Under the watchful eye of Winn Hawkins, Abigail has been applying for medical school. She contacts several of her professors in Portland for recommendations, plus Kyle. The deadline is the middle of October, but because of the volume of applications received, it is recommended applicants submit early. Her first decision is whether to pursue a Ph.D. with an M.D. Winn suggests that since she wants to specialize in genetics, she should pursue both and use the Ph.D. for something related to her specialty.
Since she’s moved to town with no visible means of support, Winn puts her in touch with a medical recruiter, Layla Jansen, who several of Winn’s fellow employees recommend. Layla is full-figured with a cheery disposition, wears red-framed glasses, and is overly expressive. Abigail meets with her at a local coffee shop for nearly an hour, while Layla quizzes her on her school and work background, interests, extracurricular activities, and advises her on building a résumé to help demonstrate where she might be a good fit. Their conversation frequently diverges into more personal areas, which, Layla says, gives her a better view of Abigail as an individual.
“I know you’re hoping for a position with the CDC, but they’re not looking for people in your field just now. Bickering Plummet, on the other hand, has immediate openings for genetic associates in their medical division. The work is much like what you were doing in Seattle, mostly in support of their government contracts.”
“I wasn’t aware Bickering Plummet had a medical division.”
“They acquired one with their takeover of Stratum Medical recently.”
“I can’t say working with Bickering has been a dream of mine. My cousin might never forgive me.”
“At this point, I’d say the corporate culture is still closer to that of Stratum. Plus, they offer a comprehensive benefits package.”
“I’m sure they do.”
Layla gives Abigail a long stare, as though considering something.
“Abigail, would you mind if I inquired about your dating preferences?”
“How is that relevant to finding me a job?”
“Oh, it isn’t and if you’d rather not discuss it that’s perfectly understandable. It’s just that I know someone who might be a good match for you — if you don’t normally date men.”
“Are you a recruiter or a matchmaker?”
“Is there that much difference between the two? I like getting people into the perfect situation, regardless. The young woman I have in mind shares many points of compatibility with you.”
“Okay. I’m listening.”
Layla takes out her phone and calls up a photo.
“That’s Gloria. I just found her a situation at Allied Health Sciences.”
“Why do you have her photo on your phone?”
“I like to keep pictures of my successes. It helps to put a face with a reference, and I do have her permission to use it for promotional purposes. I’ll give you the same option, of course.”
Abigail looks. The photo is of a woman around her age with dark blonde hair wearing scrubs. Abigail finds her attractive.
“Yes, I would definitely give her a second look if I saw her on the street but how can you be sure we’re a match?”
“I pride myself on getting to know my clients. Of course, I can’t share personal details, but I can tell you you’re of a similar age, educational level, socioeconomic status, and you both work in the medical field. Plus, she’s a poet who’s performed at slams around town, and she’s musical.”
“How is it that she’s not already seeing someone?”
“I’m sure you can attest to how tricky the dating scene can be, especially if you’re looking for a long-term situation.”
“With your permission, I could pass your number along or set up a meeting and you can see what develops.”
Abigail considers this.
“I don’t believe I’m about to say this, but, sure, give her my number. Now, tell me more about the job with Bickering.”