Work in progress
I was rummaging around some folders where I’d saved some writing I did a few years ago.
Some of them were pieces written for assignments on a correspondence writing course.
I read over them again and, apart from the nostalgia they evoked, I thought I should try to flesh them out into short stories.
I’ll post a few on here and you can tell me what you think and perhaps suggest ways to develop them.
Today’s instalment was in response to the following brief –
We want you to think of either a girl called Cindy or a man called Jack. It is their first day in a new job. Using about 700 words give us an insight into the character by describing their appearance, what they say and how they reacts to the new colleagues she/he meets and the circumstances in which she/he finds themself. (Please avoid the smart pin-stripe suit going to the office for the first day – if at all possible)
Cindy cut a striking figure as she stepped into the lobby of the converted warehouse on her first day at work with the computer games company. The black tailored trousers made her look inches taller than her 5 ft 8 inches. She had been told that the dress code was smart casual so had opted for a pale blue long-sleeved shirt, a navy blue blazer and a black pair of medium-heeled court shoes to complete her outfit. She had grabbed the blazer at the last minute, thinking she could always take it off if she felt over-dressed. Her new bob hair cut, even though a departure from her regular pony tail, lent maturity to her pretty oval-shaped face.
She made her way to the reception desk and smiled as she told the young receptionist who she was and that it was her first day. While she waited for someone to come and get her, she looked around still having trouble believing that she’d actually been offered the job and was here to start.
She’d been told that there had been seven other candidates and even though she was one of the least experienced and not their first choice, her enthusiasm for computer games, innovative ideas and willingness to learn had put her in good stead after two of the candidates initially offered the position had turned it down due to accepting others elsewhere. She was half-expecting someone to say to her it had all been a mix-up and they didn’t want her after all.
She looked up as she heard the lift doors open to see a burly middle-aged man waddling towards her. She recognized him from her interview, his name was Tim and he was a senior games developer and her team leader.
“Hi Cindy,” Tim said smiling, greeting her effusively. “Sorry to keep you waiting,” he said as he ushered her towards the lift. “We are really pleased to have you .join the team.”
Cindy could feel some of her apprehension ease as Tim chattered away. His enthusiasm seemed all the proof she needed that it was really her they wanted.
After Tim showed Cindy her workstation which was next to his, he offered her a drink and took her round to meet the rest of the team.
Josh was about 27 years old and struck her as a person who was passionate about computer games. His easy manner was evident in the way he greeted her warmly and reassured her she could come to him with any problems, no matter how small. It appeared he was also the practical joker of the team. He had an enlarged poster of a ©Dilbert cartoon showing the boss and ©Dogbert which made Cindy smile. ©Dogbert said to the boss “There are two kinds of management problems. There’s the kind you can solve by yelling and the kind you can solve by buying some sort of software. That’s why I’ve created ‘some sort of software that yells’”.
Amy was the newest addition and only other woman on the team. She’d joined six months ago. She seemed about 23 or 24 and spoke with a Chinese accent mixing her ‘r’s and ‘l’s. She welcomed Cindy and told her that it was a great team to work with and she was sure Cindy would come to enjoy it as much as she had.
Rob who seemed a bit more staid and older than the other two. He had framed photographs of his family – wife, son and daughter – and a calendar with daily proverbs on his desk. He spoke softly as he stood up to shake her hand striking her as very proper without being standoffish.
The last two members of the team, Ian and Steve had the day off so she didn’t get to meet them but she could tell a lot just by looking at their workstations. Ian seemed to be studiously tidy with everything in place. On the other hand, Steve’s desk was laden with sketches strewn all over and she wondered if this reflected the quality of his work but she determined to reserve judgment until she actually met him. She would hate to be so easily judged herself without being given a chance.