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Open Features: The Interview

There are three candidates for the specialist driving job - but who will get it?

Derek McQueen tells a most intriguing tale.

“Right”, said Fred, “now we have the very difficult job of deciding
between the three of them. We’ve been deliberating two hours
already so let’s get this finished, preferably before 11-30, right. ”

Given the job to do, it was crucial that we make the
right choice.

First in was Graham. Six feet at least, with red hair and a closely
clipped beard, Graham looked impressive in a grey, pinstripe suit,
white shirt and military tie. With an engaging smile, he
looked to have the confidence the job would need.

He was answering our questions very well.

“Why do you think we should take you on Graham?” Fred said.

Graham considered the question for a moment. “I’m certain I can
do a good job for you,” he said. “My exceptional driving ability
will be key to the job, as I understand it.”

The problem with Graham was his voice. His words came out
in a squeak. It was incredible; he was the ideal candidate, streets
ahead of the other two, if it weren’t for the squeaky voice.

Amazingly he was unaware of the disconcerting effect it
had on his audience. He said he was fifty: a little late for a voice
coach we thought, possibly a little unkindly.

On a cue from Fred, Graham squeaked his thanks and left
quite certain that he would get the job.

It was time to bring in Arthur, our second candidate, for the final
time. Arthur readily conceded that his driving was not as
good as when he was a younger man.

“I get nervous you see. I haven’t been near a motorway for five
years,” he said apologetically. ‘I’m perfectly alright driving in
Derbyshire.”

Arthur’s appearance let him down we thought.
Well worn jeans and faded leather, bomber jacket aren’t a
suitable interview choice. However, Arthur did come into his own in
the interview proper, answering questions in a pleasant,
conversational and friendly manner. And clothes aren’t everything
we thought. Not for the job we had in mind at any rate.

“Tell us about your hobbies Arthur,” Fred said. “How do you like to
spend your spare time?”

“Pigeons.” Arthur said. “Racing pigeons.” Arthurs face lit up.

Fred had touched a very agreeable nerve.

‘I’ve got cups.” Arthur said. “Eight of ‘em.
One from Dover to Margate. A gold that was. Beautiful little bird
that won it. I called her Maggie – she died last year in that
storm we had last October.” Arthur’s eyes began to mist over.

It was time to bring the interview to a close.

Arthur pulled his cap out of his pocket and shuffled out. Time
to call in number three, Eddowes, we were already running late.

Eddowes, that was his real first name by the way, strode briskly
into the room, to the waiting hot seat.
He looked extremely fit and probably worked out at the
gym. He stared at us with steely blue eyes, crossed his legs and
waited for the questions.

“Do you have a clean driving licence Eddowes? Fred said. "We are
particularly interested in your driving skills and experience,” Fred
said. “Would you be able to do a handbrake turn at 50 mph for instance?”

“First of all,” Eddowes said, “I’ve left my Staffordshire Terrier
outside. Is it possible to get this over in the next 15 minutes?
Bruce can be dangerous with strangers.”

“Absolutely,” Fred said. “We need to move this thing along
ourselves. Now about the driving. You came highly recommended in
that department.”

“Hand brake turns at speed are meat and drink to me,”
Eddowes said, “but only on a racetrack mind. Also, I can reverse at
speed as well if the need arises. I also drive buses, vans
lorries and earth moving equipment. Anything with wheels really.
Not in reverse of course,” Eddowes added with a wry smile.

“I’m assuming you have a clean driving licence,” Fred said.

“Well no, as a matter of fact I haven't, I’ve got 4 points on it. I
thought you might ask me that. This was the first time I'd ever had
points on my licence. I lost five crates of fish on the M1. I
had a job with Birdseye at the time. The fish, frozen plaice it
was, covered all three carriageways. The police were sliding about
everywhere. They did me for having an unsecured load. It upset
me did that.”

“Right,” said Fred, “Just one final question. How would you feel
about doing something illegal for us if the money was really good?
If the answer is yes, you’re our man Eddowes.”

“Let me go and sort Bruce out and I’ll let you know this
afternoon. Is that all right?” Eddowes said. “Can I ask roughly how
much money would I get out of it Fred?

“Not a penny less than ninety-five thousand pounds Eddowes. How
does that sound?”

“Never mind the bloody dog, I’m in,” Eddowes whooped, as we all shook hands.

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