Setting: An office in a university careers department, England.
Time: Morning, present day
Character: CYNTHIA, age 54, soon-to-be-redundant careers adviser.
CYNTHIA wears voluminous flared trousers and a tee-shirt bearing the words: “Loose Cannon.” She sits on a chair talking to a student.
Don’t be formal. Call me “Cynth.” I’m here to guide. To advise. I will literally help you in any way I can. Relax. It’s only a short appointment. And I know all about those. But you. Let’s find out about you. You are the most important person in my sphere.
(She waves her fingers in a circular motion starting over her head until her arms are at the side of her chair.)
Besides my husband, Joe, of course.
Did you have a good weekend? I did. Well, we did. The family. I suppose you don’t get the same warm experience living in halls of residence. Halls of decadence more like! I know what you get up to. I was young once. Mentally, I still am. They don’t appreciate that here. And look at my skin. Ding, dong, Avon calling!
(Spins slowly once on chair)
Anyway, me and mine were busy. First we went to my sister’s who’s literally almost a cordon bleu cook. Her husband, Roger, says, ‘her mashed potatoes are that watery you can squeeze them out.’ Doesn’t appreciate good food. What about a career in catering? We get lots of books here from the book man. Comes once a month. Dirt cheap. I’ve just bought Jamie Oliver’s. I love Jamie Oliver. His lips. So full. So generous. You say you’re doing psychology? Deary me. I worked for a psychologist once. As his receptionist. He’d always ask me how I was when he arrived in the morning. That made me suspicious. Continue reading