Day 3 of Interview Week. The first two days had gone so well. Honestly, I think we packed it that way, get the good out first so we could string together the nightmare team. I had hoped everything would be okay but hope is a dangerous thing, my friends. Hope can lead you down some dark paths, paths that test the mind and worry the spirit.
Then days come where hope smacks against the wall like an egg on Halloween night, all trick and no treat.
Truth be told, I trusted Betty scan the resumes. She trusted me to read them.
Trust and hope are a fucking brutal pair when jobs are on the line. Let me explain.
“This one has some library experience,” she said.
Without looking, I put his folder on the interview pile. Here is an excerpt from our conversation with Mr. Folds:
Evan Banned: So, Mr. Folds, it says here you have library experience.
Paul Folds: Yes, sir, I served the state of Mississippi 8 years with good behavior.
EB: What type of duties did you have at your previous library?
PF: I maintained the books. Put them on the shelves, checked them out. Carted them around the cell blocks every Friday.
Betty Lou: Cell blocks?
PF: Yes, ma’am, at the prison.
EB: You worked at a prison library?
papers can be heard shuffling
PF: Yes, sir. Eight years. Assigned to the library straight off on account of the previous worker finding a knife in his back.
EB: He was killed?
PF: Dunno, but he didn’t come back and I got his job.
BL: How long ago were you released?
PF: Been about a month and a half. Been working around the boarding house.
EB: Do you have any library education that would be applicable for public library work?
PF: Well, outside the library on the inside, not really. They took us once, in middle school, they took us to the school library but I was asked to leave.
EB: Why were you asked to leave?
PF: You ask a lot of questions, man.
EB: This is a job interview, Mr. Folds. Why were you asked to leave the school library?
PF: I was playing like I was gonna burn the place down. Didn’t hurt nothing but maybe that big dictionary. You know the one, on that little desk?
BL: You set fire to the library?
PF: No, no, no. I was just acting like I was going to. One book ain’t gonna burn the whole library.
EB: I’m not going to lie, Mr. Folds, that kinda bothers me.
PF: Shit, if that bothers you why did you ask me here? I followed the law, wrote down why I was put away. They had it coming.
papers can be heard shuffling
BL: Says here you “willfully committed arson to public property.”
EB:(whisper) let me see that.
PF: Yeah, but I was young. Stupid. That fire was pretty, though.
EB: You were the one that set fire to the library books in the stacks 10 years ago?
PF: I didn’t mean to.
EB: I remember my mom talking about that. Said you were lighting the encyclopedias up and throwing them out the window. I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t think we can hire you.
PF: But I paid for all that. I worked in the library and sent some money. Y’all even sent me this.
BL: That’s a Friends of the Library membership card.
EB: Thank you for coming in, sir. We will be in touch.
PF: This is bullshit. Set fire to a few little books and all the sudden-
EB: I’m sorry, sir, but you will have to go now.
PF: Right. Sure. Don’t you worry, though, Mr. Banned. I’m gonna keep coming to this library.
EB: We look forward to seeing you, Mr. Folds. Let me walk you out.
PF: Don’t worry about it.
door opens and closes
EB: Holy shit.
BL: Language, Evan. But you’re right. Holy shit.
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