Friday, February 25, 2005

rand the hatchet #3

The Calling

"Randall Gray?" He already knew the answer to the question, but he wanted to make a good first impression on me. He waited for my nod, and extended his hand. "Neil Clark. It's good to meet you in person. Let's grab a room where we can discuss the job; I think you'll be a great fit. Follow me."

I was escorted to a room with a round table and a few chairs. The room was vacant but for the two of us and a copy of my resume. After sitting down and handling all of the cordial smalltalk, we began to discuss my skills and work history.

My resume screamed of instability, with all of the different cities and states that it named off, but I was prepared to put a positive spin on it, and managed to do so brilliantly. Neil was a recruiter, and really, his job was mostly done. He had already found me, and despite my inexperience, I clearly had the potential that my future employer was seeking. This meeting was really just a formality; my interview with the company that I now work for was already scheduled. "I gotta tell you, Randall... I really like what I'm seeing here. My boss wants to meet you; hold tight."

Neil disappeared out the door, and a couple of minutes later, his boss arrived. "Randall, I'm Curtis Solomon. Neil's been telling me good things about you." Curtis was a managing recruiter, who was handling the direct negotiations with my future employer. This second interview was also just a formality.

After having the same conversation with Curtis that I had with Neil, he began to tell me a little about the job. It sounded perfect for me, and I knew that I was perfect for it. My declaration of the fact that I was looking to be molded brought a smile to Curtis's face; I could very well be the one.

After the second interview, Curtis wanted me to meet his boss, yet another recruiter at their company. I was led to the end of the hall, to a single door that was fastened shut with numerous locks. The receptionist, seeing us approaching it, put whoever she was talking to on hold, and rushed over to unlock the door for us. Curtis and the receptionist carefully backed away from the door, making sure to never touch it or the doorknob. "He's in there... in you go," Curtis said. I thought nothing unusual of the situation at the time, and passed through the door confidently.

The room was considerably larger than I had expected, having seen the sizes of the other rooms in the office. There was a very odd, yet familiar feel to the scene - I couldn't quite place it then, and I certainly can't now, but the room somehow seemed peaceful. I remember sounds of running water, though there was no water to be seen, and it smelled vaguely of exotic fruits - I think strawberries, but I can't say for sure.

The white halogen lights seemed to beam from every side, and when I closed my eyes, the warm, white light somehow would pierce my eyelids, rendering them ineffective. Very quickly, I became unable to see anything but the light, as it penetrated all of my senses. It wasn't until I had reached this euphoric state that I first heard his voice.

"Randall, I've reviewed your resume, and I believe that you are the one who I will send. Do you know who I am?"
"I assume that you're the directing recruiter."
"Well... yes, but do you know who I really am?"
"Nope, sorry."
"Not even a guess? Damnit. Well, I'm God."
"Randall, I've chosen you to write programs for the company that we're negotiating with."
"Right, that's what I do."
"Yes, but there's more to it than that. I've chosen you to write programs to automate things... to replace the functions that many people now do manually. I want to cut down the workforce and to do away with overtime... I hate overtime."
"I mean, if you're hired to work a specific set of hours, why should you have the opportunity to work more? That's just poor planning; if you can't get your work done on time, you should either be replaced, or someone should be hired to lighten the load."
"I'm sorry to vent on you like that - it's just been building up for a long time."
"It's cool."
"You'll fix all of this anyway, if you choose to take the job, that is..."
"Well, the 'divine messenger' crap is lost on me; you'll have to convince me to take the job through other methods."
"Are you serious? Everyone loves the whole 'sent by God thing'."
"Yeah, but you're not really God."
"Shit! .... Goddamnit, I've been working on this one for a while... how could you tell?"
"For one, God has a Scottish accent..."
"Damn... most people don't know that... "
"But more importantly, the hatred of overtime... I know my shit too well to be duped into that one. Isaiah 28:13 says, 'Tell my people that I hope they fucking rot in their cubicles'."
"Damn, you're good. Yeah, I'm Satan... this shit usually works..."
"It was a nice attempt... you just need to work on the details a little."
"Shit, I really wanted you to be the one to write programs that result in people getting fired. Oh well, I'll try to find someone else."
"Well, how much does the job pay?"

It was then that Satan realized that I truly was the one for the job. He cackled in delight, and made love to me gently for hours with his index finger.