Magnolia

“What could you bring to the company?” Michael mulled this question over and over in his head. It wasn’t a personal request from man to man, it was an automated machine looking for the correlating code to add to its vast library. An open source database mining individuals with the right ideas, values and responses. The man asking the question was a piece of software trusted with access to more critical information, and to make more critical decisions, for the company.

The man may have believed in the company and that he was a representative of its values, but each piece of software fills its objectives before becoming obsolete; no-one is irreplaceable. His life is unimportant to the company, not because he is undervalued as a member of the team but because only its continued existence matters. But it is important to stress that the company does not discriminate, it treats all as machine-like individuals until their organic matter corrupts the process for which they were designed.

That was why it was important in answering the question. Because without following a script consistent with the companies values, Michael could be seen as an unnecessary risk.

He hesitated, before mumbling about the protocols and procedures he had undertaken in previous work, how and where he had previous experience of the company systems, and why he had sought out employment for the company. None of this mumbling was factually accurate, but it was the correct automated response.

The man looked at him blankly, before looking down to the piece of paper in front of him. The magnolia painted walls conveyed the emotion in the room.

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Magnolia

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