Early morning routine: Jack, my dog, and I are taking our walk. His leash is in my hand, my headphones are clamped over my ears; I am absorbed in the back-and-forth of my favorite podcast. Jack and I; just doin’ our thing.
The neighborhood is residential; no major thoroughfares, so I’m quite cognizant of the large diesel truck that rattles up next to us and slows down. Matching my pace, the driver waves at me. I assume he’s just being friendly so I return the action, figuring he knows me from my decades of living in a smaller community.
He gestures again, this time I recognize he’s motioning me to come over. Pulling Jack’s leash in tight, we walk on to the street and approach the open passenger window.
The white truck’s interior is clean, uncluttered, and modern, with a flat screen in the center of the dashboard. As for its only passenger, he appears to be in his forties, healthy, short-cropped hair, and brandishing a smile as big as the vehicle and as warm as its motor.
Leaning toward me across the center console, he opens, “You probably don’t remember me…”
“…About 25 years ago, I applied for a job working for you. You didn’t hire me.”
“I’m sorry.” A slight rumbling of anxiety bubbles in my belly. Is this some form of latent workplace revenge?