It is oft said that ‘hell is other people.’ To me this phrase is a bit vague and nebulous. Other people (red headed actorly crumpets for instance) can be heavenly. A more accurate idiom would be ‘hell is other people interviewing you for a job’.
I have a great and inglorious track record when it comes to stuffing up job interviews and unlike the Split Enz song* – history has been repeating itself of late.
In a quest to a add a bit more work to my work/life balance I turned my attention to the online job sites once more. The good news is that I seem to have this cover letter/ resume malarkey worked out and scored several call backs. The bad news is that I’ve endured a handful of interviews. Sadly the process is not becoming easier with age and experience. On the contrary interviews are becoming even more painful as middle age erodes my tolerance for bullshit and wankery.
One dude, who was (at least superficially) a successful middle aged executive, told me that he pretty much had me sussed on the basis of the crappy personality test I’d filled out before our meeting. Given that this probing multiple choice questionaire had provided all the information he needed, the purpose of the interview was to see if I behaved in accordance with my ‘authentic self’. Yes – the 50-something balding dude in a suit with a strong track record in accountancy actually said this.
He went on to explain that if I was not my ‘authentic self’ he would know because he has an uncanny knack for picking up fakery. Kind of like having a well tuned Gaydar but for fakes not homosexuals. He could sense a fauxmo-sexual at twenty basis. Righto – I suppressed an eye roll (my God it took some strength) and considered myself warned.
Then he asked the killer question – ‘what would you do if you could choose any job in the world?’ There is no way in hell an irrespressible cougar like me can answer this question ‘authentically’. I rattled off a rehearsed spiel about how I love being on the coal face of small business. Its so much more rewarding than laboring as a nameless cog in a soulless multi-national corporation doncha know. I guess dude’s Spidey senses detected the inauthenticity I was spouting.
A more authentic career aspiration for me is a head features writer for The Onion. If only I could thrash out gold like ‘Seagull with diarrhea barely makes it to crowded beach’, I would know complete professional fulfillment.
Alternatively I see myself as a Hollywood casting agent with a very comfy couch specializing in male leads. (But don’t we all).
Failing the above, I would reinvent myself as a wardrobe assistant on the set of Vikings. The thing is I would be rather incompetent. Clive Standen’s shirt would regularly go missing. With hard work and study I am sure I could progress to losing Travis Fimmel and Alexander Ludwig’s shirts as well. Perhaps I could orchestrate the series first entirely shirtless episode. Cougars everywhere would applaud my artistry.
Anyhow I am sure you understand that there is no way I could be authentic about any of this in an interview situation with a middle aged accountancy dude albeit one with Spidey senses. Needless to say I did not get the job.
A week later I found myself sitting opposite a tall dark handsome crumpet with geometric sideburns. That bit was OK. The annoying thing was that Mr Sideburns wanted to set two hours to extract my entire life story – without evening buying me a drink. Seriously Hunky McSideburns said he had to follow company protocol which meant deconstructing every fucking line on my resume.
Here’s the thing – I am 45 years old and I have been known to enjoy an adult beverage. The nineties are kind of a blur. I simply can not remember my life story. I
I was fudging along OK when Hunky McSideburn’s boss walked in. This dude was wearing a tailored suit of blue and white check and sporting – a blonde man bun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WANKER ALERT! WANKER ALERT!! – the warning siren going off in my head was so damn loud that I am surprised the entire office floor did not hear it.
Call me old fashioned but for the man bun is like so 2013 and only acceptable if;
a) You are a Viking.
b) You are a hawt barista in a hipster cafe.
c) You are this guy.
NEVER EVER should the man bun be teamed with a suit – let alone an obviously tailored number in edgy blue and white check.**
Anyhow that it turns out that you can judge a book by its cover. Blondie McManbun revealed himself to be a long term resident of Wanker Town. He referred to himself as a ‘digital nomad’. This does not mean he has wandering fingers – which admittedly would be interesting. Rather he viewed himself as some kind of internet age gypsy who swans about spending summers at Byron and winters at Aspen. The work/life balance see-saw is definitely tilted towards ‘life’ as he checks in on his stable of internet businesses between swimming/surfing/skiing/sinking expensive piss/boinking etc etc Every couple of months he’ll jet into Sydney or NY to talk to his people before heading off on his merry way. His carbon footprint growing larger and larger with all the indulgent air travel and the hot air emanating from his LinkedIn profile. Don’t you just hate it when wankers are having a thoroughly better time than you?
Needless to say I turned the job down in favor of another position. The interview for that one only lasted 20 minutes and they shouted me a coffee!!! The choice was a no-brainer.
Is your tolerance for bullshit decreasing with age?
What’s your ideal job?
Man buns – hate ’em or rate ’em?
*History Never Repeats 1981 – Jezuz! I am old.
*Kit Harrington is the only individual permitted to rock the suit/man bun combo on account of his excessive hawtness. Oh my! Talk about putting the erection in resurrection Jon Snow.
But what about Jared Leto ? – I hear some cougars cry… Can Jared Leto not rock the man bun along side Kit Harrington?