Fun interview stories?

Subject: Fun interview stories?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 09:10:50 -0400

The mildly amusing one:
Before getting my current job, I mentioned to the person I was courting at
FERIC that I'd be in Montreal for vacation during a certain week, and would
he be available to talk employment? He said no, so I packed my bags and left
the suit at home. Since it was vacation, I didn't bother trimming my
somewhat disreputable beard or cutting my shoulder-length hair. No sooner
did I arrive at my parents place then the phone rang. "Change of plans. Can
you come at 11 for an interview?" That was in 20 minutes.

I'd been trying to get back to Montreal for a couple years, and though I'd
had a couple of promising leads, nobody wanted to pay to move my family 1000
km from Sault Ste. Marie--a not inconsiderable obstacle, since I didn't want
to pay that hefty bill myself. So naturally enough, not being the <Fe>
suave, debonair, fashion plate that I am today </Fe>, I immediately
panicked. At least, that's the only way I can explain the fact that I
borrowed my Dad's suit (jacket sleeves about 2 inches too short), pants (an
inch too short), and dress shoes (a half size too small), jumped in the car
and sped off to the interview.

Got the job, but in retrospect, I must give really, really good interview.

The one that reads like an urban legend
My cousin Shel showed up at an early-morning interview after having eaten
breakfast at a questionable restaurant. That, combined with a stomach that
was uneasy to begin with, led to somewhat disastrous gastrointestinal
sequelae. (Doesn't that sound much more tasteful than using the crude
anglo-saxon phrases? <G>) So he rushed in the door and immediately asked the
receptionist where the nearest bathroom was. She handed him the key to the
_executive_ washroom. He would have refused, but "any port in a storm", as
the sailors say.

Off runs Shel, and some time later, much relieved and several pounds
lighter, he flushes the toilet--only to notice to his great dismay that the
formerly pristine air of the executive suite is somewhat--how shall I put
this?--blue. Y'know. The type of air that kills plastic office plants. But
all is not lost, as Shel knows exactly the trick: if you light a match, so
the story goes, it makes the foul smell go away. So Shel lights the match,
and it does indeed seem to help a bit. You can see what's coming, right?
Well it gets worse.

Still a bit shaken, Shel isn't thinking too clearly, so he pitches the match
into the wastepaper basket. The smell of burning paper fills the
air--ordinarily more pleasant than the former aromas, but under the
circumstances... Naturally, Shel panicks (maybe it's a family thing), and
immediately begins stomping on the burning paper with his brand-new dress
shoes. This works about as well as you'd expect, but at least the fire goes
out eventually. The bathroom fan is whirring happily, which I assume is the
only reason the fire alarms didn't go off. So... the fire is out, and Shel
marches out into the elegant carpet outside the washroom--only to see, a
dozen steps down the corridor, that he's melted the sole of at least one
shoe and is leaving a sticky black trail leading directly behind him to the

Shel left the keys in the washroom and left the building. No, he didn't get
the job. <g>

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
(try ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca if you get no response)
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada

"For what I have published, I can only hope to be pardoned; but for what I
have burned, I deserve to be praised."--Alexander Pope

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