I’ve been inspired by ‘The Happy Pears’ food revolution, I mean not enough to get off my arse and make a sufficient change in the world but enough to open my computer up and type a few words. My revolution is updating interview questions to those that actually get to the core of a human and here’s the first in my series:
Do you believe having a dog is:
(a) Exactly like having kids
(b) More challenging than having kids
(c) Similar to having kids in a potato, gnocchi kind of a way
or (d) Nothing like having kids because your dead inside
I saw a job advertised the other day and thought I know this job, I could be good at this job. I felt certain this was the one for me and I know what you’re thinking, it’s not like the other times, I swear. This one’s for real, I can feel it. I went over my entire job history. Putting down anything that resembled what they were looking for. I felt like Keanu Reeves at the beginning of the Matrix when he was waiting for that mysterious man at the door with the two pills or in my case a missed call from an unknown number. By the time I’d finished with the application I was mentally exhausted. Reading people’s mind is not as easy as Darren Brown makes it out to be. And then I read you could send in a C.V. as well. Does that mean they want a CV or they don’t want one? That would require more hours of work and basically repeating what I put on the application form. But maybe that’s their screening process.
Maybe anybody who doesn’t send in a CV is instantly pushed aside as being lazy for not having enough gumption. Do I have Gumption? Do they want gumption? I decided to just send my precious application with no CV. Perhaps ballsy is what they’re looking for more. Perhaps they want me to read between the lines after all why have an application if they in fact want a CV. I’m finally ready to send the application when it occurs me what do I do about the essential cover letter. Do I just put it in the email? Do I attach a separate cover letter which of course means I would also need an attention grabbing email to lead them to the cover letter that brings them to the precious application? I don’t know why she swallowed the fly perhaps she’ll die. I finally email it in. I set it free. I felt certain it loved me enough to come to me. I handed it over to the gods or at least a man named Derek in small caps. I felt relieved. I had agonised over this for a week and a half and finally I had my evening back to enjoy. Call me Derek for the love of all that is Holy call me or at the very least send me a rejection email.
(The following was written after watching Sin City 2 and I may have been slightly influenced by it)
My eyes linger over every word. I eat them up like a cute puppy with a Dental stick. Over and Over I read it, searching for the clues, the answers, the EVERYTHING. I may not know much in this God forsaken life but I know a job description is the holy bible of jobs and I’m too long in the tooth to mess this one up. It’s got everything. 22 grand a year, holidays, a pension plan. That’s not something to be laughed at and I ain’t giggling no more.
I read through the description over and over again searching for clues. I may not know much in life but experience has taught me, this is where I will find the answers. If I could just break their God damn code, God dammit. I might just make it through to a job interview. The precious interview which now seems as elusive as an actual job. I re-read, I make notes, I draw diagrams , I compare and contrast and align my experience with what they want. Then I finally feel ready to conquer the 8 page application. I start off nice and easy, no sense in stressing me out this early on: Name, address, Phone number so far so good. I begin to feel at ease. I can do this I’m an individual with average intelligence and a knack for witty dialogue. I can fill in an application form. But just as I’m beginning to get cocky I come to the work experience section. I know this is what they really want. This is the money shot. Fuck this up lady and you’re going nowhere faster than an x-factor winner after Christmas.
I start trawling through old curriculum vitae’s for lingo that might make me sound good when that fails I turn to the expansive internet to fill the gabs. I re-read the job description over and over and OVER again and use a thesaurus to reword what their asking for. I mean I’m sure nobody’s ever thought of doing that before. This is my DiVinici code. Here lies the secret to a successful life and I will crack it. Three days later I finish the work experience section, I’m a little tired and worse for wear and have spent the past two nights waking up abruptly, sweating and mumbling job jargon. I think the end is in sight then I turn the page and find a whole section for ‘why I think I’m suitable for this position’ which they’ve kindly informed me is how they’ll decide who gets an interview. I feel a throbbing headache coming back and wonder if it’s this hard to get into Yale because in all the movies I’ve seen it usually involves a less than intelligent person giving them a sob story which greatly moves the professors. I consider writing one of these for my application.
Dear Sir or Madam, I haven’t gone impulse shopping in five years and while most people would learn a valuable lesson on the uselessness of consumerism, all its taught me is how much I want stuff. I want stupid stuff and pretty stuff and expensive stuff and stuff I don’t need. And stuff I do need but most of all I don’t want to have to spend forty five minutes in Primark trying to choose between three pairs of €15 boots because I desperately want all three but will probably only wear one and actually can’t really afford any of them. So please give me a job so I can release the consumer monster within. I promise to arrive promptly, work hard and look stylish and funky for all occasions.
I think losing my job is actually a really good thing. Oprah says ‘ you have to open yourself up to possibilities’ and you can’t get more open than jobless. Yes I’m sure the universe is now going to offer me my amazing experiences. I should do up a dream board and make a list of my dream jobs. I may even discover that I’m the most talented person in the world at jewellery making/cake designing/teaching/administrative office skills. I could be the missing link in turning this recession round. God I’m so glad I lost my job. I never would have discovered the person I was suppose to be if I hadn’t.
I hate everyone. Every…single…person. Everytime somebody asks me what I do for a living I just want to slap them about. I have no go-to answer anymore. There are only so many times you can say ‘Not right now’ before the look of pity you receive makes you boil with rage. I don’t need your pity I just need to you to ask me about something other than the parts of my life that I’m failing at. For example movies, my dogs, world events (at a push, it would really have to be big for me to have read about it), Irish celebrities who annoy me and the weather. I really am a fascinating multi-faceted person who just happens to not be working ‘right friggin now’. So ask me any other ‘effing’ question.
Dear Mr Interviewer, if you give me this job I promise to turn up every single day on time, no scrap that, early, I’ll be there before the cleaners. Unless you want to hire me as a cleaner in which case I won’t even bother going home. I will never get sick ever again. My entire period of unemployment was me preparing my body for peak physical fitness. I’m talking Krypton factor obstacle course style. Whilst taking a whole heap of illegal probiotics. I will never ask for ‘acceptable working conditions’, nor expect over-time pay. I will accept the sleazy comments as ‘friendly banter’ and I will always, always fake interest in football/rugby/Zumba when required. I promise to be the single greatest employee you have ever hired.
Get up out of bed around one, stay in pyjamas. Combine breakfast, lunch and snack time by having cereal, toast, a sandwich and half a packet of biscuits. Watch terrible daytime television that you hated when you first became unemployed but has now become part of your daily routine. Those loose women sure have some interesting points. Change into tracksuit that’s resembles pyjamas to walk the dogs. Buy crisps on way home. Get back into pyjamas. Watch 8 hours of Netflix before falling asleep with pizza slice on your face. Repeat the next day.
Doing some ludicrous employment scheme because it reminds you what a capable human being you are. And because your jeans don’t fit anymore and you can’t afford new ones.
Republic of Tellys hilarious but accurate account of doing a jobsbridge scheme. It really is that horrible.