A Job Interview In Hell

Conforming Out of Necessity

“Can you stop shaking your leg?” His glare beamed through to the back of my skull. He pushed his small, circular rimmed glasses up while I put my hand on my knee like an arcade hammer to a whacka mole. I nodded up, down and in some directions I’m sure were unnatural.

“Good, we can begin the interview.” The dread that wound up and in my gut is how I imagine criminals feel when they hear Batman’s voice. Then again, jail sounded awfully nice at this point. I’d probably react to Batman’s voice like how I react to a new episode of Game of Thrones.

Mr. Johnson then licked the tip of his pen just 1/100th of a second too long and began writing in a fluid-y yellow notepad. “How do you define leadership?” His brown glasses were foggy, and this time he did not lift his gaze from his notepad.

I nodded with all the energy of a person struggling to stay awake. “Well, Leadership is a bit like being the alpha dog in a pack lions, you really need to-“

“Stop right there.” Screw Batman, this guy reminded me more of the Joker. “Don’t be nervous Walter, it’s okay. It’s just we don’t go for analogies, metaphors or any types of figure of speech here.”

“Excuse me sir? I don’t quite follow.” My leg was shaking so fast I should have measured it on the Richter scale.

“Your line comparing leadership to being in a pack of lions? We don’t do that here. Now, I should have warned you, but that’s just not how the Peso Corporation does business. We are a literal company. Dollar signs, financial statements. That’s what we talk in.” He moved his calculator a mm to the right so it was inline with where his paper pad was.

“So no allegories?”

“We have no interest in hearing those stories.”

“No metaphors?”

“What reason for?”

“Can I use pathetic fallacy?”

“Then I will only give you apathy.”

Was I in a damn Monty Python sketch? My head warmed as my burrowed brain tried to find the best business jargon I could to impress this piece of cardboard that could be my next boss.

“Well, leadership is all about optimizing the efficiencies of your team. Eliminating waste, while leveraging competitive advantages to create long term, sustainable profits that contribute to company and team harmony.” I didn’t know I was capable of this evil.

“I like that answer. I like that answer very much, You could have mentioned money a bit more though.” He smiled a bit, revealing his yellow teeth. I imagined he avoided brushing his teeth so they would more resemble the colour of gold. I needed this job. Badly. So instead of actually rolling my eyes, I just telepathically rolled them.

I managed to find my inner peace for the rest of the interview as I realized the secret to this guy’s heart and soul; he doesn’t have either one. As long as I managed to bring everything back to profits and throw in “Synergy” every now and then, I was in the clear. When we were all finished, he gave me a smile and pointed to the door. I spent most of my commute home contemplating all the ways I could resist my soul transmogrifying into cardboard if I worked there.