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A student uniform?
Why on earth couldn’t she just wear her normal clothes to observe a few classes?
That’s exactly what Amelia asked, of course, but Mrs. Thompson was quick to explain. For starters, it would be less disruptive and less distracting if there was simply another uniformed girl in the room. Having a guest in the classroom impacted the dynamic of the room enough, so it would be better for the students if Amelia could blend into the background more easily.
Additionally, it would be a good opportunity for her to experience what it’s like being one of the students; to empathize, as Mrs. Thompson put it. Since Amelia’s entire educational background was public schools and then a larger university, this was a good way for her to feel what it’s like to attend a smaller boarding school in comparison. On Monday morning, she’d change into the Westridge uniform, be given the official tour and take a standard aptitude test in the morning, and then sit in on a few different classes in the afternoon.
The process seemed a bit excessive, but who was Amelia to judge? The way Mrs. Thompson presented everything was straightforward and logical, and Amelia’s lack of experience in private schools made it difficult for her to argue against any of it. While she’d rather just be offered the job and avoid all the extra hassle, it sounded like this was an important part of the hiring process. The small blonde took some solace in the fact that she was being asked to come right back on Monday. That was a good sign, right? The school wouldn’t go through all that unless she was a serious contender for the position.
Amelia had indeed put her measurements on the registration form. Though she was told to treat it more like an application than anything else, it hadn’t stopped the young woman from overachieving in an attempt to suck up to the school. It would send the message that she was thorough, even when she didn’t necessarily have to be. In truth, Amelia was only here for the money and the résumé boost. Everything else was a lower priority, as she would much rather be teaching at the undergrad level or higher. Teaching spoiled rich girls didn’t particularly appeal to her.
“Thank you, Ms. Martin,” Mrs. Thompson said, once they got through the details of what Amelia’s audit would look like, “And again, apologies for the mix-up earlier this week. I’ll personally make sure the office communicates the necessary details before Monday morning.”
Good. The last thing Amelia wanted was for even more of her time to be wasted. The sooner she could knock out this hiring process, the sooner she could take the job and stop worrying about overselling herself and stressing about the competition. “Thank you, Mrs. Thompson,” Amelia said, “I’ll see you on Monday.”
–THREE DAYS LATER–
For the third time in under a week, Amelia was stepping out of her car and onto one of the Westridge Academy parking lots. Her weekend had been far less stressful than her previous week, complete with a shopping spree and two late nights of drinking with her girlfriends. Once her nerves had settled after the interview, she realized something on the way home–Monday didn’t really matter.
All she had to do was show up, put on a stupid outfit, and audit a few classes. Compared to an interview, that was nothing. It’s not like she had to take notes or constantly be the best version of herself. In her mind, Amelia pretty much just had to smile and shake a few hands throughout the day, get a sense of how things operated at the school, and perhaps give some feedback during a follow-up interview. Easy. With her interview prep out of the way, she could let loose a little bit now that the difficult part was done.
She was smart enough to not drink on Sunday evening, but not even a full night’s rest was enough for her to recover from Friday and Saturday. Amelia was the definition of a lightweight. The petite girl never developed much of a tolerance, which usually led to irresponsible decisions over the weekend. Cutting herself off after one drink and only having water would always be the smart choice, but the recent college grad still found herself succumbing to peer pressure when she was out with the girls.
The crisp morning air helped wake her up, though Amelia hardly appreciated that benefit as she frowned and shivered at the outside temperature. The last two campus visits had spoiled her, as the sun had been up both times. Now it was early, and overcast, and she just wanted to crawl back into bed and get a few more hours of sleep. Putting together her usual mature appearance meant waking up way earlier than she normally had to for her waitress job. Mrs. Thompson could have warned her that it was going to be a 7 AM call time, though it made sense in retrospect. This was a school, after all; middle school and high school classes would obviously start in the morning.
Just as Amelia reached the edge of the parking lot, heading once again towards the administration building, she heard her name.
“Ms. Martin. Amelia!”
She looked towards the source of the voice, and saw the same dark haired office girl standing by one of the building’s side doors. Ashley? That sounded right, though she couldn’t remember for sure. The girl had the full schoolgirl uniform this time around, unlike the last few instances where her blazer hung over the back of her chair. The familiar skirt/tie combo in green plaid that Amelia had seen on the website, and that she was bracing herself to sport as well.
“Umm, yes?” Amelia replied. She paused for a moment, not sure if Ashley was just saying ‘hello’ or if she actually needed something.
“This way,” Ashley said. She beckoned towards the side door, “The front door isn’t unlocked yet.”
Amelia believed the girl, of course, because she had no reason not to. Her lack of teaching experience, lack of familiarity with private schools, and desperation for the lucrative assistant position kept her nice and blind to all the irregularities that had been thrown at her. A canceled meeting with no warning, a ‘general’ registration form, a schoolgirl outfit just for her, and now a student leading the way instead of an administrator being the one to greet her.
She had no idea she was falling right into a trap set up by Ashley herself.
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