Monday is for “First Impression” by Lynn Beighley.
“Jenn, you’ll sit here,” Bill says, putting his hand on the back of the chair next to his. Because I don’t know these people very well yet, I obey. If this wasn’t my second week at my new job, and my first time out for lunch with my new coworkers, I still would have obeyed, because I’m like that.”
I like the sense of awkward novelty this opening conveys. We’re immediately right there with Jenn, and we see her flaw. She’s a little timid, maybe lacking in self-confidence, but hardly a wuss. She’s not shy about expressing her opinions internally regarding flies mating and open buffets (not a fan of either), and one gets the impression that however meek she might appear from the outside, she’s a combustion engine on the inside, just waiting for a spark. As a reader (more specifically a reader with my sentiments) I like her immediately.
The story takes us through a crash course in Bill Plover, aka Bulldozer, and his clumsy attempt to woo Jenn at the all-you-can-eat buffet. That he brags about tipping the staff ten percent should tell you plenty (though it IS a buffet, right?). That he has an announcement that he expects will wow the entire office cadre, comes as no surprise. What the announcement is, however, sets us up very well to anticipate the next installment. I’m thinking Bachelor meets Jackass.
This is going to be a fun ride with a character I can easily root for. This reads like another winner for 2014 in my book. How does it read in yours?