A Fitting Position
© 2012 The Padded Quill
The tension between the desk and the chair upon which Margaret sat was palpable, thick with apprehension and nervousness. Uncomfortably she shifted in her seat and tried to keep her composure as the man across from her read and re-read the papers she’d handed him upon his request. The name placard on the door had identified this man as “Aden Crombie: CEO”, and that had really kicked off Margaret’s nervousness. Now, looking at the cool and confident way he was examining her resume, she could tell why he’d made his way to the top at what seemed like such a young age.
Part of her tension stemmed from the fact that Margaret knew she was nowhere near qualified for the position she was applying for. She’d seen the posting online and decided on a whim to type up a convincing looking CV; making sure to not lie on it, though she did perhaps embellish a bit on the details; and sent it off. When she’d gotten a call in to interview a few days later she’d been so completely shocked that it didn’t even occur to her that she was out of her depth. Now, though, sitting across from the CEO of the company, her inadequacies were foremost in her mind.
CEO Crombie flipped her papers again, glancing over them at her, breaking the silence with a simple question.
“Are you thirsty?” was the inquiry, a bit stiff and formal, but better than the nearly deafening silence.
“Oh, what? Yes,” Margaret stammered out, taken off guard by the question, “I’m afraid I am feeling a tad parched.”
With just a slight nod of acknowledgement, CEO Crombie leaned slightly over to his intercom and pressed the call button, then sat back and waited for a response. The moment of silence that hung in the air between the room’s occupants was heavy.
“Yes, Mister Crombie?” a voice filtered through the speaker, sounding hollow and far away.
“Ah, Janine, could you please bring in some tea for us? Make it your special blend, I do so love that one.”
There was a short pause once more from the intercom, then Janine responded with a quick, “Yes, sir. I’ll get right on that.”
Taking the papers back in his hand, the powerful man straightened them, looked over the cover sheet once more, then sat them down flat on his desk, looking across at Margaret with one of those little polite smiles on his face that always gave the young professional a deep desire to crawl inside herself and die. It was an “I’m humoring this” sort of smile to Margaret’s mind, and on a certain level she resented that. Then again, it was her fault for submitting for a job she had no chance of getting.
“So,” Crombie said, breaking her self-criticizing train of thought, “You have quite the impressive set of credentials here, to be sure, but do you mind telling me exactly why you think you’d be a good fit for this position?”
Margaret’s heart sank a little bit at that, but she tried to soldier on, hoping this wasn’t a sign that he’d caught wind of her lack of practical experience. Forcing a smile on to her face, she responded with as much enthusiasm as she could muster.
“Well,” she started, trying to play up her personality more than her lack of relevant job history, “I’m enthusiastic, cheerful, and always optimistic. I like to have a ‘can do’ attitude, which would inspire my subordinates to do their best every day. I have a lot of experience with communication, as you can see from my CV, so keeping our clients up to date on progress won’t be a problem at all, plus I’m very good with budgets and reporting.”
The CEO picked up her papers again, scanning them as he spoke. “Yes, I can see that here, your experience that is, and you are definitely enthusiastic…” he trailed off as there was a knock at the door.
“Tea for you, Mister Crombie,” the somewhat rosy cheeked receptionist chirped as she let herself in, offering a small nod to Margaret, “Miss. I hope you enjoy!”
With the prim and expensive looking tray delivered and two cups of the warm tea poured, Janine made her exit without another word. Carefully Margaret picked up her cup and took a sip, her eyes widening a bit at the unexpectedly sweet taste. The CEO must have recognized her expression, since he chuckled some and sat his own tea cup down near her papers without taking even the smallest sip.
“Do you like it?” he asked, leaning forward to prop his elbows on the desk, “It’s a special blend that I have made using a personal recipe I came up with a while back.”
“Mmhmm,” is all Margaret could respond with, as she was taking another sip from her cup.
Crombie smiled again and nodded slowly, watching the woman set her cup down, “I’m glad you like it. I find it a bit too sweet at times, myself, and it distracts from doing business.”
The CEO politely refilled the young professional woman’s cup, then leaned back in his chair, giving her a moment to savor the beverage before getting back to business. Margaret was reveling in the delicious drink, letting the sweet taste coat her tongue, the steam of the warm tea flowing into her and making her feel a little light headed for a moment. As she let the feeling of fuzziness pass, she held the cup under her nose and inhaled the aroma of it, letting her eyes wander around the room.
“So,” the CEO’s voice jerked her back to the subject at hand, namely her interview, “What sort of position do you see yourself in here at our company, Margaret?”
Shaking the little tea-induced cobwebs from her head, she smiled back across the desk, “Well, I’d like to think I could inspire people, be a good motivator and help folks through their day with a smile.”
“I see, and I think you’ve got the enthusiasm for it. We here at Parkdale Pharmaceuticals believe in a work culture that thrives on …” the man rambled on, but Margaret wasn’t really hearing him. She tried to concentrate on what he was saying, but she found herself disinterested.
As she sat listening, Margaret looked around at the office a bit more. The walls were a nice muted and calming color, matching the carpets and other colors of the room quite well. The man’s desk was pretty barren, and Margaret figured he probably didn’t spend much time at it, seeing as how there weren’t even any pictures of family decorating it. Along the walls were a few paintings, mostly of landscapes, but they were very nicely done and it was to these that Margaret’s attentions were drawn.
One in particular was distinctly inviting, a large open field of grass with a tree in the distance, an old tire swing hanging from it. Sighing, Margaret could imagine herself running barefoot through that field to the tire swing, jumping in it and swinging to her heart’s content. With the sun beating down on her face like that, her legs bare to the breeze, she would be happy. She imagined there being a bird in that tree, singing to her as she swung, and she imagined herself letting out a childish little giggle at the bird.
“Did I say something funny?” Mr. Crombie asked, dragging Margaret back to reality with a hard jerk, and she realized that her little giggle wasn’t quite as much in her imagination as she’d thought.
Immediately, not wanting to be left looking stupid here, she quickly responded with the first thing that popped into her mind. “You’ve got a really pretty office!” she exclaimed, then immediately felt silly.
In the small silence that followed, Margaret tried to figure out where that had come from. It wasn’t exactly something you blurted out in an interview like this, especially when the head of the company you were wanting to get a job at was talking about the important things they do here. It was a stupid slip up, and she had no idea even where her head had been. Imagining playing on a tire swing while trying to impress a potential future boss was not one of the best practices for interviewing she’d been taught, but the thought had come from out of nowhere.
Lost in her own mental self-butt-kicking as she was, Margaret missed the little smile that played over the CEO’s lips, but he quickly got her attention again, “You really think so? If you’d like, we can continue the interview while I give you a little tour of our office? I think maybe seeing how we work will give us a better idea of where you might ‘fit in’ here.”
Margaret nodded, “Oh, yes, please? I mean, your office is very nice, and if the rest of the facility is as nice, I think I would really enjoy working here.” Sure it was a lame cover for her juvenile and rookie mistake, but the CEO didn’t seem too overly upset about it, so she finished off the last of her cup of tea and stood to follow him through the door.
She’d admittedly not seen much of the office on her way in, more concentrated on reading and re-reading her printed resume than seeing what was going on around her. Now, though, as Mister Crombie led her along, she got a better look at the place. It seemed to be a standard cubicle farm in the center of the office, each area distinctly marked with different colored cube walls. It was a pretty large office, by modern standards, and the walls were all lined with doors to conference rooms or private offices. At the far end of the main room, the entire wall was made of large windows, letting natural light pour in and illuminate most of the working environments.
“Now,” the CEO was saying, “These are only our corporate offices, our research labs are scattered about. If you get the position, this is where you’ll be spending most of your time.”
Margaret nodded once, looking down the rows of cubicles towards the windows. A part of her wanted to be outside looking for that tire swing right now, not stuck in this office building. She kept looking out the windows at the sunshine soaked lawn beyond, and as a result nearly ran CEO Crombie over as he stopped next to a cubicle.
“And here’s Jim. He’s our IT head, and he’s the one responsible for making sure our computers all keep us connected. Jim, this is Margaret. She’s interviewing for Samantha’s old position, so I’m showing her around.”
Margaret smiled and held out her hand to the slightly overweight balding man to shake his hand. He spoke a few words to her, but she wasn’t paying much attention to what he was saying. On his desk was a little pile of LEGO bricks in assorted colors and sizes and shapes, some stuck together but most just loose. A sudden warm feeling came over the young professional and she found herself pulling her hand free of the IT manager’s grasp to reach for the little plastic blocks.
“Ooo!” she said, grinning widely, “I love LEGOs! What do you use them for?”
The IT man exchanged a glance with his CEO, and then shrugged, “I mess around with 'em when I need to think over a problem. Heh, it’s always nice to have another brick-fan in the office, I guess.”
“Uh huh,” Margaret said, smiling from ear to ear as she began snapping the plastic pieces together. With a single minded determination, she soon finished her little work and smiled as she held up the little blocky creation.
“A flower!” she piped, surprising herself with the high-pitched tenor of her voice, looking around and holding her ‘achievement’ out to the CEO. His rather deadpan look quickly cowed her enthusiasm for the juvenile pursuit, and she quickly put the toys back on the desk with a little blush and a mumbled apology.
“Well,” the CEO said, and Margaret couldn’t judge whether or not he was upset or amused, “Thanks for your time, Jim, we’ve got a few more stops to make, so we’ll leave you be, yeah?”
“Sure thing, Aden!” the computer tech said, smiling at Margaret, then at her LEGO flower and chuckling under his breath as the pair moved on.
“Sorry about that,” the young professional tried to apologize, “I usually don’t jump at LEGOs like that, I promise.” She was obviously trying to make light of the situation, but realized she was just sounding too apologetic.
The CEO waved a hand at that, “Nonsense, Margaret. It’s that sort of enthusiasm that we’re looking for here. Really, just relax and be yourself for this interview.”
Margaret nodded at the man, feeling her cheeks redden as she moved with him through the cubicles. Discreetly she tried to rub at her temple to clear her head. Something had just come over her and now in her embarrassment she was feeling a bit fuzzy, like all the blood was starting to rush to her head. Looking back up at her potential future boss, she began to feel her employment prospects slipping further and further away due to her stupid actions.
“And here we have our break room, relaxation room, and all around fun room,” said Mr. Crombie, opening one of the side doors off of the main room.
Standing inside the doorway, Margaret was a bit surprised to find that the man wasn’t kidding. Inside were a few round break tables, as she’d have expected, but what she didn’t expect was the large, flat-screen television against the far wall, or the air hockey table. She was about to turn and step out of the door to continue the tour when something on the television caught her attention. She didn’t know what show it was, but there were colorful puppets and for a moment Margaret was fascinated by them.
“G!” she suddenly exclaimed, blinking at how much closer the television suddenly seemed. Startled, she looked around to find she’d moved further into the break room rather than back out into the office, and was in fact answering the question posed by the puppets on television, asking the kids watching at home to identify the letter.
“What was that?” Mr. Crombie looked up from where he appeared to be putting a new filter in the coffee pot, “Did you say something?” Margaret quickly moved between his line of sight and the television where the large letter ‘G’ was still on full display.
“Oh, uh, was just, you know, ‘Gee!’,” She tried to cover, waving a hand at the room, “You really seem to care about keeping your employees happy.”
The older businessman smiled and nodded at that, “Of course. A happy employee is a productive employee, yes?”
Margaret nodded at that, quickly agreeing, “Yes! I agree entirely. If someone doesn’t enjoy the job they are doing, then they likely won’t do the job very well.”
“Right on the money,” CEO Crombie said, pointing at the younger woman, “That’s a very good attitude to have. Come on, then, let’s continue the tour, shall we?”
Margaret nodded and slipped in to walk with him again, standing slightly behind to let him exit the room first. Behind her, the puppets all cheered and clapped and praised their audience for correctly guessing the letter, sending a shiver of pride up Margaret’s spine. She knew she shouldn’t have been overly enthusiastic about having gotten he answer correct, but somehow the knowledge that she was ‘very smart’, according to the televised puppets, made her feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
That fuzzy, warm feeling didn’t seem to fade as she trotted along behind Mr. Crombie, leaving Margaret stuck with a big, somewhat goofy and vacant grin on her face as they moved through the cubicles. Idly, she sort of wished that this tour would stop by a restroom as she’d not had a chance to ‘go’ before coming to the interview, and her need was becoming a bit of an annoyance.
Pushing that thought to the back of the fog in her mind, Margaret followed the CEO to the back wall of the office, near the large plate-glass windows. He gestured out to the field beyond, and now that she had a good view out, Margaret could see that there wasn’t just grass on the other side.
“Out here is our exercise track, picnic area, and general outdoors recreation area,” Crombie said, crossing his arms behind his back as he looked out over the area.
Beyond the windows, Margaret could see what looked to be a large circular track surrounding an infield covered in the lush, green grass she had spied from further away. Sitting right smack in the middle of the grassy area was what looked like a large swing set, complete with a colorful yellow slide, a cargo net and all. Beside that was one of those sand boxes in the shape of a turtle, and suddenly the woman felt an intense urge to go out and bury her toes in the warm sand.
“A playground!” she exclaimed in her excitement, quickly clamping her hands over her mouth in the sudden realization that there’s no way she should have been so overjoyed to see it.
“Hmm? Yes, what about it?” the CEO asked, turning slightly to look at the blushing young professional.
“Oh, I was just wondering,” she started, trying to cover by asking about parents bringing their children to work, “If it was for employee use.”
“I … suppose so?” was the tentative response, and Margaret realized that she’d asked the wrong question. Quickly, she moved to correct herself.
“No, what I mean is, those swings look really fun,” she started, and tried to clamp down on her words, but the fuzzy feeling in her head was making things difficult, “And it’d be a shame to have such fun swings outside and never go out and play on them!”
If Aden Crombie was at all shocked by this juvenile outburst, he covered it well, shrugging just slightly, “I suppose I never really thought about it that way, sure. Perhaps if you get hired on, you can go out and, eh, play on your lunch breaks, hmm?”
Margaret knew that the smile spreading over her face wasn’t appropriate for the current situation, but she somehow couldn’t help herself. Turning and leaning on the window sill, she could only imagine the types of fun she could have on the swings, going down the slide, and building little castles in the sandbox. In the mists of her currently quite fuzzy consciousness, she could see herself out enjoying an afternoon of crawling around on the playground equipment while all these stuffy people stayed inside and attended meetings.
The thought made her want to laugh, but she caught sight of Crombie’s reflection in the glass, and then her own, wearing a very proper business suit and not her outdoors clothes. Frowning, she tried to think of why she’d worn these clothes, and slowly it dawned on her that she was in the middle of a very important job interview. The realization shocked her, and she pushed back the thoughts of playing, trying to remove them entirely from her mind.
Gathering herself, she shook her head and turned back to her interviewer. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s come over me there,” she tried to explain, smoothing down her skirt, “I guess I’m just a little bit nervous.”
The CEO dismissed this with a wave of his hand, “No, think nothing of it! I like seeing a bit of enthusiasm for free thinking in my employees.”
“That’s me!” she tried to emphasize, “Free mind and young at heart. Helps to keep me thinking fresh.”
The older CEO reached over and gave her a pat on the shoulder, simultaneously turning her away from the window and back towards the office, “Have you had anything to eat, Margaret?”
Again trying to clear her head, Margaret shook her head slightly, wishing the fuzz on her mind would clear out, “No, I haven’t eaten yet. I was planning on grabbing a bite after we were done.”
“Ah,” Crombie said with a smile, putting an arm around the young businesswoman’s shoulders and leading her towards another side door, “Then let’s go grab something to eat, shall we? The cafeteria here is actually quite good.”
Margaret didn’t dare shrug the man’s arm off, and thankfully she didn’t have to worry about it. As soon as they were in line to order, the CEO seemed to be more focused on lunch than he was his young interviewee. True to the man’s word, there were a myriad of tasty looking meals up for grabs, ranging from sliced roast beef with gravy down to just a grilled cheese sandwich. Once Crombie had ordered a beef brisket on toast, Margaret smiled and shook her head.
“It all looks so yummy, but,” she started, sounding a little sad, “I left my wallet out in the car with my purse.”
The older man chuffed out a little laugh, “I think we can make an exception for such a perky little lady. I do own the company, you know.” He waved at the menu, sliding his tray further along towards the cash register, “Just pick something. We’ll continue discussing the position over lunch.”
With a nod, Margaret began looking over the menu again, trying to decide what she wanted to munch on over discussion of the job. She was just about to start from the beginning again when she saw an item on the menu and that familiar little haze fell over her perceptions. Feeling a bit giddily childish, she pointed at the menu.
“That one, please!”
Moments later, the pair were seated at one of the tables in the break room, Margaret purposefully putting her back to the television while they ate. She really didn’t want any more distractions like earlier while trying to finish up the interview, and besides, she was happy enough with her chicken nuggets to not need to see the kid’s shows on TV. She picked up one of the nuggets with both hands and swung her legs as much as she could at the table, nibbling at the chicken, hoping getting some food in her will help clear her mind.
CEO Crombie chuckled a little at the way the woman was eating, but he still tried to conduct the interview, “So why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself, Margaret? Do you have any hobbies or interests?”
Margaret nodded once, “Mph! I like collecting stamps, and being with my friends and stuff.”
The business owner seemed like he was waiting for a bit more than that, but the girl seemed to be concentrating steadfastly on her juvenile meal.
Eventually he carried on, “Well, what about living situations? You do have your own mode of transportation if you’re required to work off-site, yes?”
The cobwebs in Margaret’s head were refusing to clear, but these questions were easy, so she didn’t even really think when answering. “Uh huh, I got a car an’ I live in a nice apartment downtown. It’s got these really big windows that you can see out of all the way to the street, and the people down there are really little like ants and sometimes I wonder if I could pick them up and put them in a dollhouse, but they’re real people so that’s silly.”
Quirking an eyebrow, Aden Crombie seemed intensely amused at this little babbling outburst, but he let her finish up her nugget before asking another question.
“So you live alone, then?”
Again another nod from the young business woman. “Oh, yeah, I moved out of mommy’s house like, years ago.”
There was that awkward moment where both sides of the conversation started to realize what had been said, and while Crombie didn’t seem to even bat an eye past that first still moment, but Margaret could feel her cheeks start to flush hotly. Putting her last nugget down on her plate, she took a shaky breath and turned her head away.
“I mean, yes, I live alone. Sorry.”
“Think nothing of it!” the CEO smiled at her, patting the girl on the shoulder, “Here at Parkdale Pharmaceuticals, family is very important. In fact, we like to think of ourselves as one big happy family here at the company, and with that sort of love for your mother, I’m sure you’d fit into that culture just fine.”
“I… suppose?” Margaret tried, uncertain as to whether or not the man was merely humoring her. She didn’t get long to mull it over, though, as the pair were soon joined by Janine again, carrying another silver tray with a tea pot and a pair of little cups.
“Afternoon tea, Mister Crombie?” she chirped merrily, setting the tray down and pouring out a pair of servings.
“Ah, thank you very much, Janine, just in time!” he intoned, picking up his tea cup, “Drink up, to your health and youth, hmm?”
“Right, to health,” Margaret agreed, bringing the little porcelain cup to her lips and taking a long drink. It was the same tea as before, and she savored the sweet taste as it washed over her tongue, sending that same familiar tingle up her spine.
As the secretary left, the CEO glanced up at the clock on the wall and quickly sat his cup down, not even having gotten a sip in.
“Ah, I didn’t know it was getting so late,” he smiled at the subject of his previous questioning, “Have a couple more people I’d like you to meet, and then we can start maybe talking about a spot for you here with the company.”
The girl finished off her own cup of tea and stood up quickly, moving to go with the man, suddenly excited about seeing more of the office. Once on her feet, however, she had to reach out to the back of her chair to steady herself, her head swimming in a dizzying haze for a split second before clearing enough that she could get her balance. She blinked, taking her hand away from the chair and making sure she was steady. The dizziness was a little scary, and she wanted something to calm herself down, suddenly, but couldn’t quite put her finger on what.
“You okay over there, Margaret?” came the concerned voice, and she looked over to see the nice boss man looking at her with a worried expression. She knew she needed to impress him to get the job, so she pushed the unease aside and nodded quickly.
“Uh huh! I’m A-OKAY!” she gave him a big goofy thumbs up, then inwardly grimaced at that, kicking herself and wondering where in the heck that had come from.
“Well, alright then!” was the enthusiastic response, and Crombie held the door open for her. A noise caught her attention, and Margaret turned to look at the television, giggling a bit at the silly puppets on the screen again. She knew this show pretty well.
“Ooo!” she said, suddenly, pointing at the screen and turning to the CEO, hoping to impress him, “I know this song! At the end, you’re supposed to spin around and then bend at the waist.”
Margaret started to emulate that, but caught the man’s raised eyebrow, and stopped, frowning at herself. This wasn’t what he wanted to see, so she’d just have to try harder. But Margaret was having a hard time trying to figure out what it was that she was supposed to be doing here at this interview. She knew she was supposed to make this man happy so that he would like her and give her a job, and she’d known what that all meant earlier, but the dense fog in her head was keeping her from grasping at what it was that would make him hire her.
“Come on, Margie,” he laughed a little bit, and suddenly Margaret didn’t feel so bad about her little slip up. It was only a little one, and who could resist the little dance that went with the song?
“'Kay!” she said, straightening her skirt and suddenly remembering that she had wanted to ask about the bathroom, “Um, Mister Crombie?”
But the man was already leading her back into the main office area, leaving Margaret to catch up to him. He turned a corner down an aisle between a row of cubicles, and then another turn, moving quickly. Margie tried to keep up, but it seemed like all the cubes were blending together, and on this person’s screen was a funny looking video. Sitting on another’s desk was what looked like some sort of little action figure. She passed by the LEGO man from earlier, and saw her flower still sitting there, but as she stopped and began to reach for the toys again, the sound of a throat clearing nearby jerked her back to the task at hand.
“In here, Margie,” CEO Crombie was smiling at the girl, standing near one of the little office doors leading off of the main room.
“Oh, sorry!” she said, smiling and approaching the door, “He still has my flower!” she chirped, pointing back at the cube as the boss ushered her into the office.
“Yes, yes, it’s a very nice flower, Margaret,” he reassured her as she moved past him into the small room, “But right now I need you to meet Beverly. She’s our HR director here, and is a very nice lady. Can you say hello to Beverly?”
Margaret huffed a little at the man’s tone, shooting him a bit of a glare from in front, where he couldn’t see it. He must think she was some sort of child, simply because she was proud of her little LEGO flower. Still, though, she took a deep breath and decided not to let it bother her. She’d be nice to this woman and really impress Mister Crombie and seal that job.
“Hello Miss Beverly!” she said cheerily, sticking her hand out to the slightly silver haired woman on the other side of the desk, “I’m Margaret, and I’m happy ta meet cha!”
The HR director shot a little amused look over Margaret’s shoulder, then smiled genuinely and rose to shake the girl’s hand.
“Ah, hello there Margaret. Are you liking our building so far? Have you seen anything exciting that you liked?”
The young professional nodded quickly, and started rambling off things, “Uh huh! Mister Crombie has a really pretty office, and there’s a man with LEGO’s who let me make him a little flower and he totally kept it,” she paused to take a breath, eliciting a chuckle from the woman, “And then there was a playground, and Mister Crombie said I could go play on it during lunch if I get a job here, and the TV had Sesame Street on, but then we went and got lunch and I hadda chicken nuggets and some tea, then we came here!”
Beverly stared at the girl for a long moment, and Margaret started to worry that she’d said too much, or said something stupid. Again that urge to have something comforting came over her, centering on an odd urge to put something in her mouth. Slowly, she could feel one hand raising towards her face, and try as she might she couldn’t break the urge, could not for the life of her force her hand back down.
Thankfully, the HR director spoke up, breaking through the quickly growing haze in Margaret’s mind, “Oh, well, that’s very nice, dear! I’m sure that if you get the job, we’ll be more than glad to have a perky one like you on staff.”
“Oh, I think she’s perfect for the job so far, just a few more things to talk about, and then we’ll start with the paperwork,” Crombie was saying, but Margie wasn’t paying attention. She was looking at the little family portrait on the woman’s desk, and curiously she pointed at the photo of a baby girl in a pretty dress.
“Who’s the baby?” she asked, very taken with the child’s attire and smile.
“Oh? Oh!” Beverly picked up the picture and let Margaret get a better look at it, “That’s my granddaughter, Sherry. She’s a darling. Did you know she’s just starting to learn how to walk?”
With a grin Margaret poked at the picture, then nodded quickly, a bit of inspiration hitting her. If Mr. Crombie thought she was a little kid, she’d show him, “She looks really pretty! Does she know how to do the itsy bitsy spider?”
Shaking her head, Beverly laughed, “Oh, no, she’s much too young to be able to do that.” The woman smiled at Margaret and sat the picture down, “Why? Do you know the Itsy Bitsy Spider?”
Proudly, Margaret nodded, “I do!” she chirped, holding her hands up and starting to sing, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water spout…”
The CEO and HR director exchanged looks as the girl went through her routine, and a smile passed between them, unseen by the singing girl. After a couple of false starts, the two clear headed company heads clapped politely as Margaret finished up, bowing with a bit of a flourish.
“That’s very nice, dear,” Beverly said, patting the girl on her shoulder, “I think you’ll be just perfect for the job.”
Beaming, Margie turned to Mister Crombie, “See? I can do Itsy Bitsy Spider all the way through. Who else can do that here?” she asks, defiantly.
“Yes,” the man said, smiling, “You really showed me. That was very impressive.” He leaned slightly forward to look the girl directly in the eyes, and she suddenly felt very small compared to this man, “Now, I’ve got one more thing to show you before we can decide if you’re good for the job, alright?”
“'Kay!” she grinned again, then squirmed a bit at the hips, “But I need to go potty first, okay?”
Beverly laughed at that, and Mister Crombie ruffled the girl’s hair, “Of course, let’s get you to a potty, Margie. Beverly, thank you for your time, if you could start drawing up the papers…?”
“Sure thing, Aden,” then she smiled at Margaret, “And it’s been a pleasure meeting you, dear.”
“Uh huh! See you later, lady with the baby!” Margaret said, turning back to the door as the CEO held it open for her.
They made their way through the office again, and in the back of her head, Margaret knew something was off. She was getting nervous again, and again that desire to put something in her mouth started to grow. She’d done so well on the Itsy Bitsy Spider, and the lady seemed to like her, but some nagging part of her mind was trying to push through the haze.
Like the piercing ray of illumination from a lighthouse on a foggy night, Margaret suddenly remembered why she was here. She also realized that she was likely making a complete fool of herself with her stupid singing and little dance. Concentrating on that feeling, pushing the juvenile fog aside, Margaret formed in her mind the words she needed to say to Aden Crombie, to tell him that something was wrong with her, and that she really needed to postpone the rest of the interview.
Looking up, she was about to speak, but found herself nearly biting her tongue as she jerked to a stop to avoid running into the CEO again. Leaning to one side, she looked to see why they’d stopped, and saw a man she hadn’t met yet showing something to the boss on a small tablet computer. Not wanting to be rude, she decided to keep her words fresh in mind, to speak to Mister Crombie as soon as he was done with this man. Idly, she looked around, and was shocked to find herself standing next to a wall covered in colorful sticky notes, like a jumbled rainbow of little pieces of paper.
“Hey, what’s this?” she asked, curiously as she looked from one end of the rows of sticky notes to the other.
“Ah!” Crombie said, turning his attention to the interviewee once more, “This is really interesting,” he explained, “It’s our project progress wall. Each color represents a different phase of a project that we’re working on being completed, so everyone can see where any project is at any given time.”
“Oh…” she said, still staring at the seemingly random arrangement of colors, “It’s …” she tried to think of an appropriate grown up word, “Impressive.”
“Thank you. Now hold on just a minute while I handle some business, then we need to get you to a bathroom still, right?”
Margaret nodded, but Crombie had already turned back around. She stared at the colors, her eyes a bit dazzled by the pastels and bright pieces of paper on the white wall. She had been thinking of something, but couldn’t grab at it anymore. She was going to say something, or do something, probably to try and… get the job! That’s right, she wanted to get the job. Giggling, she knew exactly what to do, reaching out for the sticky notes on the wall.
“Okay, Margaret, now that we’ve got that taken care of let’s…” but he trailed off, turning his attention to the girl who was standing next to the progress board looking very pleased with herself.
“I fix-ed da colors! They’re all in da rainbows now!” she said, obviously quite proud of what she’d done, and telling him in the tone a toddler might when showing off an art project to their parents.
The CEO looked at the rearranged colors on the board, one eyebrow raised. Indeed she had ‘fixed’ the colors into a rainbow, and incidentally caused quite a bit of re-work for the project teams to get the colors back in the right order to show any progress on their works. He crossed his arms over his chest and nodded slowly.
“You did, Margaret, but these were in a very special order, and you messed them up.”
Margaret frowned, then, and she could see in the man’s eyes that she’d done a bad thing, and that urge to put something in her mouth to comfort herself came on hard. Presently, she felt her fingers probing at her tongue as she sucked on them. The man was looking at her with those disappointed eyes, and she felt like she wanted to cry.
“Margaret…” he started, his tone full of that tone that told her she was in trouble, but then he stopped, and smiled. There was something warm and wet running down her leg, but Margie didn’t register what was happening as her bladder released under this man’s harsh gaze.
“Awww…” he eventually said when Margie no longer felt the warm tickle down her leg, “Come on, Margie. We’ve got the perfect position for you here at our company, and I need you to try and write your name on some papers for me.”
“Here’s the papers Miss Bev’ly wanted me ta bring you, Mista Cwombie!” came a cheerful, toddlerish voice from the doorway to the CEO’s office. He put down his report and smiled as Margie practically skipped over to his desk and placed a stapled report on his desk.
“Why thank you, Margie! You did a very good job,” he praised her, causing a wide smile to spread over the girl’s face. She’d been doing a ‘very good job’ at the office for months now, but she never got tired of hearing him say it.
“Let’s see…” the business tycoon picked up the papers, and noticed a little damp semi-circle on the upper right corner, “Margie? Did you put these in your mouth?” The look on the girl’s face, and the fact that she still had one finger in her mouth answered his question.
Sighing, he waved the girl over closer, knowing full well what that look generally meant.
“Alright, Margie, come here,” he said, pulling her closer and lifting the bright yellow tea party styled dress slightly and tugging her thick cotton tights down to around the tops of her thighs, chuckling despite himself at the ruffles on the bottom.
Margie blushed a little as she felt his fingers probing between her legs, poking at her training panties. She sucked wetly on her fingers, knowing that she should have asked Beverly to take her to her training potty, but she’d been in such a rush to do good for the boss that she’d not made it, and now he knew she’d had another accident.
“Alright, let’s go update your progress chart, honey,” he said, nicely, taking Margaret by the hand and leading her out of his office and into the main cubicle area. She had to shuffle quickly to keep up, as he’d ‘forgotten’ to pull her tights back up, and her black Mary Janes made little scuffling sounds on the carpet.
Overall, Margaret loved her job. She mostly just got to play with toys and deliver papers and reports to people, and sometimes they even let her put the pretty stickies up on the big people’s progress board. In the afternoons, if the weather was nice, they’d let her go outside and play on the swings or in the sandbox, but if she’d thrown a fit or pouted or cried in the morning, then she’d have to spend the rest of the day in Beverly or Aden’s office, being bored.
She even had her own office, and she looked in it as she toddled past, smiling at all her toys on the floor, and her own ‘desk’ that she drew and colored at, or finger painted on if she was really good. And she was special, because her office was the only one in the whole building that had a crib for her naps and a changing table, which the feeling between her thighs told her she’d be utilizing very soon, with the help of Mister Crombie. She even had her own high chair to eat her lunches in, and no one else in the whole of the company could say that. Yep, Margie was very proud of her big professional job.
If there was any part of the job she didn’t like, though, was having to call him Mister Crombie at the office. At home he was always ‘daddy’, but he’d told her many times that they had to seem professional at the office, and that made her a little upset. It was all made up with the fact that at the end of every day she didn’t make a mistake, she got a big gold star at the top of her own personal progress chart.
“Oh, Margie, that’s not what fingers are for. Here,” Daddy, er, Mister Crombie said, plucking her pacifier from where it was dangling on the ribbon around her neck, pulling her fingers out of her mouth and replacing it with the comforting rubber teat.
“Now, can you please pick out for me what color we have to put on your progress chart this time? Then we’ll get you into some clean panties, get some lunchies in your cute little tummies, and then down for a nice little nap, okay? You’ve been a busy girl!”
Giggling wetly around the pacifier, Margie squirmed as Mister Crombie gave her a little tickle. She looked at her progress chart, wishing it wasn’t as colorful as the big chart, but this was her chart and she was proud of it, even if there were far more yellow and brown stickies than white ones.
Concentrating hard and wiggling her hips a little, she focused on the feeling in her training panties and staring hard at the three stacks of colored post it notes, she playfully pointed at the white ones, but a shake of Daddy—Mister Crombie’s head made her sigh, a bit of spittle running down her chin at the exhalation. Feeling a little ashamed of her accident, she reached out, and pointed at the real sticky to put on her chart.
Well, every job has its down sides, she supposed.
This is a commissioned story. If you would like your own commissioned story, check out my info at http://paddedquill.deviantart.com