Next please

16 Dec

“That’s Oh Ess. Sant-OS”. He peered at me belligerently down his long thin nose, through the heavy rimmed glasses. Two black eyebrows, meshed across the top. Long spidery fingers tapping on the thin cardboard folder holding his CV and references.

“Yes, indeed. So I see, Mr. Santos. And may I ask which vacancy are you here for today, sir?” Another glare, daring me to pass comment. He drew himself up to his full height, clearing his throat. I could feel the blush, rising inexorably up my neck.

“I submitted an application for the Retail Security Operative position that was advertised in the Crawnforth Gazette”. Each capital letter carefully enunciated, to emphasise the obvious gravitas of the position. “I applied in early September; I must say I was somewhat disappointed not to receive your invitation to interview until late November”. Another cannonade from the spiny finger tips.

“Indeed, Mr. Santos, and I apologise, of course. It appears there may have been a certain…” Breathe. Swallow. Think from the diaphram. “A certain administrative misunderstanding within the human resources system. But we are so fortunate that you have been able to attend for an interview today, and I do hope the delay hasn’t inconvenienced you at all”. And breathe again. I could feel the full incandescence of the blush burning in my cheeks. “Do take a seat Mr. Santos, and the interview panel will see you shortly”.

On the home straight now, I allowed my clenched facial muscles to relax a little. He turned, and haughtily eyed the single remaining seat. He folded in his elbows, and slid his spindly frame into the letterbox gap left in the row of rotund, bearded gentlemen. Suddenly, I recalled a pressing and most urgent need to visit the stationary cupboard.


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