When Qwerty lost her muse, she started saving up. There was only so much that someone could do on Earth. If you weren’t an artist or a manager, your job was being performed better by computers. Those thieves had taken all of the work humans performed and then had the audacity to demand rights. If she had picked something like writing or music, things might have been easier. When your work was ediblep, there were fewer options.
Neptune had a teaching position open. Qwerty didn’t have room to be picky. The Neptunians were famous for their belief in the importance of leisure and entertainment; they had quotas for the amount of space that had to be dedicated to it. Qwerty had always thought it silly to have a playhouse behind every school, but as long as she didn’t have to use it, she could cope. Still, she had to admit she was expecting a slightly less intimate interview. Mack dressed in sweatpants and a t shirt, which would never fly back home. Instead, no one commented on the discrepancy between her clothing and his. It was an odd feeling.
Though they were in a restaurant, the food was all hers. There were other members of the company there, ignoring her interview completely. Mack took one bite of her baked chowder before getting to business. He smoothed out his shirt, which stretched tightly across his ponderous belly.
“Tell me why you deserve this job,” said the man who would determine her future.
Qwerty tried to put a lid on her panic. She needed to be smooth. Anything too neurotic would get her a psych profile.
“I value the work I do. Finding new ways to present and prepare food is so interesting. How are you enjoying the chowder?”
Mack missed her semaphorism, unsurprisingly. Neptunians were unflinchingly direct, which always created a tension in the room between them and her. While Qwerty might have been willing to fight until and past a stalemate, Mack was a Neptune native, and he would have no interest.
“It’s a paradox, you see. How can I hire you without checking out your work? But by using your services in this capacity, have I not hired you? It would be downright cruel not to pay you for this spread.”
Qwerty blinked, rotating her eyes toward the other diners.
“I’m sorry, so…”
“You got the job. Congratulations, Qwerty. With your portfolio, you’ve earned it. And with what you’ve been through? You deserve it.”
Dazed, Qwerty paused for a moment, and following Mack’s train of thought, stood up. He shook her hand warmly, and she felt her heart race. She was going to teach an entire generation of molecular gastronomists.