Stopping momentarily on her doorstep to readjust her headscarf, she
stepped out flushed. She was eager to give the right impression at the
In her anxiety, she hadn’t noticed it had been drizzling. Now, it
poured. Her headscarf, jacket and ankle-length dress soaked up the
water. She couldn’t afford an umbrella.
The streets were throbbing with shoppers searching for late presents.
She felt more determined than ever to get to her appointment on time.
Walking close to the curb in order to overtake pedestrians, splashed
by passing cars, she kept going over the job advert:
“A professional and enthusiastic Receptionist needed for a busy front
of house reception role in a prestigious international firm.”
It had ticked all the right boxes for her. An “international” firm
would be bound to be interested in and respect international
employees. She had all the “enthusiasm” one could possibly have.
Having searched for employment for a year now – hers was enthusiasm
fuelled by despair. As for “professional,” her Masters – from a
university in her home country – was surely more than other candidates
However, at the company’s steel-and-glass headquarters, the doorman,
having checked her name, and stared at her shivering in drenched
clothes, denied her entrance to the building. “The wrong dress code,
and in such a mess,” he said shaking his head. Then he looked away.
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