I nodded dumbly. I knew what was coming next.
"I'm afraid we had to chose someone over you," he continued, but I knew that before he'd spoken. Why else would I be here?
"So, what did the successful bloke have?" I asked
"Certificates in cabling, Cisco networks and even an MSCE," he said. "Not that the MSCE counts for much."
"No." Dammit! I knew I should have sat for the MSCE exam when I had a chance.
"So, here we are," the Dean said as he unlocked a metal door. "Thank you for your interest in the job. I just wish we had a position for you." He shook my hand, pushed me through the door and slammed it shut. I heard the heavy lock make an oily snick as he turned the key.
I looked up at the walls surrounding the yard. They were smooth and leaned inward, their tops lined by razor wire - no climbing out that way. The dusty ground had a scattering of bones, and against the far wall lay a huddled body. The vultures were already squabbling over it, pecking outgreat lumps of flesh and spreading the blood up the concrete-rendered wall as they flapped. The other unsuccessful applicant had arrived earlier.
I sat down to wait.