Meeting Mr. Golding

about the freedom to simply be


I still remember that day, walking into that disgusting office and talking to the disgusting man in it.

It was about three in the afternoon, I had just eaten a late lunch at the Italian place across the street, some salami stuffed into some osrt of Italian bread that’s name I still cannot recall.

It was good.

Really good.

And so was my mood.

I was a young lawyer and had just been through the bar exam and thus I had decided to apply to one of the oldest, most prestigious firms around: „Golding and Partners“. – I had already heard about John Golding, the firm’s boss being a cruel, bitter man who did not hesitate to use and abuse anybody to reach his own goals but I did not believe them – at least I did not want to.

Reality hit me hard when I entered his office. He was sitting there, smoking some horribly expensive cigar, his fat body stuffed into an absurdly tightly fitted suit.

Behind him there was a painting.

Normally, any kind of art is beautiful in its own right, however this mere thing had been put there to convey quite a simple message.

You. Are. Nothing.

Several fish or sharks were depicted, one larger than the other, a mouth full of fiercly sharp teeth opened to devour the one before him.

Anyway, after having finished his cigar, Golding looked up, gazed at me and produced a loud grunt followed by one question:

„Who the fuck are you“

I was quite surprised, almost stunned.

I had expected a normal intereview by the book, my future employer asking me questions such as „Where are you from?“, „Where did you go to school?“ or „Why would you like to work with us?“.

Forget that with John Golding.

Slowly and hesitantly I answered: „My name is Matthew Smith, I’m here for a job interview sir.“

He gazed at me with his little beady eyes and huffed.

„Well fine then. Let’s get it over with. Sit down“

And so I sat and was uncomfortable.

I did not like this man, I did not respect him, no I actually began to resent him. He went on to question me about my qualifications and my life quite briefly but I do not remember much except that I was utterly disgusted. Unwell. Unhappy.

The painting above me constantly making me feeel small and insignificant.

It was then that I realized that maybe, just maybe the bitter theory of „Social Darwinism“ had some truth to it.

That the unjust machinery of our oh so great society could not be stopped.

At least as long as people such as John Golding continued to exist.

Written on the 28th of September 2021 in English class by Philip W. G. Faitz