The morning sun glared into the windshield of his F-150 Platinum. He sat in the Merrill Lynch parking lot and gave himself a minute to let the large cold brew he pounded on the drive work its magic. Not only was it earlier than he was used to being awake, but he had indulged in a few too many Jack & Coke’s last night at the hands of Forrest and Kyle in celebration of his potential new gig.
His hangover shakes were swiftly replaced with caffeine jitters as he looked down at his Apple Watch. He checked his reflection in his rear view mirror and silently congratulated himself for managing to shave this morning.
Entering through giant glass doors, he approached the reception desk where a young woman looked up from her computer screen. What a fucking smoke, he thought to himself. I love my job already. “Good morning…” he paused to look at the nameplate on the front of the desk “…Courtney. I’m here for an eleven o’clock with Scott McLean.”
“Okay, great. Go ahead and have a seat, and I’ll let him know you’re here.”
“Appreciate it,” he said, his smiling gaze lingering slightly longer than normal.
He sat down in a cushioned armchair with his right ankle resting on his left knee. He scrolled through Instagram, instinctively double-tapping photos from the numerous models he followed, until he heard a voice from down the hall coming into clarity. A lanky, balding man in his late twenties emerged from the double doors. Look at this fucking nerd, he silently mused. This was going to be so easy, he was beginning to get bored.
“You must be Scott,” he said confidently, reaching out to shake the man’s hand.
“I’m Jake,” the young man corrected him, while still accepting the handshake. “Scott sent me out to come get you. Right this way.”
Following Jake down a modest hallway to a series of offices, he felt the need to make conversation. “So, do you guys, like, have a Christmas party or whatever?” He asked, keeping in mind the smokeshow at the front desk and hoping there was more where that came from.
“Uhh yeah. We rent out a big room at DeFranco’s and have a nice dinner and a gift exchange.”
“Open bar, right?” He half-joked.
“Well, there’s wine,” Jake replied, confused at the half-assed attempt at humor. “Here we are. This is Scott.”
A man in his forties stood up behind a large wooden desk and offered a subdued, professional smile. He approached the desk to give Scott a handshake far beyond an appropriate level of firmness.
“Good to finally meet you. I’ve heard great things,” Scott began. “Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself.”
He unbuttoned his blazer and leaned back in the leather chair. “Yeah, so like, I know I majored in business but investment banking is my real passion.”
Scott hesitated, allowing him to elaborate, but he did not. “Okay. And what aspects of investment banking are you most interested in?”
“I just, I really like…” he stammered. “…I really like helping people, you know?”
Scott, growing pessimistic, decided to change the subject. He looked down and shuffled through some papers. “Great. What would you say is your biggest weakness?”
He perked up at the opportunity to answer the only question for which he was prepared. “I definitely care way too much. Sometimes I lose track of time and will stay at the office until 8 p.m. without even noticing.”
Scott was finding it more and more difficult to hide his skepticism of the young man’s projected enthusiasm. “Okay, great. So, you’re applying for an account management position, which means you’d be doing a lot of investor-facing work. In what capacities do you have experience working directly with clients or customers and how comfortable are–”
Scott paused. A faint sound that had begun to distract him grew louder and louder until it became clear: I been gettin’ dirty money, Jordan Bel-foooort…
His hand flew to his pocket and pulled his phone out, his ringtone now filling the large room with sound. Just as the line “I’m-a fuck yo bitch; call me Houdini” blared out from the tinny speaker, he clumsily found the volume toggle and silenced his phone.
“Sorry, man,” he said, “that must’ve been the place I interviewed at yesterday.”
Scott, staring wide-eyed from behind the desk, said “Your client-facing experience?”
“Oh, yeah. Well, I was social chair for my fraternity in college, so I did a lot of stuff involving, like, keeping people happy and stuff.”
Again, Scott paused to give him a chance to elaborate, but once it was clear he had finished his thought, Scott stood up.
“Great. Well, thank you for stopping by. We’ll be in touch.”
The men shook hands once more and parted ways. As he turned out of Scott’s doorway and headed down the hall, he heard a phone ring behind him.
“Scott McLean,” a voice coming from behind answered, “Yes sir, I just spoke with him.”
The afternoon gave way to poolside beers once again as he recapped his interview with the boys. “I think it went alright. My fucking phone went off in the middle of it though.”
“That’s good, dude, it makes it look like you’re in demand.” Logan quipped.
“Do you think I’m fucking stupid? That’s what I said.”
At that moment, his phone buzzed and he looked down to see an email. It was from Scott.
He lifted his sunglasses to read the first two lines, looked up with a grin, and slurred, “Your boy is employed as fuuuuuck!”.
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