It wasn’t the most exiting job in the world, but after a grueling semester of nursing school, Emily was happy to be doing some work that was not only easy, but also paying. Her mother had been completely against her getting a job in retail, she was afraid that Emily would become complacent in the job and forget all about college. And would that even be so bad really? Getting paid to hand people clothing was not such a bad future when compared to emptying bedpans and inoculating screaming toddlers. She needed to take a break from school and figure things out, and this was the perfect place to do it.
Then she walked in. Pat Lynne was a middle aged woman wearing a gray suit and a sour expression. She came at Emily as if they were already in a fight.
“Don’t you have any decent clothes in this place?”
Emily wished the woman would have been more specific, and she tried to mention this as delicately as she could.
“What exactly are you looking for?”
“Something that doesn’t suck!” she waved her hand around the place in
disgust. “All you have out here is crap. Don’t you carry anything meant for people over the age of fifteen?”
That was an odd thing to say, considering the store was famous for their conservative attire, but maybe jeans were just not this woman’s cup of tea. All she had to do was steer her toward the dress department or perhaps business casual and she was sure she could make a sale. “If you tell me what you are looking for, I’ll be glad to help you.”
After a variety of new derogatory comments, Emily was able to find out that the woman needed to get a complete wardrobe since the airline had lost her luggage on her way to Miami, where she was starting a new job. Having gained an understanding for the bad mood, coupled with the almost certainty of a hefty commission, she set out to put some outfits together. However, no matter what she came up with, the response was some kind of sneer, that is, whenever she could be bothered to turn away from her phone to respond. This of course, would be an indication that Emily should leave Pat alone to shop at her leisure, but whenever she tried to walk away, she was accused of 'being lazy' and 'not wanting to do her job.'
“You’re no salesperson!” she told Emily before going back to yelling at the
person on the phone.
After nearly two hours, she finally settled on a pair of black pants and a couple of
tops. She threw a couple of credit cards on the counter like a John trying to humiliate a prostitute in a particularly bad made-for-TV movie and then demanded that Emily use the one with the lower balance. Emily, of course, had no way to know which one that was. A confusion which Pat took as insolence and yelled at her to do whatever she wanted.
Emily just grabbed on card at random and rang her up as fast as was humanly possible. But even after Pat finally left the store, Emily could still feel that air of negativity. Suddenly the thought of having to deal with people like her on a daily basis seemed like a nightmare. Why should she be kissing someone’s ass for a few cents commission when she could be saving lives instead? She was back in school by the end of the week.
What Emily never knew, was that it was no mere coincidence that Pat ended up at her store looking for new clothes. It was in fact orchestrated by a Mr. Steward Connelly, who managed to make her luggage “disappear” after a particularly exhausting flight from Boston to Miami. Not forever of course, just temporarily misplaced as passive aggressive payback for five miserable hours of insults, gay slurs and an entire plate of (allegedly undercooked) lasagna thrown at him. That, in addition of having to calm and console all the other passengers that fell victim to the wrath of 5-C.
No passenger got it worse than poor 5-D, a miserable soul who’s only crime was
occupying space next to Pat. She was annoyed by his arm on the armrest, his overhead light, the noise he made when he turned pages on his book and the noise that escaped from his earbuds, a surprising fact since his iPod was turned off at the time. It got so bad, that he ended up forfeiting his business class seat for an empty one on the last row of coach when spent the rest of the flight commiserating with the steward about having to deal with that for a living.
“Get a room.” Sneered Pat, as she passed them on her way to the lavatory.
It seemed she has bypassed the first class bathroom for the one in the back just for the chance to embarrass the steward in front of her handsome and definitely straight former seat mate.
As it turned out, that was the one thing Pat had got right. Just as Steward was sneaking away from the loading dock, where he had finished convincing a burly, closeted baggage handler with a fondness for flight attendants to hide Pat’s luggage for a couple of days, he ran into 5-D, who promptly asked if he could buy him a drink as thanks for making the flight bearable. It wasn’t long before they took another flight together, this time to Vermont, where they exchanged vows in a tasteful ceremony which would have horrified Pat - a staunch homophobe.
This was all made possible, by the board of trustees at Amalgamated Global Bank. Pat’s place of employment, although grateful for all her contributions to the development of the company, could no longer stand the strain on morale that having her at the office caused. Pat’s record as investment banker was flawless. She had an eerie knack for predicting stock futures that made her an invaluable asset. Firing her was not something they could afford, but neither was loosing more personnel who refused to deal with her. The whole Miami branch was invented for the sole purpose of keeping her employed, but in another place entirely.
Unknown to everyone involved, including Pat herself, was that she was blessed with the ability to predict the future, and steer people towards the right path. And so she went through the world, spreading misery and unexpectedly good fortune to everyone she encountered.
So next time you're on a flight with Courtney Love, remember, it's only fate operating in the most mysterious ways. Aralis Bloise is a first time fighter, throwing it down like a pro.