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In Human Resources

by Luc Reid

As we filed into the eighth floor conference room, I could feel our consensus as though it were bathtub water lapping at all our ankles. True, a phone interview wasn't the same as an in-person interview, but we all felt Gary Horder was a shoo-in. The problems that had plagued our engineering department for most of the last decade would be over with a guy like Gary in charge. I dropped into my accustomed chair just as the door creaked open.

"Gary," I said, standing up and extending my hand. "Glad to ..."

He opened the door, and I stopped. Gary Horder was four feet high, with wide, pointy ears, green skin, and protruding eyes like an undersea fish. He wore a gray wool suit and a bright blue tie with a golf ball tie pin.

"Glad to see you could make it," I managed, turning the extended hand into a vague wave toward the empty chair at the end of the table, which he ignored. I sat back down, crossing my legs and folding my arms over my chest.

Gary looked around at the lot of us. "Is something wrong?" he said. The little goblin bastard. He knew exactly what was wrong.

"I had no idea you were a ..." blurted Denise, the engineering VP, but she caught herself. "... golfer." Burt, my assistant, started singing one of those damned forest ditties under his breath, a nervous habit. I quelled him with a glare. Burt was supposed to have screened this guy, God damn it.

The problem was, I had already shown Horder's work to the Big Guy, and he was expecting me to hire a genius engineer. He wouldn't care about Horder's ... issue. He'd just hold me to the fire if I didn't sign the little toad.

"So, no window office," I said flatly.

"Something in the basement would be nice," he said.

"We'll be in touch," I said. He bowed and left.

"In three hundred twenty years in the Personnel department ..." I said "No, forget it. Burt, you're fired. Go back to the fucking forest where you belong. 'Never hire from the woods,' my old man used to say. I should have listened."

Burt shot me a poisonous look and skulked out, leaving nothing but High Elves in the conference room. I ignored the others and sat staring at the wall, thinking wistfully two hundred years ahead to my retirement.


My dad said: "shoo-in." He's right. Funny story, though.

Posted by: David | May 21, 2009 10:35 PM

Thanks for the correction; I changed it now. Good to know that one!

Posted by: Luc | May 21, 2009 10:52 PM

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