A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

03 September 2008

Interview to a Skill

If I can borrow a line from David Letterman...everyone "hold on to your wigs and keys" - I actually had a job interview, I think...the other day.

Oh, I know what you are thinking...even before you thought it - "you THINK?" Yes, I think - let me elaborate...just a little...

I went to drop off my resume - nope, I didn't email or FAX it - I did it the "old fashioned way"...I hand-carried it. And in the process, ended up sitting down and speaking with the woman who either ultimately decides who gets the job or, at the very least, plays some part in the decision. At least that's the impression I was led to believe.

About an hour later - I came back out. Far be it from me NOT to talk, but if had known I wasn't going to just drop my resume off and then leave, I would have at least brushed up on some things - like what exactly the place I just put in for a job...does. What an entity sounds like it might do by its name and what that entity does in real life are sometimes two totally different things; this was one of those times. So, I must say a felt a bit stupid for asking (what informed candidate would dare ask such a thing) - but I'm hoping that whole "there are NO stupid questions" adage will hold true this time, because honestly, I have indeed heard my share of stupid questions, so I know they're out there.

I also would have dressed nicer and put on a "better" aka "corporate face". Oh, you guys have it easy - pretty much the only thing you have to do to get ready is shave and make sure your tie matches. Women have the "whole package" process to attend to. From head to toe, most of us still do some obsessing, literally, from top to bottom and all points in between. We have a wide range of clothes to choose from (not just suits...which all look pretty much the same) - and shoes (here again, men's dress shoes don't usually deviate far from the others which look pretty much like all the rest). But women's shoes...geez...do you men have any idea how stressful and challenging it is to find "just the right shoe"...each time we dress up? Do you THINK we actually LIKE shopping for shoes?? Wait, let me rephrase that...and when I think of something to rephrase it with, I'll get back to you...unless, of course, there's a really great shoe sale or something in the meantime. But I digress once again...

Then, in the process of getting ready for a job interview - we must work hard to get that "first impression" look genuinely less than contrived. Sure, I know it's contrived, you know it's contrived, I know you know it's contrived...but it is the first impression and we want to make a genuine good one nonetheless.

Our hair...of course we need to do something to it, and because luck will befall us in the way it always does on such occasions, the more we try to get it right, the worse it ends up looking. Any other time when we have no such intentions to run into anyone...the hair will fall as if someone named Raoul had been working on it all day. When it counts, it's always someone named Igor. Trust me...this hair problem is not uncommon...look around you. You don't honestly think those women having those hairdos asked for them, do you? Even though that part of the hair is technically dead - doesn't mean it still doesn't hold a grudge against you for something...all grudges will be carried out at the most inopportune time, such as dates, interviews, and marriage photos.

Next are make-up issues. You never want to walk into a new place you haven't scoped out ahead of time without putting on some amount of make-up. Going sans make-up might be fine once you get the job...but during the pre-job feeling out process - it's best to go for natural kicked up a notch. You certainly don't want to come off being the office glamourpuss - as chances are you WILL be running into SOME women during this whole interview process - and bad vibes are the things you'd least want to be sending off. No one wants to be out-glammed, plus you'll come off looking so high maintenance they'll probably think your work takes second stage to make-up touch-ups. So...you have to find a nice balanced middle-ground until which time you are welcomed into their fold...then you can rely on the "office attractiveness bell curve" and you will eventually learn just where you fit in. Trying to ring that bell-curve when you make that all important first impression...well, one should never attempt this...because - it will take its toll on thee.

Okay, at this point in my blogumn, the men think I well crossed that "insane line" mentally drawn in the sand - and the women, hopefully, are agreeing with me, nudging some guy somewhere in their vicinity, going "SEE, you guys DO have it easier". You are not scrutinized like we are...you just will never know the woman's psyche ...of course, you can't figure out women period (oh, c'mon a whole nation of comics for ages can't be wrong), how can you be able to understand them on this very subtle level? We, alone, "get" all sorts of subtle cues we give off...some are harder to read...some aren't subtle at all...but at one point the judging procedure has already gone full swing and is now winding down. This is the point where you should not overstay your welcome - there must be time to let the would-be employers mull over what you did and didn't say and if you meshed or bonded at all...or if you are of such a personality you'd cause dissension in the ranks and even IF you could handle the work...even with the best ability, would anyone want you...given your personality or attitude type? These are questions which all must be weighed in - and it's a very precise balancing act. It's not like they can just take you back to the pet store if they didn't like you - it's a little more involved than that.

There's been places I've worked where certain personalities just didn't mesh...in fact wondering which job would be their best chosen field...well, let's just say - .some people are best left to their own devices, out of the way of the daily interaction, located in some back room where their attitude can learn contentment in containment and reflection as it were...as some people aren't exactly "people" people...no matter how many times they continue and persist to remind you that they are.

So, while I don't know how I fared or scored, I do believe , if nothing else, they will think I have no problem, whatsoever, being able to talk to anyone who works in he office, walks into the office, calls the office, or, really...anyone who actually breathes. That part at least, has been established...even without a walk-past mirror-check.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you hit it right on. I don't think these guys are looking at qualifications, initiative or independent thinkers, they want someone who looks good and will "fit in" and one that they can still mold. I too went through a similar process to be told I was not qualified...an engineer with 25+ years of experience and a former business manager/owner. LOL )Then after a futile appeal I was informed that I was over quailfied.)What a waste...there loss! Sounds like you were after a Gov'mt position....I wish you well. Jim