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The Big Day

“Wow! Congratulations! You’re all grown up now…” the auntie replied as she patted me on the back.

“You should save the congratulations for when I get the job,” I said as I began looking around the store.

After trying on a couple of options that the shop owner recommended, I decided on a matching set of black suit and skirt and a simple white shirt. I quickly paid and thanked the auntie before heading straight for home. The written exam was in two days so between now and then, I must study for it as much as possible.

...

The night before the test and interview, my mother and I kneeled in front of my father’s photograph as we prayed for luck and success. My father died from illness when I was very young. To be honest, I didn’t remember him very well. Any memories that I had of him were blurry at best, but I could sense that he must have been a good and kind man.

I got to know my father based on my mother’s words. She always had so many wonderful things to say about him like how he was a very responsible man who really loved and worked hard for his family. She would praise him for always putting us first.

Dad…please keep on watching over us from above. Please do your best not to worry, mum and I are doing well. We’re both doing our best to be happy. I’ve always worked hard and will continue to work hard to protect my mother. Tomorrow is a big day indeed, so…please wish me luck.

I prayed silently as I kneeled next to my mother with closed eyes. My mother said her prayers silently as well. When we were both done, we smiled at each other. For once in quite a while, our eyes were filled with hope for the future.

If I get the job, I will have to move to live in the city. That would mean leaving my mother behind in this town but hopefully, with the money that I will earn, I can give her a better life. My mother is getting older, and it shows in her ever-increasing backaches and lower stamina, although she tries her best to hide it. I wish that I could work and send her back enough money so that she could finally retire or take on fewer or less intense work.

That night, after making some last-minute preparations, I went to bed early. Tomorrow, I had to catch the train super early to head into the city where I will take my first written test and then if I pass that, I’ll have the interview in the afternoon.

I squeezed my eyes tight as I laid on my bed. Tomorrow, will be my day…

Finally…I have arrived at what hopefully would be my future workplace!

I stood in front of a beautifully decorated landscape with trees, bushes, flowers, and a very large water fountain. Beyond this was one of the tallest skyscrapers in the city, the headquarters of Jessen & Hills. This place is the dream workplace for countless souls of my generation that have been captured by the art of advertising and film production.

I bit my lip with a mix of nervousness and excitement as I looked up at the shiny skyscraper looming over me. The building was made almost entirely of shiny silver glass that reflected the light, making the building seemed like a shiny diamond twinkling in the sunlight.

Everyone who walked by were dressed in smart-looking suit. Everyone looked so well-accomplished and qualified. Everyone looked like they belonged here. I looked around until I found a small bench where I hurriedly sat down. I was already dressed in my suit, but I haven’t worn the proper shoes that auntie had lent to me yet. Since I wasn’t used to wearing shoes like these and they were a little on the small side, I had decided to change into them right before entering the building.

I took off my shoes and slipped on the leather shoes. It hurts a little when I walk but I should be able to manage for the day. I breathed in deeply as I headed for the entrance of the building.

Here I come…

The written interview was conducted in a very large auditorium and the tension in the air was suffocating. I knew that this job application was competitive, but I never thought that there would be this many people here. I slapped the sides of my cheek softly to bring my brain into focus.

I spent the entire morning completing the written test along with the other candidates, silently in the auditorium. Then came lunch break where we were provided with box lunches. I was too stressed and on edge that I couldn’t taste the food at all as I quickly gulped it down. Next was the interview in the afternoon.

“Sir, with all due respect, there is no need for someone like yourself to join in the interview of new recruits. I could understand if you wanted to interview executive-level applicants but…we’re talking about fresh graduates here…” an old man said with a shaky voice.

“Is that all you’ve got to say?” another man spoke through the phone, his voice was cold.

“Umm…yes, Sir,” the old man replied in fear.

“Good. Then noted but my decision stands. I want to participate in some interviews for the fresh graduates,” the other man spoke as he smiled on the other end of the line.

“Sir, the interviews are already going to start this afternoon…” the old man said hesitantly. How was he supposed to move all hundreds of interviews? It would be such a disaster…

“Then move it to tomorrow afternoon instead. You can do that much, right?” the younger man said with a clear challenge in his voice.

“Yes…Sir,” the old man was forced to reply. If he couldn’t do ‘that much’ his job would be at risk for sure…

“You’re probably wondering why I’m doing this. Well, since I’ll be taking over the company soon, I want to experience firsthand how our company is viewed by the newer generation. After all, they hold the key to our successful future in their hands,” the younger man said matter-of-factly.

“Yes…Sir. Very well, Sir…” the old man replied in resignation.

“Good. Good luck,” the other man said emotionlessly before killing the line.

--To be continued…

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