The only thing worse than doing a job you don’t like, is getting fired while doing it. After I learned this just one hour ago, I tried to hold my tears until I left the building. But as soon as the door hit me in the ass, I opened the floodgates and kept crying all the way home so that I now look like something out of The Walking Dead. Relieved to be finally home, I put my key in the lock and push the wooden dented door open with my shoulder.
“Surprise!” Jules jumps up from behind the kitchen counter in our shared house, wearing a little paper party hat and holding two glasses of champagne.
I drop my bag on the floor and kick off my high heels. “What is all of this? What are we celebrating?”
“Come on, Lexie. You just bought a house. I’m so proud of you. Although I’ll really miss having you as a roommate. Look at you. You are all grown-up now.”
I laugh. “Sure. Grown-up and jobless.”
She puts the glasses down. “What do you mean jobless? That phone call from before… Where you told me we couldn’t talk because you were getting fired?”
I look at her, waiting for her to let it all sink in.
“You weren’t actually being fired when I called, were you?”
I nod and pull up a chair. “I’m afraid so. For once I wasn’t joking.”
Jules immediately takes off her party hat and hands me a glass of champagne while sitting down as well. I gulp down the entire glass in one go. Okay, so it’s not champagne. Cheap wine. But it’ll do the trick.
“Oh, girl. I thought you were kidding. Who picks up their phone when they are being fired?”
She suddenly jumps in her chair and puts a hand over her mouth. “What did your mother say?”
I give her a stern look. “Do not—I repeat—do not tell my mother. She can’t know.” I take my phone out of my bag and show Jules a picture Mum sent me earlier. She’s standing next to a cake that has ‘Congratulations, Lexie’ written all over it in chocolate and that’s surrounded by wool balls.
She pulls a face. “What is that?”
“That is my mother at her knitting club. Celebrating me buying a house.”
“Uh oh, it’s going to be hard keeping this a secret from her.”
I shrug. “Maybe. It’s not like she visits me at work or anything. I’m sure it’ll be okay. I’ll tell her I switched jobs once I find something new.”
“If you don’t want to end up on the street like a stray cat, you can always work as a barista. The coffee shop at the corner is still hiring. Can you believe it? I don’t think I’ve had my coffee served to me by the same girl more than once over the last couple of months. I wonder what is up with that place that no one works there longer than a month.”
“All day long in that coffee smell while serving rude costumers who are running to jobs that you would choose any day over serving coffee? Who wouldn’t get depressed working there?” I sit down on the couch and put my feet up. “I want to find a job that I actually like. Let’s face it, working at California Network was nice since it paid so well and I hardly had to, you know, work. But maybe it’s time for me to actually make a career. I just don’t have a clue about what I want to do.”
“Wait here.” Jules runs to her room and I hear her fiddling with some papers. She comes back wearing her big black glasses and holding a stack of papers. “Don’t worry, Lexie. I’m going to find you your dream job. Consider me your personal counselor.”
I cross my legs. “Sure, why not. I’ve got nothing to lose.”
“Okay, here goes. Do you like children?”
“Like them, as in, want them? Maybe, some day, but I haven’t given it a lot of thought yet. I would first have to find a boyfriend and I don’t want to have kids with someone, like, right away. Also I don’t–”
Jules cuts me short. “Like them, as in, would you want to be confronted with them professionally? On a daily basis?”
“No. And I don’t want to work with dogs either. They produce too much saliva.”
She writes something down. “Okay, so that rules out working with old people as well. You should see the amounts of saliva my grandmother produces.” She taps her pen on her nose. “Do you like to cook?”
“You know I can’t cook, Jules.”
“Hmm. Maybe we should approach this differently. List your strengths and weaknesses.”
I shrug. “I’m too tired to think about that now. I really appreciate your help, I do. But I think it would be better to turn off my brain for a couple of hours before smoke starts coming out.”
Jules puts her papers on the coffee table and takes out her phone. “Hi, Tony, it’s Jules. Yes, the girl who always orders two pizzas instead of one.” She pauses. “And the extra toppings, yes. Anyway, we’ve got bit of a crisis going on. I need the usual, but with olives this time. And a bottle of wine. We’re going to need it.” When she puts the phone down she grabs my hands. “Help is on the way, sweetie. Let’s get fat and drunk together and forget about jobs. Just for tonight, though. Tomorrow you are going to get your sweet ass out there and find yourself a job.”
We hug. “Thanks, Jules. I love your sweet ass, too. Even if it’s getting fat because of me.”