A stuffy looking waiter finally noticed her but took his time, wandering from table to table on his way over. He pointed at the sign hanging on the inside of the door. His words could just barely be made out over the howl of the wind. "Sorry. We are closed until eleven."
"I know." She almost had to shout to be heard over the wind. "I'm here to interview for the assistant chef's position."
He regarded her as if she were some sort of insect that he was examing under a microscope. Reluctantly he unlocked the door and opened it part way. "I am sorry but the position has been filled."
"But, I had an appointment at ten thirty."
His look became even more distainful. "Then you should have been on time." He pointed at the clock on the wall which now read almost eleven.
"I was held up by the traffic due to the storm."
"That is not my problem."
He started to shut the door and was prevented only by her inserting her foot in the way. Behind her a group of early customers had started to gather. "I want to speak to the manager." She protested.
He glared at her. "I am the manager and the owner has made it very clear we don't want your type here."
"Why? Because I'm a woman?" Anger made the arteries in her temple throb. She knew that on top of everything else she was going to have a terrible headache. This would be the fifth job that she'd not been allowed to interview for.
He trod on her foot and used the door to shove her back. She stumbled, slipped on the ice, and fell, dropping her resumes and the rest of her portfolio which was whipped away by the wind.
"Please, excuse the riff-raff." He said in his most unctious tones to the waiting customers. He glared at her. "Leave or I'll call the police."
Monica got to her feet. Her hair was disheaveled and her one good coat was soiled with slush and salt. The customers gave her a wide berth as they started to file around her.
Something snapped inside her. "All right, Fitzroy!" She shouted, not caring if that was his name or not. "You can fire me if you want, but that doesn't make the rats in the storage bins or the cockroaches in the kitchen go away!"
A white-haired dowager nearly swooned in her husband's arms and several of the customers did a double take. A minute later they were all gone.
"Why you...!" The manager started out the door towards her, slipped on the ice and slid into the pool of slush along the curb.
While he was spluttering and cursing, Monica gave him a sweet smile and walked back down the street with her pride still intact.