In case anyone needs some more stuff to read while hiding away from their family this weekend. XD
Amelia frowned a bit as she processed what she was being told. It was better than the job no longer being available, but also an enormous waste of her time. Though that was being selfish. An emergency is an emergency, and maybe there was a voicemail waiting on her phone or something. “So, what now?” Amelia asked, “How long will Mrs. Thompson be out? Should I call to reschedule?”
“I can take care of that for you.” Ashley clicked a few times and pulled up a screen as Amelia stood awkwardly in the middle of the office. In limbo, as she had originally expected to either be greeted here, or to be sent to the administrator’s office. “How does Friday afternoon work for you? Mrs. Thompson should be back by then.”
“That works.” Amelia knew that for sure, as she wasn’t currently working. She dedicated the few weeks following graduation to looking for jobs, for the express purpose of not having conflicts with interviews. “What time?”
“Hmm, never mind. She only has a 5:30 PM slot that day. Traffic will be horrible. How about Monday morning instead?”
“No, 5:30 is fine.” Amelia quickly said. What if the other slots were other interviewees? It would be better to be seen on Friday, just in case someone else stood out and she didn’t have a fair chance to compete before her interview turned into more of a formality. “Let’s stick with Friday.”
“Yes, Ms. Martin.” Ashley nodded. She finished with the computer, then picked up a small packet of papers from nearby, “If you want to speed things along, you can fill this out and fax it back to the office. Someone will get everything processed before you arrive.”
Amelia finally crossed the second half of the room and took the stapled sheets from Ashley. Just a quick skim caused a bit of confusion, though the girl seated at the desk didn’t look like she was amused or trying to pull some kind of prank. It was a Student Registration form. Like any form, it started out asking for her name and other basic information, but then it went on with sections about high school, middle school, GPA, and more.
“Wrong form, Ashley.” Amelia turned it so the seated girl could see the bold words at the top of the page.
Without missing a beat, Ashley responded. “No, that’s the one we use. Westridge doesn’t hire frequently enough to have a separate form for that. Just cross off ‘Student’ and put ‘Applicant’ at the top or something. And ignore everything asking about your current grade and GPA. Just fill in whatever you can. We obviously don’t need you to attach report cards or transcripts either.”
The immature giggle at the end of Ashley’s explanation put Amelia back at ease, as well as the constant ‘Ms. Martin’ references. Initially, she had expected the blunt girl to be the type to call a prospective teacher by her first name, but apparently that wasn’t the case. And, as she glanced through the packet, it made sense. General information was always important, and letting them know about allergies and such wasn’t a bad idea even as a new hire.
“What about the schools?” Amelia asked, seeing the two big grids with boxes for classes and grades for high school and middle school. She could alway substitute university in one of them, but figured it couldn’t hurt to confirm with the girl who worked at the desk.
“Stick with the form as best as you’re able. Just put the name of your old schools in those boxes, and don’t worry about the classes. College and anything else can go on the back or wherever you can find space. And obviously don’t worry about parent or guardian. Either way, I wouldn’t overthink it. The office can clarify whatever they need to on Friday, but they do prefer having as much history as possible on the form.”
Ashley’s words made sense. Having multiple forms asking for the same information did seem a bit wasteful and unnecessary, and the point she made at the end drove it home. It was Westridge Academy. The kind of school that cared about details; if not between forms, then what was written on those forms. The names of her previous schools would give some insight into where she was raised, which may or may not come up in Friday’s interview. Amelia’s initial doubt was easily washed away.
“Got it,” Amelia said, “Friday, at 5:30 PM?”
“Mm hmm,” Ashley nodded, “I don’t think I’m working then, but someone will be here to greet you.”
“Sounds good.” Amelia didn’t particularly care which student was working the front desk at the time. She was more concerned with the interview itself, and Mrs. Thompson was the one she needed to impress. Not some student handling things in the main office. “Well, have a good week, Ashley. I’m sure I’ll see you around if I get the job.”
“Maybe. Oh, you should fax the form at noon tomorrow,” Ashley said, with a wink, “That’ll put you at the top of the pile.”
Amelia couldn’t help but give a small smile in response. She had definitely misjudged the girl at the desk. The cancelled appointment was still a nuisance and a waste of her time, but perhaps this would all work out for the better. Now she was familiar with the school’s layout, and had a few more days to prepare for potential interview answers, she would hopefully be more at ease when she returned in a few days.
“Thank you, Ashley,” Amelia said, “Anything else I should know?”
“Nope! Good luck on Friday.”
With another ‘thank you,’ Amelia turned and left the office, registration form in hand. Just a few more days, and she’d have her shot at being a student teacher at Westridge. Though this development meant she’d have to miss another day at work, it would all be worth it when she could drop the minimum wage job that was only a placeholder anyway. The money at the prestigious academy was much more alluring, as were the possibilities that came with it.
Lost in thoughts on the way out the office door, Amelia failed to notice the devious smirk on Ashley’s face.
Once again, Ashley was working the front desk. Amelia was surprised, for a number of reasons. Wasn’t the girl a student? And didn’t she say she wasn’t working today? Then again, Amelia had only been here at lunchtime and now 5:30 on a Friday. Neither of those times would conflict with classes, and perhaps Ashley was able to get her studying done during whatever down time she had in the office. As for the latter question, there was no sense dwelling on it. The girl could have easily just mixed up her schedule.
“Hey, Ashley.” Amelia gave her a nod. Realizing a second too late that she probably shouldn’t be so casual with a student that could potentially be in one of her future classes, Amelia corrected herself with a belated, “Perhaps Ms. Martin, next time?” Hopefully it would be as easy as the other day, where Ashley simply adjusted to a more respectful approach. Amelia was fresh out of college, and guessed her first few years as a teacher would be spent demanding respect thanks to both her age and her youthful appearance.
“Ms. Martin,” Ashley said, without hesitation, “If you’re ready, Mrs. Thompson can see you now. All the way down the hall, hang a right, and she’s the last door on the left. Sorry again for the mix-up a few days ago.”
“It’s no problem,” Amelia said, “Did the office get all my information?”
“Probably? I don’t work here every day, so I wasn’t the one who got it. If you want, I can pull up your file?”
“No, it’s fine. I should get to my interview.”
“Good luck! I think you’ll be a great fit here.”
“Thanks, Ashley,” Amelia smiled, “Have a good weekend.”
Amelia had done everything she was told. In the name of being thorough, she filled out every single line on the registration form, complete with the extra information added on the back. If the interview went well, then everything else could be expedited. And, while the cancelled appointment had been a nuisance as she begrudgingly drove back home the other day, maybe it was a blessing in disguise. The extra time allowed her to fine tune her canned interview answers, as walking the confident/arrogant line could be quite difficult when talking about yourself. At this point, Amelia was more sure that she could put a more genuine spin on the ways she was prepared to talk herself up for the position.
The directions were easy enough to follow. The first hall ended in a fork, and the second led to a dead end. Impossible to get lost, and the office on the end was one of the only rooms with a light on. It was late afternoon on a Friday, which made sense that most teachers and administrators were already gone. Maybe this time slot was a mistake after all? Her interviewer might be burnt out after a long day; a long week depending on what the family emergency was. But it was too late to change things now.
Amelia’s knock was met with a muffled “Come in!” through the door.
That was the first description that crossed Amelia’s mind when she laid her eyes on Mrs. Thompson. The brunette woman looked to be around the same age as Amelia herself. She wore a pencil skirt and blouse, and looked more like a teacher than an administrator. Like most women, she was taller and more endowed than the petite interviewee lingering in the doorway. “Amelia Martin?” she asked.
“Yes, ma’am,” Amelia nodded. Inwardly cursing at her southern roots coming out, she took a step into the room. For whatever reason, she had assumed an older woman would be the one interviewing her. It had thrown her enough to steal away whatever greeting she’d normally use.
Gesturing to the chair across the desk, Mrs. Thompson sat back down. “Please, come in. And close the door behind you.”
Amelia did as instructed. She quietly collected herself, once again having the thought that this could be another blessing. A younger woman might be more inclined to hire her, as gaining the trust of someone twice her age would be more difficult in comparison. “How are you doing?” Amelia asked. Small talk first, right? Breaking the ice.
“Doing well, thanks. Please, have a seat.”
The interview was smooth, for the most part.
Amelia had prepared well. After the brief awkwardness that tends to come with not only meeting someone new, but being in an unfamiliar environment, the conversation felt more natural. She touched on her strengths and weaknesses, the easiest question to have prepared answers for. The tricky part was what came next, when she had to explain how her lack of experience might impact her performance at such a prestigious school. Amelia answered as best as she was able, with the logic of how teachers who had been at the job for a while might already be stuck in their ways. She, however, was fresh out of college, and ready to be molded by the academy teachers themselves. The questions bounced back and forth between personal history and different iterations of why she might be a good fit for Westridge. All in all, the interview was a blur, despite how focused Amelia remained.
Mrs. Thompson was impossible to read. The young woman’s face was just friendly enough to not be cold, but otherwise remained neutral as she jotted down a thing or two along the way. By the end, Amelia had absolutely no idea how she stood. While the conversation itself felt natural, there was the self doubt that came with such challenging questions, as well as the knowledge that she was surely up against other candidates. The anticipation was going to be the longest weekend of her life.
“There is one more thing, Amelia,” Mrs. Thompson said.
“Yes, what is it?” Amelia asked.
“What is your availability like next week? Would you be able to audit classes for a full school day? Ideally, we like candidates to do so for a full week, but I know that’s not realistic for everyone.”
This time, Amelia managed to avoid an ‘umm’ that would normally follow a question she wasn’t prepared for. She audited one or two classes in college, but that was with peers. But it was a reasonable enough request. If she was going to work here, it would be good to have a sense of how classes were run before she started. “Of course,” Amelia nodded, “I’d be happy to observe for a day. I think that’s a really good idea.”
“Great. Does Monday work for you? You included your measurements on the form, yes?”
“Yes,” Mrs. Thompson said. Setting Amelia’s file aside, she continued with something the blonde interviewee was not at all expecting. “We’ll have a student uniform ready for you on Monday.”
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