They always look at the shoes

Oh God, they’re so young.

Inexperienced. Yes, Jeffrey, they’re young and inexperienced. Your CV is much longer, stronger.

They can’t be ageist these days. You’re here, you just have to shine.

My shoes. No! Why did I forget to polish my shoes? First impressions – they always look at your shoes. Maybe if I start talking as soon as I get in there they won’t have a chance. One of them will. Do they really need four people to interview me?

Two… four… six… eight… nine, ten, eleven. Plus me. Twelve. Is that total or just this round? Sales is popular, I guess.

3.20. Ten minutes. So am I next or… the door’s opening!

She’s younger than they are. I’ve got no hope.

Jones. Good. Not me. We get 10 minutes then or…?

Another door. 30s I reckon. OK, that’s better. Thompson.

Ah, so four people interviewing but not together. Phew. 50/50 chance then. Two more doors. Next or next after next.

Right, third’s opening. Another young one. Maybe 30s is as good as it gets. If I’m lucky they’ll see me as a father figure… wise… mature. Besides, you need to have had a life to sell life insurance.

Door 4… has to be door 4. Yes! My age. Smart. OK. I’m smart. Rawlings… that’s me!

Oh no, he’s looking at my shoes.


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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.