I felt fine, I wasn’t nervous or anything – I didn’t want the job, though I needed the money – but while I was waiting in reception to be called through for the interview, I began to get thirsty, and not just a little thirsty, but really mouth-dry, headache-about-to-come-on thirsty.

So I got up and went over to the water dispenser to get a drink, but when I got there I suddenly realised I couldn’t do it. I needed the water, I could see my fingers and feet swelling – that happens when you get massively dehydrated, right? – but I couldn’t bring myself to pick up the bloody cup, put it under the tap, press it – the tap, that is – fill the cup and drink.

Beside the dispenser there were three types of cup, one basically a mug, one a small glass, and the last one, one of those triangle paper cups that barely hold a mouthful, and I was all: if I take the mug, I’ll probably break it; if I take the glass, I’ll drink too much and need to pee during the interview, and if I take the paper cup I’ll have to refill it again and again, and if I do that, it’ll fall apart in my hands and go all over my clothes, the paper sticking to me like tissue so I’ll look like I’m tidying up after a ferocious wank, something like that anyway.

And then there was the energy. If I used the paper thing I’d be wasting wood, the mug and glass would’ve to be cleaned, and liquid would have to be used, and more water, which was a waste and not exactly good for the environment either. And what about if the mug was someone’s special one – it did have a year on it, with black and white photos of stuff that happened that year, the year of their birth or whatever – they wouldn’t want my germs on it.

So, eventually, I squatted down, stuck my head under the dispenser, opened my mouth and let the water in. And it was right then that the guy who was going to interview me came into reception and called my name.




10 thoughts on “At The Water Dispenser

  1. “Beside the dispenser there were three types of cup.” They were watching. This was a test. There are three types of people who seek such jobs, each apt to choose a different type of cup. “Cup-A” types are turned down for employment for some vague reasons. “Cup-B” types are greeted with wild enthusiasm. “Cup-C” types are reported to the police. Now, did you get the job?

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