When Stacy walked through the door, her husband, Nick, could immediately sense that all was not well.
She went to hang her coat on the antique coat rack just inside the front door but she missed the hook and the coat fell to the floor. That’s when Stacy burst into tears.
Nick ran over to his wife and flung his arms around her. “I take it your first day on the new job didn’t go so well,” he said, hugging his wife.
Stacy finally got her sobbing under control. She leaned her head on Nick’s broad shoulder. “Actually, it was close to perfect. Even exceptional.”
“So are these tears of joy?” asked Nick.
“Not even close,” Stacy responded.
Nick ushered Stacy into the living room and motioned for her to sit on the couch. He sat down next to her. “Tell me what happened.”
“When I got there, the receptionist took me directly to the office of the editor-in-chief,” Stacy explained. “She couldn’t have been more warm and welcoming and told me how she was looking forward to having me on her staff.”
Stacy took a deep breath in an effort to regain her composure. “After talking for about a half hour, she personally gave me a tour around the editorial department. Everyone I met was so pleasant and friendly. She showed me to my workspace, gave me a list of assignments to work on, and explained how to access the rough drafts on the system.”
“That sounds great,” Nick said.
“It was,” Stacy responded. “I got right to work. I loved it. A few of the other copy editors asked me to join them for lunch, which I did. They are really nice, genuine people.”
Tears once again started streaming down Stacy’s cheeks. “At around 3:00, the owner of the magazine called everyone into the large conference room for an important announcement. That was when we all learned that the magazine had just been acquired by a large publishing conglomerate.”
“Oh wow,” Nick said.
“And that’s when they announced that our little magazine was going to cease production because it overlapped with one of their existing publications. Some of the writers and editors, they told us, would be offered positions at their other magazines.”
Stacy took a moment to compose herself before continuing. “But most of the staff, including me, of course, were let go. Effective immediately. Only those who had worked there for more than three months would receive severance.”
“Yikes,” said Nick, shaking his head.
“So today was my first and last day at my new job,” Stacy sighed.
“Exceptional,” said Nick.
Written for today’s one-word prompt, “exceptional.”