Pronghorn, Chapter 13: Looking for More Work

Continued from the previous chapter, here.

Asa emerged from the stars back onto the sidewalk on North Main, folder in hand and still full of resumes. Might as well see about other work, since I’m here in town, anyway, he thought, and he ducked into the bank that took up most of the building where he had interviewed with Smitherson.

He was greeted at the door by a smiling young woman in a smartly pressed suit. “Good morning, sir! How can we help you today?”

Asa could not help but smile in return. “I was wondering if the bank is hiring for any positions at this point. Who would I need to talk to to find out and apply?”

The woman’s smile faded a bit. “I don’t believe we’re looking for anyone at this point, but I can take you back to see our manager, if you’d like.”

Asa’s smile fell, as well. “If you would, I’d be obliged.” The woman moved off, and Asa followed past the few tellers still working the counter, the few customers still standing in line, desks where one couple spoke with a sweating hulk of a man about opening new accounts, and to an office with its door standing open. The woman knocked lightly, and a “Come in” came through the door.

Asa recognized the voice. Oh, no.

The woman said “Mr. Delgadillo, this gentleman was asking about employment opportunities.”

“Thank y’, Vana.” The woman nodded and returned to the front as the man behind the desk–Was it Chris? I still can’t remember–stood and came around. “Come on in, sir, have a seat. I’m Christián Delgadillo.” He extended his hand, and as Asa took it, Delgadillo asked “And you are?”

“Asa Pemewan.”

“Asa…Asa Pemewan…” Delgadillo looked him up and down. “You seem awful familiar. Did you go t’ school here?”

“I did. We graduated from high school in the same year, in fact.”

Did we, now? Well, that’s nice!” The last word came out rhyming with “mass,” and he circled back to his seat behind his desk, motioning Asa towards a chair in front of it. “So, you’re looking f’r work?”

Asa nodded. “I am.”

“Well,” Delgadillo said, “I don’t have any openings at th’ moment, y’ see, but if you’ got a resume, we c’n keep it on file. When something opens up, we c’n give y’ a call, see if y’ still wanna work here.”

Asa nodded less enthusiastically. “That’ll be fine.” He handed his resume across the desk and stood. “Thank you for your time, Mr. Delgadillo.”

Delgadillo stood. “It’s no pro’lem.”

Asa made his exit, telling the woman at the front door “Thanks, Vana,” as he passed by her and stepped once again onto the sidewalk beside North Main. Figured it’d be like that. I suppose I ought to press on, then.

He walked further up North Main, looking for other businesses where he might apply. Next to the bank was a restaurant, but its doors were closed and its lights off; Asa passed it by, coming next to a pharmacy that had several customers lined up, waiting. He popped inside and waited in line, and when he finally got to the pharmacy counter and asked if they were hiring, he was met with a brusque “No.”

The next door was a coffee shop, similarly busy. Asa bought a cup of coffee–“An Americano, thanks”–and asked if they were hiring. “Not at the moment, no, but you can leave a resume.” He did, and he pressed on. The next door was a bar, still closed, and the one after was a tobacconist–and a head shop, if things haven’t changed; best to pass that one by–and an old gas station at the corner. There, he got much the same answer as he’d gotten from the pharmacy; it was an old Hochstedler family business, not one likely to take anyone not kin. So Asa crossed the street and began to come back down.

A law office–“No paralegal training? I’m sorry, then.”–a tax office–closed most days, given the end of tax season–a Mexican bakery–“¿No hablas Español? No puedo usarte. Lo siento.”–a dry-cleaner–“We’re not hiring.”–all turned him down. The last business on the block, an independent bookstore, was slightly better, the shopkeeper saying “No, I’m not hiring at the moment, and I doubt I will be anytime soon; it’s kind of a two-person operation, and the Mrs. is already on the payroll. But I have heard that the schools will be looking for someone. Maybe you can put in there?”

Asa replied “I’ll look into that. Thanks.” And he walked out the door, crossing the street again to retrieve his car. The sun smote down heavily upon him as he did so, and broiling heat greeted him when he opened the door of the car. Asa recoiled at the hot air, thinking I’d forgotten about that. Should’ve put up the sun shade.

Getting into the car, he winced as he put his hands on the steering wheel. The Hill Country sun has such an effect on cars, which is why almost all carry sun shades and park, when they can, near trees. Any shade helps, and its lack soon starts to hurt.

Asa loosened his tie against the heat. I really have been gone too long, if I forget the heat and what all it does. “And I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised about the bad results. But it’s only one morning, and only one ad was up. Maybe I’ll do better a bit later.”

He put the car into gear, backed out of the parking space he had claimed, and drove off towards his parents’ home again. I’ll need to look at the schools–both the public schools and the junior college. I might get lucky with one of them or the other, but I’ll need to print out some copies of my CV before I can try either one.

Did I bring you as much pleasure as a breakfast sandwich does? Could you kick in as much for me as you pay for that so I can keep doing what you like? Click here, then, and thanks!

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