I followed Miss Pretty Face Receptionist down the hall to the right and found myself in a large boardroom. "Please sit," Pretty Face pointed at the seat at the end of the long table. I obeyed, wondering why the job interview had to be in such an unusual setting. I didn't have long to wait this time. Mr. Boss strode into the room. He exuded confidence. More confidence than I had hoped to see in a prospective boss on my first ever job intervbiew since graduation. I got up weakly, my self-confidence reserve fast emptying out.
"Good morning, sir."
He raised an eyebrow as he took his seat at the head of the table. "Morning? I believe it's afternoon, miss. 12.05pm to be exact. You're not aware of the time?"
I was stumped. Everything became momentarily fuzzy. "Sorry sir...Good afternoon, sir." I stammered.
"Please sit. You've come this far to get the job and I see no reason for the stuttering. Relax. Let's have a good interview."
"Thank you sir." As I took my seat, still unrelaxed, a smartly dressed lady came in with some papers.
"Do I need to sign those now?" he asked the lady.
"Yes, Harry. These need to go out in ten minutes. I'm not sure you'll be through here by then." She glanced briefly towards me.
"Ok. I'll just do that quickly."
I felt my tight chest refuse to ease up and there were eagles clawing around in my stomach. The room appeared suddenly dim. Mr. Boss-now-Harry was saying something I couldn't quite make out. I forced my eyes to focus on him. I saw him adjust his tie. Then, like a flash, I remembered a scene from a far time. It was as though I had sat in that chair before but doing something else. No, it wasn't deja vu. Then, it came to me.
Months earlier, I had watched a TV reality show where job candidates had been interviewed by their prospective employers. The employers had initially been fully dressed and later, stripped to near total nudity. The job seekers had therefafter, relaxed and performed significantly better in the interview.
An idea formed in my mind and I began to undress Harry. First, his tie, then his jacket. Hesitantly, I began to unbutton his shirt. Afterall, I didn't know what I'd find underneath. I undid the first two buttons and peered inside. It was a mess of tangled curly hair. I smiled to myself. Harry is human afterall.
Thus emboldened, I unbuckled his belt and pulled down his trousers. I whistled. Harry wore a Spiderman pair of boxers. I couldn't hold it any longer. I burst out laughing. I caught myself. Too late. Harry was no longer signing any paper. His gaze on me was hard.
"Anything amusing here, miss?"
"Then, why the laughter?" he queried further.
"Nothing." I would rather be fried than reveal what I saw.
Needless to say, the interview came to an informal end. I didn't get the job - expectedly. And I never repeated that tactic again. My imagination ran way too wild. Envisioning my interviewer as human may be cool but certainly not as nude.
I met Harry again four years later at a formal dinner and all I could see was a hairy-chested man in a Spiderman boxers.