Posted on October 13, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair10.13.2014 Journal Prompt Image from Mad Men October 13, 2014: It was a real job. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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‘Course it’s a real job, Missy. You just sit there lookin pretty and typin letters or summat and like that you’re the shop window for the business. You’re the first thing people see and the impression you make is important, real important. I reckon as we’ll do just fine with you sittin in our window. I reckon as word’ll spread soon enough and like bees to a honeypot, they’ll be queuin up outside our door and along the whole durned street.
He licked his fingers, like he’d been eating donuts and he was after the last bit of sugar. His name was Jarred, unless there were clients in the office and then he was Mr Brede or sir. He was dressed smart and that’s what I liked about him at first. His suit was razor sharp and he had a handkerchief tucked into his lapel pocket, the folded and pressed flat point of it showing like the sail of a tiny boat. And he was always smiling and showing off this one gold tooth he had.
Jarred – Mr Brede – was filled up with all kinds of respect for me. He wiped the chair with a second handkerchief that he had in his trouser pocket for proper use – he wiped the chair before I sat in it.
Sit down, Missy. Please. Get the feel of the place. See if it fits.
He seemed to care about my feelings and he wanted it all to be right for me. He showed me how to work the intercom and where to plug in the electric typewriter and he went to stand on the other side of the desk to measure how I’d look to people coming in through the door.
Yup, pretty as peaches. And with your hair like that, you could be a movie star. And you certainly know how to dress for impact. You got good shapes to you, Missy. You’re just what the business is lookin for. And if business picks up, like I ‘spect it will, then we’ll both do well out of this arrangement.
And he rubbed his fingers and thumb together, like he was feeling the quality of fine cloth, and he smiled again to show off his one gold tooth.
On that first day he fetched coffee for me and he asked if I was too hot and he offered to open the window to let in air. It was like he was my secretary. He kept coming out of his office just to check I was still there, like he needed reminding of what I looked like. And he kept asking me if everything was ok and if there was anything he could do to make things better for me.
He was there waiting for me at the start of each new day, standing at the front door and holding it open with his foot. He looked me up and down and gave me a nod of approval and the gold-toothed smile. Pretty as peaches, he said everyday day, and he licked his fingers and wiped them dry on his trouser pocket handkerchief.
And business did pick up and the pages in the appointment book filled with names, like Jarred – Mr Bede – expected it would. And I typed letters all day or filed things into drawers or fetched coffee; but mostly, I looked pretty. And the better we did, the more money there was in my hand at the end of a week. Jarred said I should buy myself something pretty to wear with the money. He was non specific at first and I bought dresses and suits and blouses and I thought about how they’d look to him. Come Monday I got to show him what I’d bought and he made me turn around and walk to the door – like I was a model or a movie star. And he clapped his hands together and said I’d knock ‘em dead lookin like that.
But then one Friday it was different and he was counting out dollars into my upheld hand and he said, same as always, that he wanted me to buy something pretty, only this time he said I should buy myself some nice underwear. Something tasteful, and white and with a froth edge of lace, something to show off what I’d got.
I blushed, I think, and I made some remark about him being fresh with me, and he licked his fingers as he was counting out the money, and we laughed, but his laugh was different from my laugh.