The New Girl by Fred Osuna

She’s new, with the enthusiasm of a new person. And everyone wants the new girl, at least they do at first.

It takes thirteen even sweeps to clear all the hair from beneath her chair. She’s averaged it. It’s sometimes as few as six. She has a lot of time to figure that out now, but most days there’s very little hair. That hippie dude she gave a buzz cut to? His hair was everywhere. That was a good 27 sweeps.

The hippie dude came back in this week. He asked for Madeleine. The new girl stood alone at her station watching them, and she knew they were talking about her. I mean, at one point they both turned in her direction and the former hippie dude said her name. “The new girl,” he said. She smiled at them and they turned away and kept talking.

She’s gonna get a new job. She’ll be the best at it. She’ll be the only one at the drive-thru that says “please,” “thank you” and “ma’am.” She’ll get promoted to assistant manager, you just wait and see.

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9 Comments

Filed under Fred Osuna

9 responses to “The New Girl by Fred Osuna

  1. There is an irresistible poignancy to this story. I love what you did with the “sweeps” of hair, the counting

  2. Al McDermid

    Some people just can’t cut hair. I liked the focus on the seemingly irrelevant detail of the number of sweeps, but her response is the best.

  3. So very realistic and honest. I love the implied interaction of the characters that presents a strong image. Nice.

  4. The sweeping was a nice touch, and I love her solution in the end.

  5. guy

    Great stuff, as usual. I like the almost-pathetic, certain-to-be-crushed optimism of the new girl.

  6. Thanks, all of you, for the generous commentary. I’m very glad that most of you responded to the “sweeping” device – among other things, I thought it helped to add a visual sense to that workplace.

  7. I also loved the counts of sweeps. Unusual way to track the job. Peace…

  8. there’s a lot of the ‘unsaid’ in this piece, really enjoyed it. felt that life was sweeping on around it all the while…

  9. Pingback: Week #26 – bad haircut « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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