With the medical exams and the move across the pond out of the way, I was ready to start looking for a job.
Wife didn’t approve of my original plan to be a career hobo, so I had to get a real job instead.
It would have been a great fit; I already had the beard and everything.
The first step in landing a job was to go to Texas for a weekend career conference that was chock-full of companies and interviewees. The whole thing was set up as a giant round-robin of interviewing. I guess the best way to visualize it is to picture interview speed-dating; I interviewed with thirteen separate companies in two short days.
I’m really good at interviewing, but I’m a huge smart ass and I have this very powerful, ingrained desire to sabotage my own interview for the sake of comedy.
When somebody asks me this in an interview,
I say this,
but I have a really strong impulse to do this instead,
I think I do this because one of my life goals is to make enough money so I don’t have to work anymore. Part two of that same goal is deliberately and habitually bombing interviews and quitting low-level jobs in a spectacularly explosive fashion.
Well, maybe not that spectacularly explosive or violent, but you get the idea.
Getting back to the story, I was really proud of myself because I only sabotaged two out of the thirteen interviews; an all-time record high for me. The first interview that I sabotaged was well worth it though.
The interview was with a company called Friedrich & Snuggles (close to the real name) and it wasn’t going well. The primary reason I was approaching interview critical failure, was the fact that I was being interviewed by a man who, apparently, tried his hardest everyday to look like Lex Luthor. The secondary reason was his cohort, a double for Steve Carell. I would have had to stifle laughter throughout the interview, but Lex and Steve were pompous dicks who supplanted their collective sense of humor with a towering superiority complex instead. I still put all of this aside and tried to navigate through the interview.
I asked a general question about their company and it somehow led to fifteen minutes of Lex and Steve talking about how awesome their company was. They went on and on about how great they were while attacking other companies in their field; often cutting me off to continue their diatribe.
It was like watching a beautiful toucan preen itself on a branch for hours on end.
Which, of course, made me want to throw a rock at it.
As I was fantasizing about violence, Steve turned to me and said this,
Steve: I’m trying to think of a way to explain what our company does to someone like you.*
*translation: I’m having trouble explaining this because you’re too stupid.
Steve: Did you ever see that movie, Pulp Fiction?
Me: I’ve heard of it.*
*translation: I’ve memorized every line.
Steve: You know that part where Mr. Wolf shows up and cleans up everything?
Steve: That’s kind of what we do.
I had done a pretty good job holding it together to this point, but this was ridiculous. These two clowns represented a consulting firm and they were trying to make it sound cool and sexy, but it just came off as ludicrous. I kept thinking of Lex Luthor and Steve Carell showing up at Quentin Tarantino’s house to dispose of a headless body as Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta look on in quiet wonder. I lost all composure.
Me: HAHAHA!!! That’s a good one!
Steve: What’s so funny?
Lex: Yeah, what’s so funny?
Me: So you two * catches breath from laughter * you two dispose of dead bodies?
Steve: Well, we…
Me: (interrupting) We’re done here. Good luck finding somebody who buys into your fantasy.
I had ended that interview about thirty minutes ahead of schedule so I got a sandwich. Looking back, if I had the choice between changing my attitude and possibly getting that job or the sandwich, I still would have picked the sandwich. It had really good mustard and Italian bread.
My next interview was with Foreman Chicken (the company actually shares its name with another famous heavyweight boxer). This interview could have gone well, but my dad had worked for them for twenty years and hated the experience. He spoke of his time with Foreman Chicken like he was recounting his tours in Vietnam.
I discovered that he had worked for Foreman Chicken one Thanksgiving when I remarked on how well he had carved the turkey. It was so perfect, like a commercial. Now this was odd, considering the fact that my dad’s cooking ability has always been somewhere between burning water and sending TV dinners backwards in time via the microwave. I asked him where he learned to cut a bird so well. The answer, Foreman Chicken.
It took well over a year for me to tease the entire story out of him and it didn’t paint a pretty picture.
In his opinion, they were an evil corporation that hid behind the veneer of southern niceties so they could continue to conduct their Dr. Josef Mengele type experiments with poultry.
I didn’t know if any of this was true or not, but it didn’t put me in the right frame of mind going into the interview.
The Foreman Chicken interviewers seemed normal enough, but I felt that they would pull their masks off and attempt to devour my soul at any moment. I kept watching them for any signs of evil. I felt like Frodo in a room full of ringwraiths.
I eventually just couldn’t take it anymore and told them the truth about my dad and my reservations about working for them. Expecting them to nod slowly and then eviscerate me into delectable wing and drum sections, I winced in anticipation of their response.
They just told me that the situation was unfortunate and ended the interview.
Damn, so that was interview self-sabotage number two.
The rest of the interviews went really well and I met some great people and companies.
It all worked out in the end too. Despite my best efforts, I wound up picking a nice job that I like much more than my previous position; working for the shadowy puppet masters.
P.S. Thanks for reading. I don’t advocate toucan violence. I love birds. Don’t send hate mail.
P.P.S. Next week, we’ll talk about my former shadowy puppet masters. It’s about time you guys and gals learned a little more about me. I think I’ll do a poll to see what you guys think I used to do for a living.