Sharp Pencil


(I would someday like to write a book. Companies Should Not Work For: Find out early on why you should not accept employment at certain companies, what to look for before you commit your time and energy to a firm that doesn’t give a crap.)

Mr. Alfred Hamilton escorted Jeffery Smart to an interview room. It was a ten by ten room with a window and non-descript furniture; table, two chairs and a small couch.

“Have a seat behind the table, Mr. Smart,” Mr. Hamilton said.

Jeffery sat. Mr. Hamilton placed a timer, a tablet, and two pencils on the desk. “I’m going to set the timer for ten minutes. In that amount of time I want you to write as much about yourself as possible.”

Mr. Hamilton set the timer and placed it on the desk. “Good luck, Mr. Smart,” Mr. Hamilton smiled formally.

“Thank you, Mr. Hamilton,” Jeffery said.

Mr. Hamilton quickly left the room checking his watch as he closed the door.

He returned ten minutes later. Jeffery was asleep on the coach. A blank piece of paper laid on the table.

The bell of the timer dinged and Jeffery sat up immediately. He smiled pleasantly at Mr. Hamilton.

“You have written nothing,” Mr. Hamilton said. “No one has ever done that. This is an important part of the hiring process. Without taking it serious and completing we can not proceed to consider you as an employee. How did you expect to be employed by us?”

“I figured whatever I wrote on that paper will be mostly nonsense,” Jeffery said. “I may have written something that might catch your eye.” Jeffery stretched and stood. “But unlike the other candidates that participated in this part of the screening process I’m refreshed and ready to go to work.”

Mr. Hamilton nodded his head and cracked a half smile. “I’m intrigued, Mr. Smart. You’re hired. You start tomorrow at 8:00 AM.”

“Nah,” Jeffery said. “I don’t think this place is for me.”

“What!” Mr. Hamilton said.

“I said I’m refreshed and ready to go to work,” Jeffery said. “A company that doesn’t have something for me to do right away is not prepared to take on a new employee.”

Mr. Hamilton wrung his hands and was speechless.

Jeffery continued. “And a company that doesn’t recognize willingness and putting it to work isn’t the kind of place I want to work. Can you imagine how long after qualifying I might have to wait for a promotion?”

“We have a position for you, Mr. Smart,” Mr. Hamilton said.

Jeffery picked up one of the pencils. “Do you mind if I take this for a souvenir?” Jeffery said. “It has your company’s name and logo on it.”

“Sure,” Mr. Hamilton said and stood as if in a confused dreamlike state.

Jeffery dropped the pencil in the lapel pocket of his suit. “Good day, Mr. Hamilton, I hope you find a good employee.”

Jeffery made his way to the door.

“Mr. Smart,” Mr. Hamilton said. “You knew you didn’t want the job before I sat the timer didn’t you.

Jeffery smiled.

“You didn’t know until that very moment did you?” Mr. Hamilton said.

“Yes, Mr. Hamilton,” Jeffery said.

“What was it?” Mr. Hamilton said.

“The pencils, Mr. Hamilton,” Jeffery said.

“The pencils?” Mr. Hamilton said.

“Yes,” Jeffery said. “They were dull. That was the real key. I want to work for a company that will give me good material to work with.”

“Why did you first say it was because we were not willing to put you to work immediately?” Mr. Hamilton said.

“All you would have had to say was get busy,” Jeffery said.

“That would have been obtuse,” Mr. Hamilton said. “There was nothing to do.”

“I could have sharpened pencils, Mr. Hamilton.”

(A 365 Writing Prompt’s Post)

BYOB Bloggers

  1. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | A Room of One’s Own
  2. Sharp Pencil | The Jittery Goat
  3. Malala’s books | Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me
  4. Daily Prompt « My journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon…and everything in between…
  5. Girl In The Blue Scarf | Sanjuro Tokage Experiments in Writing
  6. DP Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Sabethville
  7. The Best Book I Never Read | AS I PLEASE
  8. The Waterman’s Bible | Exploratorius | Photo Hack & Curious Wanderer
  9. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | The Wandering Poet
  10. BYOB(ookworm) or Drink From My Cup | Finale to an Entrance
  11. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  12. Essence | My Little Avalon
  13. What are you reading? | Raspberry’s Daydreams
  14. setting | yi-ching lin photography
  15. Daily Prompt: Books | 18 million pixels
  16. Judge it by the cover! | Sue’s Trifles
  17. Daydreaming | Butterfly Mind
  18. Orion 83 – A Path to Enlightenment | L5GN
  19. Beauty of Books | Mishe en Place
  20. Musy the Sputterfly | marjanitalarosa
  21. Dance with the Rain
  22. Time Determines the Heart | The Photo Faith Challenge
  23. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Awl and Scribe
  24. Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  25. Blurb for my novel | A mom’s blog
  26. An Amateur Writer | Life In Pakistan
  27. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  28. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Basically Beyond Basic
  29. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Deelusions Photography
  30. In Search for a Bride | Flowers and Breezes
  31. The Old Testament for the Rest of Us! | meanderedwanderings
  32. A Pup’s Rescue Book… | Haiku By Ku
  33. For my books, a sanctuary in waiting | 365 days of defiance
  34. ‘Bed of Roses’ Synopsis | jigokucho
  35. Hoping | The Land Slide Photography
  36. The Almost Finished, Yet Unpublished, Ever Upward | Ever Upward
  37. Succulent Bookworm | Travel with Intent
  38. Number Seven Written in White. | Hope* the happy hugger
  39. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Sarah’s Typos
  40. S.L.A.P. Therapy…..(wp daily prompt) | Daily Observations
  41. Long-Leggety Blurbing: Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  42. “BYOB(ookworm)” | Relax
  43. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Not The Sword But The Pen
  44. Novel? What Novel? | The Silver Leaf Journal
  45. If I Had the Time to Write a Book « One Crazy Mom
  46. The Blurb Of Public Opinion | The Political and Social Chaos Blog
  47. The True Photo Life Story – Passionately Bored
  48. Rudolf’s Book Jacket/ Daily Post | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  49. Hispanics as the Sleeping Giant | Institute for Hispanic Health Equity
  50. Getting Nymph-ed | Wanderlein
  51. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | A Mixed Bag
  52. Book Jacket Blurb: Jinxed Magics | Musings of a Soul Eclectic
  53. The Editing Blahs…. | Kimberly M. Ringer
  54. Daily Prompt: Books | A Taste of Morning
  55. BYOB(ookworm) | Amoeba Kat Musings
  56. BYOB(ookworm) | The Nameless One
  57. I just had to… | Casually Short
  58. Blurb for book I want to write. | Angela McCauley
  59. No foolin’ this outdoor junkie! [Sheri #2] | Rob’s Surf Report
  60. Daily Prompt: Book Cover “Why Can’t I Be Happy?” | Being HIS Light in a Dark World
  61. Off to the presses! | Master Of Disaster
  62. Well! Done!!! | Words ‘n Pics…
  63. WordPress Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Deviated Perception
  64. The Book I’ll Write About The Peduto Administration
  65. Take Back Home – Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Deviated Perception
  66. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) – Subtext | I shot the messenger
  67. Writers Anonymous | A.C. Melody
  68. Daily Prompt: Strange, But True | One Starving Activist
  69. New to the City – The Daily Post Writing Prompt | Wordgasm
  70. The Book I’d Write…If I Could Be Bothered | That Girl Who Wears Pink
  71. One Wahine’s Library | Wahine Wednesdays
  72. Fantasy Has A Name | lulubellaloveslife
  73. Daily Prompt: Being Blurby! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  74. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer
  75. The Blurb Offence | vic briggs
  76. Daily Prompt: BYOG(ookworm) | Occasional Stuff
  77. I ❤ Books: Daily Post | Destino
  78. Book jacket blurb. Warning: it’s bad. | writemybrainsout
  79. Daily Prompt: My Book is The Walking Wounded by Secret Angel | The Abuse Expose’ with Secret Angel
  80. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Life is a Beach!


  1. Could have used this story many years ago. No wonder I had such a hard time with interviews and ended up working for myself! Very good curve to this story.

  2. I would be interested in this book; if there is one sad story to be told at my job, it’s how the company doesn’t want to buy us the equipment and supplies we need to succeed, and yet expects us to do our jobs and do them well. It’s poppycock, and if I ever get the chance to step up and out of there, I would really loved to make sure I wasn’t going to be doing more of the same. Nice plot twist on that, too. 🙂

Blather away, if you like.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s