Steve worked for an upscale temp agency. It was his job to fill difficult positions and ask the hard questions to see if people really qualified for the jobs they were after.
It was just another day at the office and a pile of folders had piled up in front of him. His schedule was jammed with back-to-back interviews and his eyes were on the clock, looking forward to going home.
He shifted a folder towards him, opened it up and quickly scanned over the unfilled position at Domico Veterinary. This was a hard one since the employer had a contract with the city shelter — and the job involved putting down overflow animals that were otherwise healthy.
Steve’s eyes grimaced. He hated having to fill this position, but he hated more that this position even existed in the first place. Most people know that animal shelters help animals, but what a lot don’t know is that they often shut down on Mondays to euthanise any unadopted ones. Euthanise is another name for "kill". It’s not something they want to do, but otherwise they won’t have room for new animals coming in.
Steve always felt bad on Sundays since he knew it was the last day for a lot of desperate dogs and cats. In a way he hoped by not filling this position he would save some animal lives — but he also knew that he was just dreaming rainbows, and that it had to be done.
Steve looked up as Nancy entered. Nancy was around 30, with long blond hair and a nice smile. She didn’t really look the “nerves of steel” type, but Clark hoped that this time around, looks would be deceiving.
He motioned for her to sit down. They made some small talk but then Clark cut to the chase.
“I’ll be honest and straightforward, and if you want the job, I need you to answer truthfully and directly too.”
She nodded, ready.
“What we’re really looking for is someone who won’t flinch at killing them."
Nancy didn’t flinch. This was a good sign.
“I can handle that,” said Nancy.
Inside Steve felt sick.
“A quarter of the job involves making sure they don’t get sick, but the rest is putting them down. You’ve obviously done that before?”
Nancy nodded her head.
“Off the record, how do you do it?”
Nancy thought about it for a moment.
“I’ve looked into their eyes and watched the life go out of them. I’ve done it in quite few different ways.”
Something about her statement disturbed Steve, but here was his first candidate who actually seemed fine with the position. She looked around nervously, not sure if she could continue… but she did.
“The younger they are the easier it is, since they don’t really know what’s coming next. The older ones can sense what you want to do — and put up a struggle. I always, of course, try not to do it unless I really, really have to.”
“I’m sure it must be hard,” empathised Steve.
“It is. But I’m really good at what I do and I’m discreet,” she said.
He shook Nancy’s hand and said he’d get back to her then placed her file on the great possibility pile.
As she was leaving, his next interviewee entered: a man in late 40s, with a long beard and pierced nose. Steve looked down at his desk, confused. In front of him was a folder to be the executive Nanny for several children.
“You’re here for the Nanny position?”
“No,” chuffed the bearded man, "for Domico Veterinary.”
Steve immediately hurried out of his office towards his assistant.
“The woman who walked in… what position was she here for?”
“The Nanny position. That was Nancy James. She comes highly recommended,” said his assistant.