Friday, June 19, 2009

The Interview

Are job interviews good for the soul? Is it possible to have an out-of-body experience, right in the middle of interview question number three? Why is it that, despite having done umpteen job interviews over nearly a half-century, I still get as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs?

The answers to these tough questions are: I hope so; it had better be (or I am hallucinating); and I guess it's just a mystery...

Now, I'm not saying that this has happened to me personally, but I have a 59-year-old, unemployed friend who has been out of work since January and desperately wants to do a great job on each scarce employment interview. He told me of his recent interview experience, and of the three-ring circus that was performing in his head throughout the entire process. Now, sit back, relax, put your tongue firmly in your cheek, and get ready to commiserate!


The Interview

This is not my very first interview,
And I know exactly what I should do!
As I walk in the door, I check my breath.
(So it will not cause a reviewer's death.)
I slide my left hand over my grey hair,
To check that what's left is "hangin' in there."
I look down at my pants, and I'm hopin'
That I didn't leave the zipper open.
I look at my hands and turn very pale:
Can that be dirt under my fingernail?
As I say "Hello," the panel smiles back,
And I start praying my voice doesn't crack.
I'm wearing a coat and the room, so warm,
Makes my forehead leak like a thunderstorm...
With each new greeting I have to utter,
I feel terrified that I might stutter,
Stammer, or sputter all over the place --
Or worse, gleek in an interviewer's face.
Can they hear my composure's mewling cries,
Or see the dark terror in my brown eyes?
I finally sit, with knees quaking,
And fold my hands, so they will stop shaking.
They ask a question, and I think, in fright:
"Did I just pronounce my own first name right?"
As questions come faster, I think with dread:
"I can't let my thoughts race too far ahead!"
Three seconds later, they all stand and smile.
I stand and shake hands, thinking all the while:
"Although I know I was not daydreaming,
Somehow I managed to miss the whole thing!"
Then I'll wonder, as I walk out the door:
What was the job I just interviewed for?

Mick McKellar
June 2009

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