Suddenly aged and prickling inside drab suit (that fits in every way besides the one that matters), sip stewed tea, UHT milk, and be gracious about it. Faces requisitioned from Head Office ask questions like the answers you give could possibly mean anything. Try not to act bored or high, even though you're both. Pretend like you could belong here. Don't let on you think thoughts that are in breach of the House Style. Don't, under any circumstances, let them find out you write poetry. Don't give yourself away.
Afterwards, brittle and weary outside, notice how it feels like your feet inside your good pair of shoes are nailed to the asphalt reality of this bleakly nowhere estate; you're crucified against the indifference of the afternoon, bled out by another day of attempting to sell yourself cheap and still not closing. You learned to walk upright for this. Even the sun looks old and done with trying. If a stranger offered you a cigarette right now, would you break your two-year streak?
The phlegmy rattle of builders' vans; soft pale smell of saw dust on damp air; that sense of inevitable mutual rejection.