Here it was. His perfect moment. The interview of a lifetime. The break through .The key to his golden future but the reception area to his company offices seemed a little blurred. Possibly as a result of nerves, a surprise meeting, and a lack of planning, his triumph had been vigorously pre-celebrated and the effects had left his legs somewhat to their own devices. Sometimes they took him nearer the desk and sometimes further away. Efforts to communicate with them were yet to meet with any clear response.
The girl behind the desk was looking increasingly concerned but all was not lost. He finally landed up against it and leaned on it with relief. Yes, he leaned on it, then clung to it and finally slid down before it and lay prostrate on the floor. With admirable presence of mind, he managed to summon elements of control and boomed towards the ceiling “Mr Lymington to see the M.D.”
He heard some mumbling in something which may have been English and then the girl’s face popped over the top of the desk and she said, “Mr Norfolk will see you now” He was developing quite a strong desire to have a nap, and this place seemed as good as any, but busy bodies seemed determined to proceed with the business of the day.
With the help of a security man he was shovelled into a chair in front of the MD’s desk and sat, enjoying a brief moment of clarity before the room once more spun out of focus. Mr Norfolk was both surprised and disturbed by the appearance of his star candidate but he had not got where he was today by not being able to deal with the unexpected. There were clear indications that Lymington was not himself, or anyone else for that matter, but questions are questions and he had already written his list of them down on the paper in front of him.
“Right” he said, consulting it, before raising his eyes. Lymington was looking at him with a smile worthy of the birth of Spring but otherwise seemed reasonably normal. “Where do you see yourself in five years time ” . Lymington kept smiling but now his eyes glowed slightly and his right arm stiffened as he held himself upright in his chair. He replied in a surprisingly firm and considered voice, “If I was sitting in your chair, sir, I would regard myself as a failure”. As he considered this reply Lyminghton leaned forward and said, “Only joking…only joking” and smiled in a conspiratorial manner before falling off his chair and making something of a mess on the carpet. The interview was terminated along with his career.
EARLIER THAT DAY
Poor old Charlie Lymington, slightly more than merry at some after-work birthday do a few weeks before, had confessed his love for the girl friend of his principal rival. She thought him a boring goody two-shoes. Why would she be interested in him but now she had concocted the perfect plan. She rang Charlie early on the day of the interview and whispered, “I have to see you”. She’d made a point of crying down the phone.
It is a sad fact that a man who can withstand a thousand shocks is powerless against the forces of flattery. As she spoke of sharing her dreams: her life with his; leaning towards him and whispering in his ear his reserve melted. Paradise was sitting before him. He started drinking with careless euphoria. While he was in the toilet she managed to stiffen his drink with further shots, as well as making a phone call to her conspirator, the other candidate. “He’s fallen for it big time” She smirked. “Rock bottom and drilling. This should be fun”. She was good enough to get him a taxi to the office and then await the outcome.