The expression “Out of the mouths of babes” comes to mind, although I’d imagine the author might not like that expression much since she is in the 10-13 year old category. But her 500 word story, submitted to the BBc competitij really got me thinking. Here it is in full, but you can find the audio recording of it here.
A God Vacancy by Aoife Maddock
Dear Gods & Deities Inc,
It is with much regret that I have chosen to resign from my position as Lead Deity of Area 25541, specifically, Earth. I have learnt very much from my time at Gods & Deities Inc. and will cherish the relationships I have formed with the beings there forever. This was not an easy decision to make, but I believe it is in the best interests of my career advancement and development as a sentient being. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working for you.
Actually, you know what? That’s a lie. I have not enjoyed my time at Gods and Deities Inc. at all. Would you like to know why? Humans.
I understand it’s unprofessional of me to complain about my clients in such a personal manner, but they’re just so frustrating. I have done everything in my power to please them, you know. My creative team and I have worked as best we can with them- but I’ve never met a species that is quite so needy!
First of all, they’re the only species to fight among themselves so pettily. War after war, I can barely get a word in edgewise; all in my name, might I add. I don’t want war, why would I want war? That doesn’t even make sense! If they’d listen for just one moment, they’d realise it’s not in my best interests and it’s certainly not in theirs, it’s nothing but a waste of time and money.
Another thing, never have I worked a job where I’ve received so much abuse! Anything they mess up, they blame on me- which is hardly fair. Do they really think it’s my job to sit around and ruin their day? I’m tired of them overestimating my power, I can’t solve world hunger! They caused world hunger! It’s clear they’ve mistaken me for the universal caretaker, here to sweep up their messes. There’s no working with them, there’s no splitting the load. They expect everything of me and I get nothing in return.
One last thing, this one really irks me, but would it kill them just to listen? For once? I’ve considered going vengeful, multiple times. They complain about my standoffishness, my refusal to step in when the going gets tough, but when I try to give advice they won’t take it! I feel I have been very clear about my expectations of our partnership. They take one step forward, only to take another two back, do you have any idea how infuriating that is? The spark I once had has been replaced by a resentful disinterest, and whose fault is that?
I apologise, this letter has stretched out longer than anticipated, but I really needed to get that off my chest. I hope now my sudden resignation does not seem so irrational, and that Gods & Deities Inc. prospers in the future. Whomever you choose as my successor, I sincerely wish them the best of luck.
They’re going to need it.