This is a fiction that I formulated in my mind as I experienced part of it for real.
I hate group inerviews.
I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere in my blog that my main mission is just to get stuff out for folks to read. I figure i should probably work it over a bit more before posting it, but I’m not super concerned with making it perfect before sharing it. I just want to put things out and then refine them later.
I’m pretty happy with it for now, but please let me know what you think. I’d really appreciate some feedback.
Oh, and also as an FYI, it’s a touch longer than other stories I’ve posted. I hope you enjoy it.
The group Interview Takes a Turn…
“What a bunch of assholes…” Kyle thought, sizing up his competition as he entered the conference room of the National Package Shipping warehouse. It was another “group interview” for another job he was over qualified for. Times were tough… the economy…. Blah blah blah. It ain’t easy living day-to-day as a “Real American” down-trodden by “the Man…” Someone had once told Kyle, “Life’s a Cesspool, and sometimes you just have to wade through all the crap. You can shower on the other side, but you’ve got to wade through it.” Kyle was determined to make it out the other side for that glorious golden shower – wait… that’s already a thing… well anyways… he was going to make it, and perhaps this warehouse job would be the first step.
Kyle and the other 25 applicants for that week were shuffled into the large empty conference room. The pale pink walls were festooned with motivational posters of eagles and humpback whales with quotes about teamwork and perseverance. – You know, the first sign that your job might suck is that someone felt a need to put up a poster in the break room reminding you to persevere. – But anyways, there they sat in the oddly sterile room bathed in fluorescent light, each person quietly judging the other, each person thinking to themselves “What a bunch of assholes.
They were given no instruction at first, but after sitting for 5 minutes a young woman in a grey pants-suit entered to hand out information forms and pencils. Everyone immediately began filling out their forms with the requisite name, address and contact info. Kyle did the same, reminding himself to write slowly and neatly so that they could actually read his handwriting – he had always excelled at horrible handwriting. The woman in the suit reminded everyone to fill out all the fields on both sides, especially the last section on the back page… Kyle lost concentration for a moment, “they never give you enough space to fill out these damn things” he thought. He raised his hand, “I need another copy of this form, this one got messed up.” Another couple minutes passed with no additional instruction. Kyle was filling out his second form and successfully scaled his information to fit into the provided fields this time, when he finally got to the bottom of the back side of the form he was becoming self-conscious, realizing everyone else had been done for a while. He continued carefully filling in his availability and past work experience, almost on auto-pilot at this point. One more field, the most important one apparently and he might actually be done in time to give his undivided attention to the person who would, presumably enter soon to explain the job opportunity…
Kyle finished with time to spare. As moments stretched into minutes, a thought entered his mind, “why were they asking for emergency contacts so early in the process?” That thought no sooner passed into his mind, than the woman in the grey pants-suit entered the room again. This time she was followed by three men, each in a shirt and tie. They all carried with them a large duffle bag. Each person walked to a different corner of the room, where they dumped out the contents of their bags and quickly filed out of the room again.
The applicants were stirred by the activity and loud metallic thuds as they looked to the corners of the room to discover piles of medieval weaponry… A young woman dressed in khakis and a white shirt rushed to one of the doors to see where the Grey Pants-suited women and her helpers had gone. “You guys, the door is locked…..” “Check the other door” someone shouted as he rushed towards it only to find it was also locked. “What the hell are we supposed to do with this shit?” the first woman yelled as she launched into a rant. Throughout the room rabble began, confusion and frustration could be heard… with just a hint of fear.
“What the hell” “Ah hell no” “what the shit” “when they going to give us the tour?”
Kyle’s mind began to race… “There’s only one logical course of action here, how long before these other people figure it out too?” He knew what needed to be done, but it was a road he couldn’t turn back from if he was wrong about it… he was sized up the piles, they were each identical with swords, shields, battle axes and maces… He’d have to act quickly to get a good weapon, do some damage quickly before the others had time to gather their wits… In a flash, he went for it. He lunged for the nearest pile of weapons grabbing a single-hand short sword and a round shield. The rest of the room was still in shock. They still hadn’t put it together yet. Kyle pivoted and swung, beheading the woman in khakis who was still yammering at one of the doors.
It didn’t take long after that for the rest of the room to decay into a bloody melee as everyone scrambled for a weapon, but Kyle had drawn first blood and for once felt he had a leg up on his competition. He stood guard over the pile of weapons behind him, dispensing with everyone who approached him. Sure it was dirty, but the fewer armed people in the room the better.
He watched as the weak fell quickly, refusing to fight back. There was weeping from some, while others stoked a fire of determination within to survive. Kyle Swung hard cutting down person after person. An attacker came at him from his left, he blocked and spun cutting the attackers legs out from under him. As he rose another attacker came from his left, he parried and countered with a crush to his skull. The wheat was separating from the chaff.
Suddenly the room fell nearly silent. The screams of death replaced by heavy breathing of the survivors. Without the resonant clang of swords and cracking skulls you could actually hear the hum of the AC again. Kyle turned to see who was left. He was one of eight still standing, but he could tell he was out matched by the others. It was then that he realized it would take more than perseverance to leave this room alive. It would also take teamwork.