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Fiction

The Job Interview

Josh Tomlin gets a clear picture of his prospects.

“Ah yes, I believe that I am a slightly above-average human being. Do I qualify?”

“Well, that depends, young man. Are you an exceptional slightly above-average human being?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Ah, allow me to explain myself. Can you demonstrate an exceptional capacity to satisfy all of the criteria specified by us as requisite in order to do what we want our employees to do? For example, will you be able to draw a rose-tinted veil over the eyes of both your colleagues and yourself, as you do jobs a monkey could do? Ha-humph. I’m sorry. Allow me to excuse myself – human beings are better workers than monkeys! Of course they are! They’re more intelligent. But, there is something else. Human beings are social creatures. It is very important that they be kept amused. So, are you a work horse that will be able to entertain our other work horses? Will you be able to make jokes about your mundane tasks? In short, can you have fun, young man? Do you enjoy life? Hmm?”

“Well, yes, I –”

“How?”

“Sorry? Oh. Well… I like reading.”

“Reading! Well, I say! What do you like reading, son?”

“Philosophy. I think that –”

“Philosophy! Philosophy, eh? Hmmm. I suppose you like to think about the, the... the, er... bigger picture? Hmm?”

“Yes, you could call it that. I like to try and see things as they really are, you know? To –”

“Yes yes yes, I understand. The bigger picture is a fascinating thing, a fascinating thing indeed... But each of us has a different bigger picture, you must understand. You see, it depends on the size of the picture with which one starts. Now my picture – MY picture, my boy – is a big picture, and my big picture is, is… well, let’s say, ‘considerably large’. And as such it is quite hard to hang. So I leave it be, up in the attic.” He taps his temple with his forefinger. “But you, my boy – I imagine that you are forever trying to hang up your bigger picture. I can see it in your shoulders right now. But now I’m going to ask you, boy – on whose wall are you going to hang that great big bigger picture of yours? Not mine, my boy! No, certainly not! Let me show you something.” He leads them out of the office.

“Before you is the shop floor. You can see the workers doing their work. Their work is on their desks, so they look at their desks. Do you see? Good. Now, suppose, just suppose for a moment… Are you following me boy?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. Well, just suppose that you were to hang your bigger picture on the wall over there – which you wouldn’t, because it’s my wall. But anyway, suppose you hung it there. I dare say that it’s a fascinating thing, your bigger picture; and I dare say that all of the workers would think so too. They love to be entertained, as I was saying. But you must understand! I cannot have them looking away from their desks!”

© Josh Tomlin 2009

Josh is a recently qualified barrister, but is still hunting that elusive job!

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