Interview Part 2 – Fiction

This is a continuing story.  You should The Offer and The Interview Part 1 before reading this!

“Have a seat,” Haldon said.

Haldon’s office was on the 5th floor.  It wasn’t lavish or even that big.  It did however have a great view looking to the mountains to the west.

“I apologize for not giving you more information on what 12 does.  I’m usually talking to people who have heard about us or have worked in an environment like this before.  12 is a intelligence agency.  I suppose that’s the best way to describe it.  But we’re a bit different.  We are a non-profit and we are supported by Christian organizations across the world.”

“That seems a bit odd.  One doesn’t think of a Christian organization supporting what we know of intelligence agencies.  Tell me more.”

“True.  The media doesn’t give intelligence agencies enough credit for what we do.  We, like other agencies, have agents in the field.  We don’t make it a point to kill or harm anyone, but sometimes that can’t avoided.  But lets get to what we need you for here.  We need you to get our network up and running and our computers.  As Shawn may have told you the contractor on the building didn’t finish the job so we’ve just been getting by.  As great as Shawn is he is not a systems administrator.  We need your help.”

“I can probably help you with that however when I’m done with that then what?”

“Well there is of course maintaining.  Shawn can help with that, to some extent, but I need you to do that.  I think you’ll find that there is plenty to do.  From keeping the operatives laptops going to introducing new technology.  Despite being a non-profit organization we have a rather large budget so we’d like to stay up on technology,” Haldon explained.

“Okay.  Can you talk about pay and benefits?”

“Only fair I suppose,” Haldon said.

“Well we have full health insurance for you and your family.  100% paid.  The family also has access to the gym and Rich and his training staff.  Free.  As for pay you name what you want to make.  We believe that if you are making what you want to make that you’ll do better work.  So we cut that out of the way.  The budget you know.”

“WOW…that’s incredible.  Any retirement?”

“Of course.  Are you interested?  You’d have access to everything so some descretion would be needed.  Are you interested?”

“This sounds like an incredible opportuntiy.  I’d have to talk it over with my wife, but I think she’d agree we’d probably take it.  But let me talk to her.”

“I’d expect nothing less.  We encourage our employees to work with their family through everything,” Said Haldon.

 

 

The Offer – Fiction

“I hear you want a new job,” A voice said.

I put the can of tuna I was looking at back on the shelf and turned around.

And older gentleman of average height, gray hair and glasses was looking at me.  He had a sport coat on, a nice pair of shoes that shined from the overhead lights.  Not who you would expect in Walmart.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hi,” He replied.

“What can I help you with?”

“Oh I just wanted to offer you a job.”

“A job?” I asked.

Were there hidden cameras somewhere? Was I being punked?

I looked behind me and above.  Behind the old man I saw nothing but people bustling about with their carts and chasing kids.

“Who are you?  I don’t even know you and you want to offer me a job?”

“Yes.  We just lost our systems administrator and I heard you were looking for something.”

“Who told you that?”

“Someone we both know.”

This was getting weirder by the second.  Who in their right mind would just offer someone they didn’t know a job.

“So who are you?” I asked again.

“Oh sorry,” He said.  “Name is Haldon.  I run a company called 12.  Out on the east end of town.”

“Good to meet you Haldon,” I replied and shook his hand.

I looked again for cameras.  Nothing.

“Tell me more about your job.”

“Why don’t you come down tomorrow and I can show you. Here’s my business card and the address is right there.”

“After work okay?” I asked.

“Yeah that’s fine.  See you then.”

He turned around and disappeared into the crowd of people.

“Weird,” I muttered to myself and continued shopping.

“Hey honey,” I called out as I walked in the back door.

“Hey how’s it going?” She called out from the kitchen.

“Had the weirdest experience ever at Walmart.”

“Were the weirdo’s out in the day instead of night time?” She asked.

“No.  Someone offered me a job.”

“Really?  That is kind of weird.”

“Yeah and older guy.  Looked like a banker or something. Said they needed a systems administrator for their company.  Place called 12.  Have you heard of it?”

“No. Can’t say that I have.  What did you tell him?”

“Well I told him I’d come out tomorrow, after work, for an interview.  Nothing to lose right?”

“Yeah.  Maybe this is the one?”

This is a story that’s been bouncing around my head for the past few weeks and at time earlier than that.  I think there’s something here and I need to get it out. So here we go!  Probably what I’ll be posting a lot of in the coming days or weeks. 

Random – Fiction

It’s once again Friday which means it’s Fiction time.  Had a hard time coming up with something today but here’s what I was able to come up with. 

If it was possible to add hours into a week, this week it had been done.  No one had happened by the office, and it was annoying as hell.  But such was the life of a private detective.  The business either was there or wasn’t. This week it wasn’t.

The time was spent on the computer working some, but playing some mindless video game was were all the time went.  As good as that sounded it was as boring as hell doing it for the second week in a row.

As I moved my character another step, I heard steps on the stairs outside of my office.

I paused the game and watched the light play beneath the foot of the door as something, or someone, moved down the hallway.  Something wasn’t right because a normal person walking down this hallway made a hell of a lot more noise than what I was hearing.

Watching the shadows I open the right hand drawer of my desk and pull out my Glock.  My pulse picks up as I place the pistol on the table and draw aim on the door to my office.

The two shadow splits as it reaches my door and one goes to each side.  I see hand motions thru the glass, no whispers, and I drop behind the desk waiting for the door to explode in from a kick.

Seconds tick by and I’m tempted to just shoot thru the walls and be done with this situation, but I don’t know who is on the other side of the walls.  I run thru any people who may want me hurt or dead and nothing comes up.  What did I do?

After what seems like 5 minutes, but is really just 30 seconds, a knock comes on the door.

“Mr. Packard?” a deep voice calls out.

“Yes?”

“Can we come in?” The voice calls back.

“Ummmm…what do you want?”

“Just need to talk to you.”

“You armed?” I ask.

“Course not.”

“Bullshit,” I tell them. “You can come in without your weapons and we can have a civil conversation.”

I peak up from behind my desk and watch the shadows.

Two loud thumps hit the ground.

“Those are our guns,” The voice calls back.

This doesn’t feel right.

“Okay,” I say.

The Lottery – Fiction

“So I bought a lottery ticket,” Ian said.

“Why did you do that?” Eve asked.

“Well we’ve got to do something. We just can’t continue to get by. You tell me that all the time.”

“Those two dollars could have gone to a payment or something like that.  Not wasted on a lottery ticket that we’ll never win.  You should have just burned up two dollars.”

Ian turned back to his computer and started typing again.  Ever since he’d lost his job at the software company and not been able to find meaningful employment, Eve and him had been picking at each other over the smallest of things.  The way he saw it two dollars was not going to get them out of their situation.  However if they won the 209 million dollar lottery their lives would change forever.

Eve glared at the back of Ians head wishing she could bore a hole in it and cause him the pain that he’d caused her.  That was extreme, but when he had lost his job, she had also lost her identity and was at a loss of what to do.  Ian’s search for a new job had turned up nothing so far and she’d taken up waiting tables while he stayed at home and played computer games.  And now he’d taken her hard earned money and spent it on a lottery ticket.

“So what numbers did you pick?” Eve asked as they watched the evening news waiting for the numbers to be displayed.

“The numbers we used to pick,” Ian stated.

Eve didn’t say anything but glanced over at Ian when the numbers came up.

“And now what you’ve all been waiting for,” The news announcer started.

Ian pulled out the ticket and watched the numbers come up on the screen.

“15,” The announcer said.

“We got the first one,” Ian said.

Another ball popped up.  16.

“Second number too,” Eve said.

Both of them started to get excited.

The next number came up and they had that one as well.  Same for the next two.

“And now the one that could change all of your lives…the Powerball number.”

The red ball popped up into the tube.  It was a match.

“We won,” Ian said smugly.

“Holy crap,” Eve said.

For many years I’ve tossed around the idea of writing some story about winning the lottery, not very original I’m sure, and what would happen and what would change.  I’d like to think if I had that option, winning the Powerball, we’d be unlike the people we see on those TV shows about the lottery ruining their lives.  Who knows.  I don’t play the Powerball consistently. 

What would you do if you won the Powerball?

The Flash – Fiction

Fiction Friday – Friday is dedicated to writing some piece of fiction!  It may or may not be a continuing story.  Most likely not. 

It was unusual in the fall to get calm weather.  That is the wind wasn’t blowing.  It was still cloudy and looking like it might rain but so far nothing had come.  The temperature was warm enough that Brett was able to wear short sleeves despite being on the lake.

It was here Brett found peace after so many years of war and conflict.  This was the 10th day in a row that he’d been out in his canoe fishing.  The previous day he’d caught nothing, but it didn’t matter.  Today was shaping up to be an okay day with 3 fish caught and another lost.  All fish were of course returned to the lake so that they’d be there another year.

He glanced to the north and caught a flash in the tree’s.  Someone was watching him.  He blinked his eyes to clear them and looked again.  He saw nothing.

“Just calm down,” Brett told himself.  “There’s no one there.  It was just a figment of your imagination.”

He cast the fly onto the lake again and watched the land where he thought he’d seen the flash of light.  It caused him to miss a strike on his fly.  In came his line and he continued to watch the land where he thought he’d seen someone.

Brett cast the line a couple of more times, but it was no use.  He couldn’t get the flash out of his head.  The military training he’d had years before, and spent the last year trying to get out of his head, blasted back into his head.  He was a sitting duck, literally, on the lake and the nearest weapon was at his truck.

He reeled the line in again and paddled his way to shore.  The day was ruined with one flash.  If there was indeed a flash.

I’m afraid

This is the final day of 10 Days to a Better Blog

Since I posted yesterdays post I’ve been thinking about this last post in this series.  I’m not sure why but I have been.

Any how the assignment is to just reflect on the last 10 days.  I was thinking about doing a post on something else, just to post.  And as soon as I’d committed to do nothing I was afraid.  I was afraid because I know if I don’t post, it will be so easy for me to slip back into not posting.  I realize there are going to be days I don’t post.  But I feel like in these 10 days I’ve worked for something I don’t want to end.  It’s got me into posting each day.

But now that the ‘carrot’ is gone I’m not sure I have anything to post about. Should I post about technology and those posts that were most popular last year?  I’m not sure.  I think part of the ‘lack’ of ideas for posting is trying to write for an audience, there’s a few of you (hi!), when really I should just be writing for myself.  The technical posts that were so popular last year take awhile to think about and put out.  That isn’t writing for me, which is really what I should be doing.

Alright I’m rambling a bit here so I’m going to sign off!

Goals for blogging in 2015

This is day 8 of 10 Days to a Better Blog (I’m one day behind!)

Today’s challenge is to come up with some actionable items that we can hold ourself accountable for at the end of some period.  So using the SMART  goals methodology here is what I plan.  By the way SMART is defined below:

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
  • Assignable – specify who will do it.
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

Specific

More writing and blogging.  Originally I had planned on just having this be about blogging, but really I just want to write more. So when it’s that context it becomes more.  But more writing and blogging is what it will be.

Measurable

Blogging is easily measurable however writing is a bit harder to measure.  I’m not sure how to tackle the second of those so for now I’m going to focus on just the first.  I plan on posting something, anything, here twice a week.  If I do more then great.  Less is not acceptable!

Assignable

I think I’ll assign this to my three year old….I jest!  Really I’m the only one that this can be assigned to.  So it starts and stops with me.

Realistic

I think that two posts a week, even if it’s just a photo, are more than possible.  More than that might get in the way of time spent with family and other areas of life, but right now that’s not worth it.

Time Related

This is for 2015 or all 353 days left in this year currently!

I’m a little nervous putting this out there and down on ‘paper’ because this to some extent will keep me accountable.  Granted I’m the only one being held accountable and it will be pretty easy for me to just go off on other projects, but this year will be the year in which I explore writing more than I ever have.  I’m not sure what the means, but I really want 2015 to be the year that I get some writing done.  Whether that’s fiction or writing this blog, or another.

Pruning

This is day 5 of 10 Days to a Better Blog

Not that you’d be able to tell with this blog theme, but I had a crap ton of categories for the posts on here (1 or 2 categories short of 3 pages!).  So I spent the last little bit pruning out stuff I only talked about once and got rid of them and consolidated others into new categories.  I could probably do more pruning of my categories, but it’s hard.  I’m not sure if this is hard because I’m an introvert or if it’s part of my technology side and I know at some point the bazillion posts I have in one category will not be worth it.  But I did it.

While pruning the list I took a look at a few categories that had high counts in them and  I might consider writing more about (web development and technology) and perhaps some that don’t have high counts, but I’d like to move up the list.  I’m not sure, but this does help with something I discussed yesterday in regards to finding topics to write upon.  Looking back into the categories will give me a good start on future post ideas.

Happy weekend all!

Thankful

Today is day 4 of 10 Days to a Better Blog.

Kind of a break day on the short course that I’m following for posting.  This may or may be the most consecutive days that I’ve posted to a blog.  I’m not 100% sure.  It is not the most consecutive days I’ve written.  Any how today’s topic is rest and reflection and being thankful.

So here’s where I’m still struggling with blogging: topics!  I feel like I really need help or work in this area.  I don’t know if this course will get to that or not, but it’s what I struggle with.  I sometimes think that I have something to say and then I sit down and I start over analyzing myself and don’t write about it.  So to not make this to long I’m going to get better at finding topics to write on and just writing.

On the topic of being thankful I have to say my family.  My wife received news earlier this week that someone she knew from one of her organizations had passed away unexpectedly.  It’s a very sad situation, but it also causes you to think a lot about death and life.  At least it has for me and I’ve got to say I’m so happy and thankful that I have my family.

Lastly I think we should all be thankful for being able to write and share our ideas.  I’m reminded of the terrorists attacks in Paris that ended people’s lives because they were sharing what they drew or wrote.  In this day and age we have so many more ways for our ideas to get out.

I’m rambling and haven’t really said much so I’m going to turn it off here.

Writing Environment

Continuing along on day 3 of 10 Days to a Better Blog, the topic is “Writing Environment”

Right now my environment is really when I get to write.  That really should be changed if I’m going to make this writing thing a habit or pursue it in some fashion.  But as a father to two young boys and needing to spend time with my wife, it’s a case of “I write when I can or I am moved to write”.

If I am to make any inroads on writing this has got to change.  I already know when I should write and it’s early morning.  If I had my druthers about me I’d work from like 5 until noon, or whatever the typical 8 hour work day works out to be!  I do my best work in the morning.  Right now I’m up and at it anywhere from 10 to 6 to 15 after 6.  Depends on the day.  I think I could probably work my way down to getting up at 5AM and get some writing in.  Even if it’s a small amount it would be better than nothing. The hitch in that scenario right now is I have one young son who would love it if I would get up with him at 5AM.  He doesn’t like to sleep!!  So I’d have to figure out ways around that.

The next step on this process would be finding an area where I could be productive.  I think all of us have our ‘dream place’ for writing (mine is a cabin in the mountains with a stream bubbling by!), but right now that’s not a reality.  I do know one thing is that if I’m on a computer I get easily distracted.  Facebook?  Yup!  You name it I’ll find some other reason to be on the computer other than writing.  However I am finding myself making a point of not getting distracted by the ‘shiny’.  Since I am without a laptop at the moment I think the place that this would have to be is my makeshift office.  It really wouldn’t take much for me to get a laptop up and running so in that case it would be the kitchen table.  I haven’t thought much about standing up or sitting down and what would be better, but that might be something to explore as well.

Onto day 4!