Julia was stunned by his question. Upset wasn’t quite how she felt, but it came pretty close to it. Was she giving out a bad vibe this early in the interview? She thought of the single can she had left earlier on the table. This wasn’t the time to be bitter. She needed to please this stranger somehow, someway.
“Disappointed is more like it.” She was shocked to hear these words come out of her mouth. Was she out of her mind? This was certainly not the way to try to please this man. But then again she had never performed successfully in that department. Hence the divorce. Marco Ramos, her ex-husband, made this very clear to her. “You’re not the girl I married,” he said with suitcase in hand. He was quick to leave. Didn’t even bother with counseling or giving her a second chance. A quick man; even on the times she didn’t want him to be.
Leo stood up. This couldn’t be a good sign. She must have offended him. This was the only interview she had been able to get. And here she was, ruining it before it had even formally started.
“Can you start Monday?” He said monotonously. Julia thought she’d heard wrong. Why would he be hiring her? He hadn’t even asked about her qualifications, or why she was unemployed. The situation had become a blur to her. A recent headache and a stomach-ache were unforgiving reminders that she hadn’t had enough food to function properly. Perhaps she had started to hallucinate.
“I beg your pardon?” She asked in a last attempt to regain control of the situation. Leo examined her with concerned eyes. There was more about this man than his stern composure.
“I wasted enough of your time when I made you wait in the lobby for an appointment I was late for.” This was as close to an apology as Julia was going to get. “But you waited. Which tells me you are determined to get this job.” True, but that still didn’t explain why he’d hire her like this. “I asked if you were upset. Most people would have lied to get on my good side. But you didn’t. You were honest. Even if that would have cost you the job. You put your values first.” Little did he know that Julia hadn’t intended to be honest. She wasn’t thinking straight. Her act of nobility had actually been nothing but a mistake on her part.
“But you don’t know anything about me, or my qualifications!” She protested. Unbeknownst to her, she was now sticking to her values and protesting this man’s good gesture. She didn’t think that his assessment was valid. How could she? People aren’t this kind anymore. Why her?
“I know enough. The rest is well explained in your resume and your recommendations. No need to repeat what you have already provided. But if you feel that’s not enough for me to hire you, you can join me for lunch and tell me more about yourself.” Leo hit a nerve. To Julia, this sounded like an advance. And to think that he made her believe for a moment that there was something special about her. Of course not. This man wanted something from her that she wasn’t prepared to give him, or anyone else for that matter.
To be continued…