Thomas Pimby sat in the lobby, fidgeting with his hands. His right leg shook nervously, and though he didn’t notice it, he was swaying slightly. Pimby hated job interviews, especially since his last job had ended so disastrously. He knew there would be questions about it, questions he just didn’t want to answer.
Pimby was a mild man with a thin build, unassuming in every way, yet he had a scar across his left cheek as if he had been cut recently. Occasionally, he would look over at the receptionist behind the lobby desk. She was a pretty blonde with blue eyes, very attractive. When she noticed him looking at her she would smile at him, and though he smiled back, it would make him all the more nervous and even a bit self-concious about his scar.
Suddenly the intercom on the receptionist desk sparked to life,
“Janet,” the intercom said in a man’s voice, “where’s last weeks meeting’s notes? Henderson wants me to review them.”
“I’ll get them for you, Mr. DeWitt,” Janet replied, “by the way, your ten o’clock is here. Mr. Pimby?”
“Oh, nevermind then, send him in.”
Janet stood up and walked over to Pimby, “Mr. DeWitt will see you now. Do you have a copy of your résumé?”
“Yes, right here.”
Mr. Pimby handed his résumé to Janet and followed her into Mr. DeWitt’s office. Mr. DeWitt was seated at an impressive oak desk with a fine leather chair. He was heavyset, and wore round glasses. He rose and stuck out his hand to greet Pimby.
“I apologize for the delay. Mondays,” Mr. DeWitt offered as an excuse, “it gets quite busy I’m afraid. My name is Arthur DeWitt.”
Mr. DeWitt offered Pimby a chair and took the résumé from Janet. Janet flashed Pimby another courteous smile as she left and Mr. DeWitt scanned the résumé as he sat down.
“So, Mr. Pimby, you’re interested in the data technician position?”
“Yes, that is correct. As you can see I’ve had a quite extensive experience in the electronics field, working for several large companies.”
“Yes it’s quite impressive. And are you currently employed?”
“No, my last position ended several months ago.” Pimby squirmed a little.
“Oh,” said Mr. DeWitt with interest, “and why was that?”
Pimby swallowed hard. He could feel anxiety slowly creep in, “The, ah, the company folded. Ran into a bit of bad luck.”
“Well these are difficult times. But I can assure you, here at MetaGlobe, we are solid; we can weather the good and the bad,” boasted Mr. DeWitt, “So, tell me about your last position.”
Pimby stammered a bit, “Well ah, well ah, Galaxco was involved in jet propulsion research. I was on one of the teams helping design a new, more fuel-efficient engine.”
“That must have been fascinating work,” added Mr. DeWitt.
“Oh, it was. And they had a great benefits package, full medical and dental. I really enjoyed it there.”
“I can assure you MetaGlobe has quite an impressive package as well. How long were you with Galaxco?”
“About 18 months.”
“Galaxco, Galaxco,” Mr. DeWitt murmured to himself, then to Pimby, “wasn’t there something in the news about them?”
Pimby started tensing up. Suddenly his tie felt too tight and he started sweating, “Um, yeah, um…there was some investigation into the company by the government.”
“Fraud? Embezzlement?” Mr. DeWitt offered.
“No, um,” Pimby began to feel very uneasy, “it seems, um, several of the, uh, the board members were, um,” Pimby laughed nervously, “several of the board members were involved in, ah…”
Pimby winced and blurted out, “in an international terrorist group bent on dominating the world!”
Mr. DeWitt stared blankly for a moment, “What?”
Pimby went on, “An international terrorist group bent on dominating the world! In fact the whole company was a huge front. The jet propulsion engine we were working on was actually to be used to launch a satellite that would control the nuclear arsenal of every country! Turns out the CEO was this mad psychotic fruitcake trying to blackmail the world’s governments!”
Mr. DeWitt looked at Pimby for a moment, “Are you serious?”
“Completely serious. I thought it was a completely legitimate company. I mean the security was a little tighter than normal, but I’m working nine to five hours, a little overtime on the weekends, but I’m climbing the corporate ladder just like any other person!
“So I’m in the lab, it’s a normal Thursday afternoon; I go down to get a snack from the vending machines. Next thing I know the alarm’s sounding! I’m thinking fire, maybe a gas leak, but no! It’s British Intelligence swarming the place! Suddenly there’s like 500 security guards popping out of everywhere, exchanging machine gun fire with the military!”
“Incredible!” interjected Mr. DeWitt.
“And they’re tossing grenades, and things are blowing up all around me! I’m dodging glass and debris trying to stay alive! And this guy in a tuxedo is walking through like he owns the place with this tart by his side. Now everyone’s running everywhre, and I’m thinking to myself, Pimby, you got to get out of here!”
“And then what happened?” asked Mr. DeWitt.
Pimby paused for a moment to collect himself, “So I’m running for an exit when someone judo chops me from behind! Next thing I know I’m being interrogated by Intelligence guys, and they’re asking me what my connection to this terrorist group is and how I know their leader.”
“And what did you say?”
“I told them I was working for Galaxco. I didn’t know any of this take-over-the-world crap! After about three weeks, they were finally convinced I didn’t know anything, so they let me go!”
“That’s truly amazing!” Mr. DeWitt replied in awe.
* * *
Janet was going over some papers when Mr. DeWitt’s office door opened.
“Well Mr. Pimby,” Mr. DeWitt said, “despite your incredible story, I think you still have quite an impressive résumé! And though your experience at Galaxco was most unusual, I think you still make an excellent data technician. We could definitely use a man like you here at MetaGlobe.”
“Do you mean I’ve got the job?” Pimby asked in disbelief.
“I do indeed! Can you start next week?”
“Yes, I can Mr. DeWitt! You don’t know how many people have turned me down when I told them what happened at Galaxco. Thank you so much!”
“Think nothing of it. Everyone has a bit of bad luck, albeit not quite like you do. I think you’ll be a fine addition here! Oh, and don’t worry, here at MetaGlobe, we have none of the goings-on of your last job.”
“I certainly hope not.”
Mr. DeWitt and Mr. Pimby laughed. As they shook hands, Mr. DeWitt noticed a large bald-headed man walking past his office.
“Oh, Mr. Pimby, let me introduce you to our chairman.”
DeWitt took Pimby up to the large man. The man was well dressed, carrying an impressive walking cane. He was completely bald and wore a monocle in his left eye.
“Sir, I’d like you to meet our newest data technician. Mr. Pimby, this is Dr. Goldbender.”