Humor Fiction posted September 30, 2015

This work has reached the exceptional level
Denise gets an unexpected job applicant

Career Change

by CMReber

"Hell found ME."

Lucifer leaned back in the small, metal chair, hands folded neatly in his lap. "Not the other way around. People are always getting that part wrong."

He smiled grimly at the figure sitting across from him and shrugged. "Not that it really matters anyway. People are so...judgy. I suspect it has everything to do with those damn angels. And The Big Man Upstairs, of course. Well, and I suppose pop-culture hasn't exactly painted me as the picture of innocence either all these years."

"So, what you are saying is that you feel...misunderstood?" The blonde-haired woman scribbled down some words on a note-pad.

"Well, sure. How could I not? From the friggin' beginning of time it's always been 'Satan did this' and 'The Devil made me do that'..." He sighed. "Seriously, you make one little mistake by playing a practical joke on a couple of silly people in a damn 'garden paradise' and suddenly you're the bad guy. It's not really MY fault that Adam and Eve were such idiots..."

"So you don't think you should be blamed for the Fall of Man then?" She adjusted her glasses and peered at him intently.

Lucifer crossed his arms and shook his head, pouting slightly. "Of course not. But no one cares what I have to say about it. Sure, it's all love and second chances when it comes to man-kind, but, apparently 'inherent forgiveness' is only a relative term when dealing with actual family."

"I see," the woman said before clearing her throat and making another quick note. "Do you think things might have gone differently if your family had treated you more fairly?"

There was another great sigh and Lucifer let his arms drop back to his sides. "That would be the day. I swear, it's like they just don't ever take my feelings into consideration! At least a little respect would be nice, just once in awhile. I'd actually love to see my brothers or sisters try running hell for a day and then try telling me I'm doing a bad job!"

"I see," she said again. "So it sounds like you feel you are pretty good at what you do."

"Oh, sure!" he boomed. "A little tempting here, a little torture there, and still some time left to get in an episode of 'America's Next Top Model' before dinner. I doubt you could find someone better, honestly."

The woman nodded and looked thoughtful--and also slightly nervous. "Which brings me to my next question: it seems that you are quite...well-suited for what you do. I'm just curious, why exactly are you looking for a career change?"

There was a long pause. "Ah, well, you know how it is," he said, leaning back in the chair until it balanced on two legs. "I can't complain, honestly, but I do wish I could get away every once in awhile. Sit on a beach, sipping a Piña Colada in a coconut; you know, with one of those tiny, paper umbrellas or something. I mean, I work twenty-four-seven, three hundred sixty-five days a year. I don't think a vacation is too much to ask." The chair clunked back down on all four legs and he gave her his full attention. "Denise, is it? Now, don't get me wrong, Denise, I'm a hard worker and I have an extremely strong work ethic--and I've got one hell of a track record to prove it. But, it's just that I've been at it since pretty much the dawn of time, know what I mean? And then, of course, there's the whole 'image' thing I have to deal with, day in and day out. People don't realize how hard that can be on the self-esteem after awhile. I guess I'm just looking for a change. Maybe a little opportunity for personal growth and all that. Personal growth, it's a thing people do, right?"

There was a moment of silence as Denise glanced over the resume she had collected from him at the beginning of the interview. "And you think our company would be helpful in changing that for you--your, uh, image, that is?"

"Absolutely! I feel that your company ultimately has the best interest of your clients at heart, and it would be a welcome change of pace, let me tell you. Honestly, just reading your brochure gave me...what is it the kids are all saying these days?...'all the feels'."

She stared at him a moment, cleared her throat, and glanced down at her note-pad. "Right. Then, onto my next and most important question: why do you think you would be a good fit here?"

He sat forward slightly and motioned towards the paperwork in her hands. "Well, as you can see, I really would be a perfect candidate for the job. Both my experience and success rate in sales are...well, pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. The proof is all there. If you'll look at page three, I've included the numbers from the last three years; and, if you'll glance over at page four, projections for this year are better than I've ever seen them. Honestly, I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but, in all these years there's only been one big client I couldn't close a deal on and...well, let's face it, the only reason he was even out in that desert was to tempt ME and just to try to prove how awesome he was..."

He took a deep breath and shook himself. "But, let's not get caught up in trivial details of the past. Point is, sales are my thing, and if you go with me, I promise you won't be disappointed in my performance."

"And you don't think there will be any...conflict of interest if we bring you on board? You realize that you would be dealing with life insurance, after all."

He chuckled and his lips pulled into a friendly smile. "Oh, most certainly not. I've been in the business of taking care of people after they die for centuries; this way, I'll just be taking care of their families instead of their souls. No, I don't see how this would be a problem."

"Well,, if you'll excuse my phrasing, I'm just a little concerned that you would be, ah, tempted to try to sway your clients in a particular direction while making your pitch, if you catch my drift."

Lucifer held his hands up and looked positively contrite. "I assure you, the thought never crossed my mind. After all, that would be rather unethical, don't you think?"

She eyed him and pursed her lips. "Well, as a matter of fact, yes. Yes it would be extremely unethical. It's just..." She hesitated and then seemed to change her mind. "Sir, you can see how I might be uneasy about the whole situation. Besides, if we hire you, who is going to take, well, your current position?"

He waved a hand lazily and tipped his chair back again. "Oh, don't you worry about that. I have plenty of over-enthusiastic minions just dying--well, not ACTUALLY dying, obviously, but you know what I mean--to prove themselves and score a promotion. Trust me, I don't just hand them out to any old demon! We have a little thing called STANDARDS in Hell, which is another quality I would certainly bring to the table if you gave me the chance."

Denise ran a hand through her shoulder-length hair and shifted uncomfortably in her seat. "Sure, of course. Well, I think those are all the questions I have for you for the time being." She stood and motioned for him to do the same. "We have a few more interviews to wrap up and then we'll be making a decision early next week."

Lucifer rose and extended a hand, beaming down at her. "Excellent! I do hope I've made a good impression today."

She hesitated, shook his hand quickly, and returned the smile with a tense one of her own. "Certainly, it was...ah, interesting meeting you..."

"The pleasure was all mine!" he exclaimed with a little bow of his head.

"Well then, um...sir...we'll be in touch."

Denise watched as his enormous figure disappeared through the door and listened as his whistling--was that 'Highway to Hell' she was hearing?--died away.

She grabbed a tissue, wiped the sweat from her forehead, and sank back into her chair, wondering how in the hell she was ever going to explain this to her supervisor.

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