An Interview with the CEO: Chapter One

Posted: September 22, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

building

The appointment was for 1 pm sharp. Since I believe in arriving early, I pulled into the parking lot at 12:42, parked my car, checked myself in the mirror, adjusted my business suit and made the slow saunter up to the building. The entrance doors were very fancy – gold-plated, I believe. There was an aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls wafting through the air. “I bet they have an amazing pastry bar in this place,” I sniffed one more time, before swinging the door open and stepping into what had to be the most beautiful, ornate and echoey marbled hallway I’ve ever seen. Every step of my five-inch, spiked stilettos tapped out my arrival. The floor was freshly polished, too, and I struggled to keep from sliding and falling flat on my ass. Fortunately, it wasn’t a long walk to the elevators.

I paused briefly in front of the two elevators – contemplating my next step. Which floor is the CEO on? I’d like to assume the top floor, but perhaps this CEO runs things a little differently around here. I’ve had that happen to me before — an elevator ride up thirteen floors, only to be told “Sorry about your luck, but the person you’re looking for is one story up.” That’s what I get for believing in superstitions, I guess.

I pushed the big button and waited, almost impatiently, for the sound of the elevator descending to meet me. When the doors opened, I was about to step on when I noticed the man huddled in the corner of the elevator, weeping silently to himself. Such an odd sight to see. My immediate reaction was to catch the next car up, but my soft side told me to check on the distraught man, and see if there was something I could do to help.

“Sir, are you alright?” I said, looking anxiously at my wristwatch. I had two minutes to get to my interview, and this could easily take a while. The poor guy seemed on the verge of hysterics.

“No, I am not alright,” the man quivered under his breath. “I just met with the CEO, and he is furious with me…” “Oh, this can’t be good,” I thought to myself “And I have an interview with him? Yikes…”

I decided to delay my arrival upstairs by just a few moments. To not jeopardize my situation, I took out my cell phone and dialed the CEO’s number. His assistant answered almost immediately. “Yes?” the condescension in the assistant’s voice was almost palpable. “What do you want?” I explained I was downstairs, I had arrived on time, but I stopped to  help out a fellow co-worker. I’d be up in a few minutes. Expecting the assistant to soften a little, because the company I was interviewing for was known for its compassion (although I have recently heard rumors to the contrary), I was quite shocked when the assistant snapped back,

“Are you talking about Sebastian? Is he wearing a dark gray suit and black penny loafers? Pink tie?” the assistant sneered into the phone. I looked at the man. “Why, uh, yes, as a matter of fact–”

I recoiled in horror at what I heard next.

“The CEO just fired him. It turned out he has been hiding a secret, gay life and this violates our corporation’s policies. We won’t have that kind of person working here. So,  he’s gone – adios, sucker. Go find somewhere else to work.” the assistant slammed the phone down harshly.

I stared at my phone, expecting a call back and a “just kidding, you’ve been pranked!” But, nothing like that happened. I looked down at the cowering, whimpering man and softly asked, “Sebastian? Is that you?” The poor guy looked up at me and, with a weak smile, answered, “Yes, that’s me. And yes, the CEO just fired me. For being…gay. I can’t believe it – I have been a loyal, dedicated, hard-working employee almost all of my LIFE! How can he do this to me?”

I slowly maneuvered myself onto the floor next to him, making sure I didn’t expose any parts of me that could be seen by anyone else approaching. I leaned in slightly, put my left hand gently on his forearm, and, with as much contempt and bitterness I could muster, I said,

“Welcome to the Catholic church.”

I knew right there and then I’d keep that meeting with the CEO. I had some serious questions to ask him, and if he is who he says he is, then he should be willing to provide the answers.

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