I was doing some job hunting recently when I entered an office building not far from where I live. I strolled through the spacious lobby that was cooled off by large ceiling fans and walked up to the receptionist desk which sat in front of a elegant wooden wall bearing the company logo. I greeted the receptionist and asked her, “Are there any job openings here?”
She smiled and replied, “Just a moment.”
She just sat there at her desk, doing nothing to indicate that she was working. Her phone remained silent and her computer was idle long enough for the screen saver to run. She had on a look of intense concentration as if listening for something.
I waited for a minute and then spoke up again. “Yes, I was wondering if there were any job openings here.”
“Just a moment, please,” she answered, firmly but politely. Again she just sat there, listening attentively as if expecting something.
Then I made out faint voices echoing in the lobby that grew increasingly louder, and I could soon hear frantic footsteps and voices engaged in what sounded like a heated argument. The yelling became loud enough for me to understand the words and sounded like they were coming from behind the wooden wall.
To add to the confusion, the receptionist leaned over to the side, opened one of the side drawers of her desk and pulled out a pair of ear protection headphones. While smiling at me, she put on the headphones and then lowered herself to the floor to crawl under her desk.
Suddenly the logo on the wall slid out of sight to reveal an opening from which a giant cannon emerged. Inside the cannon was a man, fully dressed in his business suit and his face red with anger. “It wasn’t me!” he yelled. “I had nothing to do with us losing the contract!”
With a deafening roar the cannon fired, and the man flew out of the lobby, airborne over the parking lot and the trees outside the building where he continued flying towards the horizon, never to be seen again.
Smoke completely engulfed the lobby but quickly dissipated when the ceiling fans began spinning in the opposite direction to lift the smoke for disposal through the air conditioning vents. After the smoke cleared, I saw the cannon gone, the logo back in place on the wall and the receptionist back at her desk, sans headphones. It took me a while to digest what had just happened but soon decided to resume my purpose for entering the lobby in the first place.
I greeted the receptionist one more time. “Are there any job openings here?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied.