The Job Interview

Asian

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is very much a sequel to Closer to God, read that story first for referenced context.

The dinner table was oddly silent. While everyone else in the restaurant quietly conversed among the people at their tables, Lily and her parents merely glanced at each other from time to time. Her mother offered her soft, caring glances to counteract her father’s more stern and irritated ones. And no one said a word. All because of her father’s little lecture in the car on the way to the restaurant.

The animosity all started a few months back when she first turned eighteen. Leading up to it, her parents began pressuring her to get a job; not that it was a bad thing, just that they seemed a bit more pushy about it than they needed to, especially when coupled with their high performance expectations while she was at school.

“Your father and I really think it’s time for you to get a job,” she remembered her mom saying.

“You’re almost eighteen, you need to start getting used to adult responsibilities,” her dad chimed in, a little less polite about it than her mom.

“I know, it’s just, with school…”

“It can be done,” her father added, “I did it, your mom did it, and we even had to work more hours than you would.”

“We’re not asking you to work tons of hours, Lily, we’re just asking you to get something part time.”

It wasn’t like Lily had been fighting against it or anything, sure, she was going about it a bit slower than her parents (particularly her dad) would have liked, but she was at least applying. The big problem was that she wasn’t getting any responses back from the places she had applied. It was a slow process of looking for work and hearing nothing in return, and it finally culminated in the car on the way to dinner.

“I told you, I’m looking,” Lily said.

“Obviously not hard enough,” her father said.

“What do you want me to do? Everywhere I apply wants some kind of ‘work experience’ or ‘professional references’. How am I supposed to get hired anywhere when they all want some kind of experience that I don’t have?

“Come on, Lily, there are plenty of places that would hire a high school kid right off the street. Did you try the White Castle down the road? Or the Taco Bell? I’m sure the restaurant is hiring waitresses?”

“So I can walk around getting hit on by creepy old guys…?”

“Tough luck, Lily, we all have to do it some time. Your mom started out as a hostess, I started out flipping burgers; your not above any of that.”

“I’m pretty sure they don’t flip burgers anymore,” Lily muttered, “just flash cook them in a speed oven-“

“No, this is where you don’t talk back, Lily!” her dad yelled. “Look a little harder and maybe you can find a job before you graduate, because you better have one by then.”

No one had spoken much since. Only to the waitress to order their food and to the hostess to get seated.

“How’s everything tasting?” The waitress asked as she walked by.

“Good,” her mom answered, “thank you.”

The waitress refilled her father’s water glass and continued on her rounds. Lily watched her as she tended to the other tables. “hey, babe, can I get a refill please?” one of the other patrons asked. He looked to be in his late 50s, the way he just raised is glass at her, the ‘babe’ comment, just rude; exactly the reason she didn’t want that kind of work.

“May I be excused?” Lily asked, breaking the silence, “I need to use the restroom.” Her father gave her a half-hearted nod and she left her seat and headed to the back of the dining room.

Upon exiting the bathroom, she glanced at a bulletin board she didn’t originally notice on her way in. As expected, there were ads for a multitude of random crap; a band playing a gig at a local bar, “for a good time, call…”, Ecstacy Massage Experience, “Worthington High School Theater presents…” Lily was about to walk away when a slightly hidden flyer caught her eye. She noticed the words, “walk-in interviews” and decided to look deeper into it; if she was able to snag a job based on a walk-in interview, she would finally be free of her parents’ constant nagging. The interview was for a place called Aphrodite’s Gifts and Wears. It was a store she had never been to, but vaguely remembered her friend Stella mentioning once or twice in the past. Desperate for even a little stroke of luck in her job hunt that didn’t involve working in food service, she made a note of the address and interview times in her phone and went back to her seat at the dinner table.

***

A few days later – the day of the interview – Lily stood in front of her mirror, holding various outfits up to herself, and trying to pick out the best first impression for a job interview. She decided to go with a semi-formal, knee length, blue skirt and a grey sweater. She stuffed a smaller, matching purse with her wallet, her phone, and house key, and proceeded out the door to the wait for the bus, something she despised doing, and was uncomfortable with, but per her dad’s bursa escort orders, was not allowed to borrow the car again for anything until she was employed. So she either went where she needed to riding the bus, or she occasionally got lucky enough to hitch a ride with Stella. After a ten minute wait, the bus arrived, and she searched for a seat among the disheveled riders, creepy old people, and vacant seats that were puke stained or covered in some other unknown, crusted on fluids. Despite encouraging residents to utilize public transit, the city didn’t exactly do much to make the experience look appealing. It was a rather confusing dichotomy, but not one important to her at that moment; her only concern at this point was mentally practicing for her interview and worrying about how presentable she looked.

A seemingly eternal twenty minute ride later, the bus arrived at her stop, and she began her short trek on the downtown sidewalk to the address she noted in her phone. She looked up and down at the buildings until she found the place she was looking for. The address was written in big letters on the dark tinted glass of the door, and she almost missed the smaller than expected sign reading “Aphrodite’s Gifts and Wears.” The bell on the door dinged as she opened it up. The store was definitely bigger on the inside than she expected.

“Hi!” She was greeted by a young woman at the front counter, “how can I help you today?”

“Uh… I saw your flyer about walk-in interviews…” Lily started.

“Oh, of course,” the woman said. “Hey, Todd!” She called out to the back of the store, “can you watch the front, I have an interview. It will be just a moment, hon.”

It was only then that Lily began taking notice of the kind of store she had entered. She noticed the signs high on the walls pointing out different sections of the store; one corner apparently had “luscious lingerie,” a whole wall was dedicated to “dildos and vibes,” in the back of the store was the “Kinky Kloset.” It was absolutely not the kind of store Lily ever had an intention of entering, and definitely, DEFINITELY not the kind of store she would want to work at, let alone have her parents find out she worked at. She could already hear the disdain in their voices; her mom would certainly say “we didn’t pay to send you to Catholic school for 12 years so you could insult God with such filth!”

“Actually…” Lily hesitated, “I don’t think this is the store I was looking for…”

“Oh, sure it is, hon,” the woman said, “I know it’s the kind of thing that can seem intimidating at first, but I promise there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”

“It’s not that, it’s just…”

“At least stay for the interview. We’ve been having trouble getting anyone to apply. You wouldn’t necessarily have to take the job if you didn’t want to, but I think you should give it a shot.”

The clerk, presumably the one who would be doing the interviewing, certainly seemed a bit desperate. Lily wanted nothing more than to walk away right then, but the opportunity kept nagging at her. Working in a sex shop was far from anything she wanted to do, especially for her first job; on top of that, the absolute shit show that would go down at home the second she inevitably would have to tell her parents if she was hired. Nothing about it was in her court at all. On the other hand, employment of any kind would grant her a bit more freedom, even at her parents’ dismay. There was also the flashing mental glimpses of potentially entertaining encounters at such a place. Furthermore, it would just give her bragging rights the next time she would see Stella; she had casually mentioned the shop in the past, and she would certainly shit bricks if her conservative good-girl best friend suddenly got a job there.

“I just…” Temptation finally got the best of her. She turned away from the woman for moment, quickly motioned the sign of the cross to herself and returned her attention to the clerk, “Alright, I’ll do the interview.”

“Great,” the clerk said, “My name is Lexa, I’m basically the hiring manager in charge right now, so I’ll be doing your interview. If you’d like to follow me, we’ll grab a table and get started.” She grabbed a clipboard with some papers off the front counter and ushered Lily out the door. Lily followed her down the sidewalk about a half a block until they got to the outdoor patio of a nearby coffee shop and took a seat under a shaded table. “Does this work okay for you?”

“I guess… sure.”

“I like to do the interviews over here,” Lexa explained, “for obvious reasons, doing them in the store can sometimes be distracting, and you seem nervous enough as is.”

“I appreciate that,” Lily said.

“So, I guess we can start with the basics,” Lexa began, “Name?”

“Lily Thomas.”

“Thank you. Date of birth?”

“May 7th, 2004,” Lily recited.

Lexa and Lily went back and forth for several minutes over the preliminary information before they finally arrived at the meat and potatoes of the bursa escort bayan interview.

“Alright then, time for the more interesting stuff,” Lexa said, “What would make you a good candidate for working in our store?”

“Uh… nothing, probably,” Lily said, “A sex shop isn’t exactly what I had in mind…”

“I think it rarely is for anyone,” Lexa pondered, “But what would make you a good worker here, in terms of customer service?”

“I don’t know… I’m friendly, I guess. I like to make sure things are clean and tidy. I certainly don’t have any drama to bring to the table.”

“That is certainly a selling point,” Lexa said. She jotted down some quick notes and continued.

Several garden variety questions about customer service, making sales, and general employment requirements later, Lexa concluded the interview and hit Lily with a bombshell she was not expecting.

“Alright, well, this was a good interview,” Lexa said, “For someone with no experience and never being interviewed before, I’m impressed.”

“Thanks, I guess,” Lily said.

“I wanna hire you.”

Lily’s skin turned pale, and her eyes grew wide, “Wha… what?” She couldn’t decide if she was, or should be scared, surprised, or excited.

“I want to hire you,” Lexa confirmed, “I think you’d be a good fit here.”

“No… no… this isn’t actually what I planned… I mean…”

“You don’t want the job?”

“It’s not that, I mean… I want the job. I really want the job, I-I need the job. It’s just… If my parents find out about this, if anyone at school finds out, I’m just…”

“I can promise you it won’t be that bad. Just think of it like any other retail job, just customer service.”

“It’s still a sex shop,” Lily said, “I have no experience with any of that, it’s not like I can really help customers with what to by or anything.”

“Honestly, most customers know what they’re looking for when they walk in. Plus, you’d be surprised how much you’d learn on the job. It’s not like you won’t get any training at all.”

“I don’t know…”

“Tell you what,” Lexa reasoned, “Come on in Monday morning, I’ll give you the full tour of the place and some tips and tricks, and you can decide after that if you’re really not comfortable with it.”

Lily took a long pause to think. It wasn’t difficult to see that Lexa was obviously desperate for the help. Maybe it wouldn’t be so intimidating if she did just give it a chance. It’s not like there was any risks involved in the job itself, beyond getting exposed to everything her parents would freak out about. Actually, that really was the only thing stopping her; what her parents would do or say if they found out she was working there. She would have to tell them eventually, and they undoubtedly would want to visit her at work just to embarrass her; maybe working there could deter that. It was doubtful they had ever heard of the store, maybe if she told them where it was, they wouldn’t even know or bother to look for it. It seemed worth the risk either way; her parents never specified what job to get, and they certainly made pretty clear agreements with her about the added and restored freedoms she would have by getting a job, so really, it was getting harder to talk herself out of it.

“I’ll do it,” she said.

“Excellent. Monday morning, 7am. Does that work?”

“Yeah, I can do that.”

“Awesome. I’ll see you then. And… dress comfortably,” she added, “It’s a pretty casual place, so there’s no need to look like an office secretary or anything if you don’t want to.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

Oh God. What had she just done? She was well past the point of no return, and she had no choice but to spend the weekend mentally preparing for what would await her Monday morning. She had already convinced herself after the interview that it was the best course of action, but the fact that it was still a sex shop continued to linger over her head like a social death sentence. She could possibly work at such a place and still go to school where everyone could potentially find out. But would they? Surely no one working or attending a Catholic school would dare walk into such a store, right? Would any other job be causing her this much mental distress? Maybe if she told Stella about it she could get some piece of mind, except that was a horrible idea… Stella probably would know what to say to help her feel better about it, but trusting her with that kind of information was a risk in and of itself.

After a weekend’s worth of worst case scenarios flashing through her head, the day had arrived. She had gotten up extra early to get ready to catch the bus. She stood in front of her closet looking for something to wear for the day. She wanted to be comfortable, like Lexa had suggested, but also didn’t want to look so casual that she looked like a customer either. She settled for a pair of white jeans and a blue, striped polo shirt. She pulled auburn her hair up into a ponytail and scooted out the door.

The escort bursa first thing she noticed when she arrived at the store from the bus stop was that the shop seemed rather dark. It was very dim around the front door when she went for the interview, but it seemed darker this time. She pulled on the door handle, but it didn’t budge. Anxious thoughts of arriving on the wrong day or too early began flooding her mind. If she was early, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, except that she also didn’t want to be standing outside the shop like an idiot… or like customer waiting for it to open. There were no hours posted on the door, so it was hard to tell there too. Lily was just about to pull out her phone and try calling when she heard the door click. It opened up and was relieved to see Lexa, but also even more terrified now that this was to be her first official day.

“Hey, welcome,” Lexa said.

“Hi,” Lily said in a meek voice, “For a minute, I thought I was early or here on the wrong day or something.”

“Not at all. The store doesn’t officially open until noon, but I thought you might feel more at ease if you got familiar with everything before we throw customers into the mix.”

“I guess…”

“Well, follow me and we’ll get started.” Lily followed Lexa to the front counter where the register and computer were, among other things. Lexa went through all the boring, logistical stuff as quickly and as interestingly as she could. She showed Lily how to clock in for a shift, where to find important notes about deliveries or special orders, and went on about breaks and lunches. “And if your really unsure about anything, just leave a note or let myself or Todd and we’ll help you out. It’s a pretty low pressure place here, so don’t ever feel like you need to have all the answers.” Lexa noticed Lily’s intimidated stare at the cash register. “We’ll worry about that later. It’s not nearly as scary as it might look, and it’s also easier to learn when you actually have to use it.”

“If you say so…”

“I do.”

“Okay, I guess. What’s next?”

“Well, you’re definitely new to this kind of place, and you seem to have a fair bit of embarrassment about even being here, so I thought we would take a tour of the store so you can learn a little bit about what we sell and where it is in case anyone needs help finding something.”

“Uh… okay.”

Lexa stepped away from the front counter and began moving to the other side of the store. Lily followed close by. There were large signs above each section of the store that mostly pointed out what was there, but Lily didn’t need the sign for their first stop. In the walls in the corner of the store were lined with several shelves of DVDs, as well as a 3 additional racks in the middle of the floor.

“I take it this is the porn section…?” Lily asked with a little bit of sarcasm.

“Correct. What gave it away?” Lexa asked. Her question was clearly rhetorical, as she didn’t wait for an answer. “So everything on the walls in the corner here are our new and recent releases. Newer releases are at the top, older on the bottom. The right side here is all straight porn, the left side is gay, lez, fetish stuff.”

“Okay…”

“The shelves in the middle here are organized by title,” Lexa continued. She pointed out each row one by one,” These first two are all the basic stuff. This next one is all gay porn. Here is your lesbian stuff. Fetish videos and are not new or recent can be found in the Kinky Kloset section.”

“Got it.”

Lexa led her to the next section of the store. On the opposite wall were several racks of various clothing and lingerie.

“Here we have our various different lingerie and other fun clothing items. The women’s stuff is on these racks on the wall, and these racks in the middle here. The men’s stuff is on this rack here.”

Lily stared intently at a pair of sparkly briefs hanging in the men’s section. “Guys actually… buy this stuff,” she asked.

“You’d be surprised what some guys will do to spice it up in bed,” Lexa explained, “and ladies, for that matter.”

“I suppose…”

“Also, generally we only keep one or two sizes of everything out here, just cuz there’s so much to choose from, but if someone ever does need a specific size that’s not out here, we have all kinds in the back. I’ll show you that a bit later though.”

“Got it.”

When they got to the end of the various racks of lingerie, Lexa directed Lily around a quick corner into a rather deep cutout in the side of the store.

Lily stopped read the sign above, “Kinky Kloset?”

“This is where most of the fun stuff is.” Lexa said. She took Lily though the few aisles of stuff. “This wall has all the toys and stuff; gags, handcuffs, rope, that kind of thing. This one has all the DVDs I mentioned earlier, next to that you can find various types of lingerie that lends itself to the occasion. And over in this last row is the various clothing choices.”

Lily perused the aisles with fluctuating looks of confusion and concern as she studied the different bondage equipment, glanced at the DVDs mostly featuring women tied up, sometimes on what looked like torture rigs, and flipped though the hangers of shiny vinyl and rubber clothing. “Why would any of this be fun?” She asked.

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