If the board meeting was not tomorrow Betty would not have to cover Saturday for me. If Betty did not have to cover Saturday, then she would have worked today. If she would have worked, she would have sat in with me on the interview with Sgt. Ted Manson instead of Dave. If Betty had been sitting in this meeting, then Dave would not have gotten stabbed. I am eighty-five percent sure of that.
The interview started fairly normal. Sgt. Manson had a background in the armed forces where he claimed he was “a leader of men.” He had very little practical library experience but was in supply and therefore was very experienced with inventory. When asked about his work with children, he claimed to have “made boys into men and girls into meaner men.”
Odd, but the standard interview of someone with no chance of getting a children’s library position. Exactly what I was looking for.
Then we got to the easiest part of every interview.
“Okay, Sgt. Manson, we have to go through these next questions to meet the standard hiring practices of the state and our own procedures. Is that okay?” I said.
“You can ask me any question you deem fit and I will answer with truth on my lips or the mighty U. S. of A. can strip me of all honor,” Manson said.
“Okay. Have you ever been convicted of a felony or other crime?”
“No. I am a God fearing Christian who lives a righteous existence as the good book tells us.”
“Fine. Do you have any problems lifting or carrying items of at least twenty-five pounds or sometimes as much as fifty pounds?”
“I am as physically fit as my age allows me to be. My back is strong, but sometimes has problems with heavier weights, however lifting around that weight range should pose no problems.”
“Good. The library has a strict no tolerance policy towards tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs. Will this be a problem?”
“I occasionally have an alcoholic beverage and have been known to smoke cigars of the finest tobacco, but never while working.”
“All right, we also have a policy about weapons in the workplace. No guns or knives may be carried within the grounds of the building or parking lot. Is this satisfactory?”
“What if I have a permit for the weapons?”
“I am sorry, but only police or other law enforcement officials may carry weapons. That includes in your car. Is that okay?”
“I can refrain from carrying any firearms on my person however I will do so under duress. I wish to have that noted.”
“Okay. I think that-”
He held up his hand, “What do you consider a knife?”
“Um, anything bigger than a folding pocket knife, really,” I said, looking to Dave for agreement.
Sgt. Manson began shifting in his seat. He pulled a rather wicked looking folding knife from his pocket and unfolded it.
“This is a Smith & Wesson SWFRS First Response Serrated Knife. My daughter gave it to me last year. This knife is very dear to me. Would it be satisfactory to carry around in your library?” he said.
“Um, yes. The blade is under six inches and folds in so I think that would be fine.”
Manson reached down towards his sock and pulled out three wicked looking blades, “These are Japanese ninja throwing knives. I was trained in their use by my master to expert levels. Would they be satisfactory to carry around in your library.”
Dave and I looked at each other. Dave shrugged.
“Sgt. Manson, I don’t think so. We have children running around the library and as the children’s librarian you would be in direct contact with them. I am going to have to say no.”
Manson looked offended, sitting up in his chair.
“Sir, I am a offended you would think I would let any child in my care come under harm. I am a decorated officer of the United States-”
“Look, dude,” Dave said, “It does not matter. You can’t have weapons around the kids and honestly, I would not trust you around a knife to butter my toast. I think we need to call this interview. It’s over.”
“This interview is not over, little man,” Manson said, “I will say my piece and if you interrupt me again you will feel my wrath.”
Dave laughed and stood up, “Evan, let’s go. I need to show you the computer room and my plans for the new- ow... owwww.... aaaaaAAAAAAAAHHHHH!”
I looked down and one of the small ninja knives was sticking out of Dave’s leg.
Dave fell back to the chair holding his leg. Manson stood and loomed over us both.
“Now this interview is over. I would not work with this weakling for all the gold in Fort Knox.”
Manson reached down and plucked the knife from Dave’s leg. A small squirt of blood came with it. I sat, stunned as Manson walked out of the office.
“What the fuck just happened?” Dave asked.
“I think you just got stabbed,” I said.
“Remind me never to interview with you again. Why didn’t you do anything?”
“He still had two knives left,” I said, grabbing an old t-shirt from my desk drawer. I had Dave hold it down on his leg while I dialed the police.
The wound ended up not being that bad, but I told Dave to go to the hospital then home. The police caught Sgt. Mason a couple of blocks away throwing his knives at the courthouse. His mental instability finally catching up to him, he decided to take his vengeance out on the old brick building for reasons known only to him.
Thank FSM interview week is over. Now all I have to do is deal with the board tomorrow. Should be a walk in the park when I give them the applicant pool.
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