Monday, April 27, 2020

Microstory 1351: Overqualified

Cemetery Services Supervisor: Good afternoon, sir. Can I help you find someone? We have a new system that can locate any grave for you, but it’s up in the main office.
Overqualified Executive: No, I’m here for an interview for the Cemetery Services Specialist job. I haven’t heard back, so I figured I would be proactive, and just swing by. I hope that’s okay.
Cemetery Supervisor: I thought that was a joke.
Executive: I’m sorry?
Cemetery Supervisor: I figured you sent in your résumé because you lost some bet you made with your fellow billionaires, or something.
Executive: Uh, no bet. And I’m not a billionaire.
Cemetery Supervisor: You’re rich, though, ain’t ya?
Executive: I’m rich, yes, but I’m completely serious about this position.
Cemetery Supervisor: I don’t think I have to tell you that you are profoundly overqualified for this job.
Executive: I understand that, but believe it or not, I’ve wanted to be a cemetery worker since I was a kid. Being around nature, working with my hands, making sure people have a safe and peaceful place to go to visit their loved ones. I’ve always felt that sounded so rewarding. Of course, my parents would have none of it. They had a lot of ambition for my life, and before I knew it, I was the executive of a multi-million dollar company. I was never really happy, though, and when I looked at my accounts a couple months ago, I realized I had no reason to stay. I gave that place twenty years, and nearly all of it was in the top position, so I have more than enough money to live off of for the rest of my life. All that job did was stress me out, so now it’s time to pursue my dream.
Cemetery Supervisor: This isn’t easy work. I hardly believe it was ever your dream.
Executive: I know it’s not easy, but I hear it’s not stressful, as long as you can handle watching other people’s heartbreak, which I think I can. I’m very empathetic, and I’m sick of taking my work home with me. I want to come in every day, help people through the hardest times in their lives in my own way, then go home.
Cemetery Supervisor: You don’t think you may be taking a job away from someone who really needs it; whose rich father didn’t make them go to college and such?
Executive: ...I’ll work for free. You can set up a volunteer program.
Cemetery Supervisor: Well, that’s this whole legal thing we would have to figure out. The boss would be the only one on hand who would have any clue how to maneuver something like that, if anyone. Right now, I can already see a problem, though. You’re still taking a job from someone, because if we have you to do the work, regardless of what we pay you—or do not pay you—we still wouldn’t need to hire anyone else.
Executive: I understand. I don’t want to make anyone’s life harder; that’s counterproductive to my goals. I’m sorry to have wasted your time.
Cemetery Supervisor: Now, hold on. Just because we can’t help you, doesn’t mean you can’t realize your goals. Are you still workin’ at the corporation?
Executive: I gave them two month’s notice. Jobs like that require a little more time to find a replacement. My tasks are being completed by others, though. I haven’t gone into the office in over a week.
Cemetery Supervisor: If you’re really serious about making a change in your life, then do it. Use your money to make a difference, instead of ignoring it. People will always die, and they will always want to be remembered. There’s more than enough room in the industry for you to start your own funeral home. That way, you can do however much of the day-to-day work you want.
Executive: Hm. That’s not a bad idea.
Cemetery Supervisor: Glad I could help. In the meantime, I suppose I could let you shadow me for a day. I’m sure that won’t cause us any legal problems, and it’ll get you some real experience.
Executive: I sure appreciate it.
Cemetery Supervisor: Well, go on; pick up that shovel. We’re gonna plant a nice shade tree right here. I already started the hole for ya.

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