Brian Barrymore is not a normal zombie - he doesn't live in the underground sewers surviving on the brains of rats, lizards and (once in a while) living humans. Instead, Brian spends his days working at the head office of a multinational company.
In this English B1 (intermediate) graded reader, we watch as Brian tries to live a normal life while keeping his true nature a secret from his workmates.
Most of the staff had lunch at around noon, but Brian preferred to eat later, around two o' clock. He was afraid of people asking questions about his choice of food so preferred to eat when there were fewer people around.
Brian entered the staff eating area at his usual time, collected his lunch box from the fridge and put it in the microwave. Sheep brains today.
"Oh, hey there, how's it going?" said a friendly voice from over his shoulder.
Brian turned around to see someone he thought he recognised.
"Hey, good thanks. Erm, Steve, is it?" Brian replied.
"That's right, good memory!" said Steve. "Sorry, what was your name again?"
Brian was pretty good with names.
Brian worked at the head office of a multi-national supermarket - in the Human Resources department. More specifically, he worked in Recruitment. With over two thousand workers across the head office's different departments, there was always a need to hire new staff and that's where Brian came in. His job involved interviewing people who applied for jobs at the company.
He remembered meeting Steve two weeks ago when he came for an interview for a job in the Property department. It wasn't Brian who interviewed him, but Brian's supervisor, Cindy.
"So, how are you settling in to the new job?" asked Brian.
"It's been a busy couple of weeks. You know how it is. I'm still trying to get used to how things get done around here and there's just so much to remember. Sometimes, I'm so busy I don't even have lunch."
"That's terrible. You should definitely try to make time for lunch," said Brian.
"Yeah," Steve replied. "So, you're in Recruitment, right?"
"That's right. I help hire new staff."
"So, how's life as a headhunter?" asked Steve.
Brain hated when people called him a headhunter.
Yes, the word 'headhunter' can be used to describe some kinds of recruiters (people with the job of hiring new staff). However, it's also a name that a lot of people are using nowadays to talk about zombies (not zombies like Brain who have jobs and behave pretty much like everyone else, the disgusting ones who sleep in sewers and spend all their time hunting for brains).
Brian had never eaten human brains. Not once.
Besides, 'headhunter' isn't even the correct word for his job anyway. He tried to explain.
"You see, headhunters usually work for a recruitment company that is separate from the company that needs new staff. So, imagine we need a new IT manager but are finding it hard to get someone suitable. Well, we could ask a headhunting company to find some suitable candidates and invite them for an interview. And we'd probably only pay them if one of their candidates actually gets the job."
"Now, recruiters, on the other hand", Brian continued, "usually work directly for the company who wants to hire someone. Take me, for example. We have a whole HR department to deal with things like contracts, training and recruitment. I work on the recruitment side of things."
"I see. I had no idea!" said Steve, taking a bite out of his ham sandwich.
"And you're working in the Property Department, right? I don't really know much about that area. What do you guys actually get up to over there?" asked Brian.
"Well, basically, we deal with planning and building new supermarket stores. We're expanding into pretty much every village, town and city across the country. You wouldn't believe how many new stores are opening each year!"
"That sounds exciting!" said Brian. "I guess that'll keep you busy."
"You're not wrong there," said Steve. "What's that you're eating? Smells nice."
"Erm... ." Brian had completely forgotten about his sheep brains, lying untouched in his lunch box.
"Minced lamb, " Brian replied.
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