The Job Interview

Author: Larner

Nominator: Dreamflower

2011 Award Category: Modern Times: General - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: It appears that Gandalf has suggested that the Ringbearer might serve well in our modern world in assisting those displaced by war. How might Frodo do in a modern job interview?

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Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 10

I just had to nominate this marvelous piece of imagination by Larner. The disconnect between the world in which we know Frodo Baggins belongs and the world in which he finds himself in this story is jarring not only to Frodo, but to the reader as we see the familiar through unfamiliar eyes. Frodo's reaction to such things as stiletto heels, flourescent lighting and modern decor make us smile because even though we know what he's seeing, and he doesn't, we are treated to a different look at these things. (This is a skill that Larner delights in using: showing people reacting to the unfamiliar. But usually it's not FRODO who is unfamiliar with things in her stories!) It's also fun to see this OFC trying to figure Mr. Baggins out; Frodo never states a single thing that isn't strictly true, yet she manages somehow to jump to some conclusions that are startling and amusing to the reader. I love that she is not made an antagonist in any way, although her description makes her seem like she might be that sort of person-- Larner plays against type here, and shows someone who actually wants to be helpful (even though she doesn't realize she's out of her depth) and a person who is a shrewd enough judge of character that she can tell Frodo is quite suited for a job which she herself knows she could not do as well. Honestly, I'd like to see a little more of Frodo in this world and wonder what he'd make of his new job.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 6

Dear Larner, this is particularly original idea for a story. To imagine Frodo somehow or other surviving into modern times offers many interesting opportunities, and this is a great one. You have managed very well to keep this scenario plausible – it is surreal but not absurd. It is also quite fascinating to see how Frodo’s experiences and concepts translate into modern terms and vice versa. The lady is certainly doing a good job coping with the situation. As for the main premise, that Frodo would be working as some kind of advocate for victims of war and torture, moreover, that Gandalf would recommend him for such a position, yes, that is entirely appropriate. One has to wonder, really, what the lady will think of the feet once she gets home. ;-)

Reviewed by: Fiondil  ✧  Score: 5

Frodo Baggins, on the advice of Gandalf, seeks employment with the Council on Special Populations, aiming to help those people whose lives have been torn apart by war. Armed with a green card, he submits to a job interview which is conducted with much misunderstanding on the part of both parties as Frodo tries to answer those questions we all find on typical job application forms and which we all take for granted as truthfully as possible, yet only confusing the poor interviewer with his answers. A delightful vignette full of subtle humor. The last line is the best.

Reviewed by: Rivergift  ✧  Score: 4

What a creative little plot bunny! But now I think about it, of course Frodo would make a wonderful, gentle friend for someone traumatised by war =) I enjoyed seeing how these two very different people reacted to one another - two people who do, in fact, have something in common, namely the desire to help others. Lovely interactions, and it was great how she somehow managed to see everything odd thing that Frodo said as something that fit into her world!

Author response: I can't quite understand fully how this story took root in my brain, but when the challenge came up it was already started and was easily adapted. But if anyone from the Undying Lands might be considered as a candidate to help those millions in our time who have been devastated by war and Man's inhumanity toward Man, it has to have been Frodo Baggins! And it was great fun imagining how the cultural differences would be perceived and misconstrued on both sides! Thank you so, Rivergift!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

An amusing but also touching tale of Frodo in the modern world. Frodo seeks a job in this tale; and presents himself with his particular brand of mixed hobbit charm and humility and honesty. I loved his viewpoint on the puzzling elements of our world, in particular the horrors of high-heeled women's shoes. And the job he is offered is one that he could carry out very well... Interesting reflection on both Frodo's past and a what-if future....

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 4

This is a most unusual and enjoyable story. What if Frodo could come back for Vallinor and apply for a job in our world? What would he make of a modern American woman and what would she make of Frodo? Who would be better suited to the job of helping victims than Frodo, but to the interviewer he is someone who just doesn't tick the right boxes. Amusing, touching and thought provoking all at the same time.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

This is a wonderful little story. It seems bizarre, but in a good way. The encounter between Frodo and Ms. Phelps seemed so odd, but they both managed to understand in the end. The poor woman, having this decidedly strange sawed-off person applying for a job that didn't know the answers to the most standard questions. But she managed to stay professional.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 3

Though I am not overly fond of this particular genre, The Job Interview is a very good read. Frodo's character is still very much in tact in spite of his twenty-first century reincarnation, and I loved the author's method of highlighting his qualities through an interview--very creative.

Reviewed by: Military History  ✧  Score: 3

This was good work. The collision of modern bureaucracy and someone used to the customs of the rather freewheeling and easygoing hobbits is rather amusing, and does not compromise the serious nature of why Frodo is taking this job, but instead serves to accentuate it. Although I doubt Gandalf would be enthused about throwing Frodo to bureaucrats.