(The premise of this story is fairly straight forward: a job interview. The speaker is the Human Resources Officer, Alexis Hardy, a regal blonde woman about 35, who is responsible for all hires with the company, a prestigious Banking firm)
"I'm so glad to see you Ms. Corbitt. Please have a seat. I've just been looking over your application. Hmmm... I see you are applying for the position we currently have open for a Junior Executive. There are quite a number of very qualified candidates interviewing for that position I have to tell you.
We, at Stern and Associates, like to think of ourselves as one big happy family. I'm sure you will fit in quite nicely.
Although there are some things we will have to run through before I can tell for sure if you are truly Stern material. All formalities I assure you. Nothing to sweat over. You seem nervous. Yes, it has been quite a warm day. And that sweater doesn't really fit our climate. Oh, you recently moved here from up north and haven't have time to adjust your wardrobe. That's understandable.
That must be very disorienting, I understand. Moving from so far away. New city. No family or friends. I understand. Well, you'll make lots of friends here. We're just one big happy... like I said before.
Anyway, first things first. I have to give you a short test, to make certain you didn't, shall we say, "elaborate", on your credentials.
Now, now. Please don't look so shocked. You'd be amazed at how many applicants we receive every day who claim to be experts in almost every aspect of business and finance and we've been fooled before. They usually crack up in their first real assignment. Makes us look pretty foolish. And I don't like looking foolish. So, I've made it my goal to personally determine if our prospective employees are who they say they are. Nothing personal, I assure you. I'm sure you won't have any problems with this simple test?
Good. I'm glad you've calmed down and see things my way. Ability to take criticism and carry out orders is very important here. You'll have to be able to do that if you want to make this your home.
Here is what our test consists of.
This is a dummy portfolio of one of our most demanding clients. I have made some specific changes and errors hidden in the numbers of these books. You have 20 minutes to set their accounts straight. Spelling and accuracy are the most important things to them.
They are somewhat anal about that but the customer is always right and we intend to bend over backwards to please our customers.
What? You just lost a contact lens? Well, let me see if I can help you find it.
Oh my God. I'm terribly sorry about that. I think I accidentally stepped on it. What's that? You have to have those to see clearly? Well, I'm afraid we don't have time for you to get a new pair. I have three more applicants waiting and I have to finalize the choice this afternoon at 2. That doesn't give you enough time to go get a replacement pair.
You have glasses for emergencies? Yes? Ahhh... good. Well, you'll just have to wear them for the rest of the day until you can go home. But you hate wearing them? I can see why.
Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I suppose they are fine. I just thought they made you look older than you really are and don't flatter your face much.
Please you're getting angry again. That won't help you do well on the test at all. You'll need to have your full concentration to do well. Without a good score I'm afraid you won't even be in the running for the position. And I know you must need that job.
So just sit down here like a good girl and forget what I said about looking like a fat old woman?
What do you mean I didn't say fat before?
Oops. That must have slipped out. Sorry, didn't mean to put ot that way. But it is... well...
My, your such a over sencitive thing, aren't you? I hope your not going to take all this personally and start crying. I didn't meant to be cruel, but you have to understand all the Executives here have an obsession with physical beauty. It's one of our company mottos:
"A slim body makes for a keen mind." Catchy don't you think? And, well, to be honest, you just don't have a slim body, my dear. In fact, you actually must not exercise at all. Is that true? You really should you know. You send out the wrong impression when you let yourself go and wind up turning into a real little moo-cow.
Sorry, that's just what my little girl keeps calls you 'hefty' people. Isn't that precious? She's so cute, really she is! She's always going: 'Mommy, she's such a moo cow, isn't she mommy?' (laughter)
Oh MY... It's quite embarrassing even if it's true, huh? I know you'd just love her if you meet her. Takes after her father I'm afraid. Poor thing just talks, talks, talks and bluirts whatever's on her little mind. Kids are like that. Empty-heads but there sure is a heck of alot of truth comes pouring out of them nevertheless.
We have a full gym and sauna facility right here in the building and all employees are required to participate in a full exercise program each and every morning.
Yes, exercise dear.
Most of the Executives love to come in an hour or so early so they can show off their hard bodies and get a good work-out. The showers are even glassed in so everyone can see how good everyone else os looking, isn't that nice?
Geee, I'm afraid you will stick out like a sore thumb, for a while anyway. Are you modest about being nude in front of all your co-workers? Well, you'd best get over that quickly, understand?
But I'm sure you'll drop some of those unsightly pounds before too long. Eventually.
All employees must wear a regulation spandex exercise ensemble that will be deducted from your month's pay. Unfortunately after taxes and all the other deductions that really won't leave too much for you this first month, especially after all the costs I know are involved in relocating to a new town. There is a soup kitchen down by the homeless shelter if you get really hungry. I'm sure they'll take you in.
Here is an example of the leotard. Yes, it is quite revealing. I have to say it doesn't leave much to the imagination, does it? But then we're all just one big happy family, remember?
Now jennifer, you'll need to wear your little exercise outfit every day and participate in the group exercises. Unfortunately we tend to run them in the small size so this one will be pretty snug on you.
But I suppose most clothes are snug on you aren't they dear?
By their looks, some people actually believe we hire our Executives straight from the Playboy mansion. Ha. If only it was that easy. Our women (and it might suprise you to know that Stern and Associates' Executive tier is almost primarily female) comprise some of the brightest and most beautiful women from almost every field.
I believe it's because our President, Beverly Stern, prefers to work primarily with women. She's quite the feminist leader in this community. A true ground-breaker. And from what her competitors say, a real "ball-breaker" as well. Compassionate but firm. That's what she is.
Will you listen to me prattle on? If you're to finish this test I have to be quiet. You only have 10 minutes left to finish. Please begin."
(Ten minutes later after you hastily try your best to make sense out of the poorly written accounts... )
"My, my... tsk tsk tsk... I'm afraid this doesn't really measure up to our expectations. Perhaps this really isn't the position for you. Now don't panic dear... I supose there are lots of smaller less prestigious companies that might need your services though. Don't start crying again. That only really makes your pudgy little face look even fatter when you're all flushed and red like that. You really do look just like a little piggie sow like this, don't you? No, I'm not kidding. Have you ever noticed? Here, take a peek in that mirror there behind my desk. In that thick sweater you look just like a piggie-girl.
Here at Stern and Associates we all have "pet" names for each other. Can you guess what yours might be? Don't get huffy, It's just a harmless way for everyone to rememebr your face and relax and feel at ease around you. What? You don't like it?