A Gaseous End

“So you mean to tell us that you don’t have your credentials here with you?”

I watched his mouth move as he spoke harshly to me, bobbing up and down with fat lips smacking each other. It was a rather repulsive sight.

“Yes sir,” I answered with a shaky voice.

“Young man, do you want this job?” She asked.

I turned to face her; her red lipstick a stark contrast to her black face, glasses perched on the tip of her nose, and the mother of all moles on the edge of her lips.

“Yes sir.”

“Sir?” He asked.

“Yes ma’am!”

They shook their heads in unison. I watched the disdain flirt around their faces. They had handled one too many interviews, and to them, I was just like any other job seeker; wide eyed and desperate. The man, with his bulbous belly and double chin, was used to handling my type; intimidation and acerbic remarks usually did the job. The woman was worse. She had a slightly disturbing owlish aura with her wire frame glasses and large eyes, seemingly peering into the depths of your soul. Perhaps more disturbing was the mole on her face that demanded more attention than Denrel—

“So, Adehun, or what do your friends call you for short?” The man asked, casually flipping back and forth through my 2-page CV

“Adehunoluwakiiyetitilayilayi.” I blurted out.

“For short?” She asked with a raised brow.

If disdain flirted around their faces before, it was now the matchmaker there.

“Ade, I’m sorry. My friends call me Ade.”

They shook their heads in unison for the second time and I began to wonder if they practiced it when no one was around.

“So why should we give you this job, Ade?” The man inquired, having satisfied himself that nothing more was worth looking at in my CV, and grooming his moustache with his hand was more important than the interview.

I prepared myself and fired, spitting out the prepared answer I had committed to memory months ago.

“I am a diligent and highly motivated individual. I have had experience managing workforce and I am uniquely qualified to undertake this responsibility should it be ma—”

“You managed workforce where? I didn’t see that part in your CV.” The woman cut me off, genuine confusion written all over her face.

“Well, actually,” I began “In my house, I am the first child and I have nine siblings. My mother always left me in charge of my brothers and sisters and I learned how to manage them—”

“So that’s the workforce you’ve managed?” The man asked with a wry smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

“Yes sir.” I replied, slowly realising that I had dug a hole I would find difficult to escape from.

“And what makes you uniquely qualified? You have a degree in Library Science, abi?” The woman fired.

“Yes ma’am.”

“Explain to us how you’re uniquely qualified then. You have no graduate degree and you graduated four years ago, explain how you are uniquely qualified for this role.” The man added.

I never saw it coming.

The sweat began to bead on my forehead and nose as I pondered what to say. I could have sworn I saw him chuckle.

“My degree, err, helped me to learn how to, err, be focu—”

“Look here, young man, you don’t seem to be ready for this job,” The woman said rather angrily, “You don’t have your credentials, your degree doesn’t qualify you for the job and you have no experience. Please stop—”

The sound tore through the air and silenced every other sound in the vicinity. It was loud and raspy, seemingly vibrating as it reverberated into my ear drums. My eyes and ears tracked the sound towards the woman and caught the man giving her a sideways glance as well.

“I don’t know how we can help—” The man began in a bid to make things less awkward but was silenced by the putrid stench that subjugated every odour detectable by the olfactory senses in the room. The odour wafted into my nostrils in waves, causing an instinctive gag reflex that emanated from my belly. A loud giggle rose out from my throat. The woman shifted uncomfortably in her seat while the man looked away. I got up and snatched my CV off their table. I knew there was no way I would be offered the job, seeing as I had laughed at my potential boss’ fart. As I recovered my CV, another wave of caustic odour hit my nostrils and I lost every ounce of control I had. The smell seemed to burn through my lungs, making my eyes water. I laughed wildly and marched out of the room. The other interviewees stared at me with blank expressions as I strutted out of the building, laughing hysterically.

It was a small victory for me. I had laughed with impunity at the weakness of my recruiter in the job market. She had shown her humanity and I had exploited it, a small revenge for all the stress they had put me through. As I walked, my shoe gave way, sole flying in another direction, but I was too happy to care. It had been a good day. It would take another four months before I finally got a job, but it was worth the wait.

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