Miscellaneous Writings

The reception room of the XYZ Manufacturing Company was by far the fanciest reception room I’d waited in during the last five months.

My Grandmother would have called it ‘snazzy,’ her word for fancy. Yes, Grandmother, I thought as I surveyed the bright, cheerful, contemporary, furnished room. An hour earlier, the room was crowded with applicants like me. We were all competing for one position advertised in the Times. Now there was just me and the receptionist left in the room. I looked at my watch. In another 45 minutes, my bus transfer would run out, and I’d have to fork up another $1.25 to get back home. Okay, I told myself you can do nothing about it, so you might as well think about something else. I looked over at the receptionist, who, by the way, fit the room to a tee. Her name plate read MISS BARBIE HOLLISTER. Like the room, Barbie is cheerful, bright, cute-as-a-button, and ‘snazzy.’

Barbie glanced up from her computer and flashed me a perfect smile. I quickly flashed one of my best smiles right back at her. I sat further back in the over-stuffed leather chair and closed my eyes, trying to visualize myself working at the XYZ Manufacturing Company. If I were actually hired here, would I… could I fit in?
Then I thought: Don’t kid yourself, Eve. At this point, you’d fit into Hell itself if there was a decent-paying job with a dental plan!

The office door opened, and another applicant walked out and took a seat. She and Barbie smiled at each other, and I felt my stomach go sour. All the other applicants left right after their interviews.
Why did she get to stay, I wondered?


“Eve Moffatt, you can go in now,” smiled Barbie.

I managed a weak “thank you” and went into the office. I tried to muster up a smile as I sat beside the desk. By now, my stomach was making loud, awful noises, and I couldn’t make it stop.

“Was that you or me, Dear?” Asked the interviewer,

“Me. Excuse me.”

The nameplate on her desk read Mrs. Billie Baxter.

“Good. I thought it was me again. I ate a burrito at lunch, and it’s about to tear me a new hole!” She laughed. It was a real laugh. Nope, nothing the least bit ‘snazzy’ about ol’ Billie Baxter, and I liked her immediately. “Try and relax, Cookie. This isn’t the Spanish Inquisition. I looked over your application and resume. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve filled the position, but you might be just right for an opening in our Community Relations Department. Eve, I want you to tell me about yourself. Not what you think I want to hear from you, either. I want to know who Eve Moffatt is and why I should hire her.”

My eyes got teary as I leaned forward. In the same instant, my stomach settled down.

Trust. I trusted Billie Baxter. My gut told me that this woman cared about me as a person and was truly interested in what I thought of myself.

“Where do I start?” I asked quietly.

“Gee, it says here that you’ve owned and operated a number of small businesses, you’re a performer, a women’s advocate, a fund raiser, and a television host. Eve, you’ve been one busy cookie.”

I laughed. It was a good, old-fashioned belly laugh, and it felt great to hear the sound of my own sweet laughter. The ice was broken, and I started tootin’ my own horn. I started talking about my strong work ethic and how important work is to me. I told her I’d worked as an advocate for battered women, volunteered at homeless shelters throughout the southwest, raised money for various groups, and cleaned other people’s homes when necessary to make a living. I told her how I loved this country and my God. I told her my marriage was important to me and that I felt good about being me… most of the time. I stopped talking and smiled at Billie. She smiled right back at me.