Leaning awkwardly sideways he looked in the rear view mirror, fidgeted with his tie and ran his fingers over the already immaculate haircut. He walked across the car park gripping the newly purchased briefcase a touch too tight and trying very hard to breathe slowly and evenly. A curt woman at the reception desk greeted him and directed him to the lift.The journey to the sixth floor seemed interminable and the mirrored walls served only to make him feel observed and self conscious rather than alleviating the claustrophobia. On arrival a second, slightly older, but equally officious receptionist told him to take a seat. He perched on the edge of a pristine and very expensive leather armchair opposite the person who he assumed was his competition for the position. Surreptitiously he wiped the sweat from his palms and observed her. The woman was reading a magazine and smiling to herself, amused by the contents of the article. A cup of coffee was perched somewhat precariously on the arm of the chair and she paused in her reading to take a sip. The door opened behind him and they both looked up.
"Ms Ridley, won't you come in," said the man.
She folded the magazine and replaced it in her bag. She unfolded herself from the chair and glanced down at him as she walked past. There was pity in her eyes.
(Linking back to the A to Z challenge)