FCE: Reading, part 2You are going to read an extract from a novel. For answers 1-8 choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.
There was a small breeze when Christine came out for her lunch as she usually did, even when it was raining, instead of going up to the store canteen. You could never get a table to yourself there, and whoever sat with you always wanted to complain about the shop, the customers, the management or the canteen food. Everyone at Goldwyn's seemed to have a complaint of some kind, although it was one of the best London stores to work for, and many of the staff had been there for years - some of them were long past retiring age. This was because the management let them stay on even when they were really past it, like poor old Martha, who was always trying to sell people dresses that were much too old for them.
Christine herself had been in the book department for more than four years. She had started as a junior, knocking over piles of books and breaking the till once a week in her efforts to serve customers quickly. Now she was Head Salesperson and moved calmly around the department between the bright new paperbacks, knowing that book customers liked to take their time, unlike the people who stampeded through the other parts of the shop with never a moment to spare.
She knew every book in the place, and all about the new ones before they came out. She was said to be Mr Parker's right-hand person - and heaven knows he needed one - and was sometimes asked into his office to meet a favoured publisher's representative.
The book department, partly due to Mr Parker's weak administration and partly because it was thought to be sophisticated, was the only department in Goldwyn's where you did not have to wear black. This led to some confusion as to who was an assistant and who was a customer, not untypical of bookshops, and accounted for the distressed look of people who picked up a book they wanted but were afraid of having their elbows grasped by the store detective before they could find someone to take their money.
Christine was wearing her grey suit today. She liked the grey suit. She had liked it for a long time, because she had accepted her aunt's advice that it was better to buy an expensive suit that would last than to keep buying cheap suits that looked very smart for a few weeks, until they began to wrinkle at the elbows and sag at the seat. The grey suit had been what the shop had called a 'classic', which meant that nobody would ever turn round in the street to look at it, but it would stand having its skirt taken up or let down according to the swings of fashion.
Christine liked her work, as much as one can like any job that imprisons one from nine till five-thirty. She liked Goldwyn's, but she was always glad to get away from it at lunchtime, even though it meant queuing for a table at one of the restaurants and teashops that fed the local shop-workers. Here people tended to eat with one eye on their watches and had a taste for things like pasta and puddings which were the most filling at the least cost. But Christine, once seated, enjoyed a leisurely, if lonely, sandwich.
Alice, who was her junior, was always meeting people at lunchtime. Even if it was only a man who had picked up her handkerchief in the cafeteria, she made it sound exciting, like an adventure. Alice and the other junior, Helen, were always giggling in the classics section where the customers did not go much. If Christine came along, they would suddenly look serious and pretend to be straightening books. Christine thought this should have made her feel very old, but it didn't. She was so much happier than she had been at the giggling age. She liked her authority in the book department. Sometimes, outside, she insecurely wondered how she stood in relation to the rest of the world. At Goldwyn's she was someone.