One Day Maybe
by Mark C.
by Mark C.
The rest of the week went smoothly and I quickly learned daytime TV was still the wasteland it was last time I took over for Joe. Time and time again I wondered who would watch some of the idiocy as I tried to find something worthwhile. Don't people have better things to do? Obviously not. The Romans had their circus and gladiator events to amuse the masses; today we have mindless TV. So much for 2,000 years of progress. Instead of watching drivel, I used some of the time to start researching obtaining my Masters degree. The company would pay for a part of it, as long as the degree was in the field in which the company employed me. So no advanced degree in basket weaving or golf for me. I had to decide if I wanted to go with an MBA or pursue a pure IT degree. The MBA would help if I wanted to climb the corporate ladder in the future, whereas the IT degree meant finding steady employment more easily and good growth onthe IT path.
When the Monday morning after my night shift arrived, I had decided on two schools to apply to depending on which degree I would choose. Some progress at least. The drive to work seemed worse than usual because I had gotten used to getting to work at off peak hours when traffic was lighter. I had been monitoring my e-mails at night so I knew HR had scheduled two interviews for Frank's position, one today and one tomorrow. Hopefully one of the two candidates would pan out before Frank left.
I dropped off some notes and recommendations on several areas where I thought the nightly run could be improved, on my boss's desk. These areas would have to be addressed by Programming, otherwise I'd put them on my To Do list and lead my team to look into the efficiency possibilities I'd spotted.
The first interview was a bit of a disappointment. June was currently in the Sales department, working as the liaison between Sales and IT. She was responsible for client analysis and design of their data and programming requests. She had a good cusromer-focused attitude, I just wished she had more actual Operating Systems knowledge. I knew her personally and, with training she would make a good Operator. The second interview was worse because the candidate thought playing computer games extensively was experience for this position and I had to politely inform him this was not the case.
Following up with HR after the second interview, I poked my head in our Rep's door and said, "Sorry, Betty, the second candidate is not going to work out. No actual working experience in IT. Of the two, June is the better candidate."
She replied, "I knew he probably wouldn't suit you but still had to include him in the process when he indicated computer experience. However, we just have been notified of the acceptance of a transfer from the Boston subsidiary. James is his name, 27 years old and he applied to transfer two weeks ago after his mother had a heart attack and he wants to move here to be near her. The only position we had open at the time was on the Production floor and he took it but he does have Operator experience, although not with our servers, but on UNIX machines. Do you want me to set up an interview when he arrives? He's scheduled to start in two days time."
"Sounds really promising, Betty. Sure, by all means set one up. June would be my choice if James wasn't in the picture but if he needs less training than June, then great. Let June know it'll be several days before a decision is made and thank her for her time."
"Will do, Ben."
With that, I left to get back to work and wait for the two days. Dang, wouldn't it be great if we could get someone with some experience. Wouldn't it be great if I could find Mr. Right too, while I'm wishing, sigh.
The interview, two days later with James was in five minutes so I saved my Excel spreadsheet I'd been working on to the hard drive and gathered up my interview questions. Striding toward the small meeting room, I paused for a drink at the water fountain and continued around the corner to the door of the interview room. There walking toward me was an absolutely breathtaking man beside Betty. Slightly taller than me, a bit darker than copper red hair and a fit body draped with a tailored long sleeved shirt which matched his hazel eyes. His hair was relatively short, as if a Marine had gone on vacation for several months and not visited a barber. I know I was staring and it seemed like I'd forgotten how to breathe too. Amazing how such a masculine vision affected my entire nervous system. He smiled when he saw me and his sexy smile combined with his chiseled features was all it took. I was a goner. He could have had me sign anything right then and I wouldn't have cared what I was signing away: my house, my car, my soul.
"Ben, this is James," Betty introduced him and continued, "and James, this is Ben. He will be interviewing you. Ben, please return him to me when you two are finished, there is some paperwork he has to sign. You know what is said about the job being done and paperwork." She grinned at me and indicated to James to enter the room and then spun around and left the two of us alone.
It's a good thing he entered first as it gave me time to do two things: breathe, and adjust my cock which was awake and begging to meet this vision of walking sex. In the M/M romances I read sometimes, when I get to the part where some guy's cock immediately becomes erect after meeting a hot man, I would always scoff and think derisively, "Sure...". Now I know it can happen because Ben Jr. was at attention and I was amazed how fast it had grown in response to James. I placed my folder containing my interview questions over my rampant cock to hide the protruding tent and followed his gorgeous ass, which I wanted to lick, into the room.
"Take a seat, James, and we'll get started. "Yeah, get started undressing this vision of male beauty! Wonder if his pubes are red too?" my inner devil whispered in my ear.
"Did you have any issues making the move from Boston?" I asked, playing for time to get my body under control and my mind back on business. But the freckles running across James's nose made it hard to think of work and I felt my face flush slightly with wondering what it would be like to kiss him.
"No, I'm staying with my mother until I find an apartment," was his reply. "So I don't need to take the first one which comes along but can wait for a place I really like. I'd like a bit of character with a great chef's kitchen too. I love to cook and it relaxes me. My few boxes of personal items I can't live without are in storage and when I find a place, I'll have them sent to me."
"Likes to cook and is hot as hell, what the hell are you waiting for, lean over and kiss him!" Urged my inner devil. "Be quiet," I replied internally, "And go away! Why would he be interested in me even if he is gay?"
"There are some nice older homes and condos on Capitol hill and towards the UW and it would be an easy commute for you from either location." I threw out, trying to calm and center myself with a goal of getting through the interview without making a fool of myself.
James replied, "Coming from the South End area of Boston, I researched like areas here and decided to look in the Capitol hill area first."
Having a cousin living in the South End, I knew it was a very gay area and my devil snickered wickedly as he went to sleep. Ok, he might be gay but such a hunky man was not going to look at me twice. I was just plain ol' Ben and he could have any man he chose by crooking his finger and gesturing.
"Some nice places available there and I wish you luck. If you find one, you may have to decide quickly, places like you describe don't last long on the market. Well, now to the business at hand, will you please tell me about your work in Boston?" I inquired.
James proceeded to fill me in on what duties he had performed as I took notes on my IPad. Even though my cock had hired him on the spot, I needed to perform due diligence for the sake of my Team. His overall duties dovetailed nicely with what he would be tasked with as a member of our Operations team and his UNIX knowledge would be valuable if IT were to take over some of the maintenance of the Engineering servers, currently done by the Design Team. There had been rumors of it happening but no word yet from on high. The only piece missing from his background was the IBM specific Operating System (OS) knowledge. Since IBM geared their OS for businesses, their OS was easier to learn than UNIX, most people found. Since the overall tasks an OS does for users is the same, regardless of language, James would be able to pick up the IBM version quite rapidly and be able to integrate smoothly and quickly with us.
During the interview, James's gaze seemed to be measuring me, as we exchanged details of his experience and what I needed in the person hired. At first his face was in an all-business mode: neutral, with little emotion. The typical "meeting face". But as time went by, and we opened up, the interview became less formal, and he relaxed. By doing so his contemplation of me changed to one of interest instead of a neutral mode. At this point, he became a person instead of a hiring candidate. And I found myself even more under his Celtic spell. "Whoa, boy," I sternly told myself as I drowned in his gaze. "Like he would be interested in me," I scoffed mentally. I had as much of a chance with him as a candy truffle sitting next to a chocoholic had lasting more than a moment.
The sound of his laugher ran up and down my spine and wrapped deliciously in my ears when he reacted to my story of the time we put Janice's stapler in Jello, let it set and placed the block of Jello with stapler in it, on her desk. What made it better was the fact the IT Director had walked by and asked about it before she could remove it. She replied straight faced and without a beat, "Keeps Programming from taking it." She vowed to retaliate against me one day and I knew she would. James had cocked his head at me at the end of the tale and rewarded me with a deep piercing look after his laugh.
"You care about your Team, don't you, Ben.", he asked.
I felt my face turn traitor and flush slightly. I was notorious for blushing easily and at times I hated when it happened, like now. It made me feel like a little kid. "I do, James. It's important to me. We spend a lot of time together and I want the best for us all. I also tutor junior and senior high students and find it rewarding as well."
"I knew it, you're a people person. Cool." James replied.
Since I had decided to recommend hiring him away from the Production floor as he would make a great addition to Operations, I resolved to be upfront about me being gay in case it would be an issue for him. Trouble in the Team I did not need nor want. "James, there is one more thing you should know before we leave the room. I'm gay and want you to know in case it may make you change your mind about working with me on the Team. No offense taken here if you do."
His winning smile caught in my heart briefly as it fluttered past and he said, "Honesty time then. I am too, Ben. And while I'm on a roll here, since you really seem like a great guy, will tell you that one day, not right away though, I'd like to open my own restaurant. Don't know if it will be successful but if I don't try at least once, I'll always wonder. Normally it would not be something I should say in an interview but want to in this case. I want no secrets between us."
My heart missed several beats and wondered if he could see my blood pressure rising. He was so earnest and delectable at the same time, which sent the hormones starting to race through my bloodstream. I had to wrap this up or launch myself over the table at him. Probably not a good idea.
"Ok, then. I guess we're done here, unless you have any more questions for me," He shook his head no. "James, I'm going to recommend you for the position. I have hiring authority for IT and I can't imagine HR having any objections. Let's go talk to Betty."
"Alright!" He exclaimed enthusiastically with a huge grin plastered from ear to ear. "I didn't mind the Production floor but as I want to stay with the company, thought I had no choice."
We stood up and I reached across the table to shake his hand. He took mine in a firm but pleasing grip and was it my imagination or did he hold my hand a little longer than necessary before releasing it? "Sure, dream on. It may not be as bad as Beauty and the Beast, but what chance did I have?" The best I could hope for from him, was a good co-worker and perhaps a good friend. It would have to be enough, my heart sighed.
I indicated for him to exit first and I put my hand on his shoulder and gently nudged in the direction we needed to go to reach Betty. As we walked towards her cubicle, he bumped my shoulder with his and quietly said, "Thank you, Ben." I was such a goner, sigh.
Betty was updating some hiring statistics for the Dept. of Labor when we approached her desk. She stopped and thanked us for the momentary respite from the tedium.
"Betty, unless HR has any objections, I would like to offer James the position. His qualifications are the best and I feel he will make a great Operations Team member. Wave your magic wand and make it happen." I quipped. "And please let June know she will not be offered the position. Stress the fact it was experience she was lacking and not anything else. I would have taken her if James was not available. And tell her if she is really interested in our area, I can give her some projects to work on in her own time which may help her acquire more direct experience."
"We in HR have no issues transferring James but Production won't be happy." She grinned at me. "You might want to stay out of Jerry's way for a week or two, though." Jerry was the Manager of Production and he hated to see his people poached, though IT never had, up to now that is.
She turned to James and said, "I need you stay and fill out two sets of paperwork now. One which every employee fills out and the request for a transfer to IT. The transfer is just a signature on your part."
"Well, James, unless your hand drops off in the next few minutes with signing Betty's forms, I'll see you at 7 A.M. tomorrow morning at my desk. I'll introduce you to Janice and Frank. We'll talk to Joe on the phone in the afternoon. Have a good evening."
I started to turn and leave and he reached out with both his hands and took mine and said, "Thanks again, Ben. See you tomorrow." And then smiled at me, broadly and warmly. He had said it with such feeling and the force of his smile felt as if he had stabbed me with Cupid's arrow, right through me and into my heart. I let his hands go so I could beat a hasty retreat before I melted right in front of both of them. Walking away towards my desk, I knew who I would be fantasizing about while entertaining Ben Jr. this evening, or should I say, he would be entertaining me. Probably once in the shower and once later on in bed. I might not be in James's league but I could always admire. Seemed my lot in life so far was to admire from afar but never to have and hold.