Monday, July 20, 2015
Take This Job And ...
"So tell me," Tyson said. He did his best to keep the boredom out of his voice. "Why do you want to work for Beaver Brothers Construction?"
"Well." The young woman fluttered her hands like feathers, caught herself, and folded her hands in her lap. "I have three years experience in an office setting, I've worked with Microsoft Office, and my typing speed is—"
"Excuse me, Miss Blandon. You've already told me your qualifications. I'd like to know why you want to work for Beaver Brothers Construction." In his head, he was thinking, Why me? Why do I always get interview duty?
Because, he thought morosely, beavers were a patient breed—you cut down trees with your teeth, you'd better have patience—but not necessarily with other beings. Except for Tyson. He got along with everybody. By default, he'd become the family business's HR department.
"Oh! Well, everybody's heard of Beaver Brothers, you're a stable company, a great place to work, and … and … "
She was becoming flustered. Tyson couldn't help himself. He looked at the seat of her chair.
Miss Blandon flushed a furious red, as befit a cardinal shifter. "I saw that!"
"I know what you're thinking. 'She's a bird, the first time she gets upset she's going to shift and poop all over everything.' We don't all do that, Mr. Beaver. I have never—"
"That's not what turned up in your background check. You might want to revise your Facebook page."
"Well!" She shot to her feet and glowered at him, all five feet of her. "This is species discrimination. You'll be hearing from my lawyer." She stormed out.
Tyson looked at the chair. It was still clean. He'd have to remember to check the rug for spots before he left today. "Next," he called wearily into the intercom.
A young man came in and sat down. Tyson sat up. The young man wasn't nervous at all. Tyson couldn't say the same. He snatched the copy of the resume the young man held out, and tried not to be obvious about checking the state of his fingers. "Mr. Kelso?" he said.
"Randy." The young man smiled. "Let's cut to the chase. I'm a guy and I'm a secretary. I promise I'm fully qualified."
Tyson tried not to wince at the word chase. "You're gender's not the issue, Mr. Kelso. We've hired carnivores before. They usually don't last long. Most carnivores don't like taking orders from herbivores."
The young man shrugged. "Bet you've been hiring alphas and betas. Even deltas get bristly. I'm an epsilon. Practically an omega. Everybody bosses us around. We just take it. It's our nature. My last job, I worked for humans." He sat back to let that sink in.
Tyson consulted his resume. "Why did you leave your last job?"
"I didn't. They left me. They shut the branch office and moved back to Billings. That's what I get for not working local."
Tyson couldn't argue with that. "You seem to have the required office experience."
"I started out working for the Hancocks. That's the nature of a wolf pack. Orders come from the alphas or betas. Everybody else is support."
"Why do you want to work for Beaver Brothers Construction?"
Randy snorted. "I need a paycheck, man. Nobody else is hiring. It's wolf-eat-wolf out there."
"Speaking of that … you know we're herbivorous here? This might not be the best company for you."
"On the contrary. Most of your contracts come from herbies, right? I mean herbivores. No offense. Anyway, think how impressed they'll be when they see you've got a wolf working for you. They'll be thinking, 'Damn. Nobody messes with these people.' If you get any carnie or human customers, I can handle them. When you're low-rank, you learn fast how to handle folks. Nothing ranks lower than a secretary."
You got that right, Tyson thought. "You might get flak from the workers. They're not going to trust you, you know."
"Why not? We don't hunt beavers even in the wild. Your teeth are bigger than ours. It's easier to just buy a steak. Look, I'm used to sitting by myself in the lunchroom. If I brown-bag it, I can bring hummus or something. One meatless meal a day won't kill me. Might even do me some good."
He certainly had the right attitude. And an impressive background. Worked for the Hancocks and humans. That might come in handy. The company was looking to expand. "Mr. Kelso, I'd like to give you a two-week tryout period. If you live up to this"—he waved the resume—"and you don't make the rest of us too uncomfortable, you've got a job here."
"Thank you." The wolf looked honestly relieved. "You won't regret it."
No, Tyson figured, they just might not at that. He shook hands with the new company secretary, and this time didn't even bother to check his fingers. "Welcome to Beaver Brothers."