When still in high school, we had to get some work experience. A week, maybe two of practical work in a company or institution where we would gain some experience to be able to be better at our job when it is time to have one.
I asked a local company if I could come for an interview and they told me to stop by one day when I have time.
So, I did. I stopped at the reception desk and a tall, a bit nervous guy asked me what I was doing there.
I explained I came for the interview and that I would like to speak to the HR manager.
In a second, I realised he must have had this function, as he started:
– You could work at the reception desk, but… you don’t have the skills.
– What skills do I need to have?
– You must speak three foreign languages.
– No problem, I said. I can speak three foreign languages.
– I don’t believe you. Which ones?
– I speak English, Spanish and German.
– Huh. That is funny. I don’t believe you. Nobody speaks Spanish around here.
Well, except for the Argentinian guy who sells socks.
– Apparently I am the second one speaking Spanish around here, I object, a bit appalled because of him making fun of a person who tries to learn a living in our xenophobic valley.
– After all, we don’t have any Spanish tourists here, so it’s no good if you do speak Spanish.
I feel my middle finger stretching forward by itself behind my back. I leave.
No wonder there weren’t any Spanish tourists. With such attitude of the receptionist even if they were, they would rather look for some other accommodation.
This happened 22 years ago and the company has been falling apart for a decade now.
Wait a minute, maybe I could offer them some free consulting. I have learned a few new things in this time.
No, forget it. They would never accept the offer. They know everything already. With such people my knowledge of Spanish or any other language or mastering any skill would really be of no help.
If I end up being jobless, selling socks with the Argentinian guy would be an option. First we would make jokes in Spanish and after becoming friends extend his store to selling different merchandise from all Spanish speaking countries.
Why didn’t I think of it before? Stupid me, believing to such receptionists cost me a big deal of money and, gosh, self-respect and self-assurance.
Don’t do the same mistake, por favor.