‘T was a long parting, but the time
for interview had come – Emily Dickinson
After suffering through another job rejection (so close!), I might start my own writing agency: The Agency of Misunderstood Writer Weirdos. Or something.
I would hire one or two sales guys or gals. And the rest of you would have to have demonstrated experience in things like getting last picked in gym class and being a running target for spitballs.
Things preventing me from getting a
- I can’t seem to muster the appropriate amount of enthusiasm in interviews. I am somewhere between screaming Yippee or staring blankly at the wall.
- My family banned bragging about accomplishments early on. No trophy case. All ribbons and awards were to be shoved into dresser drawers and forgotten about within seconds. Sure, there’s some fanfare, maybe a celebratory dinner if you graduated law school or something, but boasting is quickly met with: Whatdoyouthinkyou’rebetterthanme?
- I have trouble talking about my writing process. I sit down and um….write. And then I pet the dog. And then I Facebook stalk my old classmates. And then I edit whatever I wrote before.
- I can’t lie. So if you ask me about my interests, I am going to tell you I am obsessed with “Sister Wives,” I own at least four pairs of giant sunglasses, and that I could be a lipgloss hoarder.
- The Weakness question terrifies me. I have a weakness for salted-caramel anything. Post-its cover my desk. My handwriting is illegible.
- I haven’t figured out how to dress on interviews in fashion-unconscious Seattle. Last time I wore a power suit, a fedora gang made fun of me.
- I have two-thumbs-up Tourrettes. I hear Fonzie and Dave Coulier suffered the same aliment.
Brief Imagined Interview with Emily Dickinson
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog! ~ Emily Dickinson
Hopefully, for all you other unemployed but amazing, thumbs-up-giving weirdos, this will make you feel better (or maybe worse): Emily Dickinson would never get a job today.
Emily Dickinson rarely left her house and wore all white and was all kinds of crazy. Also brilliant. And yet, no company would hire Emily Dickinson to write their copy because Emily Dickinson could never get through the first interview. Marketing teams don’t want a Dickinson. Newspapers don’t want a Dickinson. She probably couldn’t even get my old dog-washing job.
“Tell me about your biggest accomplishment?”
“The pedigree of honey/does not concern the bee/A clover, any time, to him/is aristocracy”
“Uh – ok. I see you have some great references, but can you point to a time you’ve had to deal with criticism?
“The pretty people in the woods/Receive me cordially.”
“Thanks Emily, I think that’s it. We’ll let you know.”
Comment with your interview tips for Emily Dickinsons of the world.
July 6, 2012 at 3:02 am
Interesting. I imagine Emily Dickinson would have a hard time spending her day in a cube, answering emails. I doubt she would help get her boss a promotion (which is what work is all about, after all).
Thanks for sharing.
July 6, 2012 at 3:59 am
I think she would definitely have a hard time in a cube. Couldn’t imagine it. I wonder how many people struggle with this – the inability to conform and therefore, become “successful.” I certainly have a hard time – but I like work and need work.
July 6, 2012 at 11:34 am
If I asked an applicant “What is your greatest weakness?” and she replied “Salted-caramel anything.” I would hire her on the spot.
I would however, keep that “Sister Wives” thing to yourself, however. (I got it, you can’t lie, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t omit certain truths.)
July 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm
Got it! Good tip.