“And what do you hope to do here, at 22 years old? Are you supposed to handle and boss around a group of 40 year old men that have been here for 2 decades? he said.

He even stood up to tower over me.

I stood up myself looming head and shoulders over him and replied, swallowing hard:

” I hope to do my job, which I’m very good at. The bossing around is just one of the perks”.

He lifted one eyebrow and sat down. I followed his lead. “And how much do you expect to get?”

“However much you deem my work worth” I replied, having done my studies.

He waived his hand dismissively at my answer.

“How much were you getting before?” he asked.

“On paper ***, but in reality I was never paid”.

He looked at me semi startled – not an unusual occurence, but one was definitely not supposed to address it so openly. “And how long did you stay there?” “Almost 5 months. Lodging and food was provided”. “And why did you stay there unpaid? Slavery is not a thing around here these days”.

I looked him straight in the eye, see him cowering just a tiny bit, and encouraged I voiced my sincerest thought : “So I could have the balls to come here and ask to be hired by you”. He nodded, stood up and left.

Next time I saw him, I was already standing among my new team, watching them bustling around for the handover, waiting for my co manager to come to start the training and fidgeting around in my extremely uncomfortable new uniform.

No dress shoes – over my dead body I would wear those things for 10,11,12 hours at a time running around. He looked me up and down, appraising me, then gave a shout to nobody in particular :

“Somebody give Batman a nametag!”

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