True Story©… Getting to Know You
Ever told a joke so good that they wanted you to come down to HR and tell it?
Have I ever told y’all how much I hate smalltalk?
Is ANYONE wondering where the hell I have been for the last two weeks?
No, Stephanie did not follow me home and accost me on my front lawn and cause me to assault her or otherwise not be able to leave the house.
The answer is
actually a bit more entertaining. With
everything else happening in my life these days (more on that later – WAY later), I’ve not spent my normal time out
having adventures like I normally do. At
least not the kind that cost me much money.
I did, however, indulge myself in my normal paid time off for the most of two weeks as I always do in the summer. Rather than go off and spend money I will need later, I did that thing I mentioned some months ago where I get a job I don’t intend to keep.
In order to not let anyone
in on anything they don’t need to know about me, the company will remain
I naturally aced the interview process, given the stability shown in being at my actual job for 14+ years now and the fact that they will only verify my employment and not talk to anyone about my time there. No worries, the new job will not interfere with the old one because I will be gone from it before I am due to return to the old one.
What I was NOT
banking on was that the intake day would include orientation of everyone hired
in this wave regardless of their department, meaning I would spend a day in a
room with people I would not be expected to work with or probably even actually
have to speak to again.
Not that I planned to have to speak to ANY of these people again anyway.
out, lunch was provided and now we’re ushered into a room with a bunch of
chairs arranged in a circle.
“FUUUUUUCK, they’re gonna do the ‘tell me about yourself’ thing!” was my first thought.
I sat furthest from the person administering the day’s goings-on, so as to give myself some time to think of what I would say. I half-listened to people telling their stories to see just how personal they would get with them and gauge how funky I would be when it was my turn to start talking.
In what felt like 16 seconds but was actually about 15-20 minutes, it was my turn to tell them a little something about myself…
My name is Phillip. This is actually my first job out of prison.”
The look on faces around the circle were that of TERROR. I continued.
“When I was younger, I was in an automobile accident where I t-boned a police car. When I got out of the car, to assess and discuss what had happened, the cop was hurt badly still in the car. Scared about what would happen to me, I ran away. Of course, they tracked me down with the tags on the car and came and picked me up for slitting the cop’s throat.”
A lady in the group looked at me and said “but…--” and I cut her off…
“As we all know, cops aren’t exactly popular and that is especially so
in the neighborhoods I grew up in and around, so apparently someone happened
upon this fresh scene and cut the cop up.
Since they already had their cop killer in their minds, they picked me up and hauled me away. I couldn’t afford legal representation, so they gave me the busiest public defender they could find. Needless to say, I was sent up the river for a LONG time.”
There was not a closed mouth in the room. I continued…
“I was like a king among inmates for apparently having banged a cop, but I was also a target of the corrections officers. Left alone by the criminals, but beaten every day or three by the lawmen. Crazy, ain’t it?”
Another lady stepped up and asked “you’re young, though… How’d you get out?” I continued…
“Well, one time when I was taken away for my regular tuneup beating, I
had a sharpened toothbrush and used it on one of the guards when they thought I
was down. Rather than, themselves,
explain why I was where I was and with them, they stopped the beatings. I became known as ‘Stabby McShankface’ on the
cellblock. So now, not only am I
protected, I am MADE. No one would
Then some nosey law students get wind of my case and start digging for inconsistencies in it. Apparently there was surveillance footage from the gas station a half-block from the scene of the accident that caught everything.”
I hadn’t noticed the administrator looking at my file before leaving the room. I was busy telling a story…
“They presented the evidence and there was no choice but to cut me loose and consider charging me ONLY with leaving the scene of the accident. See, the cop had run a red light for me to hit them, so the accident wasn’t even my fault! I plead guilty to that, and they gave me time served and expunged any mention of the throat-slitting from my record--…”
It was right then that the administrator and two people from HR had come back into the room to interrupt my holding court with these incredulous strangers. “Sir, could you come with us please?”
I picked up my personal effects, and my keys and started to go with them. As we all arrived to the office, where one might infer I would be offered the chance to explain myself and/or ostensibly be terminated, I simply kept walking to the car and went home to finish my summer vacation while they went to have a little meeting about the results of my background check being completely at odds with the story I had just told.