[Short Story] The Job Interview

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Simon Gatsby is waiting for a job interview. He is wearing his suit. He is very nervous. There is another man in the waiting room. The other man is also wearing a suit. He looks very relaxed. He is playing games on his smartphone.

Simon will finish university soon. He must find a job. He saw an advertisement in the paper. It said —- We are looking for a recent graduate. Exciting position for the right person.—

There was no more information. Simon sent his CV to the address in the advertisement. He got a letter saying he was on the shortlist, and he could have an interview.

It’s very strange, thought Simon. I don’t know anything about this job. I don’t know what this company wants. I don’t know what they would want me to do. How can I give the right answers to their questions?

 A woman comes into the waiting room. “Mr Mellow,” she says. The other man in the waiting room stands up. He follows the woman into another room.

That guy’s name is Mellow, thinks Simon. He looks very confident. If we both want the same job, I am sure he will get it.

Simon waits. After about 10 minutes, the other man comes back to the waiting room. He smiles at Simon and walks out.

The woman comes back into the room and says, “Mr Gatsby?”

Simon follows her to an office. The woman opens the door and says, “Mr Malbeau, this is Mr Gatsby.”

She walks away, and Simon goes into the office. There is only one person in the room.

A very large man is sitting behind a desk. “Sit down,” he says to Simon. He points to a chair in front of the desk.

Simon feels very nervous. “Thank you for giving me this interview…….”

The man starts talking before Simon has finished.  “Now. Do you want this job?”

“I don’t know what it is,” says Simon.

“Why do you want to know what the job is?” asks Mr Malbeau. “You will finish university very soon. You need a job. I will give you a job. What is the problem?”

Simon is very puzzled. “But what do you want me to do? What are the working hours? What about medical insurance? Vacation time?”

Mr Malbeau looks angry. “Medical insurance? Vacations? Do you think I’m crazy? I want someone who will work for me seven days a week. You will do everything I tell you to do. I want someone who will be available 24 hours a day.”

Simon thinks about it. If he wants me to be available to work all the time, he will pay a lot of money. I could pay back my student loans.

 “How much will you pay me?” he asks.

Mr Malbeau tells Simon the salary. It is very, very low. It is less than Simon would get for working in a fast food restaurant for only twenty hours a week. And Mr Malbeau wants him to work seven days a week!

“So, do you want the job or not?” asks Mr Malbeau.

Simon stands up. “No. Thank you, Mr Malbeau. You want a slave. I don’t want to be a slave. Good bye.”

Simon walks out of the office. He walks through the waiting room, and out onto the street.

The man named Mellow is standing in the street. He sees Simon, and walks towards him. “Did you take the job?” he asks Simon.

“No! Of course not. Did you?”

Mellow laughs. “No way. There must be better jobs we can find. I waited to talk to you. I thought you looked like a nice guy. I wanted to tell you to say ‘no’. The man must be mad.”

“Maybe he thinks new graduates will take any job,” said Simon.

“It’s very difficult to find a job, but it would be better to work in a restaurant or a gas station.” Mellow is laughing. “I am sure Mr Malbeau has interviewed many people. I am sure they all said ‘no’. Let’s buy a newspaper and go and get a cup of coffee. We can look for real jobs and help each other.”

Simon feels happy. He doesn’t have a job but he has met a very friendly guy called Mellow. Simon thinks he has made a friend. It was a successful job interview.