Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Take 2, Completion of the Legionnaire's Tale......

A Harrah's Gladiators Story - By E.J. Hoeffken - R&S Paris
This interview process is new to me..... its not the typical go in, interview with the manager, get hired, shake hands and make your way into a job that you hopefully find rewarding and enjoy.... Harrah's has developed a more competitive system.... which is interesting and semi-nerve shattering......... While again I understand why they have chosen this system, none the less it is at best, an interesting ride to glory :)

So here is my tale of being a Harrah's Gladiator....... told in story form.... hopefully some of you are amused.... and the others of you that are not...... We really need to get you into a doctor and have that funny bone checked - because this is funny :).....


I awoke in a room of chairs....... small, cramped, and uncomfortable for a man of my size....... As I looked around there was empty seats, people making their way around the room, others at little stalls making their peace before the time of competition began. There was lots of empty seats in the room, like many before you have tried and failed or have succeeded and been moved into different quarters.... I noticed that no one in this room is at ease, leading me to believe that the combat I was preparing myself to face wasn't going to be as easy as I hoped...... Propaganda of the empire was proudly displayed on all the walls, showing the places that you would go if you fought bravely in the arena and were selected to serve in the legion helping the empire to become even stronger than it currently is. Images flashed across the screen of people dancing, drinking, celebrating.... and it flashed through my mind at 9:45a.m., man a drink sounds really good right now.... calm the nerves, steady the feet, bring out my sense of humor more so to prepare myself for whatever lay ahead of me... Slowly, more people started to show up in the room, people in all kinds of dress, some clutching papers as their life depended on it, others with this air of confidence and ease that made me even more nervous... Everyone sat knowing soon enough, they would be called to duty..... One after another the people that sat around me were called into action in the arena..... As I sat and waited my turn I could feel my mouth dying out in nervous anticipation, I knew that I was as good if not better than anyone in this room..... but its the mental mind game of sizing up your competition..... knowing what move you were going to use here to counter their incoming attack...... and where you knew you you could benefit from your foes over confidence and land that shot that would allow you to fight another day.....

Finally my name was called, I steadied myself and walked toward the light at the end of the tunnel..... I got to the doorway and stepped through.... The light of the sun was bright, I could hear the chants of the crowd, or maybe it was all in my head.... I entered the arena realizing I was only facing one foe..... She wished me luck and combat started...... She fired barrages of attacks both big and small, feeling me out and looking for my responses..... I answered every barrage with counters and let loose a few salvos of my own... This went on for 20 minutes..... back and forth, neither of us gaining a solid footing and the shields clashing was all for naught.... at the end of the time, we were both still standing..... And she smiled at me and said "Well Done, you will fight another day, and if you fight well - a spot in the legion will be yours. I was led back to the ready room and was told to be at the ready, cause my next contest was coming soon enough...... So I nursed my wounds, cursed my tongue, and tried to patch the few dents in my pride and continued to train to be ready for the next encounter..... The hours turned to days, but my resolve was not shaken... and with each passing day I got more and more focused on what needed to be done..... Keep winning fights and soon I would be set free, given a job in the empires legions, and the glory that comes with it.

Finally the day came for my second contest...... Many names were called this time.... 14 to be exact..... and we were led into a different arena than the first... I remember this being unsettling, so many people, were they all here to try to take my position in the legion, or were they here looking for a different commission within the ranks, but in the end you stood there not knowing which of these people was your foe, so my eyes danced across the group looking for threats to me, and which people would be more easily pushed aside if need be.... At the word of the Herald, combat commenced..... Some people lunged to battle, others laid back to see what the competition was capable of..... I lunged forward, stopping a few of the lesser gladiators in short order showing my strength and willingness to take the first steps if I was called upon to do so..... but as fighting continued..... The herald kept changing the rules of combat, 1 on 1, 2 on 2, group vs. incoming hordes, Finally after nearly 75 minutes of fighting off every incoming attack..... only half of us were left standing..... congratulated by the herald for surviving this round of competition..... being led back into the tunnel we were greeted by the people who were waiting for their turn in the arena.... I walked back to the corner and sat down steadying myself for my last fight.... One More fight and I can freely walk in the sun..... donned in the armor of the empire, ready to fight any and all comers....
As I awoke on the day of my final contest, I was strangely calm... I wasn't sure if I had suddenly become far braver than I was the day before, or if I was fool hardy enough to think so.... I sat quietly lacing my boots, making sure I had even thing I needed to make this day what it needed to be, to go out a champion or to die a glorious death in the arena.... either way I was prepared to do what was necessary of my to make this experience the best possible..... As I walked through the tunnels into the arena I could feel my body tensing ready for this, like I had been training for this day my whole life.... I arrived in the ready room, records of past champions, photos of the few that stood aloft in the arena and were hoisted up into the ranks of the legion.... I was greeted by the herald, and she led me toward the arena where I would face my last contest..... I entered the room and was greeted by a man at a desk..... what kind of combat is this I thought.... I was asked many questions about where I was from, what kind of training I had, and what I would do if selected to do the legion proud...... I was put off balance, I walked into this room ready to fight for my life, and now I am being asked questions and being invited to join in pleasant conversation..... what an odd empire this is I thought, as I continued to answer all of their questions as they were coming at me from all sides..... and then I was asked to step outside..... Maybe this was it, a sneak attack, or maybe they were trying to find proper competition for me....... So I sat back down at the ready, going back over the answers I had given in my mind, mentally congratulating my self on the good answers, and kicking myself for the bad ones.... Minutes passed, I sat awaiting my fate, the herald came back out and greeted me and invited me back into the room I was just in, and as I sat down I was welcomed into the legion, they all began talking quickly letting me know that I was needed and what I had to do next..... I needed to go back and speak with the first person I had sparred with.... and she would help me with what I needed to have done before I could walk freely in the sun, knowing that I had a place to put my skills to use earning both myself and my superiors honor glory and honor.
I walked back into that first room relieved that I had survived and I was almost to my goal.... She greeted me kindly, but a different kind of greeting this time, more as a co-legionnaire instead of a grunt off the street..... She had me sign my name of so many pieces of paper.... Taxes, Tips, Uniforms, I think I even signed on about not coming to battle wearing pink..... and when all of the forms stopped she handed me one last form, a free hair cut to make myself presentable. As I walked out of the ready room, I had a new air of confidence, swagger, knowing that I had a place and a force to do battle with and for, to entertain the masses and to take care of anything that needs to be taken care of........
For I am now a Harrah's legionnaire.... and I welcome any and all challenges that are laid in front of me.

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy for you and proud of you. I told you you could do it. I never lost faith in you. :)

    We need to hang out, soon. :)

    ReplyDelete