Thursday, November 29, 2012

Job Interview

The phone call came from a private number. The voice was low and had a heavy accent. She asked short and sharp questions, paused for too long after my answers. Every pause made me uncomfortable. After a few seconds of waiting, I would utter something to fill in the silence.

I had needed a job for months. I had applied to every advertisement I came across. No reservations. No preferences. I had been desperate. 

"Are you in town for an interview?" Yes.

"Do you own a bike?" No. But if it is needed for this job, I will get one.

"Have you read 'The Red-Headed League'?" Umm.. is this the Sherlock Holmes story? What.. why?

"Ms. Light , I am asking the questions." Umm... Yes I have. But I don't remember much. It was so long ago. ... Something about an encyclopaedia... And banks. Umm, can I please have your name? Or number maybe? What is this job about?

"Ms. Light, I have to remind you again. I ask, you answer." Right.

So, I was going to have to work for a crazy lady. Whatever. Who cares. The red-headed man had a house from where thieves wanted to build a tunnel. I was living at friends' houses and cheap hotels. No catch there for me!

 "Do you own a backpack?" Yes, ma'am.

Crazy for sure.

"Okay Ms. Light. Please come to the gerble..gerble..gerble for your first interview." ...Click... 

Didn't catch that? Neither did I.
Did I mention that the call was from a private number?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Landscape Shaper

It started on a humid July afternoon. It was partly the weather that caused her drowsiness. But it could have even been the heavy lunch. She didn't want to get another coffee, it had stopped providing a means to wake her up. Maybe she didn't want to wake up at all, the soothing feeling of an afternoon nap coming on was intoxicating.

She got up and walked to the large window on her high-rise building's passage-way. The flat land around stretched out for miles. Out of sheer boredom, she decided to play a little game. She picked out buildings and imagined them dropping out of view. Not exactly blowing up, just getting powdered to bits to be swept away. It was not a destructive thought. It didn't involve killing people or destroying valuables. It was just her way of rearranging what looked like a miniature city model into something more beautiful, so that a garden or a canal was visible to her where she stood. She decided what she imagined was so much better.

Maybe it was the weather, or the lack of coffee. But it was quite possible that in a weird way her mind was trying to wake her up. Her imagination took a wild turn. She started imagining what she could do to make the flat land an eyesore. At first she was amused, then she became uncomfortable. By the time she was entirely awakened, her mind's eye gave her an idea of how many things could be wrong with that inanimate-looking expanse in front of her. She was offended by the ugliness, it was revolting and she shook herself to bring back the image of what was.

She woke up sweating. She ran out into the passageway looking out the window. A huge soupy mist hung above the land. She breathlessly waited for it to clear up and saw her worst imagination appear in front of her. The eyesore that she had imagined had realized itself.

In the past she had had the power to shape the future in her mind. Now that future was the present and the past that had been the present was out of her hands.

News and comment sections

I think, comments on websites have been most important in deciding and  influencing public opinion. I know this mostly from personal experience. I tend to read some youtube comment on a comedy sketch video and agree with whatever the comment says is the funniest part of the video. When I read some negative comment on some character that I hadn't really had an opinion of before, I end up disliking that character a bit. 

On issues that I have strong feelings myself, I do not feel being swayed much by people's comments. But I hate to read comments on news sites. It is not so much that some commenter disagrees with my viewpoint, but it is that I know that it ends up influencing people negatively. By this I simply mean that the reader is unconsciously led to taking some viewpoint that he/she has not considered and thought much about before adopting it as his/her own (and not that any view other than mine is negative, duh!). Also, the point of comments on a news site is a concept that is very unacceptable to me. I understand comment sections on opinions. In fact comments on opinion pieces are important and help keep a balance. Opinions must be open to debate and disagreement. But why on news reports?