The man in the well fitting suit continued to gaze out of the window to the cityscape beneath him.
This was his city, the city he had chosen to live in, not just be born to.
He could do this all day and often did. On the desk were the standard tools of his trade, the moleskine notebook. Squared not ruled. The Cross Pen, more expensive than a Bic biro but not so expensive that it looked ostentatious or that he was earning too much money. Two iPhones. The first, older, battered, showing the scars of his war. The other “theirs”, the corporation, newer, shinier. He never wore a watch, instinct telling him when it was time. He had done this thousand of times. The interview hour was in his blood.
Across the table sat a slightly crumpled man, mid twenties, in a suit and shirt that neither fitted nor sat well with him. His polished leather shoes too tight, barely worn, a label still stuck to a sole, looking good at his sisters wedding, less so now. He was uncomfortable. This wasn’t the experience he had hoped for, too many questions when he was last here and this time silence. Online he answered more questions. Questions he thought were there to trick him, catch him out. They didn’t want to know what he could do but how he thought, got motivated and felt.
“So what do you think? I am a quick learner and whilst not accomplished in all the skills you are looking for I know I can like literally pick them up.”
The well fitted suit didn’t look up. He continued to look out of the window, intently looking at the sky this time, imagining shapes in the sky, as a jet soared high in the distance. He was thinking about where he would move next. Up a corporate level again, further up the glass tower. Never to the top, that was not his place. No thought leadership here, all about delivery and execution. He may meet everyone that works at the corporation but that doesn’t mean he gets to decide why they need them in the first place, the jobs they will be doing here. It didn’t always work for him but best not to question too hard. There was always someone else that could do it instead and he liked being on the inside, privy to the grubby little secrets contained within.
The silence was broken by a slightly quivering voice.
“Was it the questions, did I get the questions wrong? I didn’t think you could get them wrong, that this was part of the process to work out what my abilities were? They said you couldn’t get the questions wrong?”
The mid twenties man was getting upset. Sweat on his brow, confusion in his eye. He didn’t know what to do. This had taken so long to get to, time he will never get back, time he could have done something else with, anything in fact, just not this, he had been told today was the decision day. He had been poked, prodded and probed.
It was his right to know what was going on.
He stood up.
“HAVE I GOT THE JOB OR NOT?”
Outside the meeting room it went silent. The usual buzz and chatter of people going about their day stopped for a moment to look. They had heard it before, returning back to their day with a knowing nod.
“Just tell me, please. Have I got the job?”
An almost imperceptible smile went across the well fitted suits face. He opened his moleskine notebook to a fresh page. Smoothing the crease of the spine. Slowly he took the cap off the Cross pen and in large letters wrote a single word.
He glanced up and met the eye of the still standing candidate, turning the notebook so it could be read. As he did so he returned to his view of the city.
The candidate looked down.
Just the one word.
After all he had done, all he had put himself through the answer was no. Rage, Anger, violence shot across his eyes in rapid succession. His face flushed with colour. He leant over the desk.
The suit didn’t move. Not a flicker.
“Why?” quieter this time.
“Please tell me, after all I like literally did. Please…”
The suit turned his moleskine round, closing it as he did. The top quickly back on his pen, resting on top of the closed notebook.
The candidate stood. He looked at the desk then out of the window. His gaze returning to the suit one final time. He turned round, opened the office door and left.
One of the phone’s on the desk buzzed. It was a text. The next candidate was in reception.
The suit looked back out of the window at the city. This was his city, the city he had chosen to live in, not just be born to.
He could do this all day.