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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Old Man Chapter 4 The Interview


The Interview
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It was the next day and almost ten o’clock.  He had showered even though the shower hardily worked.  Emerging with one of the fine suits, he looked very respectable. 

He felt a little naked without a briefcase when he addressed the secretary and told her he had an appointment.  After the obligatory wait of fifteen minutes the secretary told him, the head man would see him now.  He felt like he did when he went for his first interview as a young man. 

He was told to have a seat and the head man asked for a resume to which the old man replied, “Ask me any thing you want to know for I can answer you in more detail while looking directly at you.”  

The head man said; “Well then what can you do?”

The old man said, “Anything a CEO can do and more.”

This took the head man aback for a minute, but then he asked a litany of questions that the old man answered fully and then said, “What job was I being interviewing for?” 

The head man said, “That was to be decided by his skill.”

The old man said, “My skill area starts at the top that is with your job, although I wouldn’t take your job if it was offered because I know what you have to put up with each day.  Then I could handle any of the jobs from your level down to the messenger boy.  It only remains for you to decide on how I could help you do your job knowing all the time your job is safe.”

The head man had never interviewed any one like the old man.  The old man said let me ask you a question if I may.  “Have you been ordered to hire me by someone?”

The head man said, “Yes.  As a matter of fact I have been told not to let you out of here without offering you employment of some kind.”

The old man said, “I thought so.  If you don’t feel comfortable hiring me, just tell whoever ordered you to do that - - tell them that I refused the job offer and went on my way.  I would never contradict you and it would be your way out.”

The head man said, “You are hired.  You start tomorrow.  Just come in at eight thirty and you will be given a list of jobs that are open and you can select the one you want. If there isn’t any thing on the list you want then we will create the job you want to have.”

The old man said, “I’ll see you in the morning.”  

On the way out the old man saw the woman who gave him the new suits and told him to come here for a job.  He said, “It was you who ordered the head man to hire me wasn’t it?”

She pretended to deny it for a while but then said, “Yes it was me.”

She went on and said, ‘When I first saw you I thought you were a bum.  Then I got curious and wondered if you were a bum or like so many had fallen on hard times. That is why I had the head man offer you a job.  I wasn’t sure you would turn up and I made a bet with myself that you would and you did.  What job did you take?”

He said, “I don’t know.  He gave me a list of jobs to choose from here it is.”

She took the list and read it over.  She then penciled in another position which was Assistant Vice President.  She said, “This makes the list more interesting.  Its lunch time so let’s eat.”

They went to a reasonable priced restaurant she liked and she quickly ordered a petite steak or that was what they called it.

He said, “I would like the same thing only bigger.”  With the trimmings it was more like dinner than lunch.  Strangely enough she didn’t talk too much during their meal, but consecrated on eating as if she was hungry.  He thought her husband dying hasn’t hurt her appetite any.

While they had an after lunch coffee she began talking with questions galore.

He tried to limit his answers to a couple of words which only caused a barrage of follow up questions.  After his evasion and limited answers she said, “You know I have had you investigated don’t you?”

He was genuinely surprised by that and said, “Why on earth would you do a thing like that?”

She said, “Think about it.  The way you answered my questions, I knew you must be a very private person and I wanted to know all about you.  

He said, “All you could find out was things of record I may have things hidden that you don’t want to know about.”

She laughed and said, “I spotted you before you ejected your room-mate and her friend and then began to enquire as to your status.”

He said, “Well what is your conclusion about me.  Do I pass your test or am I found wanting?”

She answered and said, “It wasn’t anything like that, it was I felt you quit living far too soon and I was right about that, wasn’t I?”

He took a long time before answering her and then said, “Yes, you were right.”

She took a long breath and then said, “My situation seemed to parallel yours somewhat and after watching you I didn’t want to follow the same pattern of life that you did.  I purposed not to withdraw into oblivion feeling that life was over.  

I thought it was over for you until your roommate moved in and she had quite an effect on you.  You changed while around her and you owe her a lot.  
 
You are still a young man in your early sixties and watching you was important for if you could change then so could I.”

Upon that note they said goodbye and he had a lot of thinking to do.

The first thing was to tell that mirror on the wall to shut up, “I’m no longer an old man and from now on just reflect the new man, or your reflecting days will be over in a hurry.”

“Tomorrow,” he thought, “They will be getting a new Assistant Vice President and they don’t know what a bargain they are getting.”

To be Continued  

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