“If you decided to kill yourself, how would you do it, and why?”
Ophelia blinks. “That’s kind of personal, but I guess… If I were to do that, which I am not considering at all and I would say that my mental health is very stable, but if I were to do that… I suppose I would swallow a whole bottle of painkillers and then get in a bathtub. That way, it’s relatively painless, and if the pills don’t work, the water will finish the job. I’m efficient and I always like to have a backup plan, so that’s why I think I’d make a great addition to this fine establishment.”
The hiring manager scratches his balding head underneath his Burger King baseball hat and mumbles, “pills and a bath” as he jots down what Ophelia says. “Good,” he says louder, with a nod. “Now, if you and your best friend were both applying for this job, and I gave the responsibility to you to choose between the two of you to hire, who would you choose to work here?” He looks up at Ophelia from his clipboard with a slight twitch of his greasy black mustache.
“Well… My best friend is a great gal. She’s smart, funny, a hard worker, and a team player, which is why we get along so well, because we’re very similar. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people you want to be like. So she’d clearly be an asset to any work environment. But I’d have to choose myself instead of her because she already has a job, along with being a college student, and frankly I wouldn’t want her to be pulled from her studies with the burden of a second job. See, I’m thoughtful and mindful of others like that, which is why I would really be a great crew member here.”
“Already has a job,” the mustache mutters to his clipboard, his pencil scratching on the paper. Looking up at Ophelia, he asks, “What is your favorite ocean and why?”
Ophelia rubs her palms along her pant legs to wipe off the sweat and places them back in her lap. “My favorite ocean would have to be the Atlantic Ocean and that’s because… At first, it may not seem like a very large or grand ocean, but because of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, it is actually increasing in size every year and improving itself, which I can relate to. I always endeavor to better myself and so that’s why I would be a valuable cog in this operation.”
“Atlantic Ocean,” Mr. Mustache documents. “Next question: what position are you applying for?”
“Um, I am applying for the position of cashier. I am very passionate about managing cash registers because they are very methodical and systematic, like I am.” Ophelia swallows.
Without hesitating, Dr. Mustache launches into the next inquiry. “Name a time when you did something illegal.”
“Well sir, once, when I was three, I was playing in my backyard, and it was a really warm day, so I made the decision to take off my clothes, which is indecent exposure, but immediately my mother yelled at me to put them back on, which I did. I’m very good at following orders and ever since then, I have made a conscious effort to never repeat that mistake, as instructed by my mother. In all fairness though, I believe that I acted out like that due to the poor leadership skills of my mother, who, before that day, never informed me that taking my clothes off outside was an issue. Despite that, I assume full responsibility for my actions because I’m mature like that. Also, I learned from my mistake and I am proud to say it has never happened again.”
“Public nudity,” Mustache Man draws on his paper. Wait– draws? “What is the first thing you would do as President of the United States?”
Ophelia takes in a deep breath. “I would thank my family for their support, because I’m grounded like that and I remember my roots, and then I would name Burger King the restaurant of America and incorporate it into every school cafeteria. Immediately following that, I would outlaw McDonald’s for being unhealthy and hazardous to public health.”
Super Mustache continues to work on the notes from the previous answer as Ophelia moistens her lips and tucks her hair behind her ear. While he concentrates on his clipboard, she glances around his office– claustrophobic and dingy, it is more convincing as a closet than a workspace.
“All right then, and lastly: When’s a time you saved the world from imminent doom?”
“Uh,” Ophelia says. “Well, once, my little brother had a breakfast birthday party at our house, so my parents bought the 5-gallon carton of maple syrup, and when it was all used up, they were going to throw it in the garbage, but I stopped them and told them to recycle it. They ended up recycling it, and if they hadn’t, it would have ended up in a landfill and contributing to the demise of our planet, Mother Earth. It may not have made the news, but that was a big carton of syrup, and it would have drastically increased the amount of garbage in the landfill. I pay attention to details like that and can imagine the small picture as well as the big picture and how they feed into each other, which makes me a worthy candidate for this position at your upstanding dining facility.”
The Great Mustache stands up from his rolling computer chair and holds out his hand. Ophelia eagerly stands also, shaking his hand firmly. “Thank you so much for the opportunity–” she begins, but El Mustache interrupts.
“Well, thanks for coming out but I think we’re going to have to pass. You’re far too over-qualified.” He releases her hand and turns to get the door for her.
Ophelia sputters, “Over–? I… But, I– I’ve never even had a job before, I don’t know how–”
“We’ll keep your resume on file for 3 months in case we need to hire for a fry cook any time soon, but for now, I think you’re too advanced for cashier.” King Mustache motions to the door he’s holding open, and Ophelia, totally befuddled, cautiously exits what can only be referred to as essentially a coat closet, and makes her way through the fast food dining area, her squinting eyes darting around as if in search of answers.
Once in the parking lot, Ophelia turns around and gazes up at the red beacon “Burger King” and scoffs. She has found her answer: “Interviews are stupid,” she spits.