“Please excuse my frankness, but I thought you’d appreciate the honesty…” Rudy, a rotund man in a neat, dark suit stood from his desk to lead the applicant out of the office. “…you’re not what we’re looking for in a candidate,” he said. He led Stan Desmond through a maze of cubicles to the elevator.
“I do appreciate it, thank you. Could I ask you where I could improve my answers?” Stan asked as he stepped into the elevator.
“You’re eager to learn, that’s a great quality. But, I’ll tell ‘ya. When I asked about your personal life and your hobbies, you had nothing to round you out as an individual,” Rudy shrugged. “Even if you lied. Something like a Monday night D&D group, it’s not like we’re going to call them up,” Rudy smiled and waved at Stan while the doors closed. In the elevator, Stan closed his eyes, took a deep breath, then snapped his fingers. The bell sounded to let him know he arrived on the right floor. He walked to the receptionist’s desk.
“Hi, I have an interview with Mr. Deville right now, at two,” he said. She nodded a polite smile, then pointed him to a seat. After several minutes the receptionist called his name and pointed him down the hall. Stan walked into Rudy’s office and the round man stood from his desk to greet Stan.
“Mr. Desmon, it’s great to finally meet you. Thanks for agreeing to the interview,” he said. “Have a seat and we’ll get started.” Stan sat across from Rudy and the interview went smoothly until Rudy asked about Stan’s hobbies.
“Uh. I play Dungeons & Uh. D. with my friends every Friday.” he said. Rudy smiled.
“Really? That’s great. I’ve been looking for someone to game with. I can’t think of anyone better to game with than an employee!” Rudy dropped a heavy hand on Stan’s shoulders. “Why don’t you call up the guys and tell them there’s a warlock joining you while I put your paperwork through. See you tonight, buddy!” Rudy opened his office door to let Stan out, and shooed the man away with a smile and a thumbs up gesture. Stan bolted to the elevator, then closed his eyes to reset the loop again. Backtracking time as often as he had, he learned that things rarely land right the first time. The elevator door opened, and he stepped out to find the receptionist. After a bit of waiting, Stan again sat in Rudy’s office.
“Tell me about your downtime, Stan. What do you do when you’re not on the clock?” Rudy asked.
“I like to write,” Stan said. At worst if Rudy demanded proof, he would just prove that he’s a bad writer.
“Oh that’s nice. Well, I think I’ve heard everything I need to hear,” Rudy said. He stood and encouraged Stan to stand also, then guided him through the office. “I’ll get started on your paperwork, welcome aboard, Mr. Desmond,” he said. The elevators began to close, and Rudy smile through the closing crack. “But we’re still on for the game tonight, right?” he said as the door shut.
“What??” Stan closed his eyes and reset the loop. The elevator door opened, but before Stan could step out, Rudy stepped into the elevator, and the doors closed again. “How’re you doing that? What’s going on?” Stan stepped back to put as much distance between him and Rudy as he could in the cramped elevator.
“The same way you do it. As for what’s going on, I thought it was obvious,” the elevator chime dinged, and the doors opened. Rudy stepped out onto a floor that Stan did not recognize. It did not even look like the same building. Long hallways lined with shut doors and fluorescent lights. “Job interview,” Rudy said.