Zach watched as Guinevere hovered her hand over the red file before swiftly pulling back and reaching for the blue file instead. Seemingly happy with her choice, she gestured for the rest of them to go ahead. Oddly, with only one red file left, none of them made a move.
“You guys go ahead,” Richard said. “I’m not picky.”
Matthias turned to look at Zach and Richard before picking up the red file. Unexpectedly, he offered it to Zach and a moment of hesitation followed. The file was in such a glaring red that it felt dangerous. When he finally made up his mind, Zach shook his head and went for the blue file instead. After his decision was made, Matthias kept the red and Richard accepted the blue by default.
“Good, now that you each have a file, I would like you to open it,” Ms Leona said.
Flipping the file open, Zach found two profiles clipped onto two resumes. Taking a quick look, Zach noticed that both applicants were applying for the same job. Immediately, he had inkling on what his next task was.
“In your files, you will find two profiles. Those who took the blue file will find a resume attached to the profiles, and those who took the red file will find a termination letter. Simply put, this weekend, you’re tasked to hire and fire,” Ms Leona explained.
Zach heaved a silent sigh of relief.
“Ah, your lost,” Matthias said with a smile as he waved his file at Zach.
Quite the contrary to Matthias’ belief, Zach was actually happy he chose the blue file. He could not bear the responsibility of terminating anyone, having being terminated himself. In such an economy, losing a job could sometimes mean losing a life.
“Any questions?” Ms Leona asked.
When no one raised one, she excused herself and left them to their duties.
“I guess us reds will be enjoying this weekend,” Matthias stated.
“You’re mistaken to think you two are the only ones,” Guinevere replied.
Everyone immediately gave Guinevere a questioning look.
“Here’s a tip, boys,” Guinevere said as she turned to Zach and Richard. “Nobody said we have to interview them both. So, just pick one.”
“Good point. There are no rules,” Richard added.
Guinevere gave a wink in reply before waving goodbye.
“I guess I’ll get to it too,” Matthias said, shortly after Guinevere left, and he followed suit.
Zach was not sure if he wanted to do as Guinevere had suggested. There was a part of him that wanted to carry out his duty right. If he was given two profiles, he should give both profiles an equal shot. Picking a favourite did not seem ethical.
Turning to Jodie, Zach wanted to ask her what she thought about Guinevere’s plan. But Richard was still lurking around, making him feel a little uncomfortable. When Jodie finally got up from her seat, Richard asked, “Wanna grab a drink when you’re done?”
Without hesitation, Jodie replied, “No thanks.”
“I’ll buy?” Richard offered.
Jodie shook her head. Then turning to Zach, she said, “If you need any help, let me know.”
“Sure, thanks,” Zach responded, just as Richard said, “Great, I’ll give you a call.”
Not bothering to respond, Jodie headed off, leaving Zach with Richard.
Zach was still not fond of Richard and he was ready to excuse himself too. Unfortunately, before he could even utter a word, Richard rested his hand on Zach’s shoulder and said, “If you don’t mind me asking, how is it that you get all the ladies?”
“What?” The question sounded ridiculous in Zach’s ears. Zach had not dated in years, so where was Richard coming from?
“I mean, how are you friends with Jodie?”
“Out of everyone in this group, you two seem to click in such a short time. I’m just curious on how you do it.”
I’m not you, that’s how, Zach thought to himself as he gave Richard a shrug in reply.
“I’m sure you have a secret,” Richard pressed on.
“None. I should be going,” Zach quickly said.
“Are you going with Guinevere’s plan or are you going to get Jodie to help?”
“I don’t know yet,” Zach answered as he turned on his heels and began walking. Somehow knowing it would happen, Richard followed along. It did not take Zach long to begin an internal debate on whether he should ask Richard to leave him alone.
“You don’t need Jodie’s help you know. You can do it yourself.”
“I know,” Zach said, hoping short answers would shoo Richard away.
“You know what, let’s do it together.”
At Richard’s offer, Zach stopped in his tracks. He was ready to give Richard a ‘No, thanks,’ too, but what Richard said next surprised him.
“I don’t think we should follow Guinevere. Both applicants should be given a chance, right? We should do the interviews together. I’ve not done it before, and I believe you have not either. So it would be a good experience for both of us, don’t you think?”
It was as though Richard had a split personality, and the more responsible version of him decided to show up.
Not knowing what to say, Zach simply stared at Richard. He was not going to deny that Richard did make a good point. The task was the perfect learning ground and the perfect platform to experience something new.
But despite it sounding like a good idea, Zach could not help but wonder if it was a smart one. If he had Richard with him, he would have less room to mess up the interviews. However, asking Jodie for help would make the task so much easier and quicker.
“What do you say?” Richard nudged.
Zach had to choose.