Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Microstory 1392: Fertilizer

Fertilizer Developer: Mr. Fiore, thanks for coming in.
Fiore Stern: No, thank you. I’ve been having a hell of a time getting interviews. I had honestly forgotten about this posting. It’s been a couple months.
Fertilizer Developer: I bet you have, and yes it has. We like to be...particular.
Fiore Stern: Oh, okay. That makes sense, and I guess that’s a good sign.
Fertilizer Developer: It is. Now. It says here you graduated with honors from Hillside University?
Fiore Stern: That’s right. Go Wild Turkeys!
Fertilizer Developer: Right. Well, we do things a little differently here. The first time we run a background check on someone we’re interested in comes before the interview, using a system called Generiport. It quickly verifies certain key information. I’m talkin’ minutes. We know where you went to high school and college, if you’re a citizen, whether you have a criminal history, and a few other bits of info. It doesn’t get too deep, but it gets us just enough information to see if we want to pursue you.
Fiore Stern: Oh. I understand, I’ll go.
Fertilizer Developer: No, don’t do that.
Fiore Stern: Well, you’re obviously about to tell me you know I have a criminal record, and that I didn’t go to college at all.
Fertilizer Developer: That was indeed what I was going to say, but I wasn’t going to tell you it would be a problem. You see, here at Hemming Fertilizer, we look for candidates just like you. We’re about more than just fertilizing gardens. We help the country by keeping its citizens in line. Some don’t like it, but it is our sacred duty, and people like you are vital to that mission.
Fiore Stern: Really? Are you trying to tell me that you regularly hire criminals, and not as part of a public service program, but to use the skills they possess as criminals?
Fertilizer Developer: [...] That’s exactly what I’m telling you.
Fiore Stern: I don’t know what to say.
Fertilizer Developer: I told you about the quick report we ran, but what I didn’t tell you is that your résumé triggered a more comprehensive report, which involves one of our people going through your entire history with a fine-toothed comb. We know about the things you’ve done, and the things done to you. We know the reason you didn’t go to Hillside U is because they wouldn’t take someone who had—give me a second—and I quote, a peculiar and unsettling preoccupation with poisonous plants, and the body decomposition process. Apparently you were caught trying to use the school library?
Fiore Stern: The library never said it was for students only. They just didn’t like what I wanted to research.
Fertilizer Developer: I don’t doubt it.
Fiore Stern: So that quote. The security guard wrote that, and kept my name on file, even though I wasn’t a student, and wasn’t arrested?
Fertilizer Developer: He did, but don’t worry. We took care of it.
Fiore Stern: What do you mean?
Fertilizer Developer: I mean, if someone were to look you up in campus security records, they wouldn’t find anything about you. We couldn’t clear your criminal record—or the time you spent in prison because of what you did—but we got rid of all the evidence that put you there.
Fiore Stern: It sounds like you got me in your debt.
Fertilizer Developer: We don’t like to look at it that way. We see this as an opportunity for you to contribute to society in a way you never knew was possible. Let’s go talk to the clearance department.

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