Story Starter Saturday: Dave gets a job

Welcome again to Story Starter Saturday.

As usual, I have the beginning of another story for you to work with.  Please feel free to copy this text and use it as a jumping off point for your own story.  The rules are simple, and can be found HERE.

What can you make of Dave’s story?

“Mr Appleton?” The woman behind the desk spoke slowly, deliberately, as if her false teeth were threatening to escape. Dave seriously doubted that the woman had false teeth; she looked somewhere in her mid-thirties, with pale, clear skin and long blonde hair.

Dave Appleton gathered up the folder that sat between his legs and stood up. He licked the palm of his hand and used it to smooth down his hair. Checking his tie was still clipped on correctly, Dave stepped towards the desk.

“I’m Mr Appleton,” he said.

The woman behind the counter squirmed in her seat slightly, before pointing towards the door to her right. Dave nodded and then winked at the woman who looked on impassively. Turning away from the desk, Dave shook his head slightly and went to the door. As he reached for the handle, his hand paused there for a moment as he offered up a silent prayer to whatever god was listening. He suspected none would be listening, but he offered the prayer anyway, please don’t let me mess this up.

He pushed open the door and stepped into the room, closing the door behind him. The room was small, perhaps three metres square, the centre of which was occupied by a table. There was a very strange scent in the air that Dave could not quite place, perhaps sweat, perhaps something else. Behind the table sat three men. All wore glasses and were balding on the tops of their head. If Dave didn’t know better – and Dave was not known for knowing better – he would say their glasses all came as part of family pack of Marx Brother’s disguises, complete with comedy noses and in one case, a moustache that had to be fake. Dave said nothing, instead stepping towards the table and offering his hand.

“Pleased to meet you, gentlemen. I’m Dave Appleton.”

The men looked at his hand, then at Dave.

“Please sit Mr Dave.”

“Just Dave, please.” Dave took his seat across the table from the men, placing the folder he had been carrying onto the table. “I’ve got most of my certificates in there, if you want to see them?”

“No, that’s fine,” the man in the centre said. “I’m Mr Smith, this is Mr Jones,” he indicated the person on his right, “and this is Mr Jones.” The man on his left nudged him, and he clarified, “a different Mr Jones, though, different.” The second Mr Jones looked satisfied and all three men turned back to Dave.

“A pleasure to meet you all,” Dave said, looking at the two Joneses.

“We have a few questions for you, Justdave,” said Mr Smith.

“That’s fine, it is an interview. I kinda expected questions. And my name is Dave, just Dave.”

“Davejustdave,” said Mr Smith.

“Dave,” said Dave.

“Dave,” repeated Mr Smith, and when Dave nodded, he smiled and turned to the Joneses who smiled and nodded back. “Very well Dave,” Mr Smith nodded, pleased with himself. “If you are ready, we will begin.”

“Fire away,” said Dave.

Mr Smith paused for a moment as if he were going to say something, but it seemed to pass, and he pressed on with the questioning.

“Tell us about your experience of working in an office environment.”

“Well,” said Dave feeling smug, he had prepared for this one, “I’ve worked most of my life in offices. My first job was – are you alright sir?” Mr Smith was shifting awkwardly in his seat.

“I’m fine, fine. Please continue.”

“As I was saying, my first job was for a firm that made oil filters for cars. I worked in the accounts department.”

“Good, good,” said Mr Smith.

“Next I – ”

“I think we’ve heard enough on that one, Dave. Now, tell me about any management experience you have.”

“Management experience? I’m sorry, I thought I was here for the admin post,” Dave managed.

“Well, things have changed, and a new opportunity has arisen in the last few days, and we need to fill it.” Mr Smith squirmed again, this time Dave noticed the Jones were shifting uneasily as well. “We are pressed for time Dave, so if you’re not the man for us, I would ask you to send in the next candidate.”

“I don’t think there is anyone else out there.” Dave’s mind was racing. He had been out of work for almost a year, and his Job Seeker’s money was barely keeping him.

“No one?”

Dave shook his head.

“Well okay. If you wouldn’t mind waiting outside for us, we will just take a few minutes to decide.” Mr Smith gestured towards the door. Dave stayed sitting.

“Do you have any more questions?”

“No thank you. If you wouldn’t mind,” Mr Smith stood and moved to the door. He opened it and stood waiting. After a moment, Dave stood, picked up his folder and left the room.

As soon as he had left, the door was closed behind him. Dave sat back down in one of the seats in the reception.

I have some ideas about this one already.  Turn it into something amazing, and let me know how you get on!

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