Job Interviews Are For the Birds

Summary:
August 5, 2014: Mike Drakos needs to hire workers for his "up-scale recycling center".

Mutant Town - New York City

Mutant Town isn't so much a slum or ghetto as it an enclave. Sure, it started out as something else, but it's big enough now to have its own personality and, frankly, subcultures within the larger… uh… subculture.

Regardless, it's as eclectic and unpredictable as its inhabitants. Which means: Very.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Mike Drakos was out half the night hunting down that … thing … that got summoned in Flushing, and in the end, had to kill it with a painstakingly made sword of rock salt and silver. Sodium is arguably a metal so Mike was able to make enough salt act like it belonged together as a blade, but it wiped him out for an hour. But when he did finally stab it, the iron stopped screaming. Thus was the monster … well, not necessarily slain, but evicted.

Today, though. He got a phone call Bright and Early, and arranged for a lunchtime appointment. The meeting is in a small office flat on the border of Mutant Town, in a 'rent your meeting space' place.

Mike Drakos is there in a casual business suit, with human-compatible refreshments provided by the rental place.

He offers a chair to Mr. Reha and sits at one corner of a conference room table.

~

Jim Reha has been seeking jobs for what feels like forever, even though it's been at most a week or so. Every time something looks promising or likely, the eyes of the interviewer invariably go down to the line items on his resume of '19 years' with a major retail corporation, or they see the lack of a college degree, or they look at him and judge almost instantly that he's 'got too much experience'. He's actually gotten rather used to it, so the prospect of an interview presented at a very advanced hour found him rushing to catch trains and get home to clean up and then rush over to the appointment.

A bit ruffled but still reasonably presentable, he knocks on the door of the office and sits close enough to the interviewer to not have to shout, but with some of the table between the two of them so as to present the proper level of 'separation' for such a situation. He pulls out his resume and contact list, and sits after the interviewer, clearly fighting the urge to fidget a bit. Must be one of those people who interviews poorly.

~

Mike looks at the resume, <click> and then the contact list, <click> the audible sound of a camera capturing the images. Nineteen years with the main retail site for … yeah. Those guys. The Catalog/Brick-n-Mortar Which Shall Not Be Named. Drakos Motors almost made the mistake of licensing merch through them. Fortunately Mike's father hired a good financial analyst. Over-extended, too much inventory, too much overhead, and of course LexWall Conglomerated undercutting them. Hmm. Navy, honorable discharge.

"The position I'm looking to fill is hopefully pretty boring. I have a vehicle recycling center — the politically correct word for 'junkyard' — just over the river in Jersey. Sadly, not New York, because the anti-Mutant groups here are a little too active, I was refused purchase of a couple places that would've been good. The job consists mostly of accepting material, recording what comes in, printing authorized checks — we don't pay out cash — and sometimes running the register on the parts store that's attached."

Mike shifts a bit. "First question, do you mind working in Jersey?"

~

The fellow shifts slightly as he hears the camera going. Usually folks just keep a hard copy of the resume and then it probably gets shredded, as far as he knows. And the nodding is promising, though he bites his lip and tries to minimize his movement except for a slight nod, eye contact staight-up as he listens to the job description.

"Vehicle boneyard works, too, right? And boring… boring is actually good. I can really get behind boring." Especially if folks like John and Fenris and the others keep bumping into him. "I mean… it's not like I'd be sleeping on the job or something, it'd be nice to have a job where it's not on the feet nine to ten hours a day and having to fight for lunches and breaks and stuff, right?"

Perhaps his candor has lost him several key jobs, too?

"I've done some receiving work, and I'm used to doing the whole 'certified cashier check thing' though it's been years since I've done one, and I can definitely run a register, even it is one of them new fancy ones that pretty much does the work for you?"

He considers. Jersey is a bit far away from New York…

"What kind of transportation allotment are we talking for this? I don't mind working there, but as the saying goes, I'd rather not live there if I can help it?"

~

Mike grins at that. "It depends a bit on where you live. I can provide a vehicle for commuting, or up to $200 a month for a bus pass, though that's probably not quite as good. The vehicle is an electric. We'll get into that later."

Looking Mike in the eye is a bit disturbing. Mike is, after all, a robot, though not armored up like last night - today he's merely human-sized. He actually returns the resume and contact info, since he has them in his memory now.

"I've just finished sending off inquiry letters to your contacts, and confirmed your employment and military records. You don't have a criminal record. I don't personally care about recreational drug use, as long as it isn't impacting performance or endangering other employees, which is why I don't let anyone work the yard while under the influence, or sick. So," Mike says. "What skills did you pick up in the Navy? Where were you deployed?"

~

A flexible interviewer who took the questions and rolled with them. Jim hasn't run into many of those, so that's a plus. He considers for a second. "I don't have a license, you know, living in the city and all tends to not be a thing? And ah, if we're doing the 'green' thing and you're trying to make your facility environmentally compliant, taking public transportation actually gives you a credit towards it." Obscure facts for 100, Alex?

He pauses briefly then winces a bit at the eyes—though the interviewer DID mention something about mutant things in the background and last night he was busting out all kinds of weird stuff. "Sorry, your eyes are a bit off-putting, and part of the interviewing training is to look at your interviewer and remain focused on what they were saying?"

He cracks his neck slightly. "About the only thing I can get away with these days is a mixed drink or a couple of beers every so often. Can't handle much more than that without getting sick." Okay, not *quite* the truth, but hearing his head-roomie rant about health habits tends to kill any sort of enjoyment he'd get from such things.

"I was in Engineering Department on a tender, Electrical Division. Our general job was to keep the lights on, and help keep the ship moving when we were underway. That and some attention to detail, military bearing, and general life in the service… Oh, right. U.S.S. Proteus, AS-19. Ol' Pro's scrap now, though."

~

"Sorry about the eyes," Mike says. "I'm working on that, but my human sim is … pretty darn creepy right now."

Mike closes his hands in a "hiding something" and a moment later, opens them, and a metal hummingbird spins up out of them and to the door. The aluminum handle opens, the door swings open. Down the hall, a printer can be heard.

"That record's pretty good, means you can handle machinery and computer hardware, or pick it back up. Like learning to fall off a bicycle, right? We also accept electronic junk there. Driver's license isn't necessarily critical. Being able to drive helps, but isn't mandatory," Mike says. He goes through a list of things in his head, all answered already.

"Salary would be $25/hr starting, scaling overtime, with full medical and 401K immediately, and life and short and long term disability. We have a liberal sick leave policy, but because the work is on-site, we can't do remote work. There's a six month probationary period during which we could terminate employment immediately for misfeasance or with a week's notice for other reasons. After six months, vacation starts accruing at one hour per 30 hours worked. The work week is 32 hours, with two ten-hour shifts and two six-hour shifts, and that's treated as full-time. The shifts move around somewhat. Oh. We provide work coveralls and shoes. Hmm. What else. Oh. Yeah. There's an expectation that you can handle medium to heavy lifting at times. If the job itself doesn't give you enough PT, we'll spot you half the cost of a gym membership. Getting in shape also lowers the cost of the medical coverage, but that's not my policy, it's the people we go through."

The door opens again and the humming bird comes in, holding a sheaf of papers in its bill. They're placed on the table.

"So, here's the preliminary paperwork. We do need to do an on-site tomorrow or the next day, but if you want to read these and fill them out, then if the on-site goes well, we can process them and get you started as soon as you're able. Oh yeah. When could you start?"

~

The hopeful fellow blinks a few times and nods at the comment about the 'human sim'. "What sort of coverage do you have for… unusual events?" He motions to Mike worriedly. "Will I need to pay out a little bit more to help with that sort of coverage? Y'know, meta-mutant comprehensive and liability insurance? And… sort of like that whole drinking thing I think I'm already on a fitness program of sorts?"

He pauses at the hummingbird's return, then starts going through the paperwork.

"I could theoretically start right now, but if I'm going to be working in a yard I should get a couple more pairs of steel-toed boots, some leather gloves, some safety goggles, and a copy of the most recent O.S.H.A. guidelines? Figure maybe a week to get that together?"

~

Mike nods at the questions. "OSHA guidelines are there in the packet. Proper work gear is provided on-site and you'll get reimbursed if you choose to purchase your own safety equipment if it meets requirements and falls within the cost guidelines. That's on page six of employee policies. We carry full coverage for metahuman incursions, and since I'm obviously metahuman, my business rider covers anything that might happen with you. Be advised, I'm in the process of cleaning up part of the property where toxic chemicals were stored, I'm down to only twenty tons remaining. I close the plant on Fridays to work on that so people aren't endangered, and it's closed to everyone else until I get it done."

Mike pauses a moment before asking, "So, and be aware it won't affect whether you are confirmed or not, and you don't have to answer if you don't want to, are you metahuman, and if so, was it related to why you were out there in Flushing last night?"

~

He nods at the addressing of the concerns for safety and smiles a bit, though it fades a bit when the question is asked.

"That is a very defined term and by strictest definition of it, I am not. However, under the strictest of confidentiality I must admit that I do have, for lack of a better term, an alter ego who would fall into the 'not from around here' category. It is *not* related to Flushing last night— I was taking a break from job-hunting—but it takes my health and well-being as key aspects and it thinks I'm being silly for trying to find a job?"

~

"Oh? Well, as long as it doesn't expect me to pay you both, I'll be fine. If it's 'not from around here' then it probably doesn't get how important it is to being a human and part of our society to actually work and achieve and so on. Also there's the whole 'money game.' How likely are you to be tied up with this alter-ego's business, and how often? It'll affect scheduling," Mike says. He's already run into the whole "New York Demands Time And Action From Its Metas" phenomenon, like a special brand of city-spirit-fate running around.

~

"It finds the concept of money abhorrent and doesn't understand why each should not be held to the limits of their creativity, not some arbitrary numerical figure representing physical labor. In addition, it won't interfere with the job process itself, as it is accepting this as a 'mental health issue' I need to 'work through' for 'enlightenment'. Theoretically, I will not be detained from work or from scheduling or the like. If it DOES become an issue then I know how to use a phone and make a courtesy call to ensure proper coverage in my absence?"

~

"That's good enough for me. I kind of agree with it. The untrammeled love of money is the root of evils and the worship of Mammon continues to devour our future," Mike says, slightly misquoting something. He lets the hummingbird disassemble itself into tiny machines in his hand and it melts through the gold of his skin. "On the other hand, humans would just come up with some other silly game. We seem to invent them left and right, up and down, forward and backward, ana and kata."

~

Jim sort of spaces out for a moment, his expression changing to a bit more of a… serene… look. "Wisdom and enlightenment are hard to attain in any state, but it would appear that one is well upon the path. However, instead of considering this 'inappropriate method of exchange' as 'evil', perhaps one should work within the society to better prepare it for an eventual state of ascension from want and need? When all is said and done, all is right with the universe."

He blinks a bit and shakes his head. "Sorry about that. It didn't swear at you or anything, did it?"

~

"I'm not sure it can still do that," Mike says, grinning. "Interesting guy. Reminds me of some of my favorite authors."

He stands. "My three hour rental period is up, you were my last interview. Thanks for coming in. Let me know what time tomorrow or Thursday you have open to stop by the lot, if you still want the position by then."

~

"It is definitely a character. I've threatened to trade it in for a Stephanie Meyers book, but we both sort of lose our collective nerves and back off at that." The guy fake-shudders a bit, then grins and nods.

"It'll probably be tomorrow, but if I have to re-schedule I will call you? And… thank you for not despising it. It is a very long long way from home."

The pudgy fellow stands up and offers his hand to the construct to shake.

~

"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares," Mike answers. He smiles and takes a can of mineral water from the provided refreshments, and shakes hands with his hopeful new assistant day manager.


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