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Write a scene in which a woman is fired after only a week on the job. Just a week earlier, the same person who is now firing her was very persuasive in convincing her to take the job.

“The decision has been made to terminate your employment.”

Joyce couldn’t believe her ears. “I’m sorry, what was that?”

“The decision has been made to terminate your employment.”

Slowly it began to sink in. That explained why it was so quiet in the office. Everyone going into the boardroom except her. She’d noticed it but didn’t think anything of it because she had a 250 envelope mail merge to finish before the next post pick up at 6:00 pm. She’d rushed to get everything done for 5:55 and was emptying her mail cart when the postman arrived. It wasn’t until she’d returned to the office and put the mail cart away that the Chief Financial Officer called her into his office.

“Why am I being let go? I’ve only been here a week!”

“The decision has been made to terminate your employment. That’s all I can say.”

“But Dennis you were the one who convinced me to take the position!” Disbelief was slowly turning into anger. She knew she had to get it under control to maintain professionalism but it was becoming increasingly difficult not to shout. “I never would have quit the agency if it wasn’t for you!” He had taken her out for lunch a dozen times, persuading her to leave Telford for Manright, telling her it would be the launching pad for her literary ambitions. Some launching pad.

He looked at her then; looked her in the eyes. She was startled to see raw sadness and guilt looking back. She softened a little but she still had no more information than before.

“The decision has been made. Here’s $40 for your cab ride home.” At this point his voice broke. Against her will she started to feel sorry for him. “Your record of employment will show that we let you go due to shortage of work. You will have no trouble obtaining benefits.” She recognized this immediately as the lie it was. There were mountains of marketing materials waiting for her to process. Or there used to be. An hour ago.

She realized he wouldn’t or couldn’t answer any more questions so she gathered her things and left. The tears came before the cab did but she didn’t care. She phoned her boyfriend when she got home and he rushed right over, with a huge bouquet of roses and a bottle of wine. They would get through this together.

Six months later she was once again behind the desk at the Telford Agency. Thank goodness they had taken her back after the Manright fiasco. It felt good to be back where she was wanted, even if the career heights she had envisioned were nowhere to be seen.

She left her desk early that day, for she had a train to catch. She couldn’t be late for her court appearance. The fraud case against the Manright Agency was just getting going, and she wasn’t about to miss a moment.

Next week: Write a short story that is set in Argentina in 1932, in which a teacup plays a crucial role.

This is the latest exercise in my 642 Things to Write About Project. Click on the link to find out more, or click on the category 642 Things to Write About Project to read past exercises.  🙂