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Fic -- Endless Frustration
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Title: Endless Frustration
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1920
Characters: Top/Golden Glider, Pied Piper, Patty Spivot.
Summary: Job-hunting is even trickier when you're an ex-supervillain.
Warnings: None.
Notes: Set in an RPverse. Loosely set sometime after Laying It On The Table and before For Dust Thou Art And Unto Dust Thou Shalt Return!

“Are you all right in there?” Lisa called as she knocked loudly on the bathroom door. Roscoe, who was wiping vomit off his face, panicked when he realized that she’d probably heard him. The last thing he wanted was for her to realize how nervous he was.
“I’m fine!” he replied with forced cheerfulness. “Just, uh, using the facilities.”
“I heard retching!”
“Everything’s fine!”

Lisa gave up at that point. If he didn’t want to admit to a problem there was very little she could do about it, as he’d been known to deny something even when the evidence was right in front of him. So she gave Spencer’s flag an affectionate little pat and went back to the living room. If Roscoe was willing to accept help, he’d ask for it.

For his part, Roscoe rubbed his face anxiously and stared into the mirror. He had to look perfect and non-threatening, because today would be the first time he’d ever applied for a job. Well, that wasn’t strictly true; he’d already mailed several resumes to various companies, but none had responded. Now he was going to deliver some in person, because he’d been told that was the sign of an ardent go-getter. And for all his many flaws, Roscoe Dillon was most certainly a go-getter. But he was also extremely nervous, because he’d never done this before and so much was riding on it: he needed to earn money legally, and had to show all the doubters he could do it.

He clenched his hands in frustration as he stared at the worried face in the mirror.
“You can do this!” he insisted to his reflection. “You are better than the common herd.”
The common herd doesn’t have an extensive criminal record, his inner voice reminded him, and he banged a fist on the counter in anger. Also, everyone thinks you’re insane.
Well, smashing up the bathroom wouldn’t help with that perception, so he forced himself to calm down before he broke the mirror.
“Okay,” he said to his reflection in a low voice. “Yes, you are crazy, but you are taking medication. Yes, you have a criminal record, but you are also an intellectual giant. Who wouldn’t want to hire a man of your caliber? You can do this, and frankly you have no choice. Now go out there and find a damned job.”

An hour later he found himself waiting to speak to a receptionist, a situation he found degrading. When not in prison, he was accustomed to going where he pleased and doing as he wished, and never waited for anything. He supposed that being dead had ultimately taught him some patience, but still found the idea of waiting his turn to be beneath him. He incessantly tapped his foot and rocked slightly while waiting for the woman to speak to him.

“Yes?” she finally inquired when it was his turn, and he was momentarily overcome with nervousness again.
Don’t look scared, don’t look scared, his inner voice scolded, and he coughed.
“I am here to apply for a job,” he declared magnanimously, covering his anxiety with almost overbearing arrogance.
“Uh-huh, just leave your resume here,” she replied in a bored tone, already turning her attention away.
“Aren’t you going to look at it..?” he asked in confusion. He was more than a bit surprised and offended that she didn’t seem more enthusiastic or even interested.
“HR will pick it up tomorrow,” she said without bothering to glance up at him, and he wandered out of the office in great disappointment.

The receptionist at the next company was more friendly. He had higher hopes for this place, as it was a hub of technological development and thus well-suited to his skills, and at least they had a nice receptionist.
“You can give that resume to me, Mr. …Dillon?” she said as he handed it to her and she checked the name on it. She looked again. “Wait a minute…Roscoe Dillon?”

Looking fearful, she squinted carefully at him and pressed the silent alarm at her desk. Roscoe stared warily at her, wondering what was going on, and in moments a man behind him ordered “Don’t move.”
This had happened enough times in his life that he wasn’t startled by it, and he slowly raised his hands.
“It’s the Top!” the receptionist announced loudly, causing everyone within hearing range to crane their necks to look.

“I did not do anything wrong,” he said in exasperation. “I came here to apply for a job.”
“That seems likely,” the security guard snorted. “The cops have been called, so put your hands on your head and get down on your knees.”
Fuming, Roscoe complied. He knew there was a gun pointed at the back of his skull. “If I was here to cause trouble, I would have done something by now.”
“Shoot him! He once took my dad hostage!” the receptionist shouted furiously, and threw a cup of coffee at him. Fortunately it was only lukewarm, but Roscoe’s day had officially been ruined, along with his new suit.

It was hours before the police released him, having eventually concluded he really was just applying for a job. He’d been questioned extensively at the station, and finally Patty Spivot intervened to advise them that his record had been clean for nearly a year.
“I was not even the guy who took her father hostage!” he complained angrily to Patty, the cops, and anyone who would listen. “That would have been the other Roscoe!” The police didn’t understand that he was referring to his counterpart native to this universe, and Patty smoothed things over by quietly reminding them that he was known to be mentally ill.

Patty drove him home afterwards while he seethed and glowered.
“I should sue for wrongful arrest,” he grumbled from the passenger seat. “And assault. That woman ruined my shirt and jacket!”
“Just be glad you got off as easy as you did,” Patty chided. “They were going to keep you in custody and charge you with attempted robbery, you know.”
“But I did not rob anyone!”
“I know you didn’t. But now you see why we wanted you to change your name.”
He muttered angrily under his breath, though had to admit that for the first time the prospect sounded appealing. All he wanted at this point was to go home and receive sympathy-snuggles from Lisa and Spencer.

“Now you see why ex-cons continue returning to crime,” he growled, and she patted his shoulder comfortingly.
“Yes, but I’m really proud of what you’re doing. We’re all glad you’re making the effort,” she told him with a slight smile. He looked surprised.
“You are?”
He’d thought they were all laughing at him behind his back, certain he wouldn’t be able to do it. And maybe they were, but the sentiment was still nice to hear. It was encouraging to have other cheerleaders on his side in addition to Lisa and Hartley.
“Yeah, we’re all proud of you,” she affirmed, and whether she was telling the truth or not, he still smiled.

He needed the moral support, because his other attempts to find a job were just as discouraging. Most of the time he handed in a resume and never heard from the company again (perhaps a background check was terrifying potential employers), and there were a few more tense confrontations with people who recognized his name. He was starting to suspect word had gotten out that the Top was applying for local jobs. At least the police now knew as well, and didn’t give him much of a hard time when they were called to escort him away.

But it was upsetting. He’d started applying to jobs well below his skill level, as humiliating as he found the prospect, and was still getting rejected. Failure stung particularly keenly because it reminded him of an extremely painful time earlier in life, when his parents had never missed an opportunity to tell him he was a disappointment. Nobody said that now, but he was sure they all thought it, and he certainly thought so as well.

“It’s okay,” Lisa said one night in an attempt to cheer him up, rubbing his shoulders. “If you can’t find anything, you can always work with Len and I.”
Roscoe didn’t say it, but would have rather gouged out his own eyes before working with Len (and the Snarts’ creepy demon boss, who he was frankly afraid of ) in the repo business. He knew he’d be bored after the first day, and such work was utterly beneath a man of his status and intelligence. No, he’d go back to crime before stooping so low. But for now he’d continue searching.

He finally gave up after nearly getting shot. He’d quietly wandered into the lobby of a tech firm, and they’d obviously been anticipating that he’d appear at some point; two security guards immediately aimed guns at him. Jittery about a confrontation with a supervillain, one man fired a wild shot which lodged in the wall a few feet above Roscoe’s head, and he decided he’d had enough. After dealing with the police yet again, he went home with much on his mind. It was time to revert to type, and he began to plan a heist which was to be kept secret from his loved ones. They’d be so disappointed if they knew, but at least he could go back to what he was good at and not have to worry about fitting in with society.

He’d been surreptitiously planning a theft for several days when Hartley sat down to join him for lunch.
“How’s the job search going?” Hartley asked, and Roscoe looked askance.
“Fine,” he replied evasively. He was a reasonably accomplished liar, but Hartley’s keen hearing and skills at reading people made him an adept lie detector. He smirked.
“That bad, huh?”
“No, it’s going well.” Roscoe was not going to give in easily, but that was entirely expected.
“Look, I know it’s not easy and that you’re discouraged. It’s actually why I came to talk to you. I have a proposal: I’m starting up my own company, and want you to work for me.”

Roscoe’s startled expression made it all worthwhile, and Hartley had to suppress a grin.
“I’m serious. I think you’d be good at it, and it’d be a supportive environment that you’d probably feel comfortable in. And you wouldn’t be the only ex-criminal there, so you wouldn’t even stand out much. Interested?”
Roscoe’s look of surprise had been replaced with one of skepticism and suspicion.
“Why would you want me there? You know what I am like, and are aware of what everyone thinks of me.”
“Yeah, and I know how smart and hard-working you are. I know how loyal you are to the people you care about. And I know the world’s a safer place when you’re channeling your energies into certain outlets,” came the chuckling reply. “I think I can trust you. But are you up to the challenge?”
That was exactly the right thing to say -- which was why he’d said it -- because of course Roscoe couldn’t resist proving his worth. He was slightly miffed that his friend didn’t think the answer was obvious, and also determined to show he could do it better than anyone else.
“You have yourself an employee,” he said confidently, and Hartley smiled broadly at him.
“Welcome to Hamelin Enterprises.”

And they shook on it.

  • 1

LOL at the receptionist who threw coffee at him!

An understandable (if not entirely fair) reaction, given the circumstances. At least it all makes my own job hunt seem better in comparison :>

Thanks for reading!

OMG YES! This is awesome! Nepotism at its best! Of course, only you and I know about Roscoe's subsequent career at Hamelin ^_~

Oh are you hunting? Gimme a shout, I have some material from our workshops that may help you out in the "navigating people & interviews" department.

Well, it certainly keeps him out of trouble...or mostly out of trouble, anyway :> Glad you like it! I figure Hartley probably understands him better than anybody else, possibly even more than Lisa.

If I get the hankering to write more stuff set at Hamelin, would that be okay?

Yeah, I've been applying on and off for a few jobs...nobody ever gets back to me, though :\ I seem to be completely underqualified or overqualified for everything.

Of course it's ok! By all means. I'd love to see your take on Hamelin & how Roscoe fit into it. You've seen plenty of my take, after all XD

I'm told Ontario's still having issues on the jobs front. Can you believe Axo still can't get a job in her field? It's criminal :( Offer's still up, though, especially with interviews.

I have a couple of ideas here and there, but after a mad rush of inspiration for a few months, the muse seems to be quieting down again. Ah well, we'll see. Still have a few fics at the editing stage right now.

The only jobs available in this town seem to be tech jobs (which I'm not skilled enough for) or retail (which nobody wants to hire me for. I didn't even get a call for a seasonal/Christmas rush position at Michael's last year). And I swear that every office/receptionist job posting wants a driver's licence. It's very frustrating.

Thank you for the offer; should I drop you an email?

Muses are so unpredictable, I know.

Understand about the job sitch :( Yup, shoot me an email, I'll send you some stuff & we can talk about how to use it.

Went from a year-long writer's block to more ideas than I could handle, so verrrry unpredictable :>

Thank you, I'll send you an email momentarily! There's no hurry to respond, it'll probably be a while before anyone gives any callbacks. I've been pretty discouraged for a bit and haven't looked in the last few weeks anyway.

poor roscoe.

but hey, his street cred must be incredible if even after a year of doing nothing people are still terrified.

Usually he's proud of his reputation, but sometimes it comes back to bite him in the ass. I'd imagine a lot of ex-cons experience that, and we've certainly seen it in the Flashverse -- Warden Wolfe's attitude is a great example.

Oh Roscoe! LOL! He didn't have a lot of luck there did he? :P I know he'd never do it, but I momentarily pictured him wearing a fast food restaurant hat saying something like "Welcome to McDonalds may I take your order" LOL! XD Working a legit job with Hartley is a lot better prospect than working with the Snarts.... although it'd be entertaining to say the least :P

P.S. I got my stone yesterday! =D Thank you again for sending it to me!

He'd last five minutes at the McDs before blowing the place sky-high :> He'd last somewhat longer with Len, but I still think that would end very very badly :>

No problem, hope you like it! :)

I think crime's easier than getting a job. That's why it's so popular ^^ I love how Roscoe's ego wouldn't let him get too discouraged.

And Piper for the win! I could see him doing something like that to help an ex-con (or a bunch of them). What does his company do? I'm guessing it has something to do with music...

Definitely easier than getting a job, at least if you have Roscoe's unique combination of unusual talents and abrasive personality :>

Katze created Hamelin, and by coincidence she visited today and I asked her ^_^ At first it was anything to do with sound/sonics, and then it later expands into other electronics as well.

Thanks for reading and commenting! :D

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