Prospects

Jenna's twenty years old and seems to have hit a dead end before anything's even begun for her. Luke's seven years older and still in the same boat - despite their differences, perhaps they both have some answers to each other's problems.

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5. 4

I’m pissed at my dad for what he said but maybe he’s right. These people are all older than me and have way more work/life experience. They probably never think they’re being that mean. I probably just need to grow a thicker skin, and I really really try. I go to the IT guy when I break my dad’s keyboard even though I’m scared of him, I remake people’s cups of coffee if I hear them complaining, I even try with Luke the cleaning guy.

 

I keep getting to work an hour earlier to try and make the day a little easier for myself and he’s usually the only other person there at that time. I offer him coffee and put up with the fact that he either just straight up ignores me or doesn’t say thank you if I do get him anything. I definitely don’t want to be nice to him and I don’t think he deserves it but I do it for myself because at least I know I’m being a good person, and even if I’m shit at this job, at least nobody can say I’m not nice. People can’t complain when you’re a nice person.

 

Or at least I think that until my dad calls me into his office one morning.

 

“Hey, what’s up?” I smile at him, pretty happy this morning. So far there’s been no disasters.

 

“Nothing serious sweetheart, it’s just that Luke came in and had a word with me a moment ago.” he says and I frown. He talked to my dad about me?

 

“What?”

 

“It’s nothing, he was just hoping that you’d start coming in at the same time as everybody else.” my dad finally looks up from his emails. “I think that’s reasonable enough, six o’clock onwards is officially in his contract after all, him and the other caretakers probably don’t want you in the way at their busiest time of day. Also honey, would you mind getting the main conference room ready, we’ve got a real make or break meeting in there today.”

 

I’m literally stunned. What is this guy’s problem? I’m fully aware that we get on each other’s nerves but at the end of the day I’m a kid compared to him, how petty does he have to be to complain to my dad about me being early to work? I set up that conference room and I’m about to go and find him when he walks past me while I’m photocopying.

 

“Hey!” I say and he turns around.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“I need to talk to you.”

 

He raises an eyebrow. “Need help with your spelling or something?"

 

I sigh, and to my dismay, I’ve got tears of frustration in my eyes. “What’s your problem with me?”

 

He laughs at my voice coming out as a squeak which just makes me well up more. “Is this because I asked your dad to tell you to stick to your contract hours?”

 

“Yes!” I say, a little louder than I anticipated. “Honestly, what is your problem? I get that I’m not great at my job, but I’m young and I’m trying my best-”

 

“That doesn’t mean you’re not shit!” he laughs, shaking his head. “You wanna know what my problem with you is?”

 

“Please, do tell!”

 

“Because you’re a dumb kid that’s been given a job she can’t even do because of who your dad is!” I’m vaguely aware that both of our voices are louder than they should be and some people are staring but I’m too mad to care. “You do nothing but fuck up all the fucking time and I know for a fact that you get paid more than me which is a fucking joke!”

 

“How is that a fucking joke?!” I laugh and I’m aware of how bitter it sounds. “You’re a fucking cleaner! If you want a better job then get one, don’t be mad at me because I got given an opportunity and you’re thirty something years old in a shit job!”

 

“You’re seriously clueless aren’t you-”

 

Then the door of the conference room opens and I realise we were probably being louder than we even thought. People leave and my dad stands in the doorway looking furious. Sixty seconds seems like an eternity until finally everybody’s left and everybody else pretends to be busy on their computers when he steps forward, shutting the door behind him.

 

“That was absolutely unacceptable.” he says in a low voice which is somehow scarier than if he was shouting. “Luke, I expect better from you.” I’m in the middle of turning to smile smugly when my dad’s even harsher to me. “Jenna, you have no idea how disappointed I am in you. I have given you this chance and so far you have hardly been trying, and now you’re starting arguments in the workplace.”

 

“Dad-”

 

“I don’t want to hear it.” he cuts me off. “You are going to try harder.” he looks at Luke and back at me. “And both of you, you might have just lost us that deal. If this bickering between the two of you continues there will be serious consequences.”


He turns and walks away and Luke mutters something I can’t really hear before walking away too. I really do need to get it together.

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