Thursday, August 5, 2010

Jobless in Seattle

The first paragraph is a writing prompt from Ann Linquist, my Beginning Writers Workshop instructor.  We were asked to complete the story. (Thank you for the title idea, Walk.)

The dratted bag was heavy. Her arm ached. Gretta saw a locker and decided it was worth the 2 bucks to store her burden. She could pick it up later when it was time to meet Mr. Stanley. For now, she needed to take a break and time to think about whether she wanted to continue with the plan.

Sitting at the train station in Seattle was not where she thought she would be after college graduation. But here she was, traveling with a back pack and her portfolio, to the big city to interview with Mr. Stanley for a job. Seattle seemed too big, too fast paced and too scary to her. She was more comfortable in her small home town. Did she really want to move so far away from home?

When she began her studies in Visual Communication, it was the up and coming design career path. She was smart, talented and at the top of her small graduating class. But it was 2010, and there were no jobs for college graduates. “No jobs for just about anyone, for that matter,” she muttered to herself. Her hometown definitely had no prospects. She had sent her resume to major companies with job openings in all the big west coast cities. And now she was here in Seattle.

Her portfolio was her pride and joy. All of her projects were showcased there. It was not only the weight of the portfolio, but the weight of her future that caused her to stash it in the locker. It was too heavy to carry for now.

She looked at her watch; 8AM. She was six hours early. She had planned to arrive early to wander around the wharf and people watch for awhile before she got ready for her interview.

Mr. Stanley himself had called to set up this interview. “I was impressed with your resume and college activities. I would like to review your portfolio with you next Wednesday at 2PM. We have a new position that might be suited for your skills and a mentor who would help you grow in this new area.”

Wow, she thought. Me, in a big city, with a big job. How cool was that! But, was she ready? With no friends or family close by, she would be on her own. That wasn’t the plan she had in mind. But she needed a job.

Out of the corner of her eye she watched an awesomely good looking young man with dark hair and gorgeous dimples walk out the door of the station. He had been seated in the same car with her and she had caught him looking at her a number of times. They had made their way to the canteen car for coffee at the same time, but had only exchanged a brief greeting. She felt her heart jump wildly in her chest when he had said hi to her, but he had quickly returned to his seat and his computer.

She took a city walking map from the kiosk and made her morning plans. She would walk to the Pike Street Market; it didn’t look too far from the station. She wanted to see the famous fish throwers and have something to eat at one of the waterfront cafés before her 2:00 PM meeting with Mr. Stanley.

As she wandered the waterfront she tried to imagine herself living in Seattle. She would take one step at time. The first step was a job and it was time to return to the train station, retrieve her portfolio, and change into her interview clothes.

At 1:50PM she presented herself to the receptionist at Mr. Stanley’s office. At 2:00PM, she was escorted into a meeting room with a large round oak table. She was studying the room and the paintings on the walls when a well dressed older gentleman entered. He extended his hand as he said, “I’m Gordon Stanley, Miss Matthews. I’m delighted to make your acquaintance.” He sat down and continued, “My son will join us momentarily. He is the one with the idea for this new department and will be guiding its development. I would like him to explain the details to you.”

She removed her portfolio from its case and as she placed it on the table, the door opened. “It’s you,” they said in unison. The handsome young man she had traveled with on the train sat down at the table and leaned toward her, grasping her hand.


  1. I'm glad you posted your story here. I liked it on Ann's site and appreciated reading it again here.

  2. Thanks Ladies! I enjoyed writing this one as it is loosly based on my niece who just graduated in visual communications and is job searching in Seattle and Portland - so far with no luck. It is my wish for her!

  3. Nice! A new career and romance in the air for Gretta, how exciting.

    ...and in real life, I hope your niece gets her dream job!

  4. You have my attention!