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Like A Refugee

May 17th, 2011 by admin

When Wazzer arrived at work at eight, she noticed a small white sign in the window: HELP WANTED, Experienced Bar/Wait Staff, Inquire Within. Nigel, the owner, had warned her about this, and gloatingly shared his philosophy. “If they’re in before ten, we’ll interview them, even if what we have is last shift. Anyone waltzes in after noon and asks – especially when we’re in the lunch rush – forget it, it’s filled! I want someone who gets up in the morning, not a slacker who want to give his mates free drinks.”

By eleven, one young woman has remained waiting for an hour (another of Nigel’s tests) before he and Wazzer interview her.  Her application and “presentation” are both satisfactory. But references are a sticking point.

Her name is Rosie, and she ruffles her short hair and turns her blue eyes towards her toes in embarrassment. “If they aren’t answering the phone…all my experience is in Christchurch, but both the places I worked are behind the quake cordon.”

“You moved up here after the quake?” Wazzer asks. Rosie nods, while their searching glances rake her. Is she sensible? To be pitied? Or using the quake as a good reason to leave a bad situation – or a bad personality – behind?

“My flat’s still behind the cordon too. And my gran lives up here,” Rosie adds.

Nigel catches Wazzer’s eye and nods. “So you’re a real refugee from Christchurch, eh? Well, the two of us will talk it over a few minutes in the office. Want an L&P while you’re waiting?” says Nigel, expansively. Wazzer keeps her face impassive. Nigel wouldn’t ask Rosie to wait if he was blowing her off. A Christchurch refugee seems to be the latest accessory around town – there’s one being introduced at every party, from what Wazzer sees.  If Nigel wants to bring this girl on, that’s fine with her.  Could even be fun!


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