Prompt Ninety

Write a scene in which a woman is fired after only a week on the job. Just a week earlier, the same person who is now firing her was very persuasive in convincing her to take the job.

“I’m sorry, what?” 

“Yeah, it’s tough for me to come to terms with, too, but the budget is pretty tight this year and I’m afraid we’re going to have to let you go.”

 Carrie stared in disbelief at her boss who just one week ago had given her the job. She was an award-winning photocopier, a position that was in high demand. Many companies sought her expertise but she chose Toilets ‘R’ Us because Mr. John Lou had given her the best offer: full benefits including dental, one month paid vacation, and a $100,000 sign-on bonus. How could she refuse? But now here she was sitting on the other side of John’s desk, listening to him fire her?

 “I’m sorry, what?” Carrie asked again, knowing exactly what her boss had said.

 “Carrie, Carrie, Carrie…” John said, shaking his head with a sigh. “If I could keep you I would, but you’re at the bottom of the food chain around here so naturally you’re the one to cut.”

 “What happened to being ‘in dire need of someone with [my] skills’? Or that ‘hiring [me] will save Toilets ‘R’ Us from going under’? Or that ‘none of the other employees know what a copy machine looks like’?”

 John waved his hand dismissively. “Tomato, tomato. The company is losing money and hiring one more person will lose us even more money. I’m sorry.”

 Carrie opened her mouth to protest but closed it with a snap. There were plenty of other companies that wanted to hire her; she did not have to continue dealing with John Lou and poor business strategies.

 Standing, Carrie stiffly held out her hand. “Thank you, Mr. Lou, for this opportunity.”

 John smiled and stood as well, taking Carrie’s hand in his. “You will be sorely missed around here, Carrie. I’ve never seen anyone operate a copy machine quite like you.”

 Carrie nodded and returned the smile but it did not reach her eyes. Without a backwards glance she left John Lou’s office, removing her phone from her pocket when it began to buzz. “Carrie Richards speaking.”

 “Ms. Richards, my name is Rose Gold from Gems, Jewels, and Beyond. I was very excited to receive your application and wanted to know if we could set up an interview some time this week.”


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