Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Candidates were a strapping lot

By Karen Nace

I had lined up 10 candidates for the job. They sat quietly and when approached, showed their best advantages.

Several sturdy, upright characters promised to handle whatever life might dish out.

Others snapped to attention, displaying impressive organizational skills. They seemed to have their lives compartmentalized quite nicely. Orderly yet set in their ways, maybe they took themselves too seriously.

Two applicants were reticent but did finally open up to show great depth of character. They seemed easy enough to get along with, though I was afraid their refined manners might not hold up in tough situations.

Undecided yet determined, I took it to the next level.

If they really wanted the job, they’d have to spill their guts.

They all complied. Three lost the stuffing of pomposity. A few had passed themselves off as sturdier than they really were. One had multiple personalities. It was a tough test.

Unconventional, yes. But it was this realistic approach that helped me make up my mind.

I had entered the department store on a quest. I was leaving with the perfect handbag.

I’ll admit I might have been a little over the top. Not too many shoppers take 10 purses aside to inspect, unstuff then conscientiously restuff. For an hour.

But I was one satisfied customer who had shopped locally.

My purse has been in constant use since July. It has all the right qualities. It sits up on its own. There’s no annoying zippered divider. It closes with a magnetic snap. It matches my clothing, since I wear nothing but black and white (slight exaggeration, but what a way to build a wardrobe).

Whatever I chunk into my purse sinks right to the bottom, where it belongs.

The other day, my shoulder and neck were beginning to stiffen up. It was time to clean out my purse.

An investigation conducted for this column revealed shocking disorder.

I pulled out Caladryl and lotion bottles, a reporter’s notebook and digital camera. Change had jingled its way to the bottom, making it difficult to listen for my keys. My cell phone had fallen out of its little pouch and Bic pens were making calls to Alaska.

Various cosmetics, shockingly, had not been returned to their proper zippered compartment. A quart water bottle and four tubes of lip balm had the run of the place. A wad of papers, receipts and sticky notes were making life difficult. I couldn’t find my wallet or glasses.

Once I got organized, I stretched out my shoulder and sighed in relief. All clear for another day.

This column was originally published on 3/23/05 in The Facts newpaper, Clute, Texas