Business is Business, Don’t Take it Personally

I’ve gone to several job interviews where I asked,

“Are you flexible with hours regarding medical appointments?”

The interviewee usually gives me the answer,

“Yes, just as long as it is not too much.”

After the interview, I do not hear from them.

I was laid off at one of my jobs, their excuse was that they were reorganizing the company. Later I found out, I was the only one who was let go and they hired another employee to do my job. I could not help feeling inadequate. 

While I looked for a new job, I read the book Animal Farm. I didn’t know what to expect of it, I just knew it was a classic novel that I needed to read. While reading, I found myself so angry at the character Boxer the Horse. He is the hardest working character in the book. He was well focused and dedicated to completing his back breaking job but lacked the intelligence to observe what was really going on in his surroundings.

I shared this opinion to my friend who had read the book years ago. She asked,

“Are you angry at the horse because you see yourself in it?”

I was taken aback.

Later that evening, I pondered on why I was angry at the character.

“I will work harder. I will work harder. I will work harder.”

I nearly fell off the bed after realizing, I AM THAT HORSE!

It is the same subconscious mantra I repeat at work to please my employers.

Boxer worked day and night until he was removed from the farm because he was no longer useful.

I worked my butt off until I was deemed useless.

I laughed at myself after I fully grasped the cliché idiom that I’ve heard all of my life,

“Don’t take it personal, it’s just business.”

My Failed 2nd Interview

“Tell me about yourself.”

“I have ten years’ experience as an admin. I support many departments. I ensure the office operations goes smoothly.”

The owner of the company leans in and asked, “Tell me about yourself.”

I looked at him perplexed, “I’m sorry I am not sure what you’re asking.”

He repeated himself the third time, slowly and deliberately.

“Tell me about yourself.”

“Oh, you’re asking about my personal life.”

“Yes. I would like to know who you are. I want to know what kind of person you are.”

“Well, I am not used to this. I am used to answering questions catering to the position.”

I felt my shoulder slumped after realizing I have set a bad tone for the rest of the interview.

I proceeded answering the question “Tell me about yourself” with a story of when I graduated college in 2008 during the recession. This immediately reset the tone of casual-like conversation because the interviewer nodded his head as his mind reeled back to 2008.

After telling him stories of my experiences using my resume as a guided timeline, he asked, “Are you sharp?”

Learning from the misunderstanding with the first question, I fired back, “Please give me an example of sharp?”

He fumbled with words, trying to figure what other words he can use to evoke what he really meant.

“Are you able to assess the person’s personality and think through what the best way is to approach the person in solving the problem?”

I had a fat smile on my face while he asked the question. The word he was looking for is emotional intelligence.

I agreed with the recruiter to do a second interview. I was informed that the owner will be the one conducting the meeting. I was apprehensive about the job because what was conducted in the first interview was completely different from the job description. I politely agreed to the second interview because I wanted to have a good standing with the recruiter, and I wanted to ask questions for which I was not given a chance on the first one.

During the second interview, my gut feeling was telling me there is something wrong here. I dismissed the thought. Afterwards, I called my friend to let her know what went down.

“Before I call the recruiter to let them how it went, I want to tell you what happened, and I want to know your thoughts.” My friend said to go for it if they want to hire me, also for me to remember that I need a job.

After I got off the phone with my friend, my gut feeling wasn’t entirely convinced after hearing the pep talk. The next morning, while making my bed, my heart and mind said it together, “Do not take this job.” My mind played the scenes over and over; his voice echoing in my head.

“You can take off your mask. I am not contagious. I don’t have the virus.

Are you married?

How many siblings do you have?

Are you the first born?

Who do you live with?

Can you work in high pressure or do you like to work surrounded by waterfalls and birds chirping?”

I had ended my temporary job in December 2020. I was looking forward to a great start of 2021 with a job interview on the first week of January. I have not heard anything back from the recruiter. Usually when the recruiter is silent, it means the interviewer did not like the candidate.

I am sad that I will need to continue my quest looking for a new job. However, I feel sharp to be able to pinpoint what my gut feeling was trying to tell me.