I got back to the office just in time to see Betsy, the receptionist, pulling desk chairs into the waiting room for a group of people who were either well dressed high schoolers, or poorly dressed professionals.

Aaahh, summer interns – a special breed.

Looking out over this sea of hopefuls, I saw mismatched socks, suits that were too big, skirts that were too short (for the office at least), ties that belonged in the $1 bin at Goodwill, and maybe one or two properly dressed kids. They were all here to work for me – for free – apparently to do something relating to zombie legal work. I’d kept the job posting intentionally vague, and now I was beginning to regret that decision.

There are a lot of people out there without jobs these days. If an unpaid internship at a quasi-clandestine local government agency working for a shmo’ like me is their best prospect, the country has much bigger problems than zombies.

As I walked through to my office, Betsy callout out in a Splenda-sweet voice, “Mr. Dingle, I hope your meeting went well, the résumés are on your desk, let me know when you are ready.” I felt pretty important just then, mainly because Betsy had been calling me “Robbie” in front of people for the last few weeks – apparently to put me in my place.

I sat down at my desk and picked up the stack of paper; there must have been 50 résumés. Reading through them all would take pretty much the rest of the week, so I decided I wouldn’t read any of them. I’ll just call them in one by one and see who I can see myself having a beer with. I can only assume that this is how most hiring decisions are made. This felt familiar, but here I was, on the other side, doing the same damn thing.

I don’t care where you went to undergrad. I don’t care what Senator you clerked for last summer, and I certainly don’t care that you listed “writing fiction” as one of your interests.

Do zombies freak you out? Will you work for free? Do you like drinking beer? If the answer is yes to at least two of these questions, we may have a spot for you here at the District Department of Undead Management.

“Bill Fritz!” I called out. Twenty seconds later the kid with mismatched socks wearing his dad’s suit walked into my office and stood in the doorway, looking down.

“Sit down,” I said, not sure yet if he spoke English, “So why do you want to work for DDUM?” I inquired.

“Well,” he said sheepishly, “I really want to go to law school, and…”

“NEXT!” I yelled. The last thing we need is more lawyers. He took a few seconds to process things, and got up and left.

Moments later, in walked in a pudgy dude with a goatee. He shook my hand and introduced himself as Paul Blyther. The next thing he said was, “You should really hire that hot chick out there with the short skirt.”

He told me that his favorite zombie movie was “Dawn of the Dead” – the 1978 original, not the remake. I told him he was hired, and to tell the hot chick to come in next.

His description of Ashley Greene was accurate (use your imagination), and she told me that her favorite zombie movie was either “Shaun of the Dead” or “28 Days Later.” We argued for a bit about whether “28 Days Later” was really a zombie movie, but I decided it was moot when she expressed her love of the newly operational DC Brau Brewing Company.

“You’re hired!” I said. “You’re really hot!” I thought…

I interviewed a few more candidates, but they all fell into one of three categories: boring; cocky DC types; or not obsessed with zombies. Some were all three. In the end, seeing as I barely did any work most days anyway, I decided two interns was enough and sent everyone else home.

I called Paul and Ashley back into my office to tell them the good news.

“Congrats guys! You both start Monday.” Paul looked awkwardly at Ashley, then turned to me, beaming.

“Ok, now then, what are you two good at?” I asked, realizing that actual skills hadn’t come up in any interview I’d conducted.

“Facebook and twitter, mainly,” Ashley said. “Yeah, me too,” added Paul.

“Hmmm, ok,” I said, a little bit bewildered that this was the first thing they thought to mention. “On Monday, I want us to get a facebook page up and running, and a twitter account too. We need to get a higher profile for D.D.U.M., and I think that’s the best way to get our message across.”

“Umm,” said Paul, “what exactly IS our message?”

“That’s a good question, Paul.” Fuck. I had no idea what our message was. Frankly, I’d never given it much thought. So I did what any self respecting manager would do:

“Ashley, what do you suppose our message is?” I asked, fingers crossed.

“Well, I guess that DDUM has everything under control and that things are going to be just fine, right?” she answered/asked.

“Good, good, Ashley. That’s absolutely right. Our message is that we’ve got the zombies under control, and that everything is going to be alright.”

“Do we?” asked Paul.

“That’s up to us Paul. But, yes, we do,” I lied. I can’t believe I just lied.

“So,” I changed the subject, “I’ll see you guys on Monday, bright and early. I’m looking forward to working with you both!”

Once they left, Betsy came back to my office and just shook her head at me.

“What?” I said, with a big stupid grin on my face, “I got one for each of us!”

“Not funny, Robbie.”

Chuckling, I took the stack of résumés and pushed them off my desk and into the trash. Underneath was a single Hallmark sized envelope.

“What’s this?” I asked Betsy.

“Oh, I have no idea. It was in today’s mail. I didn’t know it was your birthday…”

“It’s not.”

I grabbed the mini Samurai sword letter opener sitting on my desk and opened the envelope. It read:

“I, the Honorable and Reverent Marion P. Barry hereby cordially invite you to the Grand Opening ceremony of The Marion P. Barry Re-Humanization Center, on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 at 11am…”

“Jesus, do I have to go to this?” I asked, “The man is a lunatic.”

“Well, Mr. Acting Director Dingle, looks like you have to go and play nice.”