Oh Friday afternoon, we had our staff meeting and I participated as usual – presenting my ideas and shutting down Whitney’s. After the meeting, I caught Diana on her way into her office.
“Hey,” I said, following her in. “Can we talk?”
She looked at me and said, “Oh shit,” like she knew exactly what I wanted to talk about. “Yes. Shut the door and sit down.”
I shut the door and sat with my hands in my lap. I still had no idea what I wanted to do or say, but I was leaning toward taking the new job. I just needed to talk to Diana.
“What’s going on, Reese?” she asked after she was settled in her desk chair. She was giving me her full attention, not distracted by her phone or computer like she normally is.
“I got offered another job,” I said, not wasting any time.
“They offered me more money and better benefits, but I don’t know if I want to take it.”
“Your mom warned me this may happen. What’s the position?” she asked.
I rolled my eyes. My mom can’t hold fucking water. Remind me never to tell her anything ever. I gave Diana a not-so-brief rundown of the position, my trip to New York and my reasons for being apprehensive about taking the job.
“I don’t want to just jump ship, but I feel like this is a good opportunity,” I said.
“It sounds like it,” Diana admitted. “And it sounds like you would really excel at it.”
“Do you want me to leave?”
“Of course not,” Diana smiled. “But I would never want to hold you back. When I graduated college I landed my first job in New York City. I was doing public relations for a magazine and I really, really enjoyed it. But then I randomly got an opportunity to work for a pretty well known interior designer. It seemed risky because I was going from a large corporate establishment to a small design firm, but after talking to all my friends and family and praying about it, I decided to go for it. Not only did I love my new position, it molded me into what I am today. I without a doubt would not be here if I hadn’t taken that job. And not two months after they hired someone to replace me at my old job, they eliminated the position entirely. So I know I made the right decision.”
“Are you guys eliminating my position?” I asked.
Diana kind of laughed. “No, Reese. What I’m saying is, you need to do what you think is right. Don’t worry about I have to say or what anyone else has to say. Only you know what’s best for you.”
“I don’t want you to leave, Reese. In fact, if you do, I’ll be quite upset. But that’s me being selfish.”
I felt tears stinging my eyes.
“It sounds like the opportunity for growth is there. Take it. You just got this wonderful promotion in May, but what can you do next? Take my job?” Diana smirked.
I started crying as I realized she was right and that meant I was leaving.
Diana called my name in a voice that told me I was being ridiculous so I tried to pull myself together.
“You sound to me like you want to take this job. So take it. Take it or I’ll fire you.”
I couldn’t help laughing.
Diana told me to go accept the position and then booted up her computer dismissing me.
I stood up to leave. “I have a question.”
“Mmhm?” she said, not looking up from her computer.
“Is Whitney going to be my replacement?”
Diana stopped typing and looked at me for a moment. “I mean, that would be the obvious choice. I will need to talk to Tracey about our options. Do you have someone else in mind?”
I shook my head and turned to leave. I wanted to tell Diana all the reasons Whitney does not deserve my position, but decided not to. Diana will make a good choice without me having to bash anyone.
Back in my office, I emailed Kate back letting her know that I accepted the sales director position and we discussed a start date for me. We decided that even though they need me as soon as possible, I wouldn’t start until after the holidays so I can wrap up everything with my old job. Kate agreed that that was fair.
Then I sent out a mass text message letting everyone know that I had just quit my job. Brady responded that we should go out and celebrate so I let everyone know the plans.
The rest of the day was weird. Diana wanted to officially announce my departure at the next staff meeting so I had to keep mum about it. Not that I had anyone to tell.
After work, I went shopping and got a dress and new pair of shoes. Then I grabbed dinner and headed to Brady’s. To my fucking dismay, when Brady let me in, John was in the living room holding a freaking beer. I hadn’t seen that asshole since the news broke that he cheated and needless to say, I was not happy.
“Hey Reese,” John said, smiling nervously.
I glared at him as I slowly dropped my stuff. I made a face at his stupid little sweater and loafers and his grotesque hairline. I can’t believe Kendra wasted six years with him. And I can’t believe that at least two women have had sex with him.
I didn’t stop glaring at John as he turned to Brady and said, “I guess I’d better go.”
I nodded, agreeing. John gave me a little smile as he walked past and I had to refrain from jabbing him with my keys. Brady walked John out then returned to the living room.
“What the fuck was he doing here?” I demanded.
“We were just having a beer…” Brady said slowly.
“You’re still hanging out with that clown after what he did?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were still mad.” Brady bit his lip.
“Why wouldn’t I still be mad?” I seethed. “He cheated! Is that not a big deal?”
“It is. I apologize. I won’t hang out with him again.”
I grabbed the food and went to set up our feast without another word. After we ate, we made drinks and talked. I asked about Hunter and Dom since I haven’t really heard about them since the party. Brady admitted that he hasn’t talked to Hunter since the party, despite calling and texting him several times. I wasn’t going to say it to Brady, but that seems fishy. Why would Hunter just fall off the face of the Earth? I guess I can understand him wanting to distance himself from his awful parents, but Brady? They’re pretty close. I hope Dom hasn’t done anything crazy.
We got ready to go to the bar with Chris and Kendra. Preston was wallowing after being played and Carly was working. We got to the bar and immediately started with shots and stood there hanging out. It was a little bit weird being out without Carly, but Kendra and I hung out and talked while Brady and Chris stood next to us.
I thought about telling Kendra that I saw John, but even in my tipsy state I realized that it probably wasn’t the time or place. Maybe I shouldn’t tell her at all ever? We’ve done a really good job avoiding him completely the past few weeks.
While we were talking, two semi attractive guys approached us.
“My friend and I are having a bet,” one of them said. “Are you two sisters?”
I rolled my eyes as Kendra giggled. “Do we look like it?”
“Yeah. Are you the older one?” the guy said.
Kendra and I look nothing alike (we aren’t even the same race) so clearly these two were just using a generic line. But Kendra seemed to be enjoying them and she hasn’t shown any interest in any guy since John so I stood there smiling like a good wing woman. Kendra was hitting it off more with the taller of the two, which was fitting, so I was stuck talking to the shorter one.
I was half listening to him talk about being in business school when I felt a hand slide across my back. It was Brady. I kind of squealed and threw my arms around him. There’s just nothing like seeing bae when a lame guy is talking your face off.
“How’s it going?” Brady asked, turning toward my new friend. He kept his hand on my back protectively, kind of like he wanted the guy to know I’m off limits.
The guy answered and the three of us talked for a moment before the guy said he was going to get another drink. Kendra was still talking to the friend so we motioned to her that we were going to go sit at the table with Chris.
After we sat down, I asked Brady what he seriously wants to do for his birthday. It’s good to ask people important questions when they’re drunk because then you get real answers out of them. Brady said he wants to spend his birthday with me which was exactly the answer I was looking for. We brainstormed ideas and I threw out my idea for him to come to Houston with me and he said okay!
I was like, “Really? You don’t want to go home to see your parents?”
Brady shrugged. “We usually don’t do much for Christmas. I would rather be with you.”
I smiled and kissed him because that’s just so cute. Naturally, we started talking about getting married and our future. We decided we will get engaged next summer then get married in the winter. Then we will live in Chicago for a few more years while we’re still young before settling down in Massachusetts. Brady asked if I would still be able to work my job in Mass.
“I’ll quit. I want to be a trophy wife anyway,” I told him.
Brady laughed, but I was actually serious. I let him know that he definitely needs to get permission from my parents before proposing, I hate sappy shit but I want a romantic proposal (I wouldn’t mind getting in engaged in Paris), and I want a vintage inspired halo ring with a diamond that’s at least two carats. Brady said okay.
“Are you writing this down?! Do you even want to know my ring size??” I demanded.
Brady picked up my left hand and studied it. He didn’t drop my hand as he said, “I’ve got it under control.”
After a couple more glasses of beer, we met back up with Kendra and decided to call it a night. She told me she exchanged numbers with that guy and wanted to see him again. Good for her.
When we got back to Brady and Chris’s, we all hung out in the kitchen eating tortilla chips. Brady and I were clearly super drunk and Chris just watched us, amused. Once the chips were gone, Brady and I retreated to his room to look at plane tickets. We didn’t book anything, but just wanted to get some ideas about what days we would need off from work.
We for some reason got a random craving for ice cream, but of course, Brady didn’t have any in the freezer. I really need to teach him how to go grocery shopping before we can get married.
“Maybe Chris will take us to get ice cream. He isn’t drunk,” I suggested.
“Okay. Go ask him,” Brady said.
“No, you ask him. He’s your roommate,” I replied. Although I’m around Chris frequently, I feel like I really don’t know him very well. And I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with him alone.
“But it was your idea. Plus, he can’t say no to you.” Brady grabbed my shoulders and guided me toward Chris’s room down the hallway.
Fine. I walked down to Chris’s room and knocked lightly. He opened the door and as sweetly as I could, I said, “Brady and I were wondering if you could take us to get ice cream? We will buy you whatever you want.”
“Umm.” Chris looked like he was ready for bed and I kind of felt bad, but not really.
“Please?” I gave him my doe eyed look that has helped me get everything I want.
“Okay. Let me get dressed,” Chris finally said.
Chris took us to one of those Baskin-Robbins/Dunkin’ hybrid shops and we all got cones. And then I figured since we were already there, I would get a dozen donuts for the morning. I hate Dunkin’ donuts so I’m not sure why I thought that was a good idea.
The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful. Kendra hung out with the guy from the bar, whose name happens to be Eric, on Saturday night. She texted me throughout the date, telling me that she didn’t know how to behave on a first date with someone because she was in a relationship for so long. My first piece of advice was to stop texting while on a date.
On Monday morning, I got an email from Andrew that said, “Reese, I am happy to hear from Kate that you accepted my job offer. I’m excited for you to come on board. Did the two of you discuss a start date?”
I immediately replied, “I am very excited as well! Kate and I determined that I will start the first week in January after the holidays. I look forward to working with you.”
A few minutes later, I got a call from Andrew on my cell phone. I wasn’t sure what he would want, but knew it had to be important so I answered.
“Good morning, Reese. How are you?” he greeted me.
“I’m doing great. I’m just at work right now,” I said, hoping he would get the hint and cut to the chase.
“So you and Kate decided you will start in January?” Andrew asked.
“I thought you understood that this position needed to be filled right away. I was under the impression that you would be starting immediately. The new store in your region is opening in January and no one has been hired for it yet.”
“You probably want to be the one who determines who works in your store because it’s a reflection of you.”
“I mean, I need you screening applicants and doing interviews. Can you start doing that immediately? We need to have a team in place by Christmas.”
I didn’t say anything, but I was really annoyed. I never told anyone that I would be starting immediately. That was never a part of the plan.
“Okay,” I finally said, trying to hide my frustration.
“Great!” Andrew exclaimed. “I’ll send you the login and password for your new work email and forward you all the resumes I’ve received thus far. Try to set up some interviews for later this week and next week.”
I said okay and we hung up. Since I wasn’t really working on anything, I set up my new work email and was bombarded with emails from Andrew right away. They were all resumes and cover letters for people applying to different positions. I opened a few resumes and saw people with experience in fashion design, cashiering, food service, etc. It was kind of overwhelming.
I replied to Andrew on one of them and said, “I don’t really know what I’m looking for.” How was I supposed to know if someone who had five plus years working in a pet store would be good in my store?
Andrew quickly emailed me back, “You don’t know what kind of person you want working in your store, Reese? Do you know how to read a resume?”
I didn’t appreciate his sarcastic response. Kate assured me that I would have a thorough training and I wouldn’t be thrown into anything, but I definitely felt like I was being thrown into it. And besides that, wasn’t there other preliminary things I needed before I started working? What about my tax forms? Do they not do background checks? Don’t I need to sign a contract? I wasn’t about to ask Andrew all this, but planned on asking Kate later.
Ten minutes later, Andrew emailed me again and said, “Please have at least eight interviews set up by Wednesday morning.”
Seriously? Does he think I have all this free time? I responded, “K.” And he said, “Thanks Reese!”
I didn’t hear from Andrew again on Monday and didn’t have time to look at resumes for the rest of the workday. After work I went home and started looking at the resumes on my laptop. I created three folders for screening them: yes, maybe and no.
Brady called when he got off and I told him to come over. When he got to my apartment, I told him what happened with Andrew and that I didn’t know what I was doing. Instead of agreeing with me that Andrew was being ridiculous and unfair, Brady said Andrew was right in that I should want to hire my own people if I would be held accoutable for them and that looking through the resumes shouldn’t be too hard or take much time.
“What?” I exclaimed, turning my laptop toward him. “Look at all these resumes he sent me!” I opened one of the email attachments. “This woman has no relevant experience. She teaches opera singers. How will I know if she would be good at selling stuff?”
Brady leaned forward and scanned the resume. “It says here that she majored in communications and interned with Michael Kors. Isn’t that a fashion brand? To me, this says she probably has no problem speaking to people and she is also on top of current fashion. I think she could be a good candidate for an entry level position in the store.”
Oh yeah. That made sense and I should’ve thought of that. That’s probably what Andrew meant by “Do you know how to read a resume?” Brady helped me filter through the rest of the resumes and decide who was worth interviewing or not. The new store is apparently opening in Tennessee so I wasn’t sure how Andrew expected me to interview them. Obviously questions are off limits with him so I wasn’t exactly sure what to do since he wants eight interviews set up by Wednesday morning. I’m not traveling anywhere this week or next.
After Brady helped me with my work, I made us drinks and we watched tv on my couch for a little while. I must have made the drinks really strong because I was borderline tipsy when I finished my first one. But I also think I drank it too fast because I told Brady I was going to my room to change then I fell asleep. Oops.