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We Play The Game – 05 – So old-fashioned

Tina pocketed the card, finished off her 7UP, then got up and tossed the remains of her lunch into the nearest food court bin.

She wandered around the mall for a while, thinking of things that she could buy with all that her new paycheck could provide, or perhaps, what she could pay off. Thirty dollars an hour! That was as much as her friend Jason made at the non-profit he worked for.

She was sure she might even be feeling overjoyed, but wasn’t completely sure, given how little attention she’d been paying to her positive emotions these days. The feeling did last, though, so after an hour or so, she was sure how she was feeling.

But she didn’t go so far as to pick out something nice and put it on her card yet. No, her mom’s voice interrupted. Not until you’ve got at least a week’s wages in your account.

It was nearly four by the time she got home to the apartment she shared with her best friend from university. Claire wasn’t home from her job downtown yet, and wouldn’t be for at least another couple hours or more if there was a deadline, so she was forced to announce her good luck in two less than personal ways. On the phone, Instagram and Twitter to her collection of kind of virtual friends and cuddles and noogies for Trouble.

Trouble, of course, was less interested in her latest good fortune at gainful employment than getting out running for the door as soon as she opened it, slipping out onto the third floor landing of the old house and down the stairs. He knew where outside was, and she had to chase him down to the front door, two flights down. Him getting out – that couldn’t happen, given the traffic around the place, and the fact he wasn’t listed for the city cat tax, plus. Besides, he was like Jeckel and Hyde where it came to getting outside. Not even winter would stop him from staying outside, hanging with the raccoons until he was literally starving. Inside, however, he was adorable and even over affectionate and shed literally it seemed about one whole cat every couple of months.

Yeah, she vacuumed a lot.

Claire, however, did come home in time for dinner to offers some in person high-fiving, wine and plans to go out to celebrate the month anniversary of the new job Friday night. Yeah, they’d celebrated prematurely before, but why not? Now it was the two direct deposits, paid rent rule, fast and hard. That brought her back to reality.

But, Monday came around quickly, and it was off to work, crammed in with the city’s working multitude, at least half the way there. Once you pass Bloor-Yonge the trains really emptied out and there was room to actually breath.

Devon Olafson’s office was located in a strip mall, a ten minute walk from Kennedy station. Tina was early, so it wasn’t hot yet, but she prayed that his office would be air-conditioned since she’d dressed for the office and not for summer comfort, at least until she figured out how casual her new boss liked things. She hoped given the slight discomfort he wore with that suit on that jeans and a t-shirt would be OK, at least some of the time. August in Toronto could be brutal, and it was supposed to get up to thirty degrees and the humidex, well, let’s not talk about how high that was going to get.

As it turned out, the office wasn’t quite as classy as she’d imagined, based on the card. It was cramped, its two small rooms crammed full with filing cabinets with barely room for a pair of desks, one for her in the outer room, and one for him inside his own office. Happily her desk didn’t look like a reception desk. But, thankfully, there was air-conditioning, if a little noisy.

“What’s in all these? she asked after greeting her new boss over the cup coffee he’s passed her.

He put his a finger to his lips.

“First we have some papers for you to sign,” he told her.

And there were a few. More than a few. Her pen just about gave out as she signed the last one. Totally nuts here about NDAs, but really, what did she care about what was in filing cabinets?

When she finished Tina asked jokingly, “Now do i prick my finger and sign the last in blood?”

“No, of course not,” he replied, sounding shocked. She swore she heard him mumble under his breath a moment later while he filed her papers, “Nobody does that anymore.”

Go to Chapter Four

Go to Chapter Six