John, the first real job, his degree had offered him, tucked his plastic package under his arm and turned and strode towards the door, each step pronouncing that there could not be, anywhere in the world, past, present or future, anyone, happier than he.
John turned around to face his interviewer. She was, he figured, about to congratulate him. Many janitors had likely worked their way up to School board Trustees or Vice Principals. Janitors with degrees at least.
"Sir, can I see that again?", asked his interviewer, motioning towards his carefully wrapped package.
"Which? My degree?", asked John.
Maybe she wanted to make a photocopy for her records.
The primly dressed women plucked her glasses from her breast pocket and pushed them up as her forehead wrinkled. She gazed at his degree and said, "Hmmmm."
"Hmmmm?", said John.
"Right", she muttered under her breath.
"Right". muttered John under his.
"You didn't happen to major in Canadian Literature, did you? A little Atwood, Findley, Richler, Frye?"
"No", laughed John, "I was more of a medieval guy myself. A little Chaucer...."
"I'm sorry.", she interrupted, "We can't hire you."
"Pardon?", laughed John with a little nervous chuckle.
"Nope. The way it is. Canadian school. Canadian Literature"
"Ma'am", stumbled John, "But I'm only going to be a janitor"
"And that, I'm afraid, sir, is where we have to disagree"