Being a minion is decent work if you can get it. For one thing, you don't need a college degree. Don't get me wrong, I graduated from high school, but sadly, my best skill was beating up other students. So college really wasn't on my radar, so to speak. My first job after high school was as a bouncer at this scruffy downtown lounge, but I lost that gig after I tossed the owner's son out one night. The brat had it coming, mind you, but that argument didn't fly with the boss. He canned me. So I ended up doing an assortment of odd jobs to keep from losing my filthy one-room apartment and checking the want ads at the cyber bar down the street. It wasn't looking too good until one day I saw this ad:

WANTED: Assorted Minions. High School Graduates Preferred. No References Required. Applications being accepted at a Job Fair on April 19th at 9am in the Sainte Claire ballroom of the Mark Regency Hotel.

I had no idea what a minion was, but I liked that part about no references. And I was a high school graduate, making me a preferred candidate! So I got my sport coat and slacks pressed, bought a new shirt and tie with my rent money, and showed up at 8:55am on April 19th at the Mark Regency Hotel. There were quite a few people queued up outside the Sainte Claire ballroom. I got in line and waited my turn. When I got to the table outside the door, a pretty young woman handed me an application and a pen.

"Please fill this out," she said with a pleasant smile.

The top half of the application was easy: Name; Address; Education; Previous Occupation. I filled that in pretty quickly. The bottom half of the application was a little more complicated. It said: Please check any of the following items which suit your skill set and personality. The checklist was:

Obey Orders

Follow Simple Directions

Intimidate People

Drive a Car

Gourmet Cook

Rough People Up

Housekeeper

Heavy Lifting

Light Gardening

That list got me pretty excited. I could check everything except Gourmet Cook and Housekeeper. I finished the application and handed it back.

"Please take a seat inside and enjoy the refreshments," the young woman said. "There will be a presentation as soon as all the applications have been collected."

"Ok." I went in, got myself some coffee and a couple of cookies from the refreshment table, and took a seat. Neat rows of chairs faced a small stage with a video screen hung behind it. I looked around as the room filled up. Most of the folks were the big burly type like me, but there were also quite a few of the oily snitch type in attendance. It was the sort of crowd that made me feel at home. Around 9:30am, the door to the ballroom was closed and a man stepped up onto the small stage at the front of the room.

"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you so much for your patience! It's time to get started. My name is Percy and I want to thank you for your interest today. For those of you who aren't familiar with what a minion does, we have a short presentation to explain the position and its duties. So please sit back and enjoy this brief video." He gestured toward the back of the room and the lights dimmed.

A terrifying boom rattled the chandeliers and the screen filled with a scene of destruction. A giant gleaming robot smashed through downtown Dallas, knocking over buildings and setting them aflame with jets of fire shot from its eyes. A warm, male voice began to speak.

"Have you ever wondered where these giant destructive robots come from? It's not outer space. These beautiful machines are completely terrestrial, and what's more, they're made right here in the good old US of A!"

The scene changed to Tokyo and everyone laughed as a giant, lizard-like robot crushed the Tokyo Tower. Again the scene changed and a giant metal sea serpent appeared wrapped around a huge cargo container ship, slowly dragging it under the waves.

"These amazing demonstrations of power and technical skill are all part of a brilliant master plan to bring the world under the rule of a single man; a man who invites you to join him in his quest for world domination. As a minion of this evil genius, you will participate in some of the most dastardly plots ever committed against your fellow man. You will get to watch up close as each new horrible plan unfolds."

The image on the screen changed to one of a beautiful park-like setting, with tall, gleaming buildings rising in the background.

"In this artist's rendering of the future, you can see that the world will be a better place once our goal is achieved. Don't you want to be a part of it? This is your chance to become a part of something greater! Sign up now and you can be destroying the lives of human beings tomorrow!"

Everyone applauded as the screen went dark, but the lights did not come back on. A moment later, the screen lit up again with the face of a handsome man with dark hair and really green eyes.

"Good day, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Thomas and I am an evil genius. It is my life goal to take over the world and subjugate everyone to my will. As you can imagine, this takes a lot of effort and planning. That is why you have been invited here today. I have a number of minion positions open that require persons with a variety of skill sets, from bruisers to thieves. But the primary trait I look for in my employees is unwavering obedience and loyalty. Loyal minions go far in my organization and enjoy many benefits, including medical coverage and a comprehensive dental plan. Traitors will die a horrible death and never be heard from again." Thomas smiled paternally. "I look forward to having you on my team."

The video ended and the lights came on. Percy stepped back onto the stage. "So," he said, rubbing his hands together, "I'm really excited about the opportunities we have to offer the right people. As you can probably imagine, keeping quality enforcers on the staff is difficult with all the competition from the Mafia and Blackwater. So I want to tell you, we offer top dollar for men and women with experience in physical persuasion. We also need security guards, dog handlers, standard gunmen and thugs. We also have a few openings on the kitchen staff, including a gourmet chef. Finally, housekeepers, handymen and gardeners are welcome. Everyone enjoys equal status as a minion and there are opportunities for cross-training. All right, show of hands. Who has experience as a bouncer, bodyguard or debt collector?"

I immediately stuck up my hand.

Percy pointed at me. "You there, big fellow in the power tie. Please describe your previous experience."

I stood up and cleared my throat. Talking in front of a crowd always made me nervous. That's how the trouble always started when I was in school; with kids laughing at me. But no one laughed here. "I was a bouncer down at Harry's Bar and Lounge, throwing out drunks and helping deadbeats find their wallets."

"Excellent!" Percy exclaimed. "Those are exactly the kind of qualifications we're looking for! Anyone else?" Percy pointed to another guy and I sat down, a big stupid grin on my face. No one had ever praised me before. It felt great. The guy next to me gave me a high five.

A few more people talked about their jobs extorting shopkeepers, repossessing cars and snitching on dirty cops. Percy had nothing but good things to say about everyone. The crowd was getting pretty excited and Percy held up his hands.

"I think I've never had as good a group of new hires," he said, and grinned when excited exclamations rippled through the room. "That's right, I said new hires!" Percy gave us a big grin. "I'm very pleased to welcome you all aboard as minions of Thomas. You'll all be injected with an identification microchip before you leave today. Tomorrow morning at 8am sharp, buses will pick you up right here from in front of the hotel to take you to Thomas' secret laboratory just off the interstate for an all-day orientation. At that time, you'll receive your specific job assignment. Congratulations!"

So that's how I got my job as a minion, with medical, dental and even a vision plan. You can't beat that. That high school diploma turned out to be good for something after all.