|Alexander DeCourtier arranged his new desk. He had brought a fragrant orchid to adorn his office on his first day, a rare Hoya Nummularioides. He placed the plant where his very first client would see it immediately, plucked out his pocket square, sniffed it, stuffed it deftly back into his breast pocket, picked up his phone and said, “Miss Durberry, you may send him in now.”
Alexander swore he detected the man’s odor before the man had even approached the chair facing the Hoya Nummularioides. He decided against coming right out and asking the man if he’d showered that morning. Or shaved. Or changed clothes. “Well,” said Alexander to the man. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”
The man placed a resume before Alexander, who scanned it with eyes like twin lasers. Finally he looked up. “Really?” he said. “You’re president of a human-resources firm?”
“Yes,” said the man.
“And what does this ‘human-resources firm’ do, exactly?”
“Sets people on the road to success,” said the man.
Alexander didn’t laugh out loud, but it was difficult. He dropped the resume on the desk and said, “I won’t even ask why you’re seeking another job because this resume is clearly fiction. I don’t believe your lies. You should go tell them elsewhere. Good day.” The man regarded Alexander for a long moment, stood, and left. Alexander shook his head, noticed a leaf with a dry edge on his Hoya Nummularioides, withdrew a pair of small scissors from his desk drawer, and snipped it off.
The man emerging from Alexander’s office approached his own office, where a freshly pressed suit awaited him in the private restroom. But first he detoured to the office of Alexander’s supervisor and said, “Please tell Mr. DeCourtier to clear out his desk. And take his flower with him.”
(Word count: 300)