Hair of the dog

3 min
Image of Fall 2020
Image of Short Fiction
“So I think we’re pretty satisfied with your qualifications here on our end,” Mary said.
Sarah nodded from across the desk. Outside, the sunlight of 9:30 a.m. shone across the glass table in the conference room.
“Excellent...that’s excellent, really”
“We just have a few follow up questions-”
“-Can I just ask something real quick?”
Mary Smith from HR, future coworker Eddie Giles, and future supervisor Bill Stewart looked up from their notes, a little taken aback.
Being from Cambridge, Sarah’s accent was clearly from across the pond, and was also at times difficult for the Americans to keep up with.
“Absolutely,” Mary responded. “Go ahead,”
“Do you think we’re going to make it?”
“ we think we’re going to make it?” Bill repeated back, confused.
“...sorry, what?” Eddie said.
“I don’t understand,” Mary said.
“Like us as a group?”
“No, I meant us as a species,” Sarah clarified.
“I don’t think I follow-”
“Because I don’t think it’s looking too good for us long term, you know. I think maybe earth and humans have to part ways at some point, given all the water under the bridge. Well really it’s gotta be like polluted water ‘cause of global warming-”
“Right, okay-”
“Can we get back to the interview, like, are we still doing this?” Eddie asked, confused.
Sarah brought her hands up in front of her.
“Okay, okay. It’s a lot to take in, yeah. Let me just back up and rephrase it another way. Do you think that you have at least another forty years on this earth? And if so, would you want to be working this job right now-”
“This doesn’t feel like an appropriate line of questioning. Can we maybe get back to our questions that we had?” Mary demanded.
“I mean, I have a lot of questions now. Can I just ask like why 40 years-”
“Eddie please. Let’s stay focused on, okay? I think we’re getting a little side tracked here,”
“Forty years seems like a long time. My dad worked at the same company for forty years. I always wondered if he regretted it,”
“Have you asked him?” Mary asked.
“No, no. Yeah, no, I can't. He's dead. He died two years ago. One minute you’re riding a unicycle to the liquor store, just enjoying life, not thinking about anything serious. You’re juggling a bottle of Baileys and Peppermint Schnapps riding down a hill and then “BAM” the 241 City Cue bus makes an unexpected stop..He flew in the air before he hit the ground. He was going down a hill so plus the bus, the forensic investigator said that had he been going any faster he would have shot straight to the moon,”
Sarah sighed then.
“You just never know when life’s gonna hit yah, you know.”
“Eddie stop laughing,” Bill scolded his employee.
Sarah kept going.
“I guess really what I’m asking is, like, how do you know that you’re making the right decision sometimes, you know? In any given situation. Like when you make a life choice how do you know it’s the choice?”
“Wait, what now?” Bill asked. Everyone was confused by the sudden pivot.
“From what I can see, this seems like, a really weird choice bro,” Eddie said through a stifled laugh. Mary ignored him.
“Look, Sarah. We really want...we brought you down here because we had some additional questions. Can we just get back to that? ” Mary added slowly, trying to circle back.
“Okay, I’m sorry, I interrupted you. Go ahead,” Sarah said, sitting back in her chair waiting.
“I see you have a lot of passions...clearly” Mary said with a pause.
“We did see that here on your resume based on your past work experience,”
“Yeah I’ve been around. I’ve traveled. I think my carbon footprint is pretty light, you know, when you wear Nike slides all the time that happens. I basically glide through the air. That way it doesn’t absorb, like directly into the ground, you know. People don’t even hear when I walk in a room,”
Papers shuffled again.
“ it says here you were a manager on a production line. Can you tell us a little more about your responsibilities there?
Sarah stared off into the distance, trying to recall this.
“That must be when I worked at the clown factory,”
“...what do you...but it says here that the company manufactured shoes,” Mary said, flustered.
Bill still didn’t know what to say.
“What the hell is a clown factory?” Eddie asked.
“Can I just ask something real quick? I was sipping this really vintage whiskey...actually, wait-”
Sarah quickly brought the bottle out from her briefcase along with a shot glass.
The hiring panel looked on incredulously.
“Yeah, I was having this earlier. Anyway I was wondering-”
“Sarah are you drunk? Did you come to this interview intoxicat-No, no, no,”
Mary repeated herself further as Sarah proceeded to pour a small amount of Jack Daniels into a shot glass.
“There is so much wrong with this. First of all, that’s not “vintage” okay. Second, a shot glass really? Like how old are you?” Eddie questioned.
“They’re portable,” Sarah explained.
“Sarah,” Mary said.
“I'm not drunk,”
She then tilted the glass back, finishing the whiskey she’d poured out.
“Hair of the dog,”
“Okay I think we’re done here-”
NIck from IT suddenly ran into the room, spilling papers everywhere.
“Guys it’s terrible! We just heard. They’re letting everyone go. Everyone. This entire department is getting liquidated. What are you guys doing?” He surveyed their expressions, along with the bottle of whiskey on the table.
“We were in the middle of an interview here,”
“....Right. Well forget it. We’re all gonna be looking for interviews here soon,”
Ex-employee Nick picked up his papers and ran out of the room, leaving the door open to the chaotic sounds coming from the hallway as people packed up their cubicles. The hiring panel didn’t say anything for a while.
“Do you have another shot glass?” Bill asked.

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Image of Jermain McDermott
Jermain McDermott · ago
Great job! "Future coworker Eddie Giles" wanted the last laugh. Also, love Sarah as a character.
Image of Charles D
Charles D · ago
The author manages to send the reader on an absurd and dizzying interaction amongst peers. This short story is well worth the read and serves a poignant depiction of office relations. Thank you very much for the read and laugh.