One in a million, not merely one of a million.

13 08 2009

Today’s the big day, in a sense.  My first interview since the second week of June.  My third since April.

I hate interviews, I do so poorly at them.  I think it is partly because I am keenly aware that I easily fall into that comfort mode when I am talking with interviewers and so I struggle to not allow that to happen for fear of what I might say.  In return, I come across too serious, almost bitchy I suppose.

I try to role play out my answer to every possible question, rehearse it to a point of sounding natural and yet when the question is asked I come up with some other answer out of the heavens or some unknown place!

I wish interviews could be done by polygraph.  Simple, straight forward questions judged solely on the honesty of my answers.  But instead interviewers seem to relish having the subject beneath their thumb in some mental cat and mouse game that I just don’t seem to be able to find the rule book to.

I used to get antsy the most when the salary table was brought out.  I know what I want to earn, I know what I need to earn and I am left to convince them to pay me somewhere between the two numbers.  Quantifying why I am worth the higher end of the spectrum has always been a hard sell for me, call it humility or lack of self-esteem, but sitting back and bragging on myself to earn a bigger paycheck isn’t a skill I possess.  Most interviewers start this process by asking how much you are looking to earn, but the important question that is never brought to the table is how much are you willing to pay?  I have interviewed for companies in the past that view 24k as a top end dollar figure for a clerical position, which is outrageous to me.  The problem is bridging that gap between what is expected and what I can bring.  The employer expects someone to arrive to work on time, do a set minimum of tasks and go home.  But what about the employee who arrives to work early, is willing to stay late, does not only the set minimum of tasks but improves the previously invented wheel to a fine tuned machine and then sets about looking for more wheels to work on.  Isn’t that worth more?  And it is, yes.  But when you start with figures that low, there is no way they’ll likely travel into my ball park without some sort of groveling techniques involved.

Like the question what do I value more honesty or integrity.  Aren’t the two one in the same?  But if I pick one over the other, it will give the guy on the other side of the desk some picture into my mental process with the accuracy of peeling apples to find the name of the man you’ll marry.  Coincidentally, I was set to marry a John and have never even dated one.  But somehow my definition of both honesty and integrity are set on a stage for examination by someone who took Psych 101 as a requirement for a degree that was earned by their checkbook likely more than their wits and now they are somehow living the life of Freud in the workplace and attempting to psychoanalyze even the most mundane utterances that I can muster.

Why do you want to work here?  It should seem obvious that it really comes down to financial stability as the reason I want to work at all, but now I must jerk off the ego of the company I am prostrated before and offer examples of why they are number one in my book.  At one time I was fortunate enough to be in a choosing position and could answer quite plainly that I could not think of even one reason I would want to work for this individual before politely shaking his hand and thanking him for his time before I sauntered out the door.  Now though, that is not an option and thus I spend the late night hours searching Google and Hoover’s for facts and accolades about this company that no one outside of the state known only for oranges, mosquitoes and hurricanes has ever even heard of and regurgitate these back as praises to the dark lord at the comfy side of the desk and pray that like some antiquated god of yore he accepts my meager offerings and throws me back a bone.

The kickers are the idiotic surveys such as, if you could be any animal, which would you be and why?  Am I filling out some myspace questionnaire sent on by some girlfriend in college who hasn’t quite matured?   What animal?  Did I really shave my legs for this! is probably a better answer than the eagle, which is what I answered since it is protected and yet can soar above and survey all that is below.  How about a feedback round after such questions?  No, I’m sorry, the answer we were looking for was kangaroo.

What would the title of your biography be?  Does this really have anything to do with how well I can organize files and disseminate information?  C’mon!

If I wasn’t staring into the pits of poverty when I open my bank ledger I would probably not be on my knees, metaphorically speaking, offering my first born for a chance to become the next work horse on the payroll.  But I am and so I sit here three hours ahead of schedule, my thoughts raging, my pantyhose itching, my bra poking and my makeup melting as I try to find a means to show myself as one in a million, not merely one of a million.

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