Funny Contemporary Fiction

***Warning - profanity***

I must say it's not bad for a Thursday morning so far. As every other day I'm over my morning coffee with one of my colleague-friends and now we go together for a personal meeting to conduct a job interview for one of our open positions. It's 10.28 a.m. and we're sitting down with Nicole in the room chit-chatting in a good mood, waiting for the candidate to arrive. I'm checking us in the meeting room on its board when I hear steps and I turn with a big smile to greet the candidate - only to realize it's that bizarre guy from six days ago with whom I had a terrible date thanks to Tinder.

Fuck my life. 

I remember him mentioning he's between jobs and that he's trying but I never would have thought we'd meet ever again after I managed to escape with some fake excuse. 

We look at each other frightened but both of us try to hide the embarrassment. I especially don't want Nicole to know what's up because I tell her my failed Tinder meetups all the time and – oh God I just told her about this fucking guy this morning over our coffee.

Mental note to self: I really should stop gossiping about my love life. 

Also, I'm pretty sure purely out of superstition that this is happening because the café ran out of my favorite breakfast bagel today. They never run out of it. They always have it. Basically this is why I love it so much. 

Damn you, smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel!  

We awkwardly take our seats while my mind recalls that fucking ridiculous moment when walked out of the restaurant and he made a failed attempt to make a joke that reflects very well the peculiar, absolutely fucking stupid humor he has. 

Which is, right after I stepped out the door to the street he patted my belly and said, 'A little too much dessert, yeah? You're gonna have to lose it if we date.' And he grins the way that all I can see is Donkey from Shrek. Absolutely ridiculous. I just wanna go home. To quote the mentioned character’s epic scene, 'are we there yet?'

I've never succeeded at Tinder dates but I just can't help myself and keep going on with them. It's almost pathetic how hard I try to find someone and finally settle, just so I don't need to confront my family on the forthcoming holidays yet again. I'm so tired, why is it so hard to find someone I genuinely like? Am I really just a waste of space? Or am I just exceptionally good at self sabotaging? But that's not something you put in your dating profile bio as a brag, do you?

So it’s a good question, how I'll survive the next 60 minutes, although if I play well enough, we might finish in 45 minutes. I hope Nicole will lead the interview because I just want to kill myself right now. Or him. 

Or what if I just come up with some fake excuse like I did on Friday? That I need to be somewhere else? An urgent call from an important client? But my phone has never been more silent. If I try to stare at the ceiling hard enough, will it collapse on us? Can I —


Oh fuck, that's my name. Nicole is asking something. Maybe I should just quickly nod, agreeing. But now Nicole looks at me terrified and adjusts her collar. I really don't want to look at — What was his name? He just introduced himself - for the second time, idiot, how could I already forgot?

Mental note to self: I'm a horrible person who deserves to be alone. 

Luckily Nicole is prepared because she's a pro, as always. Thank God she leads the discussion. 

So I sit here quietly for fifteen minutes straight and can hear questions after questions and nothing but bad or clearly inexperienced answers. I know it's not a good sign if only one of us talks so I manage to break my excruciating silence and form a question about past examples with a very awkward break in my voice. 

He fails to give a credible response and begins to stutter some more obvious fucking lies - as if any of his answers had been such that makes him fit the job. Nicole is a pro, so the only reason I can see her being disappointed in this interview and in the candidate is because I have known her for years and can read her face pretty well by now. 

Mr. Donkey here on the other hand has no chance of knowing it - although he definitely feels the interview's going unwell, if he has any sense.

Nicole is asking something about his motivation and expectations of a new job and he suddenly just breaks out of character, he's cracked. His attitude's attacking, strikes down on us.

“Why do you ask these questions?” He's asking these in a condescend tone.

“What do you mean?” Nicole is blinking quickly as if her long false eyelashes were a butterfly which is just about to fly away from a flower.

“Come on now, ladies! This is clearly a setup," he's gesturing with his hands, "you only called me in to embarrass me with these questions, but you have no intention to hire me. You even ask these impossible questions!”

“What are you talking about?” Nicole is asking with an embarrassed laughter, her eyelashes are still in one place, "these are standard interview questions, we go through them with all possible candidates.”

“Is this because Sophia and I had a bad date? Do you attack me on purpose? Let me lay down that she was the one who just bailed on me with no proper explanation! I think we had a good time! Do you enjoy gaslighting me?”

Boom. The emotional bomb exploded on me. They both stare at me daunted. I can't say a word so I just silently curl my lips and shake my head followed by my shaking shoulders and with wide eyes I stare at the floor like I had no idea what's going on. The three of us sit there in silence for like ten seconds and then he goes on very direct and mildly annoyed yet so confident I wish any other candidate would be just half of this sure in what they're saying. 

“Okay, you wanted this question! So let me tell you what my expectations are for this new job, shall I?” There he makes a fake grin and continues.

“Say it's an average Thursday morning, because it is Thursday morning now, yeah? You slept in a little so you roll up to the office around 9.20 a.m. still a bit tipsy because you had a night party dragging on. You turn on your computer but immediately head to the kitchen to have some breakfast which although makes you nauseous because of all the booze you had, you try to hide your gagging from your colleagues. You gossip a little about yesterday's meetings and overhear your female colleagues quickly cut to complaining about Kieran being a jerk again and Flynn being imbecile, all this while brewing coffee. 

“By the time you arrive back at your computer from the kitchen, it's already 9.42 so you open your mailbox, yeah? Three incoming emails. This is unprecedented. That bastard boss is fucking with you again with some shitty reports to do, so the point is you have a reason to curse your boss while typing violently, which makes you look like you're super busy but you're really just fooling around with colleagues on the work chat. 

“Slowly you decide to look for lunch which takes a whole hour by accident. Oops! 

“You find yourself back at your computer around 1 o'clock and see that another two emails arrived so you have all the right to be indignant at your workload. In fact it makes you so angry that you need to have a coffee with one of your favorite colleagues with whom you have to complain about how much sacrifice you make on the altar of work every day, and in return you receive so little. An hour later you finally sit down to do your job while still cursing heavily. 

“Wow, time flies, it's already 3.30 in the afternoon – however, meanwhile you jumped out three times to quickly smoke even though you promised yourself you'll quit it for good, and you even went to the store once only to buy a Snickers bar, but hey - everyone deserves it, right?! In the meantime your boss scheduled a meeting for the next day for which you can hate them just a little bit again.

“You get to fool around on the office chat once again and before you know it's already only one minute to four and you're rooting for the office clock hand to go around to finally hit 4 o’clock so you can jump out of your chair claiming you have now an important matter to attend to – meaning you have to go drink with your friends again, yeah? But you promise to check the mailbox from home in case anything urgent comes in – but you really mean your personal mailbox as you expect a mail from eBay about something you bought earlier – and that you'll meet tomorrow. 

“So... By when can I expect any feedback on today's interview?” he adds cynical.

He's looking at us knowing he just destroyed us. The room is so silent I almost hear crickets chirping. Nicole is gulping aloud and her being a pro takes over the control of her mind saying,

“We'll... we'll let you know by the end of next week. If you have no questions, thank you for your time...”

A weak attempt for a handshake but it's rejected. 

“Thank you for the opportunity,” he spits sarcastically and walks away as unexpectedly as he arrived.

March 05, 2022 08:22

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Erin Cuellar
22:38 Mar 16, 2022

This was funny! I could see that happening.


Liv Nemethi
05:55 Mar 18, 2022

Thank you!


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