“Hi. Yes, I’m Jackeline Cooper, here to interview for the opening. What a pretty building! I’m so excited at the chance of working with ePETRO.”
Laurie grinned back and replied, “That’s a great start.” She then turned slightly to her right and indicated, “This way. We’re going to talk in the conference room at the end of the hall.”
The room contained no windows into the hallway, but there was one that was positioned to look onto other buildings in the district. With the fog thickening outside, it provided almost no view. Laurie indicated she should take the seat to the left of the head of the table so they would be cornered to each other. The room was very quiet and the lighting was good. One side had a wall of white board, but no markers were visible.
After they were both seated, Laurie structured the conversation to verify Jackeline’s qualifications and asked strong clarifying questions. JAC seemed visibly comfortable with the questions and answered simply but succinctly. JAC then asked about growth potential in the future and specific learning she might do over time. They were nearing the end of the scheduled hour when she asked what Laurie thought of the company.
Laurie replied, “I have not been here all that long, but I find the people nice and the work interesting. The benefits are good for this city which are important to me. There is even a profit sharing plan employees can participate in as an incentive to contribute to the profitability of the company. It works well for my situation. I take care of my mum mostly on weekends, and return usually on Sunday, like I did yesterday. The pay and having her as a part of my benefits really helps when I need to care for her. One of the reasons we have this position open is to help build some backup for some of my duties. Most of the roles in the organization have a bit of overlap just for that purpose. I am hoping the person who fills this role might learn enough to be able to fill in for me when I have to be gone.”
JAC smiled and quickly interjected, “I can learn quickly. One of the best ways to do that is to almost become someone’s shadow for a few days. Would that be agreeable?” Laurie said, “I think that will work, except for the areas where I have security clearance. It will take a few months before you will gain that status.”
JAC beamed and flashed her friendly smile of encouragement. “I totally understand and will work toward that. What’s the next step in this process? I would like to start as quickly as possible.”
Laurie answered, “We do have some formalities including reference checks and criminal background reviews. But that is not kicked off until an offer is made. You know, privacy and all. Plus, I want to have you meet my boss.” Then scooting forward as if they were nearing status of best buddies, she quietly added, “Honestly, if he has no objections, I would like to make you an offer today. Wait here and let me go speak with him.”
After Laurie left, JAC schooled her face into a very pleasant expression with only a hint of a smile. Slowly she looked around the room like someone interested in the pictures on the walls, plants which appeared to be silk, and finally spotted the camera. The recording mike had to be close, but it was not easily spotted. When she’d entered the building, the security was evident, but at the elevator it was more subtle. This, she decided, was the floor where visitors and customers came to talk and be observed.
It was extremely likely that she was being observed even now. Her hands rested comfortably in her lap with no fidgeting. She wouldn’t grab her purse for a phone or makeup, like many people alone tended to do. The need to fill in time with random activities was a bad habit for many people, and one she did not intend to convey. As she continued the mental countdown to the ten minute mark, she detected movement on the door handle.
Laurie entered with a smile. “Mr. Patrick says he has a few minutes to speak with you. You may leave your things here, and I will bring you back when you are done. I set you up in the best light, Jackeline, so just keep up what you are doing and don’t be nervous. He is gruff, but he is fair.”
They walked a short way back down the hallway toward the elevators and stopped at a door. Laurie knocked. “Come in.” the male voice announced.
Laurie ushered them inside a very expansive office. Definitely one a boss would have. Big desk, executive leather chair, papers stacked haphazardly, a large computer screen, several monitors against the wall providing views into other markets, JAC guessed. The man stood and walked around the desk to shake her hand.
JAC fought the urge to say, ‘Wow, Petra said you looked like a pear and she was right.’ She flashed her very best smile as she extended her hand and said, “Very nice to meet you, Mr. Patrick. Laurie said you ran a very tight ship at this highly regarded company.”
Mike gave this female an assessing look. Professional attire, hair in place, limited makeup, no sex play, and an engaging smile. He thought she might work well with some of their visiting clients.
“Nice to meet you, Miss Cooper. Have a seat.” He indicated a chair by a small table away from his desk and closer to the windows. He turned to Laurie and said, “Thank you, Laurie. That will be all for now. While I speak with Miss Cooper, I need to have you make certain Dabir is comfortable with the mailing process. I will ring you when we finish.”
Laurie smiled as she exited to Mike’s words. “Please, Miss Cooper, what do you know about ePETRO and how can you contribute?”
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