Difference between revisions of "Logs:Help Wanted"

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Revision as of 14:58, 11 July 2019

Help Wanted
Dramatis Personae

Mel, Sarah


Go fill this out and I'll let the manager know you're here.


<NYC> Montagues - SoHo

Montagues harkens back to the day when SoHo was filled to the brim with artists, with its mismatched furniture, all plush and decorated heavily with carved wood, but remains trendy enough to keep its newer patrons by making sure that furniture is clean, in good repair and inviting. The antique tables all have been reinforced to seem less creaky. The real draw of the cafe is the smell: fresh roasted coffee mingles with perfectly steeped teas. Spices from crisp pastries mingle with the tang of clotted cream but don't overwhelm too much the scent of chalk on the menu boards.

The sight, smell, and all around feel of the coffee shop makes Sarah happy as soon as she steps through the door. It's definitely a Good Place. She's dressed in her best, or at least the best she has. She spent the previous night scrubbing as much brightness as she can back into her yellow converse, and the red tights she paired with them only have one noticeable hole in the left shin. Her frayed acid-wash shorts are more subdued, as is a white tanktop that reads 'Do you even sift, bro?' The pixie cut she has doesn't even try to be subdued, and is almost violent in it's pastel pinkness.

She only lingers in the doorway long enough to glance around before moving further into the building. No need to be rude. The shop has more occupied tables than not, and a few people wait in line at the counter, but there isn't a hurried air to the place. Sarah likes that. It doesn't take long for the line to move, and it's only a minute or two before she is also putting on her best smile.

"Hi, I saw the 'Help Wanted' sign in the window. Could I please get an application?"

The staff at Montagues have not quite gotten over the joys of Pride and are wearing rainbow tie-dyed button downs in the place of their usual, easily bleachable whites. The barista looks up in surprise when an application is requested instead of food, and looks her over. "Um. Okay. Let me see." She steps away from the register to dig around in one of the drawers behind the counter, finally bringing out a much copied application and a pen with the cafe's name on it. She slides them across the counter to Sarah. "Go fill this out and I'll let the manager know you're here."

"Thank you." She takes the application and pen and finds a nearby table to occupy. Filling out the basics don't take much time, and it gives her a small thrill to write Her Own Address for once, instead of some motel room. Position desired? Any. Date she can start? ASAP.

Education and Previous Employment are always the ones that give her pause. Her GED looks small on a space that has sections for high school and college. Having different jobs (dishwasher, kitchen assistant, store clerk) in a different state (Illinois, Michigan, Ohio) every few months can't look great either, but it must be better than leaving anything blank. After filling in references with a few former managers, and triple checking over everything, Sarah brings the application - and pen - back up to the counter.

A tallish woman with long brown hair and blue eyes slips the paper across the counter to pick it up and read. She's reading quietly while pouring herself a cup of coffee with her other hand, well practiced enough to finish with a little room for cream. She pauses as her eyes dart to the top of the page, then move over to the young person's face. "Sarah, is it? Follow me. We can talk about this."

The application is stashed under her arm. holding open the flimsy swinging gate that separates the front from the back end.. The manager leads the applicant to the back room and a small office that is mostly windows. She settles into her chair and sets down the paper, taking a long drink of coffee. Her free hand gestures that Sarah should sit opposite her. "My name's Mel -- Melinda, but most people call me Mel. Tell me, what brings you here today?"

Sarah takes the offered seat with a smile and folds her hands on the table. "It's nice to meet you, Mel. I actually just moved to New York last week, not too far from here. I saw the sign in the window and really like the feel of the shop. It's nice."

"Thank you. I rather like it around here too. I see you've had a couple jobs before... but not for long." Mel exhales and sets the application down. "Let's skip the boring stuff. If you end up working here, the important stuff is whether or not you do your job and how long you get along with your coworkers. You've worked in a kitchen before, so you know it is not a place for people that keep their heads down and keep to themselves. We all gotta talk and blow off steam. So... let's do that." She folds her hands on the desk between them and leans forward casually. "Why did you pick New York of all places? What is it about this city that off sets the cost of living for you?"

A million different answers flood Sarah's brain, and she takes a quick moment to try and sort them out and choose one. Not for the first time, she wishes she's like her sister; Angie could have a short conversation with someone, and have a job and a new friend immediately after. Sarah still sometimes feels like she's reading from a script when talking to people. It just doesn't come naturally.

"Honestly, I didn't pick it." Honesty is not the route Angie would have gone, but she isn't Angie. She's Sarah, so it's best to be herself. "My sister and his wife are moving to the city, and I didn't want to be far away from him. I didn't know how I was going to like it... I'm sure you know what people say about New Yorkers," Sarah says with a grin. "But everyone I've met has been really nice, and then the parade on Sunday... I've never seen that many people before, much less that many people that were so happy and defiant and proud of who they are. It made me realize that everyone has a place here. Even me."

"New Yorkers tend to only be rude when the situation calls for it... which isn't as often as a person might thing, if they don't drive -- but road rage is everywhere, right?" Mel toys with her mug as she listens, her fingers absorbing the warmth in the mug that combats the cool air from the AC. "Well, don't get your hopes up that every day will be Pride Parade day. I mean, I'm sure you're not expecting that. I'm mostly glad to hear you have a support system in place." She picks up the mug by the handle and takes a sip. "So, tell me, what do you like about coffee or tea?"

"Everything?" slips out before Sarah can stop it. "Sorry, I can do better than that. I have a few jars of Vietnamese coffee in my fridge at home, and I prefer tea at night. Usually decaf, or some kind of sleepy time tea. They can be really great to paint with, especially coffee."

"You paint? Interesting. We can talk later about that. Believe me, we will get back to it because it sounds very nice. Instead, I have a more job pertinent question to ask." Melinda's tone edges toward formal for the first time since they started talking. "Obviously this is a customer service job and we cater to pretty much anyone who comes in here, providing they don't stir up problems. This day and age is a little rife with difficulties regarding strong feelings toward one people group or another. What I need to know is, are you going to treat everyone equally, coworkers and customers alike?

"I obviously can't ask about your political affiliations or tendencies in a job interview, but I have to ensure that our workplace but respects equal opportunity employment and provides a pleasant atmosphere for anyone who walks in the door, regardless of age, gender, skin color, mutation, political leanings, or celebrity status." She pauses when she finishes and smiles softly at the applicant. "What does that look like to you?"

"I believe that you have to put Good out into the universe if you want to get any back," Sarah answers seriously. "I also don't have problems with any subset of people. I like that you ask that, too. It lets me know that wanting to work here is a good choice." She smiles back. "It looks like a Good Place to work, as long as someone tall is around to help me reach some things."

"Most people have biases, whether they are unconscious to it or if they are aware. It... sounds a bit like you havent had a lot of experience with the sheer diversity that New York City provides, but your mindset is in the right place." Mel smiles, glancing down at the application once more. "Providing there are no surprises on a cursory background check, you're basically hired. How about I give you a call in a few days to follow up and set a start time?"

With Mel's first statement, Sarah can't help but remember watching Dusk climb through his apartment window, giant wings painted like the bisexual flag. No point in bringing that up, though. In fact the next thing that Mel says has her forgetting all about it. "That sounds great!" She perks up in her chair with a smile that could help power the city. "Really great. Thank you so much!"

"You're welcome, but... Be on time, serve people with a smile, and be kind to your coworkers -- that's all the thanks I need." Melinda gets to her feet and steps around the desk to show Sarah the way out. "Let's get you something to drink on your way out, okay?"