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Author Topic: Pseudopod 125: The Interview  (Read 12553 times)

Bdoomed

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on: January 18, 2009, 07:08:44 PM
Pseudopod 125: The Interview

By Mike Norris

Read by Dani Cutler

“With eight years property management experience under your belt, I really see no reason to fax over your resume. Tell you what, I’m wide open this morning. I need to run an errand, pick up a few things for the interview, but why don’t you just come on down to Grisholm’s Corporate Towers and we’ll have a quick chat?”

“Right now? I mean … sure, I’d love to meet with you. But what time were you thinking?”

“I’m thinking eleven o’clock. And when you get here, Becky, just come on down to the basement. I’ll be waiting.”



Listen to this week's Pseudopod.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Zathras

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Reply #1 on: January 18, 2009, 08:21:49 PM
This one didn't do a whole lot for me.  The best thing I can say about it is that it didn't show us the results of the final "interview".  Some things are best left to the listener's imagination.

I want a D.W.A.M.C.!!!!!



eytanz

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Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 09:14:25 PM
So, in the end, I felt more sorry for Becky, who is going to get her expectations dashed when Al never calls, than I did for Zora, who is about to get brutally murdered. I'm not sure if that's a sign that the story did a good job, or a bad job...



Changwasteve

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Reply #3 on: January 20, 2009, 12:17:45 AM
I've been puzzling over the many positive comments this piece has received, and I guess we all read for different things.  If you read for plot, this was a fun little yarn.  If you read for style and the well-turned phrase, not so much.  The author relies heavily on strained metaphors that really distract from the story- am I the only one who almost stopped listening when he compared the grocery cart to a zamboni?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 08:28:24 PM by Changwasteve »



deflective

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Reply #4 on: January 20, 2009, 05:30:09 AM
i didn't stop listening but i definitely tuned out. comparing your personal reactions between this and the other story of the week is a pretty good indication of your preferences. this one's more original but it's crudely written about crude people, the other one is better written but it's a small twist on an overexposed genre.

another open question: did anybody else mentally chastise the guy for not picking up a couple life vests with his purchases?



Zathras

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Reply #5 on: January 20, 2009, 07:57:18 AM
I've been puzzling over the many positive comments this story has received, and I guess we all read for different things.  If you read for plot, this was a fun little yarn.  If you read for style and the well-turned phrase, not so much.  The author relies heavily on strained metaphors that really distract from the story- am I the only one who almost stopped listening when he compared the grocery cart to a zamboni?

I don't think there were "many positive comments".  As of right now, there are 2 positive comments on the blog. 

Thinking back on it, I did tune out a lot on this one.  Didn't turn it off, but I couldn't tell you much more than the basic outline of the story.



Changwasteve

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Reply #6 on: January 20, 2009, 08:38:37 PM



Quote
another open question: did anybody else mentally chastise the guy for not picking up a couple life vests with his purchases?

You win the geranium for most adroit Dexter reference of the day. 

By the way, what is it with the comments section on that blog?  It's invariably a slurp-fest until someone breaks the ice with a negative comment.  Look, I give credit where it's due, and I'm certainly a worse writer than the worst pseudopod contributor on his worst day, but come now:


Quote
what a delightfully evil little story! Horror assa genera loves forgone conclusions and the remorseless machinary of fate and Al the janitor is a perfectly crafted example of both. The parts all fall into place soooo neatly! What clever clever writer peoples. Their brains must be obtained and squeezed in a large garlic press so we may enjoy more of such spiffiness.


Oh wait, is phignewton being ironic?  No really, I actually don't know.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 08:40:46 PM by Changwasteve »



gelee

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Reply #7 on: January 22, 2009, 01:37:00 PM
So, in the end, I felt more sorry for Becky, who is going to get her expectations dashed when Al never calls, than I did for Zora, who is about to get brutally murdered. I'm not sure if that's a sign that the story did a good job, or a bad job...
I got the same feeling, and I would be inclined to say "good job."  I think that was precisely the authors intent.  Solid.



Kevin David Anderson

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Reply #8 on: January 23, 2009, 02:52:50 PM
So, in the end, I felt more sorry for Becky, who is going to get her expectations dashed when Al never calls, than I did for Zora, who is about to get brutally murdered. I'm not sure if that's a sign that the story did a good job, or a bad job...
I got the same feeling, and I would be inclined to say "good job."  I think that was precisely the authors intent.  Solid.

Agreed.  Solid. 

Yeah, I felt bad for Becky as well.  But hey, she got a nice pants suit out of the deal. 


DKT

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Reply #9 on: January 23, 2009, 06:51:09 PM
I really admired some of the things this story was trying to do. The whole terror-inducing interview, especially in our current economic climate. I'm not sure about the delivery, though. I may have to listen again.


MacArthurBug

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Reply #10 on: January 24, 2009, 03:42:06 PM
I didn't hate it. This was a solidly put together piece. Well read etc. Nothing suprising or new per-say and I too felt a little sorry for Becky- but hey at least she got to live.


Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.


Listener

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Reply #11 on: January 26, 2009, 03:23:17 PM
I really admired some of the things this story was trying to do. The whole terror-inducing interview, especially in our current economic climate. I'm not sure about the delivery, though. I may have to listen again.

I think if it actually had BEEN about the interview, not about what happens AROUND the interview, it would've been more successful as a story. As it was I couldn't really keep it clear in my head. The author seemed most interested in Zora as a character, and everyone else was just window-dressing.

Did anyone else notice a high-frequency whistly noise on Dani Cutler's microphone?

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MacArthurBug

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Reply #12 on: January 28, 2009, 12:53:48 PM

Did anyone else notice a high-frequency whistly noise on Dani Cutler's microphone?

I notice odd little things like that in the recordings all the time ("real life" noises, backrounds, feedback, good/bad microphones) So I did notice.

Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.


DKT

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Reply #13 on: January 28, 2009, 04:36:45 PM

Did anyone else notice a high-frequency whistly noise on Dani Cutler's microphone?

I notice odd little things like that in the recordings all the time ("real life" noises, backrounds, feedback, good/bad microphones) So I did notice.

Just for posterity's sake, Listener was the one who noticed that. Not me. Totally went over my head :)


JoeFitz

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Reply #14 on: February 02, 2009, 09:57:48 PM
An interesting premise, but it felt a little crudely drawn (apologies to poster above). I feel the structure of the story was somehow inverted and (god help me) a narrative with flashbacks would have worked a little better. I would have found the story a lot more poignant if there was less emphasis on the uber-manager's fashion sense, which seemed over-played. You don't need to wear Prada to be the devil. Of course, even the devil doesn't deserve a maul to the head.



Russell Nash

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Reply #15 on: June 03, 2009, 08:34:49 PM
I was routing for Al in this one.  I'm disappointed we don't find out if he was able to do it or not.



goatkeeper

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Reply #16 on: June 04, 2009, 02:49:23 AM
This one got me excited because when I first saw it in my POD I thought it was Kevin Anderson's story of the same title.  Let down is inevitable when it turns out not to be Kevin's.
Even that aside, I agree that this wasn't a particularly strong piece.  A few of the wrenched metaphors did break me from the story and make me   ::) and I just couldn't engage in the story enough to feel the tension.  Will listen again and try to figure out why.



Unblinking

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Reply #17 on: August 31, 2009, 07:13:58 PM
This one didn't do much for me. 

Each character was one dimensional and the language was too simple.

Becky is just TSTL--just a passing mention of the tarp and trash chute and she doesn't find that at all strange when being interviewed for a building manager position?  If she had died that would just be natural selection at work.

I didn't understand the whole "has to practice so he can go faster" thing.  Was that because of some mental slowness?  It just came off as weird.  For those who felt sorry for Becky, it's only the matter of timing for the phone call that she managed to not get her head smashed in as a practice run, so I thought it was a pretty happy ending for her.

And I don't think the final thing is even going to work.  He depends on everything happening exactly as he plans it, but when she shows up in the boiler room and sees that it's him, and there's a tarp on the floor, she is not going to sit in the chair and go through an interview.  She might leave, she might slap him, she might stand and argue but she's not just going to sit and docilely be interviewed like Becky did, and so his whole plan is going to fall apart.  Most likely she'll get the hell out when he pulls the weapon (it is a slow SOB to swing after all) and will call the police.



Russell Nash

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Reply #18 on: September 01, 2009, 08:16:00 AM
I didn't understand the whole "has to practice so he can go faster" thing.

Attacking someone and killing them is not an easy thing to do (trust me on this).  If you practice a difficult thing again and again you become better and faster at it. 



Jason M

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Reply #19 on: September 01, 2009, 12:33:42 PM
I didn't understand the whole "has to practice so he can go faster" thing.

Attacking someone and killing them is not an easy thing to do (trust me on this).  If you practice a difficult thing again and again you become better and faster at it. 

Ummm...

You do realize how that sounds, right?

I'm just sayin'



Russell Nash

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Reply #20 on: September 01, 2009, 12:34:46 PM
I didn't understand the whole "has to practice so he can go faster" thing.

Attacking someone and killing them is not an easy thing to do (trust me on this).  If you practice a difficult thing again and again you become better and faster at it. 

Ummm...

You do realize how that sounds, right?

I'm just sayin'

I don't think it gives any kind of false impression.



lowky

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Reply #21 on: September 01, 2009, 12:49:37 PM
I didn't understand the whole "has to practice so he can go faster" thing.

Attacking someone and killing them is not an easy thing to do (trust me on this).  If you practice a difficult thing again and again you become better and faster at it. 

Ummm...

You do realize how that sounds, right?

I'm just sayin'

I don't think it gives any kind of false impression.

So you are saying you practice killing people?
must be in the military, then again maybe that's why you are an expat.  Running from the long arm of the law.


Russell Nash

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Reply #22 on: September 01, 2009, 01:56:01 PM
I didn't understand the whole "has to practice so he can go faster" thing.

Attacking someone and killing them is not an easy thing to do (trust me on this).  If you practice a difficult thing again and again you become better and faster at it. 

Ummm...

You do realize how that sounds, right?

I'm just sayin'

I don't think it gives any kind of false impression.

So you are saying you practice killing people?
must be in the military, then again maybe that's why you are an expat.  Running from the long arm of the law.

I didn't say that.



Unblinking

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Reply #23 on: September 01, 2009, 04:44:49 PM
I didn't understand the whole "has to practice so he can go faster" thing.

Attacking someone and killing them is not an easy thing to do (trust me on this).  If you practice a difficult thing again and again you become better and faster at it. 

Maybe I could buy that, but how does smashing an empty chair help him learn to smash a person's head in? 
The problems with smashing a person's head in, such as the person dodging, the person leaving the room when they see the tarp, etc...  won't be encountered with a chair.  So it still doesn't compute for me.

Even practicing with people, like he was trying to do, isn't really going to do the trick, because each person is going to react differently to the room, the person, the sudden swinging weapon. 



Russell Nash

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Reply #24 on: September 01, 2009, 04:51:36 PM
I didn't understand the whole "has to practice so he can go faster" thing.

Attacking someone and killing them is not an easy thing to do (trust me on this).  If you practice a difficult thing again and again you become better and faster at it. 

Maybe I could buy that, but how does smashing an empty chair help him learn to smash a person's head in? 
The problems with smashing a person's head in, such as the person dodging, the person leaving the room when they see the tarp, etc...  won't be encountered with a chair.  So it still doesn't compute for me.

Even practicing with people, like he was trying to do, isn't really going to do the trick, because each person is going to react differently to the room, the person, the sudden swinging weapon. 

I never said anything about the quality of his training.  I just said the reason for it.  He obviously wasn't the straightest thinking person in the world.



Millenium_King

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Reply #25 on: June 25, 2010, 08:34:46 PM
This one did nothing for me.  It was filled with trite, boring language; dull, stock characters; the narration jumped all over the place which is very difficult to follow in audio format; a paper thin-plot etc. etc.  As soon as the line "So who was fucking him then?" came up (at about 12:31) I got totally bored with it and did something I rarely do with PP podcasts: I switched it off.  It just felt like a bunch of random events I really, really couldn't care less about.

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