Urban Volcano

Fiction by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

Flash fiction

Answer Wanted, Maybe

Answer Wanted, Maybe — Illustration by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson
Illustration by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

I’m waiting anxiously for an answer. Fifty five hours have passed since I pressed the button and sent in my application for the role of team manager of the purchasing department. It was the job I had dreamt of landing for the past two years. Two years ago, the current team manager had told me she had already started counting down the days until she could retire. At that point the days were seven hundred thirty four.

For two years, I had prepared this moment. I had diligently observed every aspect of my superior’s job. How she made decisions. How she treated the rest of us. How she organized the team’s work.

Night after night, I had sat in my living room and written down a detailed job description for the role of team manager as it looked from my vantage point and how I would modify it when the role would finally end up in my hands. I wrote down how I would do things. What I would keep and what I would change. The result of the labor could be found in a hundred and twelve page Word document.

In parallel to my theoretical preparation I had also worked on practical matters. I had been eager to take on increased responsibility in my current role. Yet, I had been careful not to let my career ambition have a negative effect on my coworkers. I had treated everyone with respect and made a special effort to keep the team spirit high and made sure to make every team member’s voice heard. As far as I could tell, I was liked by my coworkers and I had received encouragement from the boss who was glad to have less to do during the final stint of her career.

It was thus safe to say that I had been prepared when the job position had finally been advertised. I had thoroughly enjoyed preparing my application. I had been extremely excited and full of hope.

Now, when the application was out of my hands and in the hands of the company’s general management, I had expected I would be feeling great. I had expected my excitement and hope to be extended.

I feel horrible. I cannot sleep. I cannot stop thinking about what would happen if—for some reason—I would not get the job. My heart jumps whenever I receive an email. I don’t dare to look at it. What if it contained a negative answer? I avoid eye-contact with the chief executive of the company whenever I meet her in the corridors at work or in the cafeteria. I don’t dare looking in her eyes in case they could potentially express any hint of me not getting the position.

I don’t want an answer. I want to press pause. I want to continue living in my dream world where the dream job is undoubtedly mine.

Börkur is an avid storyteller with a keen eye for quirky characters, funny dialogs and vivid scenario descriptions. Much of his writing falls within the genre of realistic fiction and his stories are more often than not based on real events in the author’s life. Although the tales contain grains of truth, they are melded with fiction, making the reader curious to know the line between reality and fantasy.