I was pretty lucky to get a job where I got a job. The office is clean and well cared for, my co-workers are responsible and cheerful, and on Wednesdays there is sometimes free cobbler in the lobby. It’s a pleasant kind of place to spend eight hours a day.
There is a single drawback, however, to working in a successful real estate office. My work has what we will call a lack of generational diversity. The startling majority of my coworkers are the sort of people who feel that large floral prints are the last word in fashion. Walking back to my office every morning is like stalking through a jungle of tapered khakis and clogs. These outfits are all well-designed, yes, and my co-workers are all classy looking people, but the fact is that I am the youngest individual in the realty by far and it shows in my daily dress and habits.
At least I was the youngest individual in the realty.
So there I was in a pair of (straight leg) khakis and a cerulean shirt, sauntering up to the coffee pot. I filled my cup with joe and, clutching the portable phone that is forever attached to my being, I began tiptoeing back. I am famous for spilling scalding coffee onto my fingers, and so the Coffee Walk has become sort of a challenge, watched shrewdly by the real estate agents as they peek at me out of their cubicles and offices.
So I’m walking down the hallway, slow as a one legged dog, and I hear brisk footsteps behind me. Fine. Okay. Go ahead, person, pass me. There is a swift breeze as my as of yet unrecognized coworker sweeps past, and as I catch a glimpse of her, I feel first a rush of surprise, and then jealousy.
She was adorable.
Probably about my age, she had long curly hair and tan arms. She wore a swingy pleated skirt, a black cardigan, and purple ballet flats that immaculately, IMMACULATELY matched the purple of her lacey camisole. Who was this fashion icon? Where was she from? Why hadn’t I SEEN her before? She was carrying a binder back into an agent’s office. As she turned to shut the door, she caught my eye. I grinned broadly, out of habit. Her mouth twitched in an instinctual return of goodwill, though I wouldn’t call it a smile, and she shut the door.
I seethed inwardly as I shuffled my hot coffee back to my office.
How dare she, I thought. How dare she?! Who does she think she is, being young and cute and trendier than me, with her awesome hair and her stupid flawless tan? Her existence, her very presence there in the office was an act of war. Conservative realties have little room for young, hip, post-ironic secretaries.
There can be only one.
Monday, I am going back there. No ill-fitting, glue-stained khakis for me. I am going to be stylin’. I am going to be hot. I am going to be classy as all get out, and I am going to show this…this person, this girl who has the gall to out-modern me that I am the Real Estate Secretary Champion Of Cool.
Oh, it’s on, sister.