Two interviews

Two interviews have really affected me recently. One job interview and one from the entertainment domain. I don’t like to use “entertainment business”.

Let me start with the job interview. Right, so I apply online with my CV for a job that was nicely described as more than “call centre person”. This was yesterday. After two hours they call me and ask me to come for an interview today. I said, sure, partially delighted by such a prompt answer. Of course, I try to gather information about the firm online because I had none. What I found was terribly bad, horrible, scary. Still, because it’s on the net it doesn’t mean it’s true and I had already agreed to go. First of all, we, cause there were about 5 people there, were treated like children. First, a small test to verify our English and then they let us wait for 45 minutes in a small room not knowing much about what happens next. The most information I got were from the other people there, some whom heard stuff from people they knew or remembered more than me from the internet. Then they started calling us one by one. What happened next is the best part.

Finally they call me. A blonde young woman calls my name from the door. I go to her and then with her to some sort of small glass hall in front of a larger office where they had two couches and a table between us. Bla bla interview starts and we communicate in English now. Apart from the appalling trying-to-hard-to-sound-American accent, she had this tone of voice that suggested a permanently high raised eye-brow, you know, like a pretentious old lady. Only now she described the truth over what I was going to do if hired: Answers calls and read a script, call centre person!!

Her first question (I think) was “so, what made you want to take a job you know nothing about?”.  My first reaction was “excuse me?”, but I paused, looked in her cold eyes and answered that a call-centre job doesn’t require so much experience and that I have the abilities and knowledge to do the job. Omg, I can answer phones and talk AFTER I HAD FINISHED UNIVERSITY IN COMMUNICATION. I bet they didn’t read my CV. As soon as I told them I would not skip school and that I am interested in a part-time job she told me the training is full time (8h training for 7 days  WTFFF, they teach me how to read again???). I said “ok, I can’t do full time” and that was it.

The saddest thing is that all the people there had university. International Relations at the University of Bucharest, Foreign Languages, ASE…..WTF? It’s like the nightmare that some people described to me, you know, if you chose anything that wasn’t Politehnica or medicine. They would just ask you maliciously “And what will you be? * 222 person?“.

The conclusions are, first of all that I realized in those 45 minutes that I didn’t want to be there. My CV is the same with or without a call centre job for God’s sake! and I am only interested in doing intellectual work , even if it’s internship, than waste my life in an office like that. When I finally left the building my eyes hurt and my head was spinning. The light there was very bad for me. It really sucked the life out of you. I can’t tell you how the atmosphere was there.

Second of all, the firm needed 500 people to hire and the rate in which employees come and go is super fast. Instead of treating everyone like they are replaceable (managers yelling, hiring just about anyone etc etc) and spending money on training and interviewing maybe they should train their managers to make a work environment that doesn’t make you want to leave after 4 days. The pay was alright and there are lots of things worse than answering calls and eventually a possibility of promotion. But no one gets there cause they want to leave. Sadly, I am inclined to believe that there is a lot of truth in the horror stories I read online.

To be completely optimistic, I realized that I would never be able to work in a brain-dead job or in an office like that. As always , I never chose the easy way. Most of the “intellectual” jobs in the world happen in an office. I know I won’t be able to escape that completely, but at least I know I am going to struggle to find something that involves a little creativity and mobility.

And now, even more joyful is the fact that the Chilean miners are out. One of them, Edison Peña, went to America to run the NY City Marathon.

Permit me a small detour. If not just skip this paragraph. Anyone knows that this Marathon is a little like an Oscar Academy Show for supporting causes, obtaining donations and making statements about world social issues because it stirs great interest. Whether it’s a movie star, an activist for some ideal or a politic figure, for sure they will be watched and they will be asked to give statements and hold press conferences, and most of all, answer the question “why are you running? ”  which gives him or her the chance to start their speech about their cause. It’s a statement about what that “spokesperson” is prepared to do for their idea and offers you an example. That damn thing is loooooonnngggg, about 42 km. It takes some training and some effort to finish…especially if the whole world is watching.  Also on this note we must not be naive to think Mr Edison Peña came here just like that. First of all I believe the New York Road Runners used him to get a lot of attention on the race, meaning their event. This also goes for the sponsors.

Edison Peña. Isn’t that a name!? He was made to be on the Tonight Show. That’s where I saw him and I laughed and felt joy like I never felt watching TV. He seemed so genuine and innocent in a way. That’s nr 1. Nr 2 is that David Letterman presumed that he came from a family of miners. Why would anyone presume that? If a man does hard work it is presumed he comes from this old kind of family with no money and that is forced by society to take this kind of very tough work. Condescending. The poor Chilean people work in mines. =)) The man, Edison, explained he went into the business for more money not less =)). And he was there for a couple of months before the accident. =)) That kinda’ killed the story of the poor miner coming to America. =)) I would actually say that the guy was sharp and quite introspective, especially on the question is he considers himself a miner.

You can download the episode (david letterman 2010.11.04). I enjoyed it a lot and it’s an interesting interview.

Just thinking about that, why are you running?…..yeah, really, why?


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