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A Job with a Purpose


by saqo

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      I started a new job a year ago today.

      You see, there are some jobs from the Employment Agency that aren’t… well, advertised. For example, working for Dr. Death.

      I had been created as a Yellow Blumarroo about two years ago. Shortly after, my owner decided to leave Neopia, but before she did that, she abandoned me. She said it was so I could hopefully find a forever home. I spent, it seems, an eternity in a dark, metal cage in the pound. In reality, it was about 6 months.

      That’s when my current owner stepped in.

      She came into the Pound one day, and before I knew it I was on the way to her home in Neopia Central. She told me, later, that she hadn’t meant to adopt a pet that day, not really. She was just looking. But when she saw me, she knew I was the pet that had been missing from her account. I joined an Ashia, a Gnorbu, and a Lupe. My owner painted me Faerie. Life was just so… perfect.

      I had gotten lucky.

      But, I still remembered the Neopets I had met during my time in the pound. They had been so hopeful! “I know I’ll get adopted someday,” I remember one saying, “I believe it.” Another pet told me one day, “I won’t be here for long. I know my forever owner is out there.”

      I wasn’t okay sitting at home, doing nothing. I decided to find a job where I could help these Neopets.

      I ventured to the Employment Agency the next day. Did you ever notice, while waiting for a job coupon, that there is an unassuming white, almost shadowy door in the back corner? No? That’s not surprising, it’s not meant to be easy to spot. Sometimes, it’s not there at all. I did see it, though, and had a feeling that I was supposed to go through it, so I did.

      There was a stern looking Grey Uni sitting at another desk. This one was different. There were no faeries, no colours, all was quiet. It was a little eerie, to be honest. This was the place to find jobs from the Employment Agency that are a little different. A little dangerous. Not for the faint of heart.

      But I was brave.

      Not only that, I had a purpose! I didn’t know what this Uni could offer me, but I felt I needed a job that could help my friends.

      “H- Hello,” I stammered, quickly gaining my composer. “I’m looking for a job.”

      “The Employment Agency gives out jobs every few minutes,” she said, not looking up from her paperwork.

      “Not one of those jobs.”

      “They pay well.”

      “That’s-“

      “They won’t take long, you’ll finish soon and can run along home.”

      “I want a job at the Pound.”

      The Uni stopped. She looked up, “What did you say?”

      “I want to work at the Pound, please. I want to work for Dr. Death.”

      She looked me over. It seemed as though a Faerie Blummaro hadn’t stormed their way into her office demanding to work for the scariest Techo in Neopia, before. At least not for a while.

      “Are you prepared for what the job would entail?”

      “Yes,” I nodded quickly, “I’m strong, and ready to work hard.”

      She hesitated, but handed me an application. “Fill this out.”

      I wrote out my owner and my name, the address of my Neohome in Neopia Central, and my qualifications (namely my fishing skill, training level from Mystery Island, things like that). She took the form and put it on the top of her pile.

      “You can go through that door,” she said motioning to another door, this time darker, behind her. I hadn’t noticed it. I felt a shiver go up my spine. I had a feeling this one wasn’t visible all the time, either.

      “Thank you,” I said and walked toward it. The handle was smooth and cold under my paw. I turned it, and stepped into blackness.

     

———

      When I opened my eyes, I felt slightly dizzy and blinked several times, steadying the world around me. I froze.

      I was in the Pound.

      I was standing before a row of cages where Neopets of all shapes and sizes sat, chattering and playing games from their separately cages. I smiled. They were still staying positive, despite it all. I knew it! Neopets will be Neopets, no matter the circumstances.

      Suddenly, a shadow fell over the room. I spun backwards.

      There he was, Dr. Death. The yellow, white-haired Techo stared down at me.

      “You must be the new recruit?”

      “Y-yes sir,” I stated quietly.

      He took off his gloves and sat in a chair, looking carefully at me. “Do you know why you were able to get through, what we call, ‘the white door of shadows’?”

      “No, sir…”

      “That door is only visible when we are looking for a new recruit. When we, at the Pound, have an issue that needs addressing, which translates into a job. This time, for you.”

      I blinked. That explains why I hadn’t noticed the door before.

      “A job, sir?”

      “Yes. We need your help.”

      I knew it. There was a purpose for me being here.

     

———

      We walked slowly through the Pound, along the aisles with cage upon cage. The Neopets inside looked out at me curiously and whispering to each other. I recognized a few. They didn’t seem to recognize me, however, I was painted Faerie now after all!

      “You see, Blumaroo, we know you yourself used to be in the Pound.”

      My head snapped to look at him, surprised. He knew?

      “Therefore, we want your help in getting more Neopets adopted. You must know a little about their personalities, about their skills? Their favourite toys and games?”

      “I, I guess that’s true,” I said quietly, surprised at the gentle request.

      “What can we do to help them?” He stopped, and looked down at me.

      I shivered, but steadied myself.

      “You see, sir,” I started, “These pets are all unique. But you can’t tell that right now, all they seem to the visiting Neopian is a Neopet in a cage, with a name, and a level. That’s it.”

      He nodded. I took that as a cue to continue.

      “But each Neopet is different!” I rushed on, “Each Neopet has something special about them!” I dashed over to a Green Moehog I recognized, “Ashton here is great at playing Pyramids!” The Moehog giggle, nodding. I ran next to a small Electric Poogle. “Ollie here has a lot of experience with Braintree and Esophagor quests, despite her small size.” The Poogle blushed.

      “I see,” said Dr. Death. “But as you already know, we list the Neopet’s name, their stats, their gender and level –“

      “But,” I interrupted, “Stats do not equal the Neopet!”

      I walked, next, to a large Halloween Lupe. “Sure, Jake here is strong, but his strongest suit is drawing. His last owner entered the Art Gallery many times, and he learned a lot! A pet’s skills, and what will make them a fit for their next owner, may not be stats. It helps them stand out, and it helps them find a forever owner.”

      I stood quietly. Dr. Death rubbed his chin for a moment before nodding. “Yes… yes, I see. Then it’s settled, Blumaroo. You will work with these pets to outline their strengths, hobbies, skills, and personalities. We will post this by their cage, along with their stats.”

      I beamed. This was sure to help my friends get adopted. I had really done it! I had helped to make a difference!

     

———

      Yes, a year ago I started a new job.

      Since then, all of my friends have been adopted, along with some other lovely pets. I still get to see them sometimes, in Neopia.

      Now, there is a saying that “A pet left in the pound shouldn’t worry! They won’t be there for long!” You see, Neopians are able to find a pet that truly suits them, no matter the pet’s color, stats, level, even their name!

      I like to think I had something, even small, to do with that.

      I go to the Pound everyday now, to greet new pets, find out what makes them special, and help them get used to, what we now call, their 'transition period'. You know, a half-way point. Just a little detour in the long journey of life.

      I hadn’t planned to ever go back to the Pound, but my friends needed me. And besides, Dr. Death turned out to not be that bad, after all.

      The End

      The End.

 
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