Short: “Quizzical”

Writing Prompt Response

In an alternate universe, all decisions are made via the results of a Buzzfeed quiz

“You don’t understand, my favourite drink is actually Pepsi! PEPSI!”

She kicked and screamed as two burly men, suited and imposing, dragged her down the hallway. The waiting lines of people watched her apathetically. I sighed, shuffling some paperwork before slotting it into a file.

“Next?”

People ask me how I sleep at night, how I can sit there as people dreams are crushed over the results of a six-question survey. Most of the time I simply shrug: it’s a job after all, you just do what you can to get by.

The Buzzfeed Bureau of Quiz Complaints (BBQC) is by far the busiest building in the central London. That’s not even an exaggeration. You’ll only find larger crowds and queues on the underground and possibly around Trafalgar Square. The sheer amount of foot traffic we receive is mind-boggling – last year they had to install flagstones throughout the building due to how regularly the carpets were ruined.

A man steps up to my window, looking wild-eyed and frightened despite his attempt to dress up in a crumpled suit. We’re divided into long hallways in the BBQC, each teller assigned around two hundred people with complaints over their results.

“Yes?” I ask, already reaching for the REJECTED stamp.

“I… I want to change my celebrity BFF.”

My eyebrows rose. “Who were you assigned, and who would you prefer?” As he stuttered I glanced at his papers, quickly bringin up his details on my terminal.

“I got Kanye West, and I’d prefer, well, anyone else to be honest.”

“Okay Mr… Coleman?” He nodded. “Good. Well, it says here that your favourite fast food restaurant is Burger King. Is that correct?”

“Well, yes, but-“

“NEXT!”

“But he keeps calling me!” The man slammed a palm against the glass of the booth in desperation. “HE WON’T STOP TALKING!”

As if my clockwork two more burly men appeared to manhandle him away. They are certainly efficient, BBQC security. They operate in shifts, teams rotating back to the front of the queue to drag the next helpless plaintiff away.

Another man, slightly taller, strode up to the window.

“You people are scum, you know that?”

He’d been waiting an hour or so and the summer heat (and the broken air conditioning) had obviously rendered his manners obsolete.

I sighed. Three years I’d been working this job and not once had I gone home feeling like I’ve made a difference. I was assigned the job, just like everyone else did. My sister did the same quiz as me, now she’s a marine biologist.

If only I hadn’t said my favourite Disney movie was Hercules.

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