“But you do have an impressive résumé and many other strengths, which we will be sure to mention to prospective employers.”
“All right. That works for me. Thank you.”
Then she told me good luck or take care or some shit, and the call ended.
I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep. It didn’t work. The worries came back, and all I could do was shut my eyes and play dead.
With my now-former job gone, most of my worries were about money. My dad had been gone almost a year now, from pancreatic cancer just like my grandfather. Most of his life insurance settlement went towards hospital bills and funeral expenses. The rest was divided between me and my step-mom, who still refuses to have anything to do with me – why, exactly, I’m not sure. She got the house, which she’s now trying to sell so she can move into a smaller place. As for me, I spent almost all of my share on my brother’s tuition at a boarding school for kids with moderate-to-severe Asperger’s Syndrome. It could probably last him all the way to high school, but that’s only if I barely touch it.
So there it is – my pathetic sob story.
For the next few days, I spent most of my time either at the gym or sleeping. I knew I should have been looking for a job instead, but exercise is a stress reliever. Job searching isn’t.
Then on Thursday, to my surprise, I got a call from Zoe. She’d sent my résumé to a law firm in the Loop, and they wanted to know if I could interview as soon as possible.
“Yes, absolutely,” I said. I did my best to suppress the excitement in my voice. “When is the interview?”
“Are you free tomorrow?”
Tomorrow. Friday…nope, no plans. “I believe so, yes. What time?”
“Great. Awesome. Can you do 12:30?”
I heard keys clatter in the background as she typed something, probably an e-mail. Then she gave me a basic rundown of the job: Assistant paralegal, $12-an-hour. At least it’s a start.
“Sounds perfect,” I said. “What’s the firm called, by the way?”
“Are you familiar with the A-S-P?” she asked.
“No, I don’t think I am.”
“I know it stands for something. Let me see if I can find it in the e-mail…”
“It’s fine,” I said. “I’ll Google it. It’s just letter-A, letter-S, letter-P, right?”
“That’s correct.” She gave me the address.
“All right.” I wrote it down. “I will do the interview tomorrow and let you know how it goes.”
“Sounds good. One more thing, Tess?”
“This firm would be taking a tiny bit of a risk if they hire you, because of your past attendance record. Remember, you’re representing Luhrman-Rothstein as well. Being on time is a must.” I’m sure what she meant was, This is your last chance. Don’t fuck this up.