Yeah, so I had an interview yesterday; without getting into it, let me simply say: It went fine. I didn’t say anything horrible, I didn’t embarrass myself (I don’t think), AND (of course) I didn’t really want the job. But whatever, good practice and all that shit. However, the interview did get me thinking about other interviews I’ve had in the past. One in particular stands out as a shining moment of incompetence on my part.
Let me set the stage: I had recently graduated from college, and like most 21 year olds, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Somehow I had stumbled into a possible job with a major television network, and after a fine first interview I was called back for a second. Unfortunately, the timing of the second interview was…not good.
What happened was, I was going to a wedding on the Saturday before the interview. And since I’m a spoiled brat, I went for a pedicure that Saturday morning. Half-asleep, I sat there having my foot rubbed when I decided to hit the massage button on the chair (fuck I love those massaging chairs). Things then went awry when the pedicurist (is that a word?) hit a point on my toe that made me jump. And I guess I jumped wrong – right into one of those massaging, sticking out, whatever thingies in the chair, AND TOTALLY THREW OUT MY BACK. I mean, I needed three scotches that night in order to even stand up long enough to get dressed for the damned wedding (which ended up being wild by the way.)
Needless to say, by Monday I was not better. And since muscle relaxants didn’t strike me as a good idea, I instead hopped myself up on Advil (which did NOTHING for me), and headed off for my interview pissed off because I was in a shit-ton of pain. Things didn’t get much better when I arrived to find that I was going to be interviewed by four fucking people! (Seems like overkill even now.) Anyway, around the hour mark of this torturous event, one of the guys (total smartass dickwad) asked, “What is one thing you want to accomplish in your life before you die?” And just as I opened my mouth to answer, he added “And don’t say write a book.”
Well that prompted crankypants (me), to reply with a totally straight face, “Write a book.” I offered no further explanation (I thought my point was pretty well made, don’t you?). Let me reiterate here that I was in a lot of pain, and I had been sitting there answering stupid ‘interviewee’ questions like “Tell us about yourself,” “What are you NOT good at,” and my personal favorite, “You say you’re a writer – pretend you’re a cereal and sell yourself to us,” for over an HOUR. And you know what? I DO want to write a book before I die. So back the fuck off, I figured, and left it at that.
Shockingly they didn’t seem to appreciate my sarcasm (no sense of humor). Between that moment and my comment at the end of the interview – I said something along the lines of “Fuck I’m glad to be out of that chair” when I was finally able to stand up (what? I thought I said it quietly!) – it really wasn’t a surprise that I didn’t end up getting the job. But whatever…learning experience.
Some other horrible things I’ve done on the job: Called my boss fat. Okay, I won’t actually take full responsibility for this. Yes, I said it – but I really didn’t mean it the way it came out. You see what happened was, about a year ago (so it had NOTHING to do with my recent firing), my boss was getting ready to go on vacation in Japan. It was the day before she was leaving, and she mentioned that she hadn’t packed yet. Since I never pack more than a few hours before leaving (what can I say, I’m a good pressure player), the following conversation took place:
Redhead: Don’t worry about it. What’s the worst that can happen? It’s not like you’re going to be in the middle of nowhere; if you forget something you can just go out and buy it when you get there.
Boss: Well, not clothes.
Redhead: What do you mean ‘not clothes’? They don’t have clothes in Japan?
Boss: Not in my size. They don’t really have clothes over a size 4 in most places in Japan.
Redhead: What, they don’t have FAT people in Japan?
Cue horrified, shocked look on my boss’ face. Now, my boss is (was)…a rather large woman. And I’ll admit that it did SOUND like I had called her fat. But that wasn’t what I meant! I wasn’t talking about her personally (I’m not that stupid), it was more of a general comment than anything else. I found the idea of an entire country being universally skinny kind of baffling, and so I…said it. Badly.
Anyway, there were witnesses to my brilliant comment, and half the office teased me about it for months afterward. Apparently it sounded as bad as I thought. Moving on…
Oh, there was the time I almost poisoned the president of my division. You see, on a day of mass layoffs about a year-and-a-half ago (good timing on my part – I’m not above kissing ass), I brought in cookies I’d baked over the weekend. I had chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin, and linzer cookies. As the president guy walked by my desk, I decided to get a few brownie points and offered him a cookie. Reaching for one, he pulled back and asked if there were nuts in any of them.
“No” I replied, “I don’t like nuts so I don’t put them in my cookies.”
“Good,” he said, “I’m allergic to nuts.” He then proceeded to choose a linzer cookie, take a bite, tell me how good it was (my linzers really are melt-in-your-mouth good), and walk away. Simple, right? Yeah, it was. Until about ten minutes later that is, when my head shot up.
“What?” the woman who sits near me asked. (She had witnessed the entire previous exchange between me and said division president.)
Gulping, “The…um…linzer cookies. They have almond extract in them. I totally forgot!”
Silence, then laughing. Lots and lots of laughing (have I mentioned that it was a mass layoff day?!). One woman who had just been laid off walked by, and we told her what I’d done. After more laughter – and a discussion on whether pure almond extract (yes, I used the pure stuff) has more or less almond…essence (?) than actual almonds – the recently laid off woman went off the find out if we needed to call an ambulance. Unfortunately he wasn’t in his office, and we couldn’t find him for like two days after that (he may have gone out of town though – he traveled A LOT!). Either way, he never said anything when he got back, so I’m assuming nothing happened (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).
And then there was the time…
Ah fuck, never mind – that’s enough for now. What about you guys? Any work-related faux pas you want to share? Ever called a boss fat or tried to send one into anaphylactic shock? Anyone? Anyone?
Random note: Raising Arizona was on tv last night – one of the best movies ever. Just awesome. If you guys haven’t seen it in a while, I suggest you watch it again.