Virtual on 34th Street
This part of the training program is composed of a wide range of stimuli for each and every one of your senses. We want to get you as ready as possible. Be forewarned that it will be very tough going at times. As you face the monstrosities, the cliche about people being compelled to look at an accident will come to mind, but if anything you’ll feel something more analogous to that scene of Alex’s aversion therapy in A Clockwork Orange. But ultimately you’ll be glad you were tested before being exposed to the real thing. We will begin in an hour — you may want to take a walk before we proceed.
It was the third of December and not too cold, so I slid on my jacket and headed outdoors. Hustle and bustle were in full display on 34th Street that afternoon as I took my lingering doubts for a walk around the block. I was pretty determined to stick it out. Last week they picked twelve finalists and now we were coming in, one per day, for the final orientation.
In our state of the art VRoom you will experience an assault on all your senses. You will find yourself being pushed around by anxious individuals on public transport, while simultaneously your nose will fill with the smell of cinnamon scented candles, your tastebuds will be subdued with peppermint, and your ears will not be able to escape the deafening roar of multi-tracked choruses of rum pum pum pums. Only screaming will get you out of the situation, but, as it will indicate a weakness that could show up on the job, it will also eliminate you from the employment opportunity.
In last week’s presentation they were vehement that this kind of verification of our stamina was necessary, that these high intensity sessions were designed to prepare us for the eventual trepidations of the job. Got nothing to lose I figured; I’m unemployed and all this training time is being paid for.
The customers are more sophisticated and demanding than ever, their guardians potentially more litigious. The pressure on you will be intense. As you know we don’t count on miracles anymore — it was our professional headhunters that found us potentially suitable candidates such as yourselves — but we are still looking for associates with the patience of saints.
This morning’s one-on-one introduction jumped off with “one study at a leading university suggests” and somersaulted through some bizarre explanations as to why white and red were the colors chosen for the uniform; including some involvement of the Coca Cola company. Summed up, their motivational philosophy went something like this: passionate shopping = red, which will bring about world peace = white.
As I was heading back for the VR training I looked at the poster in the window, that red-cheeked face frozen in Permanent Jolly beaming back at me, and thought, yeah, I can do this.
Nineteen of thirty-one stories — 500 words or less, written one-per-day during December 2018 — The Hunt & Peck Parables PatchWord Quilt™©.
© AleXander Hirka 2019. All Rights Reserved.