Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bleeding and Dying on the JerryCo Road

When Jerry Company called Jones for the long anticipated interview, he was exhilarated, but also nervous and quite anxious. Interviews seldom went well for him, largely because of his tendency to become frantic on the inside. His palms would sweat, his heart would pound, the wrong words would spring from his lips before he could squelch them and his knees often smote one against the other. He had put all his eggs in the JerryCo basket, having prepared his resume with that company’s profile in mind. He designed his cover letter very specifically, almost cunningly, to make himself an attractive candidate for the top job in security at the company. So he was trying to develop strategies for staying calm during the impending stressful interview.

When the big day came, he wanted to be dressed and groomed perfectly: look good—feel good. He took extra time shaving and combing his freshly trimmed hair and carefully brushed the stylish but conservative new gray suit he had purchased on his one non-maxed-out credit card for the interview. Fully dressed and looking good three full hours before the scheduled interview, Jones stood before a full length mirror in his apartment and extended his hand towards the mirror saying, “Good afternoon—I’m Jake Jones.” He tried the sentence with various inflections and tones and with smiles that seemed to him at first too broad, then skewed and, finally, just right. He was an actor rehearsing for the big audition.

Jones lived in a second rate apartment only a few blocks from Jerry Company right on JerryCo road—the “road” was more of an industrial alley than an urban avenue, so the apartments were cheaper in this downscale environment. Since the interview was on a cool October day, Jones decided to walk to the company offices, breathing deeply, trying to relax, uttering positive, confidence-building phrases under his breath.

He had only made it a little over a block when three thugs, reeking of the night before, jumped out of the entry of a defunct lounge, beat him up and relieved him of his possessions, including his new suit. One of the bandits cut Jones’ face with a broken bottle of Wild Irish Rose. As Jones was bleeding and dying on the JerryCo road, two employees of the venerable Jerry Company walked by on the other side, in a hurry to get back on the clock after their lunch break, avoiding the calamitous scene across the way. Their routine was more important to them than they dying man on the street. After all, such scenes were not uncommon on that stretch of road. But a silver Hummer stopped and Reginald Jerry himself stepped out with a First Aid Kit. The president of Jerry Company cleansed and bandaged Jones, put him in the Hummer and took him to his suite of offices.

Jones awakened later that afternoon dressed in warm-ups on a plush couch in President Jerry’s office, with an attractive nurse dressing his wounds.

“Young man, what happened to you,” the executive asked.

“I was on my way to JerryCo for an interview this afternoon.”

“What position were you interviewing for?”

“Safety Compliance Officer, sir.”

“The job is yours.”

It was the easiest interview Jones had ever experienced.

Who was the good neighbor, the two employees or Mr. Jerry? The man in the Hummer you say? Well, go thou and do likewise.

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