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The Job of a Lifetime

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Where do I begin? My name is John Phillis and I worked as a human resources manager in this one company. The name doesn't matter, it folded up a while back in the recession.

Geez, the recession. You know, we were one of the few guys to see the start coming. We rode it like a cowboy and were one of the few places where hirings were still ongoing. We in the human resources department were understaffed so I had the lucky job of doing the interviews.

The interviews were conducted in this two-roomed unit, you know? Somewhere around the thirtieth floor of some new high-end building. It had what you'd expect a waiting room to be; A couple large sofas, a table in the center, a few plants, beautiful carpet, and this huge mirror on one side. They always said that it was to make the room seem larger, to give a feeling of opulence or some other stuff. Nobody really cared. We were hiring, that's all that anyone cared about. That was the problem, there should have been people lining up by the block for these openings.

There was nothing wrong with my company, understand? They were a reputable company that did a reputable job. They weren't some crazy sinister corporation with some ulterior motives, okay. They were legit. The problem was I was taking about a dozen interviewees a day. Only about a dozen. I'd receive about a hundred applicants each day and somehow I'd get only about a dozen people in the interview room. I would see lines of people in the waiting room prior to an interview and somehow the waiting room would be empty when the interview was over. I didn't think much of it at the time, I just assumed they left.

...

I had this dream once, or I think it was. Might be a memory simply surfacing. I was in the interview room when my interviewee stopped talking, simply froze in his seat. That's when I heard the voices from the other room. The side between the two rooms was made of thin plywood so I could easily hear anything said in the other room, though muted somewhat. I just never really paid much attention to it.

I heard a voice incredibly similar to mine, making nearly the same pitch I usually gave to my interviewees, except now addressed to all of them, telling them that the company was hiring all of them due to the sudden need for employees. I heard him exclaiming wonderful benefits, great salaries and even a company program to relocate their entire families. I heard the applicants gasp and awe and ask questions of whether it was too good to be true. I-he-whoever that was then asked them to follow him to his room to draw up the contracts. I heard the light shuffle of footsteps, then dead silence.

I asked my company if they'd install cameras in the waiting room, for security's sake of course. We went to the police soon after. The videos as it turned out showed the same thing after I conducted an interviewee to the interview room- a commotion in the waiting room, many of them with huge smiles and grins on their faces, all of the applicants standing up enthusiastically, static, then nothing. The room would then be devoid of all human life. The police ran a check on every one of the applicants' relatives. They had all moved away. It was suspicious, yes, but there was nothing the police could do about it. There just wasn't a case to work with.

...

Here I am now, unemployed and slowly going insane. I know what happened, I just don't know why. I'm tired, haggard and sleep deprived. And scared. I know what I saw, I know what I heard and I know what I look like right now. Bluntly put, I look like shit. But whenever I see my reflection, any reflection, I swear I could see a confident, sparkling interviewer ready to offer me the job of a lifetime.

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