“I don’t let emotions interfere with my work,” I said, “and I won’t judge clients. They could be, by society’s standards, the worst person in the world and I wouldn’t even care. All I care about is producing the highest quality of work possible. Perfect format, perfect spelling, zero mistakes. That being said, I don’t care if you killed your own mother; but if you misplace a comma, there will be hell to pay if you don’t let me fix it.”
He smiled broadly, and his eyes seemed to drain the light from the room. “Good answer. Do you have any questions for me?”
I knew exactly what to say at this stage of the interview, too. What does a typical workday look like? What do the other employees look for in a team player? How many motivational posters will I be expected to absorb by osmosis?
Instead, I looked at the paperweight again, then back at his unblinking eyes.
“Are you a Scorpio?” I asked.
“Yes. I take it you’re into astrology?” He sounded entertained.
“My sign is a bad-ass mermaid goat,” I said with just a sliver of a smile. “Of course I’m into astrology.”
“Aha, Capricorn,” he said. “Yours is a tough shell to crack. You’re not an easy woman to please, are you?” It sounded like a winky-face emoji belonged at the end of that sentence.
“Not usually, no. But sometimes I make exceptions.”
“Do you?” The top corner of his lip curled back, showing the tip of his canine tooth.
I nodded. “Mm-hm. I once had a torrid affair with a Scorpio. It lasted over a year.”
Too much information? Probably; but somehow I could tell that’s what he wanted to hear.
“And why did you stop seeing him?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I said, completely devoid of emotion. “We just stopped texting.”
“And how did you feel, when that happened?” Another trick question.
“I didn’t,” I said. “I mean, I liked him. We were good for each other; well-suited, I guess. He liked being with me better than his girlfriend, or so he said. But I never needed him to begin with. So when we finally drifted apart…I didn’t feel a thing.”
This was, without a doubt, the weirdest and most interesting job interview I’d ever had. Usually, I talk about myself as little as possible to prospective employers; I figure, the less they know about me, the better. This one with Mr. Wilhelm was different; I actually didn’t care what he knew about me, because I could tell he wouldn’t give a fuck either way.
“How do you take your coffee?” he asked.
“Straight-up black. Espresso, if you have any.”
“I do, actually.” He picked up his desk-phone. “Chantal? Could you bring in two shots of espresso?”
“Sure thing.” I just barely heard her say over the phone.
As we waited for her, we lapsed into small-talk like we’d known each other for years. I mentioned that, while my sun sign is Capricorn, my moon sign is Scorpio. He didn’t know there was a moon sign; I explained to him how birth charts work.
“You’d have to look it up on an ephemeris,” I said. “You can probably find one online.”
Then there was a soft knock on the door.