The office was full of smoke. Ginny coughed as she walked into the haze. She could see that the walls were lined with bookshelves and there were boxes and loose sheets of paper all over the room. On the desk in front of her was the newest copy of the newspaper with red marks all over it.
She felt a sense of excitement but was also a bit intimidated. As she looked at the man sitting behind the desk, she rallied her inner strength and stuck out her hand.
“Hello, Mr. Watson. My name is Ginny Reynolds and I am here to respond to the Journalist advert I saw in this morning’s paper.”
Mr. Watson stood, as was customary when a woman entered a room. He was taken back by her brazen nature and was amused by her handshake. Taking her hand, he was surprised to feel a firm grip. As amused as he was, he wasn’t really sure what to do. The only women that had come into his office for a job were applying for secretaries. As far as he knew, women didn’t write.
“And what does a beautiful little thing like you know about writing?” He asked.
Ginny grinded her teeth. She hated that men usually talked to her like she was an idiot. In any other situation, she would have corrected him but he was the only thing between her and a job. She decided to brush it off.
“Well, sir, I have written ever since I can remember. I also read your paper every day and my father and I compare your articles to other papers that we send for. I have always wanted to be a writer and I know that I can be a fine one.” She said confidently.
She was a fine writer. She wasn’t arrogant about it. She just knew herself. She knew her talents. Mr. Watson looked her over. She was a fine writer. She wasn’t arrogant about it. She just knew herself. She knew her talents.
Mr. Watson looked her over.
“Well, Ms. Reynolds, I pride myself on being one of the only newspapers that don’t have a housekeeping column. I certainly don’t intend to start one just because a pretty face comes in wanting a job.” He said as he sat back down in his chair. Ginny shook her head.
“Oh, no sir, I have no interest in writing a housekeeping column. In my opinion, house-keeping is quite a boring subject. I don’t see a need for stories written about that either. No, I am here because I want to be a journalist. I want to write about politics or the news around the city and around the country.” She said.
Woman Before Her Time
Mr. Watson looked at her with surprise.
“In your opinion…” He repeated. “Do you have a lot of those?” He asked sarcastically.
“All due respect sir, I believe that having opinions is rather important for writers.” She responded.
Mr. Watson raised his eyebrows. When Ginny had walked into his office, he felt a mixture of annoyance and amusement. Now, he had a frightening feeling that he might actually respect her… just a little. “Ms. Reynolds, we don’t hire women as journalists. They can’t handle such a demanding career.” He said only half believing what he was saying.
He knew that it was what every other man in this industry believed. Even if she wasn’t a complete idiot, the newsroom floor was certainly no place for a woman.
Ginny was outraged. She had never heard something so ridiculous. Women weren’t frail creatures. She wanted to shout. She wanted to scream. But instead she just stood there shaking in anger. Before she could say anything, she heard a man call from the hallway. “Mr. Watson! I need you.”
Mr. Watson looked up at Ginny. He saw the look on her face and for a second, he felt badly for what he had said. But he had a paper to run. He stood up and walked towards his door. When he got to the door, he stopped and turned slightly.
“Sorry, kid.” He said. Then he disappeared.
Ginny stood there for a moment. She was angry. Very angry. But if anyone knew her at all, they would know that she doesn’t give up without a fight. She pulled out her freshly typed story and placed it on Mr. Watson’s desk, right on top of the paper he was editing. Then she left.
She made no effort to hide the anger she felt. She passed the row of secretaries. They all avoided eye contact with her except the outspoken secretary she had met on the way in. Ginny couldn’t tell what her expression was and at that point she didn’t care. Ginny just wanted to get out of there and into the fresh air.
The sunlight did little to help her mood. She walked home, deep in thought. When she got to her front door, she paused. She didn’t want to tell her mother what happened because she knew what she would say. She didn’t want to disappoint her father. She wanted to be anywhere else. As she turned to leave, her mother opened the door.
“Ginny! How did it go?” She asked. ‘
Her tone surprised Ginny. Was she truly interested? Then, a tear rolled down Ginny’s cheek.
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