The Hello Work Guild’s facilities were constructed from the refurbished home of an ex-aristocrat, AKA founder of the organization. The walls were built horizontally-long with red bricks with a set of doors down the center that led to the main lobby. Antique chandeliers ornamented the tall ceiling. Numerous counters stretched along side and behind them was the faculty zone. All other facilities above the first floor, such as the cafeteria on the second floor, were available to the public.
Kiel checked his attire in the mirror on the wall after he entered through the back door. He looked at his reflection. He looked slightly refreshed with his new haircut, and maybe a little thinner than he used to be.
His uniform was a suit with a vest. He fixed his collar, adjusted his necktie and checked his black leather glove on his right hand. The glove was his own; it was one of those that covered your hand but opened at the fingertips. He fixed his posture, checked his glove once more, knocked on the door, and opened it.
“Excuse me,” he went to his superior’s desk with a nervous face, “Good morning ma’am.”
“Good morning rookie,” she stood up with her back faced towards the boy. “Today onwards, this will be your workplace and your grave. Work like your life depends on it. Try to be an obedient employee.”
“Do you mind if I retire today?”
“I’m just kidding, that was a joke,” she turned around chuckling. “I’m glad you came. I’m Clair Viola, the head of this division… Not that you really needed that introduction. Oh and by the way, call me Ms. Clair if you will because I am supposed to be your superior.”
“Roger that leader.”
“No need for strict formalities. You’re only going to stand out if you do that here. Don’t be so tense and relax. Come on, smile, smile,” Clair said with a grin.
Clair smiled mischievously while pinching Kiel’s cheeks. She’d just mentioned that they were supposed to be in a superior/subordinate relation, but this was more like a teacher/student… no, a sister/brother relation.
In reality, she really was like a sister, until she became his home tutor a few years back. Kiel respected her from back then as she was kind to him, he even admired her as a woman at one point. Not that he felt any different about that now.
Her height and figure made the dull office uniform look fabulous. The corset belt that tightened her waist gave her already voluptuous breast even more of an impact. Her side-ponytail, tied with a scrunchie, flowed down her shoulders and laid to rest on her impressive breast.
“Follow me, and I’ll give you a quick tour.”
Led by Clair, he received an explanation of each division while walking through the deserted yet-to-be opened guild hall. After a brief introduction of accounting, management, human resources, etc., they returned to Clair’s division, the counter reception, and met with the staff members there.
All the members there were middle-aged people, some even older than his parents. Kiel thought to himself it was only natural. It’s normal for this kind of profession to have individuals who’ve already retired. Unlike Clair who was on the administration side, it was an irregular within an irregular for a person in their teens like Kiel to join.
He wondered if he wasn’t thought of weirdly. Whether he could keep a good relationship. Whether he could make it in this environment.
“Hi. I, my n’me’s Ki’l… Kiel. Nice to meet you all.”
The pioneers in life mildly accepted the timid Kiel who was tripping over his own words. Maybe it was because he reminded them of a grandchild, but he felt their warm gaze envelop him. Apparently, Clair had explained to everyone beforehand about employing one of her pupils during her tutoring days, so no one said anything in particular. What a relief.
“So about this job… We deal with various issues dealing with occupation here. The most common is the transferring of occupations. The majority of the people that come during the day come for counseling in that area.”
“Well, it might not seem like it but, recently, transferring occupations isn’t that unusual anymore. Everyone has their own reasons, they’ve gotten bored with their job, or they want to try at something new.”
Transferring… during his past occupation, that idea never came across his mind.
“Now, here’s a pop quiz. As a faculty member of the Hello Work Guild, there is one term when dealing with occupations that you must know. That term is ‘legacy’. With that in mind, what do you think legacy means? Try to define it within 30 words.”
“30 words? I’d understand in essay format but orally? That’s impossible.”
“Alright then, no word limit. But answer within 30 seconds.”
“A time limit?”
“One, Two, Three…”
“Wait, um, I think…,” Kiel started to rack his head for his memories, “it’s the potential everyone holds for an occupation and twice a year, until you’re 15, you undertake a ceremony with an oracle to find your legacy in occupation. And according to that legacy, we can gain various skills… Something like that?”
“A bare pass,” Clair made an evil grin. “Also, did you know that among the many stories behind the roots of legacies, there’s one that says it’s God’s whim?”
Clair continued to talk happily once Kiel shook his head.
A long time ago, the world was created under one omniscient God. He created the oceans, the land, and several life-forms, but eventually, he grew tired. He was bored of it all. That’s when the God decided he would bestow part of his powers to humans and let them decide what to do. He threw in the towel. That’s when people manifested legacies, shards of God’s power, and developed the world.
“It’s supposed to be a kind of fable, but basically what it means is that people aren’t as almighty as God. The cooperation of many individuals, each with different abilities, is what makes the world grow. That’s why legacies make the framework to the life we live. Living along with our legacy or living our own way.”
“Are there any people who ignore their legacy?”
“Well… It’s considered most ideal to choose an occupation that has an aptitude with your legacy. Fighters go to the battlefield and magicians become researchers. However, depending on the industry, there’s a limit to how many people can work so not everyone can enter their ideal occupation. And on the other hand, some industries have an ample number of open slots and lack labor, so they put up recruiting notices for people who want to transfer occupation.”
For the world, it was normal, for Kiel not so.
In his world, it was normal for someone to aim for their ideal occupation, so he’d never thought of transferring. Or rather, it was not allowed.
Legacies symbolized the strongest aptitude for jobs and to throw that away it should be unforgivable- that was how his parents thought.
“Our job is something like being a bridge for potential transferees to their new jobs. We listen to our clients and then introduce them to a new job. But it doesn’t always mean they get what they want. We can’t introduce jobs that aren’t looking for recruits.”
Clair strode to the cabinet that stretched across the wall all way to the ceiling and opened its slightly worn doors. There were many files encased in leather covers inside.
“These are the recruitment lists for all the industries. We try to find our client something from here. Ideally, we want to introduce them something according to their preference, but if it’s not available, we have to find kind of compensation. Once we find a job, we give them a form to sign and seal it. That becomes a reference letter for them. From there, it’s up to the client, how they do in interviews and in training whether or not they can actually make it in. All we can do is cheer them on.”
“If they were to actually make it, how do they change their legacies?”
“Legacies can be transferred to and from spirit-stones or ritual items. Didn’t you know? I think you’ve seen them before when you got your legacy.”
“Now that you mention it, I kind of remember it.”
“Divine bestowment rituals materialize the legacy you are born with. But, there are also cases where people obtain legacies from spirit stones. And that is called a transferring ceremony, and that’s where we take those spirit stones and ritual items to remove a legacy or give someone a new legacy.”
Kiel tried to remember his bestowment ritual.
It was when he just turned 10….
It took place in the administration room of the royal palace. He remembered waiting a million hours for his turn. He remembered waiting in a dark, gloomy room, waiting to be bathed in the sacred light blessing while standing within a complex magic circle. If nothing happened after a while, we were told it wasn’t our time yet, and we had to wait for another ceremonial chance. In Kiel’s case, he obtained his legacy through a spirit stone, so the process was over in a jiffy.
There was a divine light somewhere within the translucent crystal.
You could see it, but you couldn’t touch it. He felt a strange sensation as the formless light flowed into the magic circle and eventually into him.
“The light of our legacies. The light that shines upon people. The light that guides people. And our job as the Hello Work Guild is to help people find that light.”
“… What can we do for those who lost their light?”
“They’ll be able to find a new one. A special light just for that person.”
The conversation got off topic. Now to get back to the actual topic. Kiel shook his head to change his gear and asked Clair about how to write the documents.
The old clock on the wall chimed a low note. It was time for the start of a day.
“Well then, I’ll leave window number 3 to you. Good luck rookie.”
“Wait what? Already?”
“Just ask when something you don’t know comes up. See you!”
Clair went back to her desk, put on a pair of glasses, and faced the mountain of documents on her desk.
Clair… Ms. Clair is pretty laid back about work huh. I really wonder if it’s gonna be alright, with me being new and all. Kiel faced towards his window counter with anxiety.
From today Kiel was the newest member of the Hello Work Guild. A job that didn’t require any type of legacy, in other words, categorized as a miscellaneous job. He wasn’t complaining about that though. The problem was deep down inside; he knew that he didn’t have enough mental capacity left to do everything he could to help someone else find a new job.
“To think that I would be doing a job helping others find a job even though I went against my legacy…”
Anyhow, he was glad he could leave behind that boring life. He prepared to do his best as a sign of gratitude for Clair.
The main door opened, just as he sat down and laid back on his chair.
Perhaps that person was waiting for opening hours, but there was a silhouette at the door standing dauntingly with crossed arms.
It was a girl clad in armor. She strutted with heavy steps in a straight line directly to the window counter. She was so fierce and intimidating, it was as if she were about to wage war on him. Kiel wondered if he had done her wrong in the past.
Kiel put his defenses up without a second thought.
The girl slammed her hands on the counter and sunk her head deeply.
“Introduce me to a job, please!”
Clientele number one. The noble, red-haired girl clad in armor fell into the chair with energy and stated her name.
“My name is Rhianna Rouge. 17 years old. Legacy: Knight. I work at the Busters Guild.”
The same age as Kiel. A+ for enthusiasm. And she maintained steady eye contact.
Her guild, the Busters Guild, was one of the biggest organizations for combat. Their primary jobs were peace control within the town, bodyguarding along the roads between towns, and the extermination of monsters. Her armor had the emblem of the guild, a lion, embedded on it. She was a knight like any other.
Which also meant that she was working according to her legacy.
But she wants to transfer occupation.
Why? The obvious question came to mind.
“Hi, my name is Kiel. Pleasure to make your acquaintance. Um… Your wish is to transfer occupation… correct?”
“Yep, that’s right. Please and thank you.”
“But are you certain? Busters Guild is undoubtedly one of the biggest, most renowned guild. This is the dream for most people like you with a knight legacy.”
“But I want to transfer.”
Rhianna Rouge stood firm.
The idea to give up the ideal job… must be a bad joke. But she seemed completely serious. What a pity. Throwing away the perfect legacy and environment.
But Kiel had nothing to say against her strong words and gaze.
As a member of the staff am, I just supposed to comply with what the client insists on?
“Um… Well then, what type of occupation do you wish for?”
“I don’t care.”
And there she goes again answering immediately.
Kiel froze for a second, blinked a couple of times, and then asked again.
“Yep, I don’t mind anything, just introduce me a job. I told the guild I’m going on vacation. I want to find a job during that time. I can even start working right now. Give me all you’ve got!”
Hang on a second. What is this girl thinking? It’s weird enough to transfer from the job assigned according to your legacy but plus she doesn’t care where she transfers either? That doesn’t make any sense. Where’s her common sense? Is she dumb? Maybe that’s a bit too harsh. Not dumb but just stupid?
Should I consult to Ms. Clair?
But it’s a little lame to already seek for her help.
I guess if she says whatever, just go with it?
Kiel decided to follow protocol even if it was strange. Kiel told the girl to wait a moment while he went to the cabinet to pick out a couple of random files.
He started to go through the files awkwardly while Rhianna glistened her eyes with expectation.
The words “Urgent help wanted” caught his attention.
“How about this one? Eer, this is a recruitment notice from the Clinic Guild. The main description for this job is taking care of injured and sick patients. Occupations up for transfer are jobs like healers, pharmacists, and doctors. Training period lasts …”
“Alright! Let’s go with that!”
“Oh, ok.” No time for any further explanation. “Alright then, I’ll write you a reference letter.”
Kiel filled out some documents, pressed the Hello Work Guild seal on it and handed it to Rhianna.
“Thanks! I’ll be on my way now!”
Rhianna strode gallantly out. It hadn’t even been ten minutes since she got here.
That was easier than I thought? Is it supposed to be like this?
Something didn’t feel quite right.
Kiel felt a bit timid about the transaction just now, but he just scratched his head and waited for another client to come.
In the morning, three other people came to consult after Rhianna Rouge. They all came to find a new job, but unlike Rhianna, they all had some kind of idea on what they wanted, although they couldn’t find anything available. They also decided to spill their complaints about their life and current job.
In the end, the clients were just talking for most of the duration. About being used, not being paid enough, or the food was bad, one of the clients even complained about their boss’s feet smelling. Kiel had no choice but to smile and nod at their complaints because he couldn’t just say he didn’t care. And thus his morning duties came to an end.
Technically he didn’t do any work, but Kiel felt exhausted.
Lunch time. Kiel went to the cafeteria on the second floor to join Clair for lunch. Staff members got a discount. Because regular citizens were also allowed to eat in the cafeteria, most of the seats were already full. Talk about good business.
“My treat since it’s your first day. The food here’s absolutely scrumptious. Don’t underestimate this place as any other regular cafeteria. This place is run by a maestro chef with his impeccable legacy.”
The menu varied from regular meals to unique cuisines. Kiel left the ordering to Clair.
Several dishes started to flow out of the kitchen after a while. A pot-au-feu filled with meat and vegetables. A pizza with a mountain of cheese and thick-cut bacon. Carpaccio aligned with an assortment of fresh seafood. And for dessert was a pudding made from the freshest, richest milk available.
Delicious. Absolutely amazing. All the dishes were so delicious Kiel thought he had died and gone to heaven. He became even more emotional once he remembered the poor ration food he was eating a little while ago.
The meal was topped with a coffee at the end. The faint bitterness was exquisite.
The coffee washed away all of his worries.
Ms. Clair was drinking her black tea elegantly. Her holding the teacup was the perfect scene.
“How is it working here? Do you think you can make it?”
“Hmm, I don’t know.” Thinking of the morning wavered his confidence. “I talked to a few clients, but all I did was listen to their complaints…”
“Well that’s part of the job. Most people who come to consult for a new occupation have some kind of complaint with their current environment. I thought that would be obvious? Sometimes, it might not be the best for some people to change jobs just because of a few small things. That’s why it’s important to understand what they’re going through. That way some people can let off enough steam to relook at what they’re doing and reconsider transferring.”
“Hmm, if you say so.”
Kiel felt as if he understood, at the same time he didn’t.
What he didn’t understand at all was that girl.
“Um, Ms. Clair… There was one thing I wanted to ask you.”
“Mhmm? What is it?”
“What do you think people who want to change jobs with no concrete idea of what they want to do, even though they’re technically already fitted with the perfect job, are thinking? The person who came first in the morning was like that.”
“Oh, you mean that energetic girl? Hmm maybe… they’re just sick of their job to the point they don’t care where they work? Or maybe they caused some kind of trouble and can’t go back?”
“Do you think I should ask about those kind of things?”
“If it’s possible, yes. Introducing new jobs starts with understanding the client first. It might be hard to ask about private matters, but it’s important to hear the client out and listen to what they’re feeling. We wouldn’t be needed if we just hand clients reference letters as we’re told right?”
Guilty as charged…
“Respecting someone’s opinion and being a mindless slave are two different things. You have to listen to the important details. Find out how the client’s really feeling and then find them a job they that might suit them. Don’t rush the job.”
Emotions of regret pierced Kiel’s heart. Well I completely screwed up didn’t I?
He sipped some coffee to hide his guilt. His hand was slightly trembling.
“Occupations will stay with you for life. It might be necessary at times to probe into more private matters so that the client won’t regret their decision. But be adaptable because not all cases have to be that serious.”
“Regret their decision…”
Kiel looked at the glove on his right hand. It’s true that it’s too late to regret what is done. You can’t go back on a choice you’ve made. If you make a wrong turn, you may have to continue to regret it.
I dealt with her too hastily. I wasn’t thinking of properly finishing my work or the client’s feelings.
Kiel started feeling sorry about what he did.
Lunch time ended and work started with the chime of the old clock.
A number of clients came by to consult job transfer but each time, more than half the time was taken up by their complaints. For the most part, clients who released all their steam seemed refreshed as they left but in return, Kiel’s fatigue grew stronger. According to Clair, this is all part of the job. He wanted to believe it wasn’t ought for nothing, that he was making a difference.
The day went on without any particular trouble, and it was near closing hours.
A nurse came by.
She had a wonderful smile… no, it was a horrendous scowl.
“Do you have a moment? I’m from the Clinic Guild. Are you the one responsible for introducing Rhianna Rouge?”
“Um, yes. Was there some trouble…?”
“Not just some trouble!” The white angel glared at Kiel with anger. “She’s commmmmpletely useless. To the point that she’s only in the way. We’re worried tired because she can’t bring the right medicine, breaks equipment, and just causing trouble wherever she goes. She shouldn’t be there. She’s too reckless to leave patients to. So anyways here.”
And the nurse pushed a sheet of paper to Kiel’s face.
“We’re renewing out recruitment form, so this time find someone that can do their work. Alright?”
“O…ok. I’m sorry for the trouble.”
Kiel was completely intimidated and could only apologize. He bowed his head deeply as the nurse walked away.
Just then, the old clock chimed marking closing hours. And finally day one was done.
The repercussion from the last conversation added a whole new layer of fatigue. Kiel sunk in his chair took a deep breath, let out a huge sigh, and stared at the sheet of paper.
A new recruitment form. And Rhianna Rouge was probably fired.