black-and-white-businessman-man-suit-medium


I’m sitting by myself, trying to get some work done on a project while I’m on my break, when a gentleman in a nice suit sits down across from me.

“How much is your time worth?” he pitches me.

I’m bored, so I catch, but before I can say anything he puts his finger up. “Wait,” he says. “You don’t know it yet, but what you need is a spokesperson. Someone who will convey your needs and interests with both eloquence and effectiveness. It has been shown in numerous studies that individuals with professional spokespeople are 37% more successful in their professional endeavors.”

“One second,” I say, and I nudge awake the spokesperson I already have.

“On behalf of my client,” she says, “we are no longer seeking spokespeople. Have a nice day.”

“But I’m a really good spokesperson!” he says, “And I’ll never sleep on the job.”

The other spokespeople pick their heads up. They look at us with glimmer in their eyes; an opening, a chance to jump ship? To speak for someone else, anyone else?

“No,” I say, when my watch buzzes. Breaktime over, I go behind the counter and stand next to the cashier, resuming my shift as her spokesperson. With all the people she has to interact with, the job keeps me super busy.

But the other guy doesn’t quit; he starts hitting up my spokesperson.

So she nudges her spokesperson, “On behalf of my client,” he says, “we are no longer seeking spokespeople. Have a nice day.”

“Is there anyone here who isn’t a spokesperson of someone who is also here?” he cries.

No one says anything. It’s a cozy café.

The door jingles and the embodiment of my heart’s desire walks in. “There you are,” she says to the guy. “You really need to stop talking so much and let your spokesperson do her job.”

She walks up to my cashier and says, “pardon me, you don’t know it yet, but what you need is a spokesperson. Someone who will convey your needs and interests with both eloquence and effectiveness. It has been shown in numerous studies that individuals with professional spokespeople are 43% more successful in their professional endeavors.”

“My client is intrigued,” I say, wondering if there’s enough room for two of us behind the counter.


About the Author: Hugh Behm-Steinberg’s prose can be found in The Fabulist, *82 Review, Gone Lawn and Gigantic. His short story “Taylor Swift” won the 2015 Barthelme Prize from Gulf Coast. He is a member of the non-ranked faculty collective bargaining team at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.