My blogger friend Debajyoti Ghosh, has a zany sense of humour and a way of laughing at himself. That, folks is one hell of a task, since humour is often at the expense of others. Deb calls his blog Facts and Nonsense, where the two are merrily interchangeable.
In this post Deb recounts the time when he had been persuaded to attend a job interview and how well he prepared for it. Read on….
I was holding a copy of my first Times of India with pride. But why pride? Because, in the modern equivalent of a one-horse town where I live, we don’t get TOI or any other newspaper. But we don’t miss them because the local ones carefully cut and paste…er…publish… all the information required to radically transform our lives like the name of the new coach hired by Albania’s gymnastic team or the strategic alliance between Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Coming back to the newspaper, as I held it up, a colorless and somewhat depressing supplement dropped to the floor; it read Times Ascent. I looked at my friend for help, but he was busy. After having devoured the classified and obituary pages, his pursuit of knowledge had led him to the page 3 of the newspaper,. Unlike me, who was reading TOI for the first time, he was reading a newspaper for the first time in his life. Understandably, it was a moment of redemption for him. Now he scrutinized the supplement from various angles and replied pensively ‘It looks like an obituary,’ demonstrating his newly acquired knowledge.
Another friend of ours, who probably considered himself more educated than we were — which according to us was just an illusory notion — shed some light on the contents of that supplement. Not stopping there, he tossed the outrageous suggestion of taking up a job and utilizing our idle time. We gave him a disdainful look and I promptly dropped the supplement like hot potato. Our permanent abstinence from all physical activities had obviously triggered his jealousy.
‘So, what have you decided?’ he persisted with his unpleasant proposition.
There are people who constantly remind you how drab and mundane life is. I am sure the word ‘bore’ was included in the dictionary when one of their predecessors opened his mouth for the first time. I am assuming that the despicable individual was a man because girls or women can never be boring.
Anyway, he produced some supposedly logical arguments to justify his suggestion, which prompted us to reluctantly pick up the discarded supplement, and look through. What followed next was pure carnage. In the next few minutes we had marked every ad from VP to receptionist to store manager to driver which said ‘required.’ Soon the newspaper looked like the answer sheet of an under prepared student.
Buoyed by his preliminary success, our killjoy friend advised us to prepare a resume, which according to him, was mandatory to initiate the interview process. After looking at each other without getting any the wiser, we sought further clarification from the same source. Glad to see that we were becoming more responsible, he provided a sample resume with instructions to fill out details like extracurricular activities and hobbies. We put in cricket, swimming, watching TV, and stamp collection in that column. It was just a piece of cake!
I have to confess here that the hobbies stretched the truth a wee bit. My cricketing expertise was restricted to carrying drinks onto the field; as far as swimming was concerned, you could call me one, if you counted the couple of times I had been pushed into the water against my will when I had emulated Tarzan’s ape call loud enough to put his signature one to shame. And collecting stamps? Why on earth would anyone want to do that? However, we consoled ourselves that no one was going to ask us to demonstrate any of these skills during the interview.
We had done extensive research about job interviews by turning to our primary source of information — Hindi movies. What we saw reassured us greatly. The hero Jeetendra, in addition to fixing a giant machine, had also delivered an impassioned speech on unemployment and its solutions, which earned him the job of Managing Director in that company! Thereafter, all he had to do was to sit in a cabin and sign some papers. He also got to do a lot more things like singing and dancing with beautiful women and singlehandedly disposing of a gang of bad guys even before the cops came in. Impressive guy, that Jeetendra! Needless to say, we were inspired enough to go for the interview. We tried to mug up the speech, just in case. What was more, we knew the name of the coach of the Albanian gymnastic team! We were well prepared.
On D-day, we watched with astonishment the sun rising from the grocery shop side, which we had hitherto considered ‘west’. ‘You are in the army now’ played in the cassette player and we, clad in the new clothes bought for the occasion, got ready for the challenge at hand. We had to do with old shoes as we had run out of money after getting the new togs.
With fire in our hearts and resume in our hands, three of us hopefuls stepped out to announce to the corporate world of our arrival. One office had been specially selected due its proximity to our house and a movie hall — our next destination post the interview session. Within five minutes we reached the venue where a dilapidated house greeted us. In a despicable act of treachery, one of our friends opted out at the last moment and decided to wait for us at the tea shop outside.
A lady sitting in a makeshift reception area collected our resumes. There were a few cartons stacked next to her table but where were the cabins which were to be allotted to us for signing documents once we were selected for the job of — well, maybe not the Managing Director but at least an Assistant Director?
A group of enthusiastic and slightly garrulous group of boys entered the office. We stopped one of them and gathered to our dismay that it was a door-to-door sales job for a newly launched product. Instantly we knew it meant a futile endeavor to sell items that were never used in the history of human civilization nor might ever be used till doomsday. Obviously briefed by the man inside the cabin, one of them told us about the fulfilling experience of handling ‘challenges’ every day, with an ingratiating smile.
Didn’t we know that the ‘challenges’ came not only from the customers but at times from their dogs as well? We cursed each other and our friend for putting us in this predicament and started edging towards the door.
The receptionist called out my name as the next candidate and that made me start walking more briskly. But determination was obviously her motto as she came out from behind her desk and began following us.
With a stunt that would have made Akshay Kumar proud, we slid two storeys down the banister onto the ground floor. We looked over our shoulders and saw her coming down the stairs very fast – thankfully not the Akshay Kumar way. There was only one option left for us now — we ran. Like a sprinter in a relay race, our friend came out of the tea shop and joined us without asking any questions. We ran for another couple of minutes just to be on the safe side and stopped only when we noticed a few startled faces peering out of the shops.
It was time for a gentle stroll — the theatre was only half a kilometer away.
Image courtesy: http://mikelynchcartoons.blogspot.in