A to Z 2016 · Fiction

J is for “The Job Fair”

I’ve learned my lesson; next year, I’m totally spending the last week in March marathon-writing these blog posts because trying to find the time in my busy schedule of — well, life, is reallyreallyreally HARD.

BUT. I am not going to let the day go by without eventually posting. So here’s today’s prompt (courtesy of writer Susan Hanniford Crowley; I believe this is an out-of-date website, but the prompts remain useful all the same):

Write about two people meeting for the first time. They are in line at a job fair and are waiting to speak to the same company. They begin talking when one of them drops their resumes. Go to it. Make it real. Make it wacky and unpredictable. This is your opportunity to be original.


I’m not feeling super wacky or unpredictable, but here goes nothing. I left the scene unfinished, a little because I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go, and a little because I got tired and felt it could go on way longer than originally intended. It wins a revisit at a later date.



The Job Fair

“Have you done one of these before?”

I turned around, slightly taken aback by A., someone talking to me in an interview line, and B., being touched my shoulder with an enormous, deep-blue feathered pen. “A few yeah –” Oh, wow.

Taking in the full appearance of the woman startled me into silence. It was hard to tell how old she was; she could have been anywhere from early-twenties to late-forties, her makeup either aging her unnecessarily or retaining her youthful glow. Her blonde hair was long, past her elbows, streaked with the same shade of blue as her pen. Clearly she was unaware of the expected dress code — navy, black, grey, white, demure and professional — as her dress clung to her (mature?) curves, waaaaaay above the knee, and shimmered with every color known to humankind. (Thankfully, there were also blue tights, covered in rainbow hearts.So she wasn’t exactly obscene…)

But it was the hat. The hat was what made my jaw drop open rudely for a moment, topping off her theme — the massive brim was covered in what looked like cotton balls, and on the crown, a big yellow half-disk with orange sticks pointing outward.

She grinned, and posed, one hand on her hip. “Don’t you just love my sun hat?” Giggles. (Giggling at a job fair!!) “Get it? Sun hat?”

I smiled weakly, trying to overcome my surprise.

“So, are they just giving away jobs then?”

My eyebrows raised. “No… They’ll ask you a few questions and then might call you for a ‘real’ interview later.”

“It’s not even real?” Her dangling cubic zirconia earrings glittered as she shook her head in disbelief.

I was so dumbfounded, by both her looks and her expectation to walk out with a job, I lost my grip on my leather folder and my resume drifted out, landing on her pink platform pumps.

“Ooops! Here you go — wait a minute.” She stared at it intently.

I wanted to snatch it back, but I was afraid of wrinkling it. “That’s mine, and that’s private. Give it back.”

“But, oh, honey — if they’re not giving away jobs, what makes you think this is going to do it for you?” She grabbed my arm and pinned me in place while she pointed to my beautiful 12-point, Times New Roman, bullet-pointed, one-page resume (with navy blue accents, just to make it pop a little).

“Honey, look at this! Your name on top, your school, your jobs, blahblahblah, boring! Even your name is boring! Lisa Jonson? You can do better than that! Resumes aren’t for boring, dull facts. You gotta make yourself MEMORABLE.”

She dug in her fluffy bag (pink to match the shoes, of course) and pulled out a sickly-green sheet of paper. “This — THIS is how you get them to remember you!”

In shocking purple, “MATILDA FORTESQUE” was written — or rather, calligraphed by hand — up the left side of the page. On the right, where most people type out relevant experience, “Matilda” had written paragraphs of what looked like her autobiography, with certain words and phrases also in calligraphy. I could just make out the words “potato farmer,” “acrobat,” and “White House intern” before she tucked it back in her bag.

“THAT is how you get them to talk to you.”

No, I thought. That is how to scare the bejeesus out of them.

“But –” I finally wrangled my perfect resume back with minimal damage. “This is for a tech company. Isn’t your resume a little… unrelated?”

“NOTHING is unrelated, honey. You’ll see.”


4 thoughts on “J is for “The Job Fair”

  1. This is my fifth year doing the A to Z Challenge, and yes, it’s easier if you can write the posts ahead of time! But bravo for sticking to it. Don’t feel you have to write a long post, either – I try to keep mine under 300 words. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

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