After graduating college with honors I figured success was right around the corner. But my degree left me woefully unprepared for a city whose doors are closed to a talented young businesswoman.
Don’t get me wrong — I loved my Gotham U experience. The food plan was decent. The professors were interesting. And you can’t beat the class size, which gets smaller every year.
But the Job Placement Center is a joke. Unless you want experience in the fields of weaponry sales, crime scene cleanup, or underground nightclubs (and forgive me if I don’t want an internship involving thigh-high boots and a name tag that might as well read “Potential Witness”), you are going to graduate without any real-world experience.
In my Women in Business seminars, we had inspiring speakers like the woman who makes the confetti for all the parades and elections this town has — she started in her living room and now she’s pulling in seven figures. Or the sisters who started the funeral bunting factory. They make it look easy. And they all give the same advice: See a need and fill it.
Well, I looked around our city and I saw a need (light bulbs), and I did everything right: I did my research, I made a business plan, and then I went to the bank. But banks don’t want to give a business loan to someone with no career experience, so I was shot down. Not literally this time, at least.
Rejection after working so hard is discouraging. To make my student loan payments I have taken a job at the Kevlar Fashion Outlet. I have to take public transportation, so there’s like a 50-50 chance of being taken hostage every day, but it’s a job.
To save money I still live at home. My mother wants grandchildren before she gets stabbed or blown up or whatever. But I’m a young woman with a drive to succeed. Before I settle down with the nice henchman of her dreams, I am going to achieve my goals. My career comes first.
So I’m working on Plan B. Because something else they taught us at Gotham U is to believe in yourself. This is just another temporary setback. Like always, I’m going to pick myself up, get stitches, brush off the broken glass, and start again.
Because that’s what businesswomen do. And seriously, Gotham, we need more light bulbs.
Suki Litchfield’s mostly spooky stories have been in publications like Flash Fiction Magazine and the current edition of Horror Library. She has an upcoming piece in the nextScare Street: Night Terrors anthology. She works at a haunted inn in St Augustine, Florida, and has just finished her first novel.