Hiring a Corvid

Summary:
August 11, 2014: Jim Reha, aka Corvinus, goes to Stark Industries to apply for a job. His resume is forwarded to Pepper Potts by JARVIS.

Stark Industries, NYC


Characters

NPCs

  • JARVIS

Mood Music:
[http://youtu.be/xArmqniFiJ8]


It is not a common thing for a person to apply for a job at Stark Industries without a degree of some sort. It is even more rare for anyone applying anywhere to seek a job that is somewhat menial, with stated requests of the custodial staff or the mail-room. It is a bit odder still, when the person almost bombs the preliminary interview process due to nervousness, yet is polite and respectful enough to the interviewer that the initial interviewer at least likes them a little bit and wants to give them a chance for something.

These factors, in and of themselves, buy about a half-cup of coffee at a greasy spoon. What was the deciding factor in a second interview for the ex-retail wageslave was the fact that his name looked and sounded familiar to someone in the corporation, enough to merit at least a moment or two.

Jim Reha is still nervous as heck, he really was expecting to be turned down already—who in their right mind looks for something simple on the ground floor and is happy at the prospect of at least trying for it? Right now he sits by the security foyer for the building, waiting to hear back as to what he should do next, every so often looking at the guards, looking at the cameras… in general.

Rebecca, one of the front desk security personnel who really looks far too sweet and innocent and five-foot-nothing for the security outfit she's wearing (but holds two black belts and was hired by Stark Industries as soon as her Army commission ended), steps over to Mr. Reha and offers him a smile. "Mr. Reha, If you'd kindly follow me?" She's got a tablet computer in her hands, the display toward her torso so whatever it is displaying is not readable.

Jim almost hops up to his feet. "That.. that's me, miss."

If there's one thing he's been learning about both the world in general and in particular New York City, it is that one should *never* judge a book by its cover, nor should one ever seek to cause any sort of mess in places like this. He follows behind Rebecca respectfully, thankfully keeping pace with the well-trained security officer.

Becca maintains a polite and cheerful - but never personal - light conversation with Jim all the way to an executive office door and knocks. A British voice seems to emanate from the walls and ceiling in response to the knock, "Mr. Reha is welcome to enter, Miss Rebecca."

Becca opens the door for Jim and offers him one last smile. "Knock 'em dead, Mr. Reha." And then she's gone back down the hallway and the office — all white and pale hardwood modern furniture — awaits.

The rather crisp professionalism of Becca's demeanor is definitely refreshing and it actually helps the heavy-set fellow with his nerves a bit. He isn't, however, expecting to see an executive office. The nerves start to jump up a little bit again, but then, proper British voice that *isn't* that crazy John fellow is actually calming, too. He clears his throat, adjusts his tie and dusts himself off a bit, giving a polite smile to Becca.

"I hope I don't, miss. It'd be kind of hard to get a job in that case?" Oh, Mister Reha, what a kidder you are! He gives her a bit of a nervous smile to indicate that yes, he understood what she meant, and was just attempting a pre-interview tension-breaking joke.

He takes a deep breath and strides in. Well, he walks in with as much of his mostly forgotten military bearing as he can manage, and looks for a chair or the like to stand by, even as he looks to the room to see the occupants. The last thing he wants to do is get into the interview and say something embarrassing and have two or three people sitting behind him taking notes.

The executive chair behind the desk is turned so its back is to the rest of the room, blocking any possibility of seeing who's sitting there. On the desk is a still-steaming cup of Earl Grey tea (based on the aroma in the office), the computer screen showing a screen saver of slowly swirling abstract color patterns. The British voice again seems to come from everywhere and no where at once. "Please have a seat, Mr. Reha."

At the voice, the executive chair abruptly starts and then turns around to reveal Pepper with bowl of salad and a fork in her hands, still chewing on a bite of her lunch. She looks at Jim a bit wide-eyed, then offers a smile and a small waggle of the fork as a hello as she blushes red to hear ear.

Jim can pick up the scent of the Earl Grey. Whoever this second interview was with, they had a taste in tea similar to his own, at least. Star Trek references aside, it was a nice blend of herbs and spices, aromatic yet soothing to the palate when steeped well. He takes a few steps and has a seat even as the chair spins around. Well, what is a person SUPPOSED to do in that sort of instance. This was NEVER covered in any sort of interview course he ever saw, or even way back when he was in high school. And in the military, well, there was a galley and a mess deck for a reason. Even in 'Officer Country' they had a place to sit and eat.

He holds up his right forefinger to indicate perhaps a moment or two, then points down at the bowl of salad, making a small motion towards the over-worked executive to perhaps finish eating her meal. He blushes a bit as well and shifts a bit in the seat. "Please, ah, go ahead and finish, I know how much it sucks when someone tries to interrupt your lunch. I set aside all day for this so ah, I have ah, plenty of time."

There's no sarcasm in his voice, if anything, deep empathy, sympathy, and concern.

Pepper Potts swallows hastily, one hand covering her mouth slightly. "Sorry. Hi. I was expecting you, just… really funny, JARVIS. Really."

"My pleasure, Miss Potts," the cultured British voice says.

Setting her salad on her desk, Pepper tries to smile and not let any lettuce in her teeth show. "So, Jim? It's a pleasure to finally get a chance to meet with you properly. Would you like some tea, or anything else to drink?" Speaking of tea, she takes a sip of her own while indicating the credenza against the side of the room, a hand-thrown ceramic teapot there wearing a wool cozy.

This is most decidedly the STRANGEST job interview Jim's been at. And he even includes that one over by Mtown in that list. Still, his head tilts a bit as Pepper addresses JARVIS, squinting a bit. He gets a thoughtful look on his face for a second or two before blinking and straightening up some.

"There's no need to apologize, Miss Potts. You are a very busy person who has a lot of work and I can totally understand and respect you trying to get a lot of things done all at once. I'm sure that you, ah, hmmm. Well, I'm sure that you work just like your boss but on different projects and issues, and it is hard to remain on the bleeding edge plus five minutes if things aren't always hopping?"

He gets up from the chair slowly, hoping he's not destroying the interview protocol by pouring himself a cup of tea before heading back to the seat. "It is an honor and a pleasure to meet you, Miss. It… well… yes, given ah, certain uh, situations things have been a bit… Complicated. Complicated, yes."

The head and neck crack he makes briefly looks a bit off, then he coughs.

"So, ah… yeah." He's at a loss for words for a moment. This completely surreal moment has blown his concentration. Now he's beginning to wonder if maybe that's what the other residents of the tower, including the owner of record, have to deal with…

"Please, call me Pepper." She picks up her salad to take another bite while Jim pours himself some tea. If that's not standard interview protocol, she seems unable to care less. With her other hand, she wakes her computer screen (touch screen interface) and with a few quick taps brings up some information. "I see that you're here applying for mail room and janitorial positions, Jim? May I ask why?"

"Uh, alright, Mi.. er, Pepper." Okay, that might be a hard habit to break. "I spent almost twenty years in retail at a major retailer after I got out of the Navy, but never really had time or money to get a college degree and well, the way I was taught when I was in the Service and then when I got out in the private sector you start at the bottom and work your way up a company to where your skills benefit the corporation the most?"

He doesn't need to mention his relative lack of managerial experience. "For every company, you have to have the line-holders, you know, the folks who are actually in the trenches doing the work and generally keeping the trains running on time? Sort of like a petty officer or a sergeant or even that person who works down in, say, Accounting that knows the ins-and-outs of Accounts Payable and if they go on vacation or go out on leave or whatnot things get a little bit hinky for a while but because they planned right even though they aren't the boss or anything a place can kind of get by until they get back? Um… truthfully, I don't think with the amount of genius and skill in this building I'd even come close to comparing?"

Pepper Potts nods along with Jim's somewhat rambling explanation. "Well, seeing as I started in accounting, that makes complete and total sense to me." She looks over the resume and application form Jim submitted, enough practice with distilling resumes over the years helping her glean what she can from the information. "That many years in retail actually is a huge asset. Something almost none of the people with their MBA can even begin to boast." She glances up at the slightly portly man. "Do you know that the average tenure for an employee in a Fortune 500 company is less than three years? How is anyone expected to build a career when they refuse to stay in any one company long enough to be vested, much less to fully learn the ins and outs of their jobs."

She looks over the information again. "If you have your heart set on janitorial or the mail room, that's more than easy enough. But, taking your tenure as degree equivalent, I think you would do well in our Product Quality Assurance group." She smiles at Jim then. "You've been on the end user side enough to know how things are /supposed/ to work, and can probably tell when something won't."

"I…"

He's actually a bit speechless for a moment or two as he tries to parse the words and the conclusion together. It's not that he's dense, mind, more like that person who came in to apply for one set of jobs and ends up getting an offer for something Completely Different that they might actually have the appropriate skills for and enough of a challenge to keep them from being bored at the job.

"Y… you would really do that, Mi…er, Pepper? I mean, most places I've tried applying at I kept getting this feeling they were tossing my resume in the shredder as soon as I walked out the door… and in one case I heard it running as I was leaving? I mean, I usually get the "I'm overqualified" stamp about five minutes into the interview, so making it to the ten minute point without hearing it has kind of, well, I'm reeling a bit."

He compensates by taking a nice, long, soothing sip from the tea, closing his eyes briefly and letting it sort of wash through him.

"The last four groups of our execs at the corporation before the door closed had combined between them ten years in retail. Like you said, it's not the kind of situation you want people making important decisions from without any sort of background? And…I would like to give it a shot." He pauses a bit then lets out a slow breath. "I ah, do have to tell you one related thing. While I was applying here I also had a job offer over in Jersey working with a salvage yard. Full-time, thirty-two to forty hours a week. I would like to work out that as a part-time job because it looked like the guy was operating on a shoestring and I don't want to screw him if he's counting on me? I mean, I wasn't expecting to hit it off at two places so fast usually it's a full boat of disappointment?"

Wait, someone who came to work at Stark Industries that actually had other work lined up? Is the man insane?

Pepper Potts actually smiles at that. "How about I offer a counter proposal. Work here part time as your schedule at the scrap yard allows. And, Stark Industries has been working on some new equipment to help streamline the recycling processes. I might ask for that gentleman's contact information to offer making him one of our beta test locations." Residential recycling has LOTS of people vying for that market. Industrial and/or post consumer appliance recycling? Seems like a missed market in Pepper's mind.

That… went a lot smoother than he anticipated. If he was a bit more paranoid he'd totally be looking for the trapdoor he was about to fall into or the contract he'd have to fill out and sign in triplicate in his own blood. And yet, a certain part of him relaxes a bit, almost as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.

"I'll get you in touch with him. He mentioned something about it having some environmental clean-up areas on-site that he was taking on with his own dime, so perhaps that might be an extrapolation of what you're proposing?"

A cheaper cleaner safer method of rapidly cleaning up hazardous waste? Yet another missed market that would pay a huge dividend especially with the way green technology has been rolling the past few years.

"I… Mier, Pepper. Thank you. I" Mister Stark would probably have a cow at the potential of emotions, but the poor guy looks like he's about to break. He wipes the side of his face. "Sorry. I… when do you need me to start?"

Pepper Potts starts quickly drafting up the new hire paperwork and reaching for her tablet for signature purposes. "When would be convenient for you? Maybe a week or two to get settled into the other job before starting here? Oh, and do you have a MetroCard to help you get to and from Jersey?" Multitasking at its best begins as Pepper fills in the forms, takes bites of her salad and sips of her tea between forms, and somehow still manages to not look like she's failing to pay attention to Jim.

"That would probably be the best and to make sure the paperwork is in place on his end as well. We were going to be working on a MetroCard agreement since I don't drive and the other transportation options simply aren't viable?"

Yeah, flying to work would probably not be a good idea. Way too flashy and definitely dangerous. And speaking of which, he's going to keep quiet on that for the moment unless Pepper asks. Less complicated that way, right? Less complicated is good.

"This is some good tea, M—-Pepper. It's been a little while since I've had something this good?"

Pepper Potts slides the tablet over to Jim along with a stylus. "Thank you. I buy it from a small importer in New Hampshire." The form displayed on the tablet is straightforward enough, hiring documents for Stark Industries, the 'sign here' areas highlighted in pale green. "I can probably have the MetroCard ready for you by the end of the day today, if you'd like. You just would need to stop by the front desk again to get the temporary pass from Becca to hold you over until you receive your WageWorks-issued card in the mail."

While Jim is not a lawyer, he's seen enough boiler-plate in quarterly sign-offs and the like to carefully peruse the items, deftly flicking the stylus up and down, signing, initialing, and making various other data marks on the pad. He's not a super-techie and he's a generation or two behind the tech, but he's doing well enough. "If you get the card going, then I'll cover the difference out of pocket.. I can afford that much given that I'm not spending half my check on the job hunt now? And I'll definitely grab that pass on the way out… is Becca former military? Maybe an officer? I didn't ask when I was coming up, I was a bit too terrified to ask because I was trying not to lose my cool before the interview?"

The tablet's queue of forms for Jim to peruse and sign increases by a few more before she finishes what she's doing. "That works for me. Oh, and Becca was on the fast track to Special Ops but had to medical out. She came recommended to us by a friend of Tony's, and she's been a godsend." She actually offers Jim a brief grin. "And to be honest, she's not the scary one in her family. I've met her father. Retired Marine."

Jim squints a bit at the increasing sign-offs but makes sure that he doesn't mis-read them. Very careful he is.

"Hell. I can empathize with that, kinda. I was top percentile on the PRT… Physical Readiness Test… but they trashed my scores and worked me out during the drawdown after the Gulf War when they were downsizing everything. Got out lucky, some other folks, not so much." Still, he does grin at the comment.

"Marines are some scary-ass folks. We had some on board for a while. Good people, though, and the kind you'd want at your back in a fight."

Those last few forms are for Direct Deposit (or to opt out), and the MetroCard application.

Pepper smiles and nods to Jim. "Yes. Mr. Westing is definitely good people, as is Becca." She stands while Jim reads and signs, rinsing out her salad dish in the small sink set into the credenza and leaving it there in the sink. As she returns to her desk, she sees which form Jim is signing and after a moment offers him a smile. "Congratulations, Mr. Reha, and welcome to Stark Industries."

"Thank you, Miss Potts, and if I'ma gonna be calling you Pepper, ma'am, then you'll be calling me Jim. Fair enough?" He takes the tea cup over to the sink and rinses it out and sets it upside down to dry out before offering the tablet with one hand, stylus stowed properly in the holder and the right to shake. "Thank you."

"Deal." Pepper shakes Jim's hand then accepts the tablet. "I've set your start date as September first, to give you time to get everything squared away. If there's anything else I can help you with, give me a call, all right?" Less than a second after she says that, even though she didn't actually do anything, Jim's phone indicates that he has just received a text message. It is from a 'J.A.R.V.I.S.', and it has Pepper's office and cell numbers on it.

"Thank you very much, Pepper. If I can start sooner I'll let you know." He blinks a bit at the chirping tone of his phone then pulls it out. "Huh. Mister Jarvis is on top of things, it would seem. I would very much like to meet him at some point."

Well, actually, his 'other half' would, but that is just going to get complicated.

He smiles and nods. "I'm exceptionally excited and eager to do this, Pepper, between you and Mike… wow. it's almost like a new lease on life. Just head on down and check with the front desk on my way out?"

Pepper Potts smiles and nods. "I'll make sure to introduce you to JARVIS on your start day. And yes, Becca should have your temporary MetroCard ready and waiting."

Jim nods eagerly then straightens up a bit and heads to the door. "I'll let you get back to the business of doing business, Pepper. After all, if you're busting ass on stuff for me it's for the best to give you all the time you need?"

Of course, his former corporation was in the Dark Age of information technology, doing so much by paper and verbal instruction that nearly FTL updates to a database are sort of alien to him, and he may not have realized quite yet that Pepper was probably done with his paperwork and was already onto the next project or ten. "Thank you again!"

When he gets out of the office after politely and respectfully departing he's humming some old rock tune that JARVIS may be able to identify as 'Blue Collar Man' by Styx. Okay, so his timing is a bit off but he makes his way to the desk in a timely manner for his bulk and is shortly on out the door.


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