Larry was walking down the long hallway beyond the stadium’s maintenance area. He was wearing his white shirt and tie. That morning, he had gone into the copy point on the corner of his street and bought a leather folder. He printed out his updated resume and cover letter. He was ready.
“Mr. Johnson,” he leaned into his manager’s office, “Is this a bad time?”
“Larry, come in. What is it?”
“I-a… I have my papers here. I wanna apply for the shift manager position.”
“Well come right in, sit down. You want me to interview you now?”
Larry was surprised. He panicked, but he composed himself. “Sure.”
“What do you think makes you a good match?”
“Uhm. I-a… I have a lot of experience. I work well under stress. In a crisis. I was able to save us during the Great Clog of ’11. What else… Oh, I proposed the shift rotation scheme which reduced the number of no-shows.”
Mr. Johnson was listening, his fingers pretending to be a pyramid, his brow furrowed and focused. Then he thought for a long while. “You’re a great match, Larry, but I’ll be honest with you… Nobody has your skillset and I would not be able to replace you. You are the best goddamn toilet cleaner I ever met. So, unfortunately, I’m gonna need you to sit this one out. But there will be opportunities. It’s just not the best moment. You understand, right?”
Larry walked all the way back to the locker room to change into his overalls. The sun was shining outside the tiny window and the day was going to be beautiful, but somehow, work did not seem as motivating as it used to.