2014 – January 6 – First Impression

Photo of Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet Buffet

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?

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About Stephen

I live in beautiful New Castle, Pennsylvania with fellow writer, Susan Urbanek Linville, and a herd of reformed feral cats.

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6 Responses to 2014 – January 6 – First Impression

  1. susan tepper says:

    Dug this, the whole office gang doing their ‘thang’, the hideous buffet the flies the everyday insanity of it all…

    • I like the way you put it, Susan. Everyday insanity is a verdant source for fiction. I tend to inject the fantastic into my own work, but this story shows how unnecessary that can be. Inspiring.

  2. Guilie says:

    YES. Jenn comes through effortlessly, from the first paragraph. I feel like I know her already, and, like you say, I’m rooting for her. I’m hooked for the next one.

  3. Mandy says:

    Now, I’ve worked in this sort of office, and I’ve known more than enough Bills, though none entertained me as much as I think this one will. Love this setup.

  4. Michael says:

    I didn’t like it at first. But at the end, I love it. Did not see the twist coming.

  5. Oh the first story in the series where the ending made me laugh aloud, and also cringe! Loved that twist, and I’m eagerly moving on to the next one now.

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