The Interview – Review!

So last week I posted up a short story (The Interview – A Short Story) and so far the feedback has been great. This is only the second time I’ve posted a creative short story on my blog and the primary purpose was to open it up to as many people as possible. I’m keen to get as much feedback as possible (good or bad).

Good old Moleskine Notebook
Good old Moleskine Notebook

So, without wanting to become repetitive (which I think is impossible by Twitter standards), could I ask as many of you as possible to take five minutes to read the post and let me have your thoughts.

For those of you who have already given me your thoughts, thank you.

The Interview – A Short Story

Here’s a little story I wrote on my travels. I would appreciate any comments or feedback.

‘So, you want to be a Headhunter?’

‘Yes. That’s why I’m here.’ I say this with the widest, least cheesy grin I can muster. Between you and me, I definitely don’t want to be a headhunter.

The chap interviewing me… my prospective boss, seems to have consumed a sizeable amount of Weetabix this morning or maybe sprinkled it with a little too much cocaine, because he’s firing questions at me as if his life depends on it.

There’s a standard wooden office desk separating us as his overtly orangey tanned hand hovers over the bright white plastic of his obviously unused telephone, ‘the phone… this… it’s your weapon.’ He grabs the handset, pulling it upwards, before reversing the action and smashing it back down on the base. ‘Bang!’

Did he just say the word “Bang” out loud? What does that mean?

He quickly picks up the telephone handset again. This time he swings it through the air and holds it to his ear as an illustration of how to use a telephone. Just for a millisecond, I fear that he’s going to start talking into it. Maybe he feels it necessary to demonstrate to me how to use one of these new fangled telephones. I’m very aware of Alexander Graham Bell and his invention. ‘The great recruiters and headhunters spend their days on the phone.’ He grins as if to illustrate that he is one of said great recruiters. ‘All day. Every day. Hour after hour. Bish Bash Bosh.’

I’m not even going to ask what that means.

He starts to rummage through one of his side drawers. I watch intently, as he pulls free a phone headset, with a small furry, slightly faded black microphone. He proceeds to put it on his head, even though it’s clearly a size too small. Looking at me without adjusting the headset, he speaks, ‘when I started out, I used a headset. Very helpful when you need to take copious notes.’ He grins, ‘you’re either a headset man or handset man. You can’t be both.’ ‘Which are you Digby?’ I think that was rhetorical.

He stares at me. This is fascinating stuff.

Keyboard Pic

‘So tell me… what can you bring to the role?’

I blink, fake a cough and start desperately trying to formulate a coherent answer. Hmm, what can I bring to the job? If I told the truth my answer would be sod all. However isn’t this recruitment nonsense all about talking and bullshiting? He said it himself, it’s all about the phone. Aren’t the majority of recruiters wankers? Aren’t they all failed bankers, marketers, advertisers, engineers, teachers, lawyers, accountants – insert relevant profession. Please do note the word “failed.” No one grows up wanting to be a recruiter… or a fucking headhunter for that matter. I’m pretty sure that if given the chance, any recruiter will tell you how brilliant an accountant, lawyer or engineer they were. It’s safe to assume that is a load of cod shite.

I smile and give him what I think he wants to hear, ‘empathy,’ I say flatly. He looks at me clearly unimpressed. He’s heard it all before. I continue, ‘life experience and good communication skills.’ Fuck it, that’s me ballsed it up. I said “good communication skills.” That means that I’ve nothing else to offer. He flicks through some A4 papers. I assume it’s the shitty CV I put together a few weeks back. It’s mostly true.

‘You didn’t finish University? What happened at University?’ There is a deep etched frown spreading across his brow as he speaks. Did he not read my CV before he invited me for interview? Surely that is rule one?

‘What do you mean?’ He thinks he has caught me off guard on this one.

‘It says here, you didn’t finish.’ He flaps the CV in the air to demonstrate his reference point.

Actually I did. I was there on the last day (well, there in a physical sense). I just wasn’t graduating. Well not properly. I blink again. I knew I was going to be asked this, although I hoped that maybe I could avoid it. Wishful thinking. Either way, I’d given this question some thought.

‘Well, you see, in my second year, things at uni got a little interesting.’

Of course, I’m not now going to explain to him about my first threesome with the Bewley twins or the fact that I was seduced by my (female) phycology lecturer. I’m not even going to tell him about the fact that I lived in an all female flat share. 7 of them. And yes I did. No, what I’m going to tell him is entirely different. And true. For once.

‘What do you mean, interesting? How interesting can university get?’ He says this with the air of a man that either didn’t attend such an institute or did and hated it because he was a social piranha.

‘Well, I was quite good with computers… in terms of being able to get them to work. Nothing fancy, just the ability to deal with the basics. Stuff that most people don’t know however. So I started to help mates with their PCs and desktops. Getting rid of viruses and malware.’

‘What’s malware?’

Doesn’t fuckin matter idiot. ‘It’s a bit like a virus… anyway, the point is, I knew how to get rid of them and word spread as most of the lads were watching hours and hours of por…’ Ok, stop there.

He looks on, waiting for me to conclude my story.

I stutter a little, ‘I set up a small business on campus.’ There said it. Eventually.

His eyes light up slightly. ‘Really? How did you find that?’

‘It was pretty straightforward actually, as I knew a few lads studying law. They helped with it. Basically I charged a basic price dependent on the service, which usually required a re-install of software or a bit of cleaning up.’ I’m half smiling now as I proudly tell my story.

‘What did you charge?’ He says this flatly as I suspect that he is only concerned with profit and loss. Fair enough, I guess.

‘It varied, but it was between £20 and £100 usually.’ Anyway, time to wrap this up and nail this interview. ‘So to answer your question, the university work and the business became unmanageable together and unfortunately the business… became my sole focus… to meet all the demand.’

I straighten my back as I finish and look him face on, hoping that he takes the point that I’m trying to make. I have some business sense.

‘A bit pointless if you ask me,’ he says in a dry monotone voice.

What a bellend!

He again looks at me and pushes himself back into his chair, making himself comfy. Oh no. I don’t think this is finished yet.

‘What are your strengths?’

Holy crap. Is this a real question? They really ask this question? I thought it was a myth. Doesn’t he get bored of doing this? I just want to stand up and smack him over the head with his fucking telephone. I stare at him and give him my one serious and hopefully winning smile. Pants. I don’t think it’s working. I don’t have any strengths. I can roll an awesome joint. I can mix Tricky with Goldie on Johnny’s decks (he’s my best mate – more on him later). Oh and I can pop twenty plus pills, snort a weeks worth of coke and drink Oliver Reed (if he were still with us, God rest his soul) under the table. He keeps looking at me. What? Fuck, he wants a professional answer. Fine. I’ll give it a go.

‘Well. I pride myself on both my professionalism and my diligence. I like to take responsibility for a project. You give me something to do… I guarantee it… it gets done… in the required timeframe… and not just in draft form… but completed. Properly.’ I’m obviously lying. I nod like a rabid dog, make a mental note to stop having minor ellipses between my every sentence and continue, ‘nothing upsets me more than someone who drags their feet. Honestly, the sound of it makes me cringe.’ I laugh, hoping he got the joke. He just looks at me, deadpan. Aww man, he is a tough crowd.

Dammit, my eyes keep falling onto his nipples as they protrude through his presumably bespoke shirt. Not in a weird way, I should add. That’s not right. He is bursting through that shirt. Don’t look at the nipples…. don’t look. I focus on the view over the City. Ah that’s better. Don’t stare at his nipples.

‘Convince me that you understand what recruitment is… How it works.’ Oh my god, this dude doesn’t listen. I already answered that. Didn’t I? I’m sweating. Bollocks. I’m losing my cool. I clear my throat. Dammit, I have to nail this. This is the last chance corral, or whatever the saying is.

‘Well, I’ve known a few people in the recruitment industry over the years. They’ve always spoken about the rewards. The feeling you get when you find that perfect job for a…’ Shit… what the fuck are they called… the word…. you know… the people they try and find jobs for… bollocks… big bollocks. Ah. Got it, ‘… candidate… spending that time to ensure they get that perfect job that makes their career. Giving them job satisfaction.’ I breathe in. That wasn’t bad. I can’t decide if I should mention the money?

‘And of course, it builds relationships with the clients, hopefully leading to further work, further placements and more money for the business.’ Ok, I should probably have stopped talking after the word “satisfaction.” Having said that, he is nodding. That must be good. I look at him, waiting for a response. I shuffle in my seat. He sighs. Pants. Not good.

‘I’ll tell you my concern.’

Crap, he has to go and use the word “concern.” That’s never good.

He goes on, ‘… having looked through your resume…’ For fuck sake. Just call it a damn CV. ‘I don’t see any real sales experience. Of course, no matter what anyone tells you, this is a sales job. You need to be able to BD clients… old and new. You need to headhunt candidates… Bang! Cold call… Bang! Go on regular client visits… Bang! I want you on the phone four hours a day… BANG! Make a sale… BANG! BANG!’

I jump from my chair each time he barks “Bang”. What does “Bang” mean? What does “BD” mean? Oh fuck, he’s picking up the fucking phone handset again. He’s not going to hold it to his ear again is he? He’s forgotten that he still has the headset on. He bashes the side of his head. Fuck. He’s stopped speaking… he’s looking at me… I try and meet his gaze. Shit. He asked me something. I didn’t hear what it was. What do I do? This is not good. I crack another smile and speak slowly, ‘yes’ I say shakily.

‘Excellent,’ he says. ‘Tell me about it.’ I want to cry. I wasn’t listening. Tell him about what? I need to pee. I start another rambling diatribe.

Flash Timeline

So here’s an idea. And before I continue, there are spoilers below, so if you haven’t seen episode #23 of The CW’s Flash entitled “Fast Enough” then look away now.

The Flash
The Flash

Firstly, what an excellent episode. Loved it. I love the whole speed force thing and the possibility of differing timelines and the multiverse, especially as I subscribe to the Many Worlds Interpretation.

Anyway, aside from all the cool DC references (and there were many – the Flash’s hat? Soooo cool) when Barry is breaking through time, there are a number of ‘events’ we see, some of which could be future/past events or differing timelines. Again, a very cool scene and really well done. However, I think they missed a trick.

Personally, I would have added a small, blink and you miss it, scene showing the Ben Affleck Batman or someone from the future movies (Dawn of Justice, Justice league etc) to show that they are separate timelines but related. God, that would have been so cool. Because they were such fast scenes you had to look carefully, so by doing something like this, it wouldn’t be giving anything away, but it would be showing a united (multiverse) front.

Wouldn’t every fanboy go mental for that?

Comics, Tech and General Geek-fest!

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