Can you hear me, mother? Have to keep the noise down: I find myself at the centre of a supersize game of Sardines. If anyone else twigs that we’re here and tries to join us, the density levels may prove fatal.
“You do realise that the work can be quite heavy? Loading the autoclave, lugging stuff to be sterilised and so on?”
The candidate nodded. “Yes, I don’t mind lifting. I’m stronger than I look.”
Mrs Valley ticked her list of questions and then I weighed in with some routine probing about previous work history. Just like they’d taught me at Personnel Management School. I handed back to Mrs Valley, the Head of Department for the hospital’s Sterilising Unit.
I’d not been in post for long and this was the first time we’d interviewed together. I’d heard that Mrs Valley had the reputation of being as mad as a box of frogs but so far she’d been absolutely charming. I was starting to relax: the hunt for a new assistant in the Sterilising Unit seemed to be going smoothly.
Mrs Valley looked up from her notes and smiled at the candidate. “Just one more question. Are you pregnant?”