The Second Job (Flash Fiction #9)

“The reason our team’s sales volume is low is because many people use our flexible hour to take care of their family or even take a second job. This is unacceptable. If you are not concentrating on your sale, how can you produce?”

Hana can still remember her sales manager’s words as she is changing into a white outfit for her second job as a caterer–to serve food for various social events. The outfit is a little too big for her little frame. She needs this caterer’s job in order to survive. The sales job needs a long time to build up and in the initial stage she’s in right now, she just doesn’t make enough money to pay for her shared apartment, her car, her student loan, and all the other expenses. If she concentrates on the sales only, she won’t survive long enough to see the sales picking up sufficiently to make a living on.

As she is carrying a tray of hors d’oeuvre towards the group of guests scattered in the hall of the hotel, she is horrified to see several familiar figures from the sales company. Turning around, she sees the poster by the doorway and realizes that it’s an event hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce. The manager of her own sales team and three figures from another sales team are there. They are the high flyers of the company who can afford to concentrate on their sales job, make a living, pay the membership fee of the Chamber of Commerce, which in turn brings more sales.

What to do? She retreats towards the kitchen area, but half way back, she’s stopped by the catering company owner. “What are you doing? You can’t go back. The guests are waiting for you.”

So she marches ahead towards her doom, imagining her sales manager’s scowl when seeing her. “I just told you no second job; this is unacceptable; you are fired.” She can almost hear his scathing words and righteousness.

She tries to stay as far away from the four familiar figures as possible. At one point when two of them are walking towards her obviously for food, she leaves the tray and dives under a table. A long piece of thick green fabric covers everything from the floor to the tabletop, shielding her completely from general view.

“Where is my business leads. It was given to me right here, but I was talking and talking, not paying attention where I put them.” Her sales manager was talking while fumbling and searching above the table. Underneath, she could hear everything. Then her fingers inadvertently touch something on the floor. She pulls it up and it’s a little stash of paper with contact details and the nature of the inquiries–that’s the business leads her manager inadvertently dropped, which are essential to the survival of sales agents.

When the manager eventually comes to search underneath the table, she crawls out and put on her best smile.

“Oh, it’s you.” Her sales manager says. “What are you doing here? Did you see several pages somewhere?”

She smiles serenely and wonders how she will play her card to negotiate a deal.

12 thoughts on “The Second Job (Flash Fiction #9)

  1. I seriously hate it when managers and supervisors try to control a worker’s personal life. Yes, the employee isn’t entitled to a job, but the company is not entitled to its employee.

    Maybe give the young girl a raise so she can concentrate on sales? That’ll do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the sales companys here only give very low base salary. The rest is based on commission. A new sales rep has to work very hard and it takes years to build up a salary that one can live on.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. And a sales person has to work very hard and marketing aggressively in order to survive. And companies usually give sales material that are based on psychology and manipulation, just like what you said.

          Liked by 1 person

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