In the early 2000’s I was in that stage of life, when we are supposed to get a job. I already worked as a freelancer and I must be sincere I never really needed a job as I made enough money translating. Even though I wrote applications to several companies with available jobs. I have been doing it for the last 20 years of my life. Only when I was too busy, I ceased this activity for a while, but then did it again. For fun? Maybe. To learn something new? For sure.
Not needing a job desperately put me in a different perspective. My negotiation basis was stronger. I could focus on the procedures, the questions they were asking me. I could objectively assess the human resource department and it was the least I got from every interview. Looking back, I see the most valuable lesson for sure was how frank they were to me when they exposed my ‘weaknesses’, as I always asked them what they were. I was also interested in how they came to their conclusions about my ability to do or ,most of the time, not to do the job.
Once I went to an international company, renowned and looking for a low paying profile among the high paid ones. They looked for students that are known not to demand much. I was a postgraduate student at that time and could demand, and deserve, more.
Interesting. How will they tell me that they are not going to pay me much, even though everybody knows they pay their employees well and I have already finished my studies? An offer of new learnings to good to resist. Let’s find out! I apply.
I get the interview. My CV was actually OK. I had what they wanted. No wonder I got in.
When I enter, a curly red-haired woman shows no interest in me. No eye contact. I am only a number to her. Only checking the list she has to check. Probably we were many as she was not capable of narrowing down the list of jobseekers to interview. This interview happened about 15 years ago and I still vividly remember her asking me:
– How would you describe yourself in three words?
I allow myself a minute to think and say:
– I am a rocker.
I know I should have answered – disciplined, always on time and positive, but that answer just popped out of my mouth. I laugh. It’s funny. Too funny. What was even more funny was that she wrote it down like this:
“She is a rocker.”
Other, maybe more useful, things didn’t stay in my memory, unfortunately. The ‘rocker’ made them blurry.
In a few days I get a phone call.
Again the dull lady following the procedure.
– We are sorry to inform you that you weren’t selected.
– Wait wait wait, I said. Could you tell me why?
– You we’re too interesting.
– I was too what?
– Too interesting. It seems you know many things, and you are really extrovert and funny and we think it wouldn’t be good if you joined our team.
I couldn’t believe my ears. And I never had heard such a reason for not getting a job before. I am too interesting. How can I stop being too interesting? Lady, I really want this job, tell me how to stop being interesting. I burst into laughter, as my brain cannot comprehend such nonsense.
I still am laughing to this. My interesting me was surely taught a lesson. It turns out that if interviewed by a dull HR manager, do not expect to get a job, especially if you’re an interesting extrovert rocker.
There. The lesson taken, studied and learned.
To be continued.