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‘It’ - A Recruitment Horror story - Part 1

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Case Studies
A Creepypasta inspired by Stephen King’s ‘It’

By David Craggs

Part 1

The train came to a controlled but screeching halt at Preston station. As the doors opened and I stepped onto the platform the only people here were a few early birds looking to get to the high street just as the shops were opening their doors. Gone was the usual hustle of the weekday commute, which would allow me to get out of the station and to the office with ease. It may have been Saturday morning, but when I had so many vacancies to fill and a new mouth to feed at back at home, a few extra hours at the office over the weekend couldn’t hurt.

My office, the headquarters of Service care Solutions Recruitment agency, was only a 10-minute walk from the station. Time was well spent with my brand new earphones in, listening to my favourite playlist. My mind wandered to the night just gone. A date night. A night off from being a Dad. My Wife and I went to see a Horror film, the newest adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. The film was already breaking box office records and my wife nearly broke my arm during some of its most intense moments. For those of you that are not aware, IT is about a malevolent entity, which often appears in the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Pennywise uses the fears of its victims and can even take different forms in order to terrify them. Apparently, this made the meat more palatable, or something along those lines. It only seems to be interested in scaring Kids, since their fears are a lot less complex. When I thought about the things that scare me, almost everything went back to money. Failure of not being able to provide for or protect my family and keep is far more terrifying thought than a scary clown or a monster from the silver screen.

As I neared the end of my journey, the storm drain on the opposite side of the road caught my eye. I imagined little Georgie sailing his paper boat down the gutter stream, only to lose it in the torrents. S.S. Georgie teetered on the egde of the storm grate, waiting for him to catch up before falling inside. I could see him peering inside only to see pennywise staring right back at him. In my daydream I didn’t see the raised paving slab and my foot slammed into it, causing me to trip. I staggered frantically and willed myself into staying upright. The wire of my headphones pulled taught, snapping them away from my ears. One of the rubber buds popped off, flung across the road, and rolled toward the grating of the drain. It stopped and hung there expectantly.

I darted across the road without thinking, a car beeped at me as it sped past missing me by inches. The bud was still lying there motionless but I was not ready to be laid back about it. I acted quickly, squatting down and delicately picking it up, afraid that I disturbed it I might lose it to the drains. Something reflective from the back of the sewer drew my attention. I raised my gaze slowly and cautiously, half expecting to see a pair of yellow eyes meet me there. Hiya David. Do you want your bud? Of course, there was nothing of note there, just the inside of an empty crisp packet. A small unintentional sigh left my lungs, and I continued down the road.

It was strange arriving at the office without seeing the smokers getting their last few drags in before the working day. The lights were out on the upper floors and the shutters were down on the ground floor doors and windows at the back. I walked around to main entrance at the front and began fumbling for the keys in my pocket. I really needed to empty them, as they were full of so much unnecessary shrapnel and litter. Crumpled receipts, pen lids and a bits of spare change crowded around my fingers as I searched frantically for them before hooking my finger around the large key ring. I pulled them out of my pocket and proceeded to the door.

The main door was already open. Someone must have had the same idea as me, or it might have been one of the cleaners. I headed down the main corridor and up the stairs through the floors of the building, my way lit only by the dim emergency exit signs. One of the blinds was open on the top floors, flooding one of the desks with morning sunlight. I walked over to my own desk at the far side of the room and turned on my PC and monitor. It was going to take some time to load so I headed to the kitchen area to make a coffee. I passed one of the desks and saw that there was a wrapped present on one of the desks and a banner with the number 30 repeated on the wall.

“Must be someone’s Birthday”, I thought to myself. Something moving above the desk caught my attention. Anchored to the back one of the PC monitors was a single red balloon. It looked like Adam’s Desk. “He can’t be thirty, can he?” The dryness of my throat tickled. God, I needed a drink bad. I could already smell the coffee and feel the warmth from the steam on my face as reached for the kitchen cupboard. It was empty apart from a large container of instant coffee and a few mugs. I grabbed one with the company logo, picked up the coffee pot and opened it. Empty? There was not even a grain of instant coffee, just the disappointment on my face reflected on the foil lining inside. With a groan, I filled the mug with water from the tap and made my way back to my desk. Not the best start to the day. The water tasted bitter too. Someone must not have cleaned the cup properly or it still had dishwasher suds on it. My face contorted at the idea of drinking a cup full of detergent. I would leave the rest I only needed a sip after all.

After logging onto my PC, I opened up my emails, and saw the number of unread emails increase periodically as the program updated my inbox. The first one that caught my eye was an email from one of my contractors.


One of my candidates was taking an entire month off. No hours means no Commission. It certainly was not the best news to hear for someone who is trying to reach a difficult billings target. It was only one contractor and I was not going to let it get me down. I just needed to fill some more of my vacancies and it would make up the difference.

Those targets were there for a good reason. Not only were they to motivate us as consultants, but it also gave management and the company as a whole a basis for its financial forecasting and to judge the performance of its consultants. The recruitment industry was very target driven, and it could be cut throat and ruthless in their implementation. In some companies, and those who missed a target or failed to meet KPI’s could find themselves in disciplinary hearings or in the queue at the job centre in a flash. But, not this company. They would look at the reason behind the missed target and try to rectify it. They would support me. It made sense to me to invest in people, otherwise one would end up in an endless cycle of recruitment and training.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t always the case. I always imagined there was some poor guy out there called Barry who it just didn’t work out for. His heart was in the right place. He wanted to do well but just couldn’t find it within him to motivate himself into action at the right times. When he hit his target he just switched off and unfortunately his complacent nature got the better of him as he started to repeatedly miss targets. Everyone knew that this industry wasn’t for him and that he was probably better suited to a job where he could use his hands and his creative side more. Everyone wanted to avoid being like Barry at all cost.

I supposed at that time that I was lucky, and had nothing to worry about all things considered. I had multiple avenues of repeat business, plenty of new clients to speak to, and numerous interviews set up over the next two weeks among many other roles I was yet to fill. It was true that I just hadn’t found the right candidates yet, but they were out there. I continued sifting through the endless emails. Timesheets. Junk mail. Mail not relevant to me.


How did these companies get my emails? First name, dot, surname at company name. Maybe it was that easy. It was certainly how I managed to contact some of my clients. However, the title did stir up images of my own finances. Rent was so high now, it would need some extra commission if I was ever going to think about buying my own house. Everything cost so much more, especially food and entertainment. It cost me twenty quid just to pay for the two of us at the cinema this weekend, and that’s before buying the popcorn!


That one was from one of my clients! I had six contractors there. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.

To whom it may concern,

We regret to inform you that our company has gone into liquidation. We are currently unable to settle any outstanding invoices…

This had to be a joke. I thought these guys passed a credit check? What would happen to my commission? Was I going to end up like Barry? I’m sure that the company would understand that this was completely out of my control. It also meant that I wouldn’t be getting any more business from such a large client. But shouts of bankruptcy from clients were only the beginning of what was in store for me.

The dead silence of the office was broken by a loud knocking on the door…
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