The phone rang and woke me up. It was mid-morning. On a weekday. Shouldn’t I have been in class? Why was I still in my apartment asleep?


“Hello, Mr. ____? This is Mrs. Overbearing from the Rice Placement Office.”


“Did you forget?”

I blinked a few times.


“Yes, yes, I did. I was supposed to interview with General Dynamics, wasn’t I?”

“Now, listen to me carefully, Young Man. You will do exactly as I say, or I will ban you from ever using the Placement Office again. Do you understand?”

I was awake now.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“You are to type a letter and address it to Mr. Johnson. In this letter, you will apologize for missing your appointment, and outline that you understand that his time is valuable, especially when travelling out of town. You are to wish him well, and good luck with his candidate search. You are to sign your name. And then, you are going to bring the letter with two copies to this office. And it has to be here by 3:00 this afternoon or I will have you banned from the Placement Office for good. Do you understand me?”


“Good morning, then. 3:00. Not a minute later.”

It was in the office by 12:30. I did not have to talk to her; she was at lunch. But she let me sign up for more interviews.

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