Same story – different understanding
Third person – past tense
Darius was simply not going to crack it. He disappointed in school and later on, he had not done well at all in the job interview. He was pleasant enough and neat enough in an unkempt sort of way, but he didn’t say much when they had talked to him. when they asked him questions he almost seemed not to hear, or he would hear but respond in a rather vague manner. Still, he was in some way related to the boss’ family and so they had given him the chance. The work was simple enough in all conscience. He just needed to replace faulty plug-in electronic boards in computers that didn’t work. He certainly knew how these things functioned. They could not fault him on that. But when somebody spoke to him it was as if there was a sort of cloud between Darius and the speaker. He might shrug or give a vague answer to questions, but one never knew for sure whether he had gotten the message or not. He was, they decided, rather dim-witted. On this occasion, Martin, the workshop foreman, had asked Darius to sort out a computer that had gone mute. The sound system did not work at all. Darius had received his instructions and then wandered off in an absent sort of way before eventually disappearing through the workshop door. Later on, when Martin had asked Darius if the job was done, he looked a bit blank, but then nodded without a word and shambled off. Martin had felt rather frustrated by the response and had gone off to the workshop to see for himself what had been done. The machine was on the workbench and surprisingly, it was still switched on. Martin tested the sound system and found that it worked perfectly. But then he noticed that there was a spreadsheet on the screen that had not been deleted or closed down. When he looked at it he could not understand what it was all about. It was filled with figures and rather weird mathematical looking symbols and equations, few of which Martin actually recognised. Obviously Darius had been working on something of his own on the client’s computer, and he hadn’t even bothered to erase it when he was done. This was utterly unacceptable. Even worse, the spreadsheet on the screen had appeared to be absolute garbage. Darius was obviously disturbed in his head and he would simply have to go. It wasn’t possible to keep incompetents on the payroll, even if they were the boss’ relatives…
First person – present tense
This is really not a good time for an interview. Yes I do need a job. I have to put food on my table and my cousin’s father-in-law did say that he would get me a position in the workshop of his IT firm if I just pitch up for this interview. But I really don’t have the time right now. My equation is so nearly complete. If just one of those darn infinities in the Feynman equation would cancel out, I would be there. Now I have to sit and listen to these two guys asking me if I know how a PC works. For God’s sake. What sort of stupid question is that. But I have to answer. Damn it. Focus now. “Yes Sir” I hope that satisfies him. Maybe if that third infinity in the equation could be reconstituted it would simplify the whole thing and I could resolve it. Hang on! The guy with the yellow tie, Martin I think his name is, is asking me if I would like to work in the workshop. Sure Why not? People won’t bother me much down there and I can focus on my equation. “Yes sir. That would be fine sir.” That should hold him for a while. If one takes all possible paths that the wave front could travel from source to screen, that would produce a useful Feynman diagram. Maybe I could derive something from that? Well thank the lord, it seems that the interview is over. I was a bit preoccupied, but I seem to have been appointed. So now, if I try using a different sub-atomic particle in the simulation … (Time passes)….
“You wanted to see me sir”. I hope this doesn’t take long. Let me get my mind back here. Martin is saying that he wants me to fix a computer. Seems to be a sound card problem. That’s great. I can fix that in two ticks and then use the computer to build a spreadsheet to test my latest thoughts on the equation. “Yes Martin. I can fix that problem”. There’s my voice talking again. I recognise it. (Time passes)….
Martin is asking me if I have fixed the computer. I must have done. I wouldn’t be working on my equation if I still had work to do. Can’t think what to say to him. I’ll nod my head and see if that works. Hmm! Seems to have. Damn, now I have to answer nature’s call and my equation calculations are still up on the screen of that computer. Oh well, I’ll get back to it as soon as I can and then when I have found what I am looking for, I can just plug it into the formula and delete the spreadsheet from the customer’s computer. Shouldn’t be a problem. No one else will go down to the workshop at this time of day. Thank goodness that I have this secure job now. It gives me the opportunity to do what really interests me.