She was not paying enough attention to detail, the assistant manager had said. And that in the five years he had spent in that restaurant as an assistant manager, he had learnt to know when a waitress had some prospect of a career or no prospect, and unfortunately Paula didn’t had one; not after two warnings anyway. What career it was, Paula wondered, in a working place where the furthest any one could get would be an assistant manager and then general manager, and where both jobs seemed to be reserved for native English speakers.
She had arranged to meet with Lisa that evening. Lisa had casual jobs too, but it was far easier to see her than it was to see any of her other friends who were still working in coffee shops, even if they were assistant managers, as Maria now said she was.
Lisa took Paula to a place with live music. She was a Londoner, Paula thought, so she would not all the coolest places with the best music. As they entered, Paula saw the “barmaid wanted” poster outside. “Request an application form at the bar”, said the poster. Paula offered to buy the drinks on the first round.
“Can I have two half pints of cider and a job application form please?”

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