Elaine Russo sat down in her cubicle and looked around her new office space. It was not bad for a junior-level job, plus she heard there was a lot of opportunity to move up.
“I hope you don’t mind sharing an office with me,” Linda said.
“I don’t mind at all. How long have you worked here?” Elaine asked.
“About two and a half years.”
“Do you like it here?”
“I love it even more now that you’re hired,” she said.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, Sandy was the senior editor until she was promoted. Carol took the senior editor position and everyone moved up a level. I used to be an editorial assistant but was promoted to assistant editor six months ago. Unfortunately, we didn’t have anyone to take my old job so I had to do both jobs for awhile.”
“Wow! That’s amazing.”
“I didn’t really mind. I knew they were hiring someone and I really appreciated getting that promotion. I heard editors come and go like the wind, but I haven’t seen that at this agency. If you like editing, you’ll love this job. . . well with one exception.”
“What is that?”
“Well, I’ll tell you later.”
“What is it?”
“Let’s wait until after lunch. It’s my treat, newbie.”
Elaine and Linda walked to the sandwich shop on the corner, took a booth by the window and ordered the turkey sandwich lunch special.
“So, tell me a little about this new editorial assistant I’m going to be
training,” Linda said.
“Well, there is not much to tell. I just graduated from Columbia College with my degree in English Literature and I recently got married. I worked in a law firm but I was laid off when my boss moved to Hawaii.”
“Have you ever done any professional editing before?”
“Yes. I do a little freelancing. I edit the monthly newsletters for my church, and I edit short stories and term papers for some of the students at school,” Elaine said.
She took a large bite of her turkey sandwich. It was a long time since breakfast and she didn’t realize that she was so hungry.
“Do you like this restaurant?” Linda asked.
“I do. It is busy but not overwhelming and the food is light, fresh and tasty,” Elaine said.
“Good because the owner is a client,” Linda admitted.
They returned to their office space and before they sat down, Linda motioned her into the hallway.
“I need to show you this,” she said.
Elaine followed her down the hallway toward the conference room. She stood in front of the room next door and stopped.
“I hope you really like to read,” she teased.
“Yes. That is one reason why I took this job. Reading and editing is in my blood.”
“Good,” she said.
Linda opened the door and turned on the light. Inside the room was a large metal cart against the wall stacked high with large flat packages.
“What in the world is all that?”
“This is the notorious slush pile. We get several unsolicited manuscripts a week and I don’t have time to review them fast enough. Even with coming in on the weekends, they have been steadily piling up.”
“So, is this going to be one of my duties?”
“Yes, among other things,” she smiled.
“What do you look for in those manuscripts?”
“We love to read a great story. That is the main objective.”
“So, how many packages are in here?”
“I’m not really sure, but you can count them tomorrow.”
“I guess I set myself up with that one,” Elaine laughed.
“Don’t worry about them for now. Take the afternoon and look over our office policy and procedures. We’ll start on your new duties first thing in the morning.”
“Great! Thanks, Linda,” Elaine said.
“Thank you for taking the job. I look forward to working with you,” Linda said.
She closed the door behind her and they returned to their shared workspace.
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