Like many of his scientist brethren, Steve has never been very good with people. His social skills are what you might call retarded. So, when it came to selling himself to a potential employer for a job in the private sector that he really wanted (the company had just purchased a much touted Hybridizer4000 which Steve would give anything to try), he knew the odds were against him, but on paper, he was everything they were looking for.
At 7AM, he shaved, showered and dug out his best suit with a tie his sister had picked out to go with the shirt and shoes he was wearing. He took one last glance in the mirror before he left his house. It only made him more nervous since the image staring back at him didn’t much resemble him at all. He sighed and gave himself a half smile, which contained a pat on the back. He was as ready as he’d ever be.
Steve got on the train headed for downtown with everyone else. He stood so as not to rumple his suit. The train seemed to take forever, yet when he alighted at the designated stop, he somehow still had another hour to kill before he could reasonably check in and sit in the waiting room for the interview. He walked over to the courtyard in front of the courthouse and stood in line to purchase a coffee. When he already had the beverage, he decided it was best not to drink it since it would only make him more jittery and would most likely induce the need to urinate. He carried it around anyway. The warmth felt good against his hand. It was still early spring and the sun hadn’t made its daily visit to the courtyard yet. He got a paper and pretended to read it, but none of the words meant anything. He read the same sentences over and over again without ever sinking in, but at least it gave him the illusion of purpose. He sat there for an hour freaking himself out and doubting his abilities to even form a complete sentence.
Finally, at 8:30, it was time to make a move. By that time, he was so nervous and full of self-doubt that he was visibly shaking and his legs refused to work. He attempted to stride with purpose to the building across the street. That’s the last thing he remembers about the events of that morning. Everything else is a blank. Later on, by reliable sources, he was told what happened.
When he got in the elevator, he couldn’t remember which floor to go to, so he pushed every button, thereby annoying and delaying all the other passengers. After entering no less than a dozen wrong offices, giving a different name to each, security was called to handle the wayward interviewee like a five year old lost at the mall. Steve kept handing the guard the morning paper thinking that it was a printout of the email telling him where to go and with whom to meet. Eventually, the security guard searched his portfolio, found the actual email and escorted him to the proper office.
While he was waiting, he continually and loudly hummed a Christmas song annoying the receptionist. He had also loosened his tie. When Mr. Shaw, the man with whom he was to interview, came to collect him, Steve had no tie, no jacket and he had removed one of his shoes. Steve went to shake his hand, but the hand he held out still contained the cold cup of coffee, which he proceeded to dump all over the front of Mr. Shaw’s finery. Amazingly, Mr. Shaw interviewed him anyway. The interview consisted of loud singing, primarily on Steve’s part, and a review of his resume on Mr. Shaw’s part. He was then escorted out of the building by the same security guard, who Steve found out had worked there for thirteen years, was named Greg and had three children.
The next thing Steve remembers after walking toward the job interview is returning to his apartment. He had only one shoe on his foot, his suit coat was on over his bare chest with no shirt, and there was some sort of sticky substance all over his feet, hair and hands. When his sister called to find out how the interview went, he didn’t answer the phone. Three other calls came while he was in the shower: one from his colleague, one from his college professor and a third from his supervisor at the university lab. All three of them said they had been called to give references and just what the hell happened over there today?
The next day, Mr. Shaw called and said that he got the job. Apparently, Steve was the only person they interviewed and his qualifications were exactly what they needed. His references were beyond reproach and each of them had assured Mr. Shaw that he didn’t normally behave that way. The company needed him to start as soon as possible. Would Monday be alright? Oh, and by the way, your shoe is at the security station. You may pick it up at your leisure.