• Published 25th Oct 2020
  • 601 Views, 80 Comments

You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Wearing a Maid's Dress... - Tiki Bat

A Stallion down on his luck has an interesting story behind why he's wearing a maid's dress of all things...

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Just a Bat... a Bat Down on His Luck

Author's Note:

Surprise! This isn't just a quick one off after all!

Now you're probably wondering how this all actually went down, at least from my perspective... the end of the story was a weird place to start, I know, right? But hear me out, you haven't heard the whole story yet, and as they say, it's not the destination, it's the journey that's the most important!

I was jobless, down on my luck, and desperate…

Oh, was I desperate.

How desperate are we talking though? Desperate enough that I’d take any job that I could hope to get my hooves on… well, almost any job. You see, I was a graphic designer, key word there, was. I mean I guess I still was, but you know, just unemployed. I had worked for years, climbing up from the bottom and working my way to hopefully the top, at least that was the hope. In reality I was just a freelancer roaming place to place and hoping I’d find something that would stick, and in my head Manehattan would be my gold mine.

So many businesses and ponies starving for ads, flyers, logos— everything you could imagine! And boy, were they hungry for content… imagine my luck though when it turned out that some hot shot freelancer would have little to no chance at getting scooped up here, but hey, it was little to no chance, and I just had to play my cards right and hope for the best.

So there I was, sitting in the lobby of the Manehattan Times, praying that this would finally be the job interview that’s work out for me, otherwise I’d have to make due with finding some job that’d pull a pony with pretty much no other experience in. That’s the ironic thing about getting your cutie mark that no one tells you about. You finally know what your special talent in life is and you’d figure out what you were good at, but sometimes you just got dealt a bad hand and all the good jobs were scooped up, leaving you scrambling to find something else.

A lot of ponies managed with this, but I wasn’t like most other ponies. I’m a bat pony, and it was just my luck that basically none of the good jobs were available at night. Sure, I could stay up during the day and completely flip my schedule on it’s head, but I didn’t want to, especially when my odds were pretty evenly stacked between the two. That’s why I was banking on this job more than anything. They needed a pony that could work through the night and get any designs and graphics drawn up for the early morning edition, and I was determined to be that pony! Even if it wasn’t the fancy job I had hoped for when I moved here.

“Next!” Shouted the receptionist at the desk, a deep purple unicorn with a blue mane pulled into a tight bun and a pair of narrow spectacles balanced on her muzzle.

I sat up in my seat and silently reaffirmed to myself that I was going to get the job. I would be the top pony and I wouldn’t have to scrounge around some job agency to find some low paying job. I stood up and trotted toward the desk, nodding as I came to a stop in front of her.

“You Stardust?”

“Sure am!” I nodded, trying to project as much confidence as I could into my voice.

“Alright, follow me. Hot Press is ready in his office, just finished up with the other applicant.”

“Perfect! Lead the way miss…”

“Morning Report.”

“Well lead on miss Morning Report.”

She rolled her eyes and muttered something under her breath about hot shots, but I didn’t catch the rest of it. Instead, I held myself high and followed along down the dimly lit hallway that I just knew would be my new workplace.

“So you work here long?”

Without glancing back, she replied, “Five years. Press’ office is that door at the end, just give it a knock and he’ll call you in.”

“Perfect!” I cheerfully replied, “I’m totally a shoe in for this job!”

“She let out a flat laugh and shook her head, “Good luck hot shot.”

“Thanks! I don’t know how much I’ll need it, but a vouch of confidence is always appreciated,” I replied back, reinforcing my confident facade.

I trotted toward the door as if I had walked that path thousands of times before. I wanted to look like I was the perfect pony for the job after all, and my would-be employer would definitely want to see a stallion that could carry themselves with confidence even if their qualifications were… slightly under the desired levels on the job listing. But those were just suggestions… right? I mean fake it ‘til you make it, that’s what they always said!

I stopped in front of the door and gave a hard, but not too hard knock, pulling the sides of my mouth up into what I could only assume was a confident smile, but in retrospect it probably looked fake and forced. It didn’t matter though, all I had to do was convince Hot Press that I was the best pick, and hope that the other pony hadn’t done the same.

“Come in!” Came the stern voice of the pony in the office, who I could only assume was Hot Press.

I pushed the heavy wooden door open and trotted in, giving a short wave to the unicorn with an outstretched hoof, “Good afternoon Mr. Hot Press, I’m Stardust, and I’m here for the design job!”

He gave a short, scrutinizing nod and gestured toward a plush seat in front of his desk, “Pleased to meet you. Why don’t you have a seat and tell me about why you’re the best pick for the Manehattan Times.”

I gleefully took a seat and pulled my saddlebag around, rummaging in it for a neatly pressed sheet of paper that I had prepared inside, “Well Mr. Hot Press, let me just start by showing you an organized resume of some of my best work,” I slid the paper over and straightened myself in the chair, “I’ve been a freelancer for the better part of five years now, and that is *exactly* the kind of pony that you need for this job.”

He pulled the paper forward and began to browse through some of my work, “Mhmm, and why’s that?”

“Well, I’ve been out there working in every graphics field you can think of. Advertising, design, marketing— all that! And let me tell you, I’ve got a fresh view on what ponies are into. I know the ind, the out, what’s fresh, what’s stale— you name it!” I excitedly pitched.

He nodded, “Right,” He looked down at the sheet, “So right here it says you were working mainly with logos and layouts, do you have any experience with layouts in a print context?”

“For ads I do!” I cheerfully replied, “You ever make your way out to Ponyville? You know the big advertisement for Barnyard Bargains right when you enter town?”

“Mhmm,” he nodded, “What about it?”

“I designed that,” I confidently smiled, “and a few others on the way into town as you pull up in the train.”

Hot Press pursued through my resume for a few long moments before looking up at me and frowning, “Mr. Stardust? I hate to cut it to you like this, but we’re going to look at our other candidate.”

My heart sank as I heard those soul crushing words. I had tried so hard to be as confident as I could be, had I overdone it?

“I… but…” was all I could muster in the way of a defense.

A sympathetic look flashed across his face, at least giving me some comfort that he wasn’t just some uncaring face, “I’m sorry. It’s not that your work isn’t any good, it’s just that we’re looking for a pony with a little more… professional experience in our specific field.”

I cursed my luck but didn’t make any further objections. I had already lost my chance, making a scene would only make it even worse for me. I didn’t need to be blacklisted from the entire industry after all…

I looked back up at the unicorn and nodded, “I appreciate your time Hot Press, thanks for considering me.”

I tried to sound as cheerful and optimistic as I could, but both of us knew that I was plainly lying through my smile.

“You’re very welcome Stardust, if we have any opportunities open in the future I urge you to re apply.”

I nodded, “Thanks, I’ll keep an eye out.”

As I slowly stood up and made for the door, my mind turned to my only other option at this point… the job agency.