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Making Ends Meet part 2
A change of plan
A good heap of replies to his ad had Colin busy for a couple of hours sifting them into four piles; no chance, last resort, ok and spot on. The piles decreased in height from left to right, and having been on the receiving end of rejections enough times himself, was determined to do the job properly. So starting with the 'no chance' pile he filled in names by hand on the rejection letters.
Two hours later he got to the 'spot on' heap, well that was overstating it somewhat; there were only five in that category. The four girls and one lad were soon booked for interviews over the next couple of days, being thorough Colin even posted confirmation of these.
The lad had been a waste of time, capable but a waster, strike one. Next was the blonde, Cheryl. If the job was to be awarded on looks she would have it but after all he really did want a housekeeper that would keep house. Jenny was next, a nice girl studying for an education degree, but a bit overpowering. The history student, Sarah, was pretty quiet and perhaps a bit insecure but she was quite affable. Last one through the mill was Amanda, whose qualifications seemed ideal; summers spent working at her aunt's small hotel.
Looked like Amanda would be his new housekeeper then.
The phone call was quite unexpected.
'Hello Sarah, this is Colin Humphries'
Thrown slightly she replied whilst trying to connect the name.
'Colin, the job at the house' he prompted
'Oh sorry Mr Humphries, how can I help'
'Are you still looking for a job?'
'Er yes, I'm not having much luck'
'Well that's just changed, do you want the job?'
She didn't need any prompting this time
'Ok then, meet me at O'Callaghans at seven and we'll sort out the paperwork over dinner'
'Could you make that eight, I've got a late lecture'
'Ok eight it is, and bring an appetite'
Amanda had dipped out before she was offered the post, having moved in with her boyfriend. He'd missed that one, but you live and learn.
O'Callaghans was one of the quieter Irish pubs in town but for Colin the best for food. He arrived early enough to check through all the paperwork with a pint before Sarah arrived out of breath and a few minutes late.
'Just a coke please'
'Coke it is then'
Her new employer fetched the drink; she was a bit uncomfortable with that but what the hell.
'Food takes forever in here so we order first then we'll get the papers sorted while we wait ok'
He passed her a menu, but previous visits meant her choice was already made, Spammy Dumplings. Well a girl had to have some vices and that was hers. Soup with Spammy Dumplings got her every time.
'Ready to order'
She jolted back to the present
'Er yes, the Dumplings please'
'Ah, I see you've been here before, one of my favourites too but I fancy the Cheddar Chicken tonight,' he rose from his spindle back ' back in a mo' and he was off to the bar.
He returned with fresh drinks and a bowl of fresh rolls and bread.
' Ok then, foods about 45 minutes so we should get the business stuff finished before we eat'
He produced a daunting pile of paperwork and started passing them to her. Student work permit, bank details for her wages, contract.
She filled the forms in as instructed but he insisted that she read the contract before signing it. Job description, hours, rates of pay, duties - it was thorough she had to admit. She read it like she would a text book, take in the gist without reading every word. So she caught the bit about uniform supplied then skimmed the next couple of paragraphs as they were on the same subject before clicking onto 'holidays' and so on.
She really should have read the small print.
'Great, dinner is served'
She signed the contracts with the Spammy Dumplings steaming in front of her.
Colin dropped her off at her flat, promising to send a van round to pick her stuff up on Saturday. She sank onto the sofa and grinned at the piece of paper in her hand, 'yes' she punched the air. A job that covered her expenses and more, for as long as she wanted it, Colin had said, well it at least meant financial security for the rest of her course. The work was not going to be too hard, the main cleaning was done by a women who lived just down the road aways, once a week so it was mostly tidying, a bit of cooking and general housekeeping stuff which she could organise around her degree work.
It seemed a bit weak but she was sort of looking forward to living at the Victorian mansion.
Maddy Bell 12.03.01
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