Archer Houston entered my inner office, and without even a greeting, he got to the point.
"So, I'd like to know what I can do for you," he announced as he sat in the chair on the opposite side of the desk. He took me by surprise a little bit. The only appropriate response I could think of was silence.
I lowered my eyebrows into a slight frown, keeping a careful watch on Archer's demeanor. Though I said nothing for at least thirty seconds - maybe a minute - his determined gaze never faltered. His eyes didn't wander to study the room, which was probably a good thing.
Judging my worth on how well I kept my office was not a good bet. My cleaning habits were the same as the stereotypical private eye. The location of my office in comparison to other parts of the city was quite nice even though I had been tucked away into the back corder of a marketing firm.
I finally spoke. "Did you bring a resume?"
"Yes," he replied. "Of course!" He reached into his suit jacket, bringing out a white envelope. He handed it to me, and I opened it with a letter opener I picked up from the center desk drawer.
I read his resume to myself without making a sound. I didn't want to give Archer any clue as to what I was thinking. I did look up once, peering over the top of the resume. I wanted to see what he was doing. His poise was amazing. At this point, I decided I needed to break him. No one can hold that posture forever.
I put the resume on the desk and gazed at my interviewee sternly. "The private eye work is no walk in the park."
"I don't expect it to be." His reply was short and tactful. "Sir," he added quickly.
"But, the private eye work can also be boring," I stated, trying a different tactic.
Ah, he asked a question. That's a good sign. I thought he probably knew the answer, but I indulged him, anyway. "I don't carry a gun. I try my best not to risk my life. A lot of my work is surveillance and shuffling through public records. To sum it up, I don't live the life of a 1940's spy novel."
His emotionless facial expression changed with my little joke. "I didn't expect as much," he stated, his expression going back to where it had been.
"Okay," I muttered, picking up the resume to study it again. I read the "Education" section very carefully. His degrees in law enforcement were impressive, but there was a problem.
"I see a problem with your resume," I stated, not hiding anything from him. How he answered my next question would determine the result of the interview as far as I was concerned.
"Your education is impressive. You obviously have the book knowledge of how this game works, but I am concerned with your experience. You didn't list any. Why do you want to work for some private eye when it looks like you could work for just about any police department or even the federal government?"