Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Story 10: What Not to Put on Your Résumé, What Not to Say at the Interview

            The Supervisor looks up as her Assistant knocks on her office door.
            Assistant: Your 10:00 interview is here.
            Supervisor: Thank you, send him right in.
            After her Assistant leaves, the Supervisor pulls out a sheaf of papers stapled together and scans through them, a slight furrow in her brow.  She looks up again as her Assistant escorts the Applicant into the office and closes the door behind him.
            Supervisor: (Dropping the pages onto her desk, stands and shakes the Applicant’s hand) Hello, thank you for coming in this morning.
            Applicant: Oh, thank you for seeing me.  I really appreciate the opportunity to meet with you about the job.
            Supervisor: (Smiles and indicates the chair in front of her desk) Have a seat.  (They both sit in the appropriate chairs) Did anyone out there offer you something to drink?  Coffee, water?
            Applicant: Yes, she did – I’m good, thanks.
            Supervisor: All right, let’s begin, then.  (She picks up the stapled papers again) I must say, I found your résumé to be very impressive.
            Applicant: (Blushes) Thank you.
            Supervisor: As librarians, you know we have that hair-in-the-bun, shush-everyone image – stigma, really – that we always like to disprove to the public.  It’s especially encouraging when someone with experiences such as yours joins the profession.
            Applicant: (Laughs awkwardly)
            Supervisor: (Puts on a pair of glasses) I really just have a few questions on some items here.
            Applicant: Oh?!
            Supervisor: (Looks up momentarily) Between your bachelor’s and master’s degrees, you had a few positions in different fields.  For a year after college, you joined the Peace Corps – that’s very admirable.
            Applicant: Oh yeah, that – it wasn’t.
            Supervisor: Wasn’t what?
            Applicant: Admirable.  Of me, I mean.  I couldn’t find a real job and my life was pretty much garbage at that point, and I’d always heard that volunteering is good for self-esteem.  I really just wanted to surround myself with people worse off than I was, but when I got there I knew I was a fake.  I only stayed out of embarrassment.
            Supervisor: I’m sure you did some good while you were there.
            Applicant: (Shrugs) Eh.
            Supervisor: (Turns a page) Well, after you came back to the States, you went on to work at a car dealership.  Customer service experience, then?
            Applicant: Oh, actually I had thought that the employees could get free cars and I needed one.  Turned out they just get a discount.
            Supervisor: (Looks at the page) You were there for three years.
            Applicant: They had really good coffee.
            Supervisor: During that time you earned your master’s degree, then you have a bit of a gap between that and your next job.
            Applicant: I took some personal time off – family.
            Supervisor: Oh – I hope you don’t mind me asking, did you start a family?
            Applicant: No, I was burying family.  They just kept dying around then, back-to-back.
            Supervisor: Oh, I’m so sorry.
            Applicant: It’s OK – everybody dies, right? The funeral home started waiving fees after awhile, so it all worked out.
            Supervisor: (Clears her throat) I see you then moved on to work at a public library for about two years, during which you were summoned to – (Holds up the papers to the Applicant) am I reading this right? – a Congressional hearing?!
            Applicant: (Laughs) Oh, that has been the highlight of my career.  Although, (Whispers) I can't really talk about it.
            Supervisor: Was the hearing directly involving you?
            Applicant: Who knows?
            Supervisor: One last question – (Reading from the last paper) it says here that you have a personal Web site, but when I looked it up I saw that it distributes pirated movies.  Did I enter the address correctly?
            Applicant: You most certainly did.  I can you get you a special deal on one that hasn’t even come out in theaters yet, if you’d like.
            Supervisor: You do know that we take copyright law very seriously and infringement is to be avoided whenever possible?
            Applicant: It’s OK, it falls under fair use: I’m educating my customers on how to stick it to the man.
            Supervisor: Well, that about wraps this up.  (Stands and sticks out her hand) Thank you again for coming.
            Applicant: (Stands and shakes her hand) So, should I expect to hear from you within a week?
            Supervisor: Absolutely not.
            Applicant: Fair enough – could you give me advice on anything I could improve in the future, then?
            Supervisor: Yes: on your résumé, replace pretty much everything we talked about today with “Personal Time Off”.

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