Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The HR Motor Cycle Gang

So, I’m laying awake in bed at three in the morning worrying about my phone interview last Thursday. “Did I say the right things; did it sound like I was smiling; could she smell the fear?,” only to come to the conclusion that I never do well with interviews conducted with a company’s Human Resources Department or as I like to call it HR.

HR is like a motorcycle gang in the way between you and a delicious burger. You are walking up to the burger shop confident this is the place for you. You’ve dressed the part, researched the place and attempted a reservation. You already know the burgers are delicious, they were established in 1964, their parent company is Burgers-with-More-Money, they went green in 2007, and they design the best burgers with integrity, accountability, and intelligence. You’re mouth is watering.

But before you can get inside you have to get through a wall of intimidating motorcyclists: The HR Motor Cycle Gang. There are some bikers that will see you and greet you with a warm smile, and others that judge you with their experienced eyes. You walk closer and hit the first line of attack, the young ones. In most cases they are extremely bubbly, and they know all the right answers, but want to hear them from you. You begin with a warm greeting, but they immediately get to the point. You just started talking but the mouth that was once watering is now drooling as you stumble over your first few words. She asked the basics, you’ve answered fairly well but still have to force a smile to calm the eerie mood. She may have seen your efforts to recover, but she is digging into her mind to see if you scored high enough to get her engine moving. She leads you closer to the beef but only so much that you can smell the char-grill smoke. You get excited and start sweating.

Walking passed the shiny bikes you feel your heart beating faster. Will you be able to calm yourself, will the next person see that I’m sweating; do I smell bad? The second line of attack is the defensive line and they look ready. They have been seasoned and know what a bad burger looks like. The questions are harder and you lost your cool when you started sweating. You’re wondering about how you look when you should be worrying about what is coming out of your mouth. But your mind is circling around how to get yourself comfortable in your new surroundings. He asks you a question that is so simple you have no answer, there is a long silence and you give him the deer in the headlights look. You mumble out your words while fighting the “real world answers” in your head versus the positive “interview answers” you should be saying. Are you losing it? What’s happening? Is the smell of buns, beef and warm cheese clogging your thoughts? Doesn’t he know that you are great yet, that you work harder than anyone you know, that you prepped so hard for this moment that you played classical music on the ride here while asking to yourself “common” interview questions you practiced all week that you’re not hearing yet? Wait, what did I just say? I can’t remember. I feel sick, and I’m drooling again.

The Queen Bee, she’s here, she just walked in, and she looks damn nasty. She can smell you for sure. “I love burgers, I love burgers, I mean I love your burgers, yes, your burgers. They are the best in town, they will feed my family, bring joy to my life, and I will find happiness here you if you let me.” “What’s your salary,” asks Queen Bee.  “## thousand,” your voice comes out like a whisper. She makes a face, what is that face? I feel a chill. “Oh…, oh I’m sorry; I didn’t see that in your paperwork, we are not hiring a Senior Burger Enjoyer, the position was for a Junior Burger Enjoyer, I apologize.” WHAT! After all this I asked for too much money? I need a job, I fell in love with your burgers already, I can’t turn back, you have stolen a piece of my heart, and I was so close. I was in the price range per, Burger Magazine and the department of labor. I just aimed high expecting you to bargain with me, not shoot me down. I don’t know how to play this game…uh, how do I save this? “Am I over qualified?” Queen Bee responds, “No, we were just looking for someone between smaller##thousand to smaller##thousand price range.” “Well that range is definitely workable for me” “So you would take smallest##thousand?” Silence short enough to think, but too long to win Queen Bee’s assurance of approval. “Yes.” 

Uh, so, I leave you here sleepless one now almost seven in the morning. Am I dreaming, or am I lying in bed worrying. “We’ll contact you in a week or two, we have several more interviews to conduct”, she said.
You did your best but a delicious burger will not be in your future anytime soon. The HR bikers have a hundred more folks to rip apart and you barely made it out alive. The good news is you survived; the sad news is that you get to do this all over again and “hopefully” soon. 

Keep your engines vrooming folks, you’re not alone, you may not know it but we’re a gang of our own. There is a lot of us right now, The Unemployed, but don’t let that get you down. You’ll find your place; it’s just going to be hard this time. The road is rocky so put on your helmet and before you know it you’ll be feasting.

Side Note: This nightmare could  be a good concept for an ad campaign; maybe for a business that helps people with their interviewing skills, with a tag-line like, "Take the fear away from HR" or something like that. See my Photoshop work for this story above.

No comments:

Post a Comment