Based on your phenomenal credit score and previous customer history with the Bahama Green Travel Agency, I have the privilege of offering you an exclusive loan offer. Am I speaking with Victor?

Yes? Okay, Victor. Are you interested in this exclusive offer? We are running this promotion for a limited time and wouldn’t want you to miss out on these discounted rates.

You are interested? Fantastic. The first step I’m going to need you to take is to open your internet browser.

Is it open? Good. Now, in the search bar, type the URL that I tell you. Ready? Okay, Victor. Type in B-A-H-A-M-A-G-R-E-E-N dash L-O-A-N dot N-E-T.

Did the page pop up on your screen, Victor? Good. Now, on this page you are seeing a form where you can enter your full name and credit card number.

Are you seeing these fields, Victor? Good. Now, to receive the exclusive, limited time offer with the radically reduced rates that I mentioned to you earlier, please enter in your information. I will let you know what you need to do once you’ve completed this step.



Victor, are you there? Did we accidentally get disconnected? You haven’t filled out the form yet.


Victor slid back in his office chair. The telemarketing calls had been coming in every other day for the past couple of months.

He didn’t bother to figure out why his work number was on so many call lists. Nor did he care to remove himself from said lists or block the calls. They broke up his day, often interrupting some boring task assigned to him.

He had pursued a career in HR because he wanted to work with people. Well, that was part of it. After getting his undergrad degree in psychology, he was forced by the job market to find a graduate program that might actually qualify him for a real-life position. He didn’t want to run data in a lab for the rest of his life, so he picked HR. He envisioned a life of recruiting exciting candidates and creating a work culture that would protect and empower fellow employees.

Instead, he mostly filled out paperwork. His internships had dealt with recruitment law, launching him into a position where ensuring that company policy complied with the fine print mattered more than cultivating corporate culture.

Victor sat back up straight in his chair, stretching and yawning simultaneously.

“Only two hours more till 5 o’clock,” he said across the cubicle to his coworker, Ron.

“And it’s Thursday!” replied Ron, turning up his hearing aid. He followed in a whisper, “Kelly is out tomorrow,” reminding Victor of the start of their boss’ vacation.

Holding back a jubilant yelp, Victor smirked and leaned back again in his chair, nodding approvingly in Ron’s direction.

“We might answer to a tyrant of a boss, but at least we don’t work in a call center,” sighed Victor.

“It always makes me chuckle…you listening to those scammers,” said Ron.

“They give me a little entertainment when I get sick of whittling down my inbox,” replied Victor.

“Did that last one call you back?” asked Ron.

“Yeah, that’s the first time,” said Victor, “I must’ve really got his hopes up.”

“Wanna go on rounds?” Ron asked; using his code phrase for a smoke break.

Victor acquiesced and reached for his pack. Ron’s penchant for chatting and smokes always helped the days go by quicker.


*fumbling, followed by a longish pause

Sorry about that, is this Victor?

Oh good, my apologies. I had to readjust my headset.

Thanks for your patience. I noticed that you recently downloaded a white paper titled “Reevaluating Hiring Criteria: Moving Towards A More Human Workplace” from The HR Academy’s website. Are you looking to improve your business’ hiring practices?

Alright, can I ask which websites your company posts its open positions to?

Okay, so if you’re not in charge of hiring at your company, could you give me the name and number of the person that makes the decisions related to job postings?

Okay, well if you ever find that your company is unsatisfied with its current services, please keep The HR Academy’s solutions in mind. Have a nice day.


Victor wished he was the person who made hiring policy decisions. Personally, he thought his company’s current practice was extremely lacking, but he hadn’t really been on the job long enough to have a respected opinion. Plus, his job mostly consisted of scouring company forms for anything that might be perceived as non-compliant with the law and responding to angry emails from job candidates that didn’t get hired. Victor worked with technicalities and the minutiae of company handbook text; he rarely interacted with people face-to-face.

Except for Ron.

Along with the unsolicited phone calls, Ron was one of the few bright spots in Victor’s days.

Ron had recently been fitted with hearing aids—something his wife had been begging him to do for the last four years. The improvement to Ron’s hearing meant Victor could now whisper his complaints to his coworker without fear of their boss overhearing.

“Sometimes I do miss you constantly replying with a “Huh?” to my comments,” said Victor.

“Huh?” replied Ron, holding back a snicker. “I can keep pretending I can’t hear you if you like that better,” he went on.

Victor tossed over a crumpled ball of paper towards Ron, hitting him in the face.

“You trying to take out my eyes now too?” questioned Ron.

Victor responded, “You’re already slowly going blind. Why won’t you listen to your wife and wear your glasses? They’d at least give your eyes a little protection from everything I chuck at ya.”

“I can see everything I need to. Nobody ever reads these employee handbooks we edit anyways,” retorted Ron.

“Maybe we should’ve been graphic designers or video editors,” said Victor. “Then people would at least pay a little attention to the work we do.”

“Nah, most of that marketing stuff is just BS,” Ron said matter-of-factly.
Victor refreshed his inbox only to find three more emails and a chat from his boss, all with various tasks and suggested revisions.

“Why can’t she just send me one tidy email a day with all her feedback?” asked Victor.

In classic sarcastic style Ron stated in a mock serious tone, “You haven’t gotten used to our ‘efficiency guided communication procedures’ yet?”

As Victor replied to each email and the chat, Ron relayed his experience with being able to hear clearly again. He told Ron how he had come to realize how loud he’d been chewing his lunch. And that he never knew how often the receptionist had been saying hello to him in the mornings. He was embarrassed at how rude he must of come across, ignoring her cheerful greeting as he trudged towards his cubicle every day.

“Well, I’m happy that you’ve got your hearing back,” said Victor.

“Me too. Well mostly. It’s a little harder to tune out some of the meaningless chatter and gossip that goes on around here now,” said Ron.

“I hope I don’t bother ya too much,” replied Victor, only a little nervous that his complaining was beginning to annoy his elder coworker.

“Nah, not you kid,” Ron assured him. “Hey, you wanna go grab coffee in the break room? I think somebody brought cake today.”

Victor nodded. “Pretty hard to turn down caffeine and sugar,” he said, getting up from his chair as he clicked send on his last reply to his boss.


Is this Victor?

Um, no this isn’t about insurance for your Chevy Impala. It’s Janice…from over in marketing.

No, no, you didn’t spell my name wrong in the handbook. I’m actually calling because we’re adding a new position in our department. We’re trying to revive the company intranet and we need somebody on our team to create content for the site…photos, graphics, and blog posts mostly.

Is that something that might interest you?
What’s that? No, you wouldn’t need to have a ton of experience. My management team nominated you for the spot. We noticed that you’ve really improved the layout of handbook and tightened up the editing. We’re trying to fill the position internally if we can.
No, I actually haven’t spoken to your boss about it. To be frank, she’s been pretty difficult to deal with in the past. I called to see if you have time later this week to come over to my office and discuss the possibility of you transitioning to our department further.

You’d be doing interviewing a lot of staff members. We need somebody to tell internal stories that might actually resonate with people who work here. We need somebody to get out of the cubicle and listen to and encourage their fellow employees. We figured that with your experience in HR and your writing skills, you might be the person for the job.

Okay, good. Does Thursday at 3 work for you to come meet my team?

Good to hear. I’ll see you then.

Yup, thanks, goodbye.


Victor swiveled in his chair with a big grin on his face and turned towards Ron.

“Hey Ron, I think I might take my chances with that marketing BS.”