Editor’s Page – October 2016

Editor’s Page

By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez

Ah, Persistence!

lincoln shadow 

 

Setting: A prestigious employment agency in Washington, D.C. Time: Sometime late in 1858. As scene opens, a tall, solemn-looking MAN enters and walks stiffly toward a RECEPTIONIST. His gaunt features and melancholy-looking eyes immediately make her wary.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Our deliveries are made down the hall.

 

MAN: No, I’m… I’m looking for a job.

 

RECEPTIONIST: (with jaundiced eye) Well, I doubt that we have anything for someone of your …type. But you may fill out our stan­dard application form… it’s probably a waste of both your time, as well as mine.

The MAN takes a paper from his long black coat and hands it to her. She looks as if she’d half-expected him to draw forth a pistol.

 

MAN: I’ve brought along my resumé. Thought it might save some of that precious time.

The woman reluctantly takes the resume. An awkward silence.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Not much of a conversationalist, are you?

 

MAN: (a gentle smile) Depends on with whom I’m conversing.

 

RECEPTIONIST: (glancing at resume) Not much of a record, either…let’s see (reading from paper) 1831Failed in busi­ness… 1832Defeated for the State Legislature…1833 Failed in business. Again 1834Elected to State Legislature. 1835Sweetheart died… 1836—Suffered nervous breakdown. Well! If nothing else, you’re certainly honest!

 

MAN: (a glint of pride) Yes, I’ve been called that.

 

RECEPTIONIST:   (reading on)   1838—Defeated for Speaker…1843Defeated for Land Officer…and defeated for Con­gress..,1846Elected to Congress…1848Defeated for re-elec­tion…1855Defeated for Senate…1856Defeated for Vice-Presi­dent…1858Defeated again for Senate…(slightly stunned) Gosh, Mister, you’ve certainly had more than your share of ups and downs!

 

MAN: (quietly chuckling) That’s a fair assessment, yes.

 

RECEPTIONIST: But I just don’t think we have anything in the office at the present time that you’d be right for…but if I may make a suggestion?

 

MAN: I’d be most grateful, ma’am. I obviously could use a little help.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Well, why don’t you try running for president? Seems like you’ve tried everything else!

The MAN smiles and backs toward the door.

 

MAN: Funny you should say that, ma’am. I’ve had the same thought myself.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Oh, better get your name, just to have it on file.

 

MAN: (pausing at door) Name’s there on the resume. And thank you for the kind advice.

The man quietly exits. The woman ponders for a moment, shakes her head, then drops the resume into a waste-basket and goes on with her work.

The End (or maybe the Beginning)

 

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