At The Career Fair

By Batrick Pateman

Oh, fuck. They’re here too. If staying in this suit on a day like this wasn’t pissing me off enough, they come along and butt into the line. “Oh hey, Vincent! Good to see you here too, Melvin.”

“Forgetting the guy who’s gonna get the job, Victor?”

“Oh fuck off, Fletcher”, I say, confidently. The air-conditioning has eased me into my suit.

“Is that Adrian at the front of you? He seems to be hitting it off pretty well with the interviewer.”

I turn around. It’s Adrian, four spots ahead of me. I’m shocked. He’s doing so well, the interviewer even firmly shook his hand. He’s smiling with genuine confidence, shit. I need to regain my composure after that brief moment of instability. This is very unlike me. He’s pulling out his resume as she watches. She’s even marking the resume and placing it in a separate pile- wait–

“Victor? Did you see that resume?” Vincent is visibly impressed, that lousy schmuck has barely any taste.

“Yeah, I saw that she-”

“It looked pretty impressive.”

“It’s just Arial on printer paper, and the formatting’s mediocre at best. Wait till you see mine.”

I pull out my resume from my black, tant paper file (Burberry, $10), and hand it to Vincent. I try to act casual about it, but I smile proudly. “Picked them up from the printer’s this morning.” Vincent and Melvin study the resume closely. “Good formatting!” Vincent remarks. The paper is sharp. I hope he gets a papercut.

“That texture’s Nouveau, and the font is called Georgia Lite. Bumped the margins to 1.75”, 2” and 2.25”. Black bullets, 2 millimeters wide.”

“Georgia lite?”

“Yeah. Not bad, huh?”

“It is very cool, Victor,” Vincent says guardedly, that jealous bastard, “but wait till you see this.” He whips out his resume.

We all lean over to see Vincent’s resume. Melvin quietly responds, “Very nice.” A brief spasm of jealousy courses through me when I notice the elegance of the formatting and the type. I feel it, and its texture seems so luring. Looks like would give him some good papercuts as well.

“Garamond, 99% black text color. The texture is silky matte. What do you think?”

Good, that’s nice,” I croak, but manage to wring out an approving nod.

“Jesus,” Melvin says, holding the resume up to the sunlight. “This is super. How’d a nitwit like you get so tasteful?”  I’m looking at Vincent’s resume and then at mine. I cannot believe that Melvin likes his resume more than mine. Dizzy, I take a sip from my water bottle. Vincent is adjusting his tie. Is he nervous? That tie would make for a good noose.

“But wait,” Melvin says. “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet…” He pulls his out of an inside coat pocket and slowly, dramatically turns it over for our inspection and says, “Mine.” The pompous shithead shoves it in just enough for the resume to shift away my fountain pen (Waterman Hemisphere, $47), which was perfectly positioned in my coat pocket. I am simmering with rage, I am boiling with the desire to stab him in the face, square in the eye, with that pen. But I must calm down – there are other important things to worry about. I’m getting bogged down in petty matters.

I direct my mind to the resume. Vincent looks over it in detail, and Fletcher peeks at it. Even I have to admit it’s magnificent. It’s so clear, so well-formatted and aligned. It’s taking me to pieces.

Suddenly the booth seems far away, hushed, the noise distant, a meaningless hum, compared to this resume, and we all hear Melvin’s words: “Century Gothic. The template used was Upfront.” “Holy shit,” Vincent exclaims. “I’ve never seen…”

Nice, very nice,” I have to admit, as I slightly adjust my coat and my pen. “But wait. Let’s see Fletcher’s.

Melvin pulls it out and though he’s acting nonchalant, I don’t see how he can ignore its subtle linen texture, its tasteful thickness and smell. The Versace perfume that I had dabbed on myself is starting to wear off. I am unexpectedly depressed that I started this.

I pick up Fletcher’s resume and let the sensation – that the paper gives off to the pads of my fingers – sink in, it’s orgasmic.The paper is crisp, and sharp, as sharp as the new knife that I had bought earlier this week. A beautiful subtle chrome, with a delicate sheen.

“Nice, huh?” Melvin’s tone suggests he realizes I’m jealous. “Yeah,” I say offhandedly, giving Melvin the resume like I don’t give a shit, but I’m finding it hard to swallow.

I’m paying Fletcher a visit this evening, I need to show him my new knife.

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