The Modern Viking Job Interviews, #2: Björn Svensson

Here we witness warrior-poet, Björn Svensson, as he is forced to squirm under the godforsaken spotlight of that most unholy of abominations, human resources.

Human Resources Cock Mongrel: Welcome, Björn, nice to meet you.

Björn Svensson: Thanks…you too.

HRCM: How’s your day been going so far?

BS: It’s been acceptable. How about yours?

HRCM: Oh, pretty busy, but that’s nothing unusual around here. That’s one of the many good things about working here, there’s never a dull moment.

BS: Okay.

HRCM: So, Björn, why don’t you start off by telling me what you know about our fine organization?

BS: Sure…well, I know that you’re hiring.


HRCM: Could you expand on that for me?

BS: You’re hiring because it said so in your ad…and, as you can see, I know where you’re located.


HRCM: Well, Björn, I have to say that’s not exactly the answer I was looking for. I was hoping to learn how familiar you are with the company’s background and services in general.

BS: Well…your company must do work in the field of the position that I applied for…

HRCM: Yes, it does as a matter of fact. But is there anything else you know about us?

BS: No…I guess not…I don’t think knowing those types of things really matter much as far as the actual job goes.

HRCM [audibly irritated]: They actually matter very much. We’re a global leader in the industry, Björn. Founded in… [Editorial: irrelevant content deleted for sake of brevity.] But what really sets us apart from the competition is our top-notch services and products and commitment to customer service.

BS [sounding surprised]: Really?

HRCM: Yes, really.

BS: But wouldn’t other places just say the same thing?


HRCM: I suppose some of them might, Björn. But we’re not them, and we actually have a record that backs up our claims. We consistently rank at the top of every major survey of the industry. Employee satisfaction here is very high. We really pride ourselves on the quality of our work. There just isn’t a better company to work for in the industry.

BS: I see…in that case, I’ll just take your word for it for now.

HRCM: Why are you having such a hard time believing me, Björn?

BS: Well, honestly, it all seems…very much like something someone in your position would say just to say…I mean, who would actually tell someone during an interview that it’s a terrible place to work and mismanaged from the top down? Answer me that.

HRCM [grumbling]: No. Let’s change gears, Björn. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

BS: What?

HRCM: Where do you see yourself in ten years? Where would you like to be in your career and life at that point in time?

BS: What does that have to do with anything?

HRCM [audibly irritated again]: I’m not going to bother explaining it to you, Björn. If you don’t want to to take this seriously, the door is right over there.

BS [sounding confused]: I am taking this seriously…

HRCM: Well, you had better be, because we’re not running a circus here, okay? Do I look like I’m wearing clown shoes or a big red ball on my nose to you? This is serious business we’re talking about here. Now, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and give you one more question before we call this interview off since you did bother to come all the way down here. Got it?

BS: Okay…

HRCM: Good. Now, Björn, tell me why we should hire you. What makes you the best possible candidate for this position? And, in light of your previous responses, I suggest your answer be something special.

BS [confusion in voice growing]: Something special? Well, you did receive my resume, right? I know I submitted it…maybe it got—

HRCM [sighs]: Yes, Björn, I have your resume. [Lays it on top of desk.] Just tell me what makes you the best candidate for the position.

BS: Everything you need to know is right there on my resume…would you like me to read it to you?

HRCM: No, Björn. You’re not getting it.

BS: What aren’t I getting?

HRCM [sighs again and removes glasses to rub eyes in resignation]: The problem is your attitude, Björn. Frankly, based on how this conversation has gone so far, there’s no way we’re going to be able to hire you, so we might as well just stop it now.

BS [beginning to sound angry]: There is nothing wrong with my attitude.

HRCM: Björn, listen, we look for people who will be a good fit for our organization. We like motivated self-starters, people who come prepared, with a positive attitude, and that are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done. It’s clear you didn’t prepare for this interview at all and your attitude isn’t exactly inspirational.

BS: Why should I have a positive attitude about this?

HRCM: We’re giving you a chance to try to convince us that you’re the right person for this exciting opportunity. Why wouldn’t you have a positive attitude?

BS [voice now completely irate]: Because it’s not an exciting opportunity! It’s a fucking job, and so far we’ve talked about everything but the fucking job itself! So you’re right, I’m not exactly excited to be here. Are you? Just look at yourself. Sitting here in your shitty little office building, validating your existence by influencing the course of other peoples’ livelihoods and filtering out anyone who doesn’t drone on with the rehearsed, cookie-cutter answers you like to hear to questions that have no bearing on jobs that you don’t even know how to do yourself. It must be a very fulfilling life that you live. [Catches his breath.] You’ve just earned yourself a urine stain, buddy. Where would you like it?

HRCM: Uh, excuse me?

BS: The urine stain. Where do you want it? I’m giving you a choice. That’s not something I normally do. How’s the carpet over in that corner work for you? Or maybe you’d rather have it on your desk or chair? Or I could bestow a few splashes on you yourself. How would you like that? I bet you’d like that, you sick fuck.

HRCM: I’m calling security.

BS: Yeah, you do that. [Human Resources Cock Mongrel lifts phone receiver and dials. Björn walks away from the desk towards the corner originally mentioned.] On second thought, I don’t want a sick fuck like you looking at my willy.

HRCM: Hello, security, yes? [Splattering sound begins.] I need someone up here now. This guy is off his rocker, someone needs to escort him off the premises…no, I don’t think he’s armed—

BS [interjecting]: I left my axe at home, you dipshit.

HRCM: —yes, his behavior is extremely hostile…okay, thank you.

BS: Goddam that feels good!

HRCM: Security’s on their way here.

BS: So? I’m leaving soon anyway. You think I like being here? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?

HRCM: Just go now then.

BS: Ahh…there! [Splattering sound ends.] Just got to shake it now…looks like some got on your file cabinet, too.

HRCM: Get out! [Björn approaches Human Resources Cock Mongrel.] What are you doing?

[Commotion and yelling from outside the room as security approaches.]

BS: For what it’s worth, I’m going to leave you with a few words of wisdom that I’ve composed regarding your asinine hiring procedures. And I hope you take them to heart. A man as pathetic as yourself needs some good skaldic advice from time to time:

             There’s somethin’ happenin’ here
             What it is ain’t exactly clear

[A rent-a-cop armed with a stun gun bursts into the office.]

             There’s a man with a gun over there

Rent-a-cop 1: Okay, mister, you need to stop what you’re doing and come with us.

BS:       Tellin’ me I got to beware
             I think it’s time we stop, children—what’s that sound?

[Rent-a-cop 2 enters, jingling handcuffs.]

             Everybody look what’s going down.

[The battle-rage takes Björn and he subdues Rent-a-cop 1 with the use of excessive violence.]

Rent-a-cop 2 [setting handcuffs on desk and pointing stun gun directly at Björn]: Alright, up against the wall with your hands behind your back.

BS:       There’s battle lines being drawn
             Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong

Rent-a-cop 2: I said up against the wall!

BS:       Young people speakin’ their minds
             Gettin’ so much resistance from behind
             It’s time we stop—

Rent-a-cop 2: Yeah, stop what you’re doing and put your hands behind your back.

BS:       —hey, what’s that sound?

[Stun gun makes zapping noise as Rent-a-cop 2 fails in a dishonorable attempt to use it on the virtuous protagonist.]

             Everybody look what’s going down.

[Björn evades the stun gun once more and decks Rent-a-cop 2 then turns to face Human Resources Cock Mongrel to deliver his closing stanza.]

             Paranoia strikes deep
             Into your life it will creep
             It starts when you’re always afraid
             You step outta line, the man come and take you away.

[Björn departs peacefully. Groans of pain and the soft patter of urine dripping onto the floor from Human Resources Cock Mongrel’s fully saturated crotch and chair seat are the only sounds that remain.]


Duration of Interview: 6 minutes, 25 seconds.
Outcome: Not hired, but dignity still intact.


My © statement below excludes, of course, the lyrics from For What It’s Worth, which belong to Buffalo Springfield or their record label or some third party I don’t even know about. I hope I don’t get sued.


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