How to Get the Job
“Dr. Martin, the remaining candidates for your research assistant position are assembled in Conference Room 3A,” said the tall, slim Dr. Sylvia Washington on the inter-office phone.
“How many, Syl?”
“What do they look like?”
“A pretty bland bunch except for ‘the gentleman.’ He’s got some spark to him.”
“Oh, really?” said Laura Martin, a small, curvy woman with shoulder length blonde hair and blue eyes that danced with enthusiasm. “And he applied to be my research assistant? Nobody told him I prefer a female assistant?”
“Talk to him before you kick him to the curb, Laura.”
“Okay. I’ll be up in a few minutes.”
“Hello, candidates. I’m Dr. Laura Martin, Chief Extraterrestrial Life Scientist here at The Touchstone Institute of Oceanographic Research. This institute is an affiliate of MacShane University of Bell Point Grotto here in southern Florida and the federal government.
“I’m interviewing today for a full-time research assistant to begin the first of next month. You five are all that’s left after extensive psychological testing, drug testing, credit scoring, criminal background checks, and the crawling through the tubes and tank agility obstacle course.
“The hours are painfully long. The work is difficult and demanding. And wet. The pay is average. Your friends will laugh at you. Your personal relationships will suffer. Sometimes I am a bitch on wheels, with barking, growling, and bellowing. So if you’re extremely sensitive, this might not be your ideal entry-level position into the world of alien life forms. And you also have to sign a government confidentiality contract, which is impossible to break… and stay alive.
“If you are still interested, Dr. Sylvia Washington will usher you to an interview room and I’ll be with you as soon as possible. Thank you for coming. Good luck to all of you.”
She looked at each one intently, ranking them in her mind as to their suitability. Dr. Martin walked out of the room.
The candidates stood as Sylvia entered the room.
“Last chance to run away, kiddies.” Sylvia smiled.
There was a little anemic laughter.
“Is she as tough as she says she is, as they say she is? ” said Mary Lou Hughes, a tall redhead.
“Tough? No. She’s strong. She’s the world’s leading authority on non-Earth life forms catalogued on this planet. She’s written five major books on the subject that are not top secret. The rest of her large body of scientific work is classified, highest clearance level eyes only. She works dawn to dusk, sometimes well into the night. She gives one hundred percent every day, all day. She never leaves a project unfinished. She’s thorough and exacting. And she will expect the same from you.”
“Isn’t interviewing five of us going to take, like, forever?” said the bouncy little brunette, rolling her eyes.