The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 16

of a crust. Now, run
along, young fellow. I am a very busy man--and don't forget to close
the door after you as you go out."

Jimmy did not forget to close the door. As he walked the length of the
interminable room between rows of desks, before which were seated young
men and young women, all of whom Jimmy thought were staring at him, he
could feel the deep crimson burning upward from his collar to the roots
of his hair.

Never before in his life had Jimmy's self-esteem received such a
tremendous jolt. He was still blushing when he reached his cab, and as
he drove back toward the Loop he could feel successive hot waves suffuse
his countenance at each recollection of the humiliating scene through
which he had just passed.

It was not until the next day that Jimmy had sufficiently reestablished
his self-confidence to permit him to seek out the party who wished a
mail-order manager, and while in this instance he met with very pleasant
and gentlemanly treatment, his application was no less definitely turned
down.

For a month Jimmy trailed one job after another. At the end of the
first week he decided that the street-cars and sole leather were less
expensive than taxicabs, as his funds were running perilously low; and
he also lowered his aspirations successively from general managerships
through departmental heads, assistants thereto, office managers,
assistant office managers, and various other vocations, all with the
same result; discovering meanwhile that experience, while possibly not
essential as some of the ads stated, was usually the rock upon which his
hopes were dashed.

He also learned something else which surprised him greatly: that rather
than being an aid to his securing employment, his college education was
a drawback, several men telling him bluntly that they had no vacancies
for rah-rah boys.

At the end of the second week Jimmy had moved from his hotel to a still
less expensive one, and a week later to a cheap boarding-house on the
north side. At first he had written his father and his mother regularly,
but now he found it difficult to write them at all. Toward the middle of
the fourth week Jimmy had reached a point where he applied for a
position as office-boy.

"I'll be damned if I'm going to quit," he said to himself, "if I have to
turn street-sweeper. There must be some job here in the city that I am
capable of filling, and I'm pretty sure that I can at least get a job as
office-boy."

And so he presented himself to the office manager

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