Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Unpublished, undaunted, still trying

Working on character development. Hoping for the big breakthrough.

The job interview.

He was a pig-like man in a business suit. Blood dripped from his horns.

"Yes," the young man said timidly. "I will be your slave."

"Slave? We have no slaves. We are enlightened."

The young man sighed inwardly with relief. Perhaps this ordeal would not be so bad after all.

"Are you dynamic?"

"Yes! Yes! I am dynamic!" the young applicant blubbered.

"Beg me! Beg me for the job! Debase yourself!"

"Oh, please. Please." The young man dropped to his knees.

"Are you a team player? Are you a self-starter?"

"I am! I am! Let me be on your team!"

"Give me enthusiasm!"

"I want to be on y..."

"More! More enthusiasm!"

The recent college graduate was utterly overwhelmed with humiliation now.

"I am a determined self-starting team-playing over-achiever!"

Blood was dripping from the interviewer's lips now. He sensed the kill.

"God but I need a job! Oh, lalala nanana blablabla!" he gushed, unable to form real words any longer.

In row upon row of tiny cell-like cubicles, sad-eyed humanoids strained in tight polyester uniforms which clung to their chests and butts as they strained with their various appointed labors. The boy, half-crazed with weeks of unemployed-induced starvation, stumbled into the first cell.

Terror gripped the applicant. What am I to do here?

The mind of Max begins to lose interest, begins to think about horse-racing. He will never get the hang of this fiction stuff. Heads for the refrigerator.


  1. I love you, RM, but I think you're right on the fiction stuff. Perhaps it's not your cup of tea. I think many a would-be novelist writes like this without the realization you have that they just aren't cut out for it.

    I found a good picture to do that exercise with, where one writes a scene. I'll be putting it up on Rockets and Dragons in the next few weeks.

  2. I like it... I was right beside the MC the whole time, I felt his desperation and overwhelming sense of dread after getting the job—because life has just got mundane and hopelessly predictable. Now your realism could be improved, just because its fiction doesn’t mean it should have truth in it.

    I feel you can write what you want IF you really have the love, and desire to do so.

  3. I remember that interviewer only too well - and the thought still makes me wince.

    I know it makes you grumpy when I go off topic, but here I go again. Why is it that people doling out jobs have such fixed ideas of who would be suited to the work? There's more than one way to skin a cat.

  4. @ A. How often, really, does cat-skinning come up. Been in the work environment now for more than two decades; no one's ever asked me to skin a cat.

  5. @Stephanie Barr - I will look forward to the exercise. I will participate. I will win.

    @Jeff King - Thank you. I didn't realize how deep it was. I see it now.

    Realism? Like Cat in the Hat? Like Alice in Wonderland? Fiction is hard enough without taking the fun of lying out of it, man.

    I do write about what I love. I just haven't embraced fiction yet. :) You have what it takes for fiction, I don't.

  6. @A. - I sense you are serious. Well, I do believe that different types of people can do the same job, perhaps even do it well, even if they have different approaches or techniques to get the job done. But you can't just hire the first person who comes in off the street and assume he has the brains or perception to do the job. So you have to sort of fit the "right" person to the job rather than just give anyone a free hand to take a crack at it. Now, if the position is for a truck driver, and the applicant you are interviewing has only been a preacher all his life, maybe you tell him to go learn to drive a truck first. And if the job is for a cat-skinner second class and the lady is an opera singer, maybe you think she will leave off the cat skinning the first chance she gets to sing again.

    Actually, I think interviewers have little to say in the matter, having been told what kind of person to hire of the job at hand.

    I have been turned down for jobs I could have done easily. Sometimes being able to do a job superbly isn't enough. Maybe you're not old enough to impress the interviewer or maybe you don't have the right degree. Maybe they just aren't looking for someone with white skin. So many things beyond your control. I know that must be hard for you to believe, what with my pleasing personality and all.

  7. Ah, that must be why it didn't resonate with me. I've never been to a job interview where I didn't get an offer. Specialized field, you know.



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