“How long have you been waiting?”
The man was tall, very slim and hadn't even looked up from the book he was reading.
“About 20 minutes.” I replied.
The man sat down opposite me at the table and continued to read his book. I shifted a bit in my
chair and went back to looking at the designs in the floor tile.
After about 15 more minutes the man suddenly closed his book, and put it on the table. I
looked up, and was met with his gaze.
“Did you bring all the required paperwork?” he said at last.
“Umm, I... I'm sorry?”
“The paperwork! Surely you received the paperwork to fill out prior to this meeting?”
“Oh, uh, yes. Yes I have it right here.”
This was the man I was sent here to see? I took out the thick stack of forms I had filled out the
evening prior and slid them across the table to him. He began leafing through them as I sat,
fidgeting in my chair.
“I... I was sort of surprised by some of the questions. They were far more personal than
questions I have received for any other job.”
“I mean, some of them just didn't seem related to a job in research.”
The man looked up at me with a somewhat confused look in his eyes. Then went back to
reading my paperwork.
“Is there anything wrong? With my answers, I mean”
“No.” he replied as he pushed the forms to his left. “No, these should be acceptable.”
“Okay, great. I am really interested in this position. As you can see from my resume I have been
working towards my Masters in..”
“So no family, correct?”
“Uh, I... I’m sorry?”
“No family, right?”
“Um l, yeah. Anyways as I was saying, I”
“ I don't really need information about your education.”
“Uh, I... I'm sorry?”
“You sure say that a lot.” the man laughed.
“Well, I am sorry. But I can't help but find this all a bit strange. Your questions, they aren’t really what you come across in a job interview and this all seems rather unprofessional”
“Well I'd agree, if this were a job interview, This is a case study.”
“Well, yes of course. But working on the case study is still a job, right?”
“Well, yes. But you will not be working on the study, You will be the subject.”
“Yes, you match the criteria we need for one of the subjects, and with no ties to anyone, it is a
“That is classified.”
“How many other ‘subjects’ are there?”
“What is the case study even for, or about?”
“Oh, that is highly classified.”
“What on Earth would make you think I'd agree to be part of some study I have no information
on? I'm sorry but I am not interested. I think I am just going to leave”
“Oh, well that's impossible. By walking into this room you became part of it, you'd put our work at risk by just walking out of here.”
“What? How? I don't even know what the study is about.”
“I am afraid just knowing we are here, you know too much about the project. So you can't leave,
you are going to stay and be part of this study.”
“Are you insane? No, I refuse to be a part of anything you have going on here.”
“I am afraid it's too late. We should just get ready to get started.”
The man stood up, and started walking towards the door.
“No! Do you really expect me to just follow you? I am not moving from this spot! I will not be a
part of whatever this is!”
The man stopped, and turned to look at me.
“That's fine.” he said
“You can take some time, stay right here if you wish, you can try and resist for now. I don't really
blame you. I'll just let you be for a bit.”
The man walked to the door, and opened it. When he was about to close it behind him, he
looked up at me one last time.
“I have left my book, on the table, if you’d like something to read.”
The door closed. What on Earth was going on? What was wrong with these people? How did
they expect me to just agree to this?
Just then a bed folded down from the wall. I ran towards the door. Locked. Suddenly a panel on the wall slide open revealing a window. A group of men in white coats with clipboards watched me from the other side. Behind them stood the man, smiling.