Chapter 9

Parker stared at the most daunting image the world has ever known; a blank word document and a blinking cursor. 

He took a sip of his tea, wincing at the cold. He's left it too long. The tea and the resume. He was supposed to have a job by now. Supposed to be fully acclimated to civilian life. But it wasn't happening.

Upon his exit from the International Justice System’s Child Soldiers Division, or I.J.S. C.S.D., and its subsequent closure, he'd been assigned a therapist by the I.J.S. which had withstood the collapse of its stimulus program. His therapist had told him that it would take time to get a job in this climate, that even though his time with the CSD was a resume builder, the job climate could be discouraging. It was a word she used a lot, to soften the blow of the harsh realities the world has presented him with.

He’d been what was lovingly referred to as a “Desk Jockey”, his asthma making it impossible for him to qualify for any other job. His aptitude had come back, and they’d found out he could type around one-hundred-eighty words a minute. There was no hope for him at that point; he’d been banished to the world of computers and ordering Tech Monkey’s to do the thing they were already doing. 

Leo would have smacked him for some of the things he’d said to the techies. Asking them stupid questions about email and how the hell did he get the stupid chat thing to send to the right person and why in the world couldn’t he print from this program but he could from this? Once he’d become  Sergeant Major in Charge of Administration, he was sure he’d become Tech Monkey Enemy Number One. He’d tried to learn what their job actually was, to learn what they were actually capable of doing, but he just didn’t speak their language; which seemed to be made up mostly of acronyms and pirated phrases that made no sense in context.

Now he wasn’t anything. He had a fancy title on his resume and could run an office, but no one was hiring. Because the government had stolen all the retiree’s money, which made it necessary for the retirees to keep working, which made it impossible for younger blood to come in and get the jobs they were qualified for. So he would stare at a blank screen, trying to rewrite his resume for the fifth time, and drinking cold tea.

He picked up his phone and paused. No. He shouldn’t call Leo. It was past seven and she was probably… out. He didn’t like to think about what his friend did for a living. He didn’t want to know as much as he did, for fear of blurting it out while he talked to his government employed therapist.

He fired off a text, instead, hoping it would come to a phone that was held by Leo’s still live hand.

Trying to write resume. Stuck. How do I make this thing more attractive? I need a job.

He sighed and began to wander the internet for tips.

Zoe Fleischer