Monday, October 18, 2010

League of BOB Challenge #2: Regrets

"Regrets" is the topic for this week. Aren't you supposed to always say you don't regret anything in life, because each experience allows you to learn and grow as a person? I completely agree with this statement. I can only think of small, menial mistakes I've made that I wish I could undo, because they didn't really mean a whole lot in the scheme of things. Embarrassing things such as texting the wrong person, when that text happens to be about that person, and not in a great way. Lately I've gotten rid of that strange habit I used to have, but it sucked all those times it happened.

In a way, this next experience kind of dances around the line of regretful or not, due to its learning value. A few weeks ago I had a job interview for an office receptionist/data entry position with a high-end firm that dealt with legal papers. I prepared by sending an impressively refined resume (thanks to Professional and Technical Writing), and a professional-sounding email request for an interview, via craigslist post reply. I got an interview and had to rush a shower and getting ready in the morning after we talked on the phone. I managed to wear something nice looking but still casual ... in my opinion, anyway. No business jacket or anything, although I'm not sure how much that would've improved the situation.

I got to the office early. I greeted the man with eye contact and handshake. However, the minute my butt hit the cushions of those very large and intimidating chairs across from his desk, I proceeded to ruin everything with the very silly answers I gave for the questions I had no idea I would have to answer.

"What kind of office work experience do you have?"

Me: (In my head) - If you read my resume that is right in front of you, you would see that I cook burgers for a living! No office jobs on there, you retard. (Out loud) - "Not ... really ... any ... " and then something about being my high school guidance counselor's student aid. Not too horrible of an answer, but they get worse.

. . . "Describe a time when you had to deal with anger"

Me: "Ummmm .... [silence]" (In my head - People piss me off by being idiots, but other than that I'm not really an angry person) "I would have to say relationships cause anger a lot." But instead of expounding on that, I attempted a lousy BS answer about frustration when dealing with school transcript problems, like when your credits don't go through and your prerequisites are all messed up and need to be fixed over the phone. Multiple times. "Patience is key."

. . . but the real kicker: "What is something you've had to learn that was complex?"

Me: since my recently finished Instruction Manual project was done on how to clean the grill at my place of employment, I chose to make the stupid statement that cleaning the grill was complex. I was under the delusion that just because I had to write a detailed report on it with lots of specifics, it meant that it was a complicated thing to do. In reality, you can give any competent person with an IQ of 90 or above the list of steps, and they'll be able to do it easily. True, you learn new tricks about better techniques each time you do it, but essentially it's not that complicated. This response I gave made me sound juvenile and naive, and probably made me look like I was born in the caveman era.

"What exactly was complex about it?"

Me: "Oh, you know, just all the different tips you pick up about how to prevent burning yourself, like from not splashing hot oil up against the side." Durrrrrr ... I has problems with safeness and owies.

Aaaaand, done. Thanks for your time, we'll be contacting you soon if you get the job! I leave the office and immediately want to kick myself in the face for all the childish things that escaped my mouth, even before those hard questions hit me. After thinking about it more, I realized I could've talked about all the accounting procedures I'm learning, which would've sounded a lot more intelligent, mature, and is somewhat related to office work, as opposed to manual labor in a kitchen.

I guess it's true that each bad experience you have prepares you better for the future. At the time, I regretted saying those things, but it showed me how tough a real interview is compared with all the easy ones I've slid by in the past. Next time I'll know that it's OK to take my time in thinking of a smart response, and I'll be sure to prepare more ahead of time by looking at typical interview questions online. The interview did put me in a bad mood for the day, but it woke me up to the reality of life: Job acquiring involves competition and hard work, and I can't just walk the walk without talking the talk. Practice makes better!!


The Adorkable Ditz said...

I agree practice does make better, and so does awards! You got one!

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