. This is a great way to start the week. I’ve been wanting to increase my client base and if I land this client, it will directly impact my career. So far my clients have been in the three to eight million dollar range. But this new client, a software developer with offices downtown, will generate twenty-five million for the company. I can’t wait to get started on our proposal.