Paradise Induction Chapter 6 – Extract 34
“Mr. Charles. Do you think I got to where I am right now without knowing a few of the right people?” he said, rising up and circling his desk, then sitting on top of it. “How old do you think I am?” He didn’t give me a chance to answer. “I’m thirty-nine Mr. Charles. At thirty-nine, I’m the youngest Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Correspondence and Industries. Don’t worry about Work Permits or full-time job nonsense. The question is, are you up to the challenge?”
Doloris was smiling.
“Well if you guys can sort it out legally with Labour and Immigration, that’s fine,” I said.
“Mr. Charles,” he continued. “You like this office, right?” He raised his open palms in admiration of his own surroundings. “How do you think I managed all this? I say again, don’t worry about the permit. I can take care of it. The main question, are you up to the challenge? Will you be able to manage the work? Will you be able to come through for us and make us number one.”
“Amen,” said Doloris.
I’d always been good at sales and website blogging—which I’d been doing for the past two years—appeared like training for this exact role.
“I should be able to manage,” I said. “But will you be able to accommodate me working at Fives and not being able to drive yet?”
I repeated it again with a mixture of uncertainty about what I was getting myself into, and joy that the job of my dreams was falling into my hands so easily.
“You’re going to get the driving situation sorted, right?” replied Jacob.
“Yes I plan to take driving lessons and the examinations as soon as possible.”
“Well, we can accommodate you on that basis. But make sure you do it.”
“Okay. The only other thing I see is that it seems like I won’t have time for my own hobbies. I write my own fiction, blog, and go to the gym.”
“Don’t worry about that,” he said and smiled at Doloris as they both chuckled. “I need to go to the gym myself actually. You think I’m getting fat?”
Jacob looked at both Doloris and I and clutched his stomach which was protruding over his belt line.
“Gym is always good,” I replied.
“Well, anyhow. You’ll have time to do your little things on the side,” said Jacob.
“In that case Mr. Cain, I’m fine to sign. Um…do you have a marketing and sales script for the advertisement sales side of the job?”
“No, just sell on the benefits of being with SINN,” Jacob said as if it was easily done.
“Okay,” I said and shrugged my lips. “And how will I go about getting stories? Do you have contacts?”
“We have a few sources—insider information—that sort of thing. They will call you to give you tip-off on stories, but the main thing I would suggest is to be in the court room and around town during your days. Find the stories. Go digging. Real investigative journalism. We want you to really make this role your own.”
“And you think I can manage without a car?” I asked, again apprehensive about the decision to work with them.
“We will sort that out in due course once you get your license.”
“Okay.” I paused, feeling everything inside me scream no at this fantastic opportunity.
This is the perfect job role, I told myself. Just what I’m looking for. My family back home will be so happy to hear this.
“I’m good to sign,” I said.
“Excellent Mr. Charles. Doloris, did you have anything to add?”
“Nothing but to say, we demand a lot Mr Charles,” said Doloris, tilting her head down. “We hope you can keep up to the challenge.”
“I look forward to the challenge,” I replied. “And I’ll do my absolute best. Thank you very much for the opportunity.”