Jennifer needed an account representative. She was halfway through all the candidates. She walked to the lobby and smiled at a young man. “Carlton Jones?’
“Yes,” he said.
“This way please,” she said and he followed her to an office.
“Have a seat,” Jennifer said and she sat behind her desk.
“I see that you included adding your nickname, Lobe, to your application, Mr. Jones,” Jennifer said. “Why is that?”
“Yeah,” Lobe said. “I got named Lobe when I got them stretched and I want people to feel comfortable enough around me that they’ll call me by my nickname rather than Carlton.”
“Does Carlton bother you?” Jennifer said.
“Oh no,” Lobe said. “It just seems formal and I want people to relax around me.”
“Have you always been that way?” Jennifer said, “wanting people to feel relaxed around you.”
“Oh yeah,” Lobe said. “For as long as I can remember. Honesty has always been important to me.”
“Than this will likely come as no surprise to you,” Jennifer said. “Your application and resume are satisfactory, but your appearance is disturbing. That stretched earlobe is distracting and disturbing. It will turn clients in the other direction.”
“I don’t know what that has to do with it?” Lobe said.
“To the contrary of what you indicated about wanting people to be relaxed around you,” Jennifer said, “the stretched earlobe makes people squeamish, painful, and uncomfortable.”
“People like that are not accepting and tolerant of differences,” Lobe said.
“No they aren’t,” Jennifer said. “They are normal.”
“Tell me what normal is?” Lobe said.
“How can I explain normal to you?” Jennifer said. “Clearly you have some sort of issues that have driven you to distort your appearance, you could never understand what normal is.”
“Look,” Lobe said. “I’m tired of people judging me for how I look. You can’t judge a book by its cover.”
“That expression comes from a time when all books had the same cover,” Jennifer said. “There were no graphics or pictures on the cover. When I see blood, chainsaws, tattoos, and stretched earlobes I know what’s inside; you’ve told me.”
“But I’m kind and gentle,” Lobe said.
“Don’t believe it for a moment,” Jennifer said. “You like grotesque so much you decided to do it to yourself.”
“Your so closed-minded,” Lobe said. “Ted Bundy looked normal.”
“Ted Bundy deceived,” Jennifer said. “I will give you one thing, Lobe, you are honest.”
“I would never harm a fly,” Lobe said.
“But you would stretch your own earlobes beyond recognition and a large enough to pass a quarter through them.”
“You are discriminating, you know?” Lobe said.
“The whole idea of an application, resume, and interview is to discriminate,” Jennifer said. “Go protest in the streets, Mr. Carlton.”