I know this comparison has been made in the past, but I find that looking for jobs is a lot like dating. I’m at a point in my life where I am trying to do a lot of both and I’m continually doing equally well in both fields, as to say not at all. When I go to interviews, though, I find myself dressing nicer than I normally would; as I typically find myself in some sort of comfortable pant and a t-shirt with some sort of character graphic on it ranging from Daffy Duck to Jack Skellington. I’ll put gel in my hair (to seem more attractive and put together), and when I get there I smile often, try to be funnier, and lie all the time about what I am capable of and willing to be doing. The main difference I’ve found between interviews and dates is whether you want it to end in sex.
On a date you sit there and try to figure out what you can say or do to get to spend the night with that other person (or at least that’s how I view it). While in an interview you sit there hoping this strange old man is not hoping that he can get in your pants, well that’s how I imagine women look at things, since every man everywhere pretty much wants to sleep with any woman who would let him. I don’t know. It’s a negative view that assumes every man is a sexual deviant, which may not be true. I know I for one am definitely sexually a disaster of a human being and embrace that as often I can, but in a positive way. If there are positive ways for that. There might be. Maybe? I bet John Hamm could figure it out if any man has.
Now, I also realize that if you have sex on a date there really isn’t a guarantee that you will get the second date, but if you sleep with somebody after an interview I think there is at least a pretty high chance that you got the job. I know that you probably shouldn’t look at it this way, but I mean it does prove that you are willing to bend over backward for your career (ba…dum…tiss…please don’t hate me).
Hell, even the ways people can get jobs and interviews is almost the same as the way people find dates. They go online and make a profile that explains what they are interested in and what they are looking for in a future employer. Sometimes you will message this hot new job with all this anticipation thinking that it is definitely not out of your qualifications, and then never hear back from that sweet corner office. Other times you get an e-mail letting you know that that insurance agency that won’t cover your travel expenses is hiring and wants to meet you whenever you get the chance. You then unsubscribe from that service because you realize that the only jobs really looking for something on Start Wire seems to be those commission-based opportunities who definitely won’t appreciate you the way you deserve. And they should appreciate you more because who else could want that position?
I actually went to a couple interviews for a few of these sales positions at some of these insurance companies. I won’t disclose which ones for fear of you judging me more than you already are, or judging this company for thinking I might be a top candidate. I will say that one of these companies decided that the best possible choice to play the voice of their mascot is Gilbert Gottfried, but that’s all I’ll say. Well, not all I’ll say. I will also say that the Gilbert Gottfried-affiliated insurance company had an interesting interview structure. I received an e-mail, not from Gilbert Gottfried, but somebody who sported his animated persona in their sign off. They wanted to meet me at a group interview/meeting/conference/presentation. It was kind of like the Bachelor of interviews except more drama and less television. I went because I didn’t’ have any plans that day and needed an excuse to get out of the house, plus they promised light breakfast accommodations and coffee. Cool.
They told me that they needed a copy of my resume, which is normal, but also, they could easily find that online through the platform they swiped on me for, but whatever, reading is hard. Technology is harder.
When I got there, they put me in a room with five other people, I was the last one to arrive, but I was still early by four minutes, so who cares.
Probably my dad. Dad, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry.
Sitting in the room starting from my right all the way around the table was in this order: a middle-aged white woman who’s name I’m pretty sure was Karen, so I think that covers everything you need to know about her; me, a young twenty-something with no idea of what his future will look like, but is pretty sure it will have nothing to do with Gilbert Gottfried; a man who may have been the oldest person I had ever seen walking around, and wasn’t aware he was still allowed to do that; two Indian/Pakistani people (I forgot to ask for this bit) who may or may not have been married, me assuming this might make me racist (?) but again, I forgot to ask and that may have also been rude, they just looked unhappy to be there, and unhappy in general; then there was a woman who’s face was frozen into a permanent scowl from a constant lifetime of being done with people’s bullshit, I am not sure if she worked for Gilbert Gottfried or not, but she did not seem to be there for the job because she may have been the crypt-keeper’s mother and haunts my every nightmare a month later. I hope you got through that explanation in one piece because I did not. I know there are better ways to break that up, but I am lazy and did not want to do it.
After waiting for about ten minutes (meaning he was six minutes late so I had time to spare. Suck it, Dad!) the manager of the branch came in to talk to us about what he wanted us to do for him and what it would entail, but in a way that made it seem more like he was doing us a favor, which to me he was really just eating up an hour and a half of my morning without even giving me so much of a muffin, which in their initial e-mail they promised me snacks. I was a little annoyed there were no such snacks. I should write a strongly-worded letter to Gilbert Gottfried, but he might be more confused than anything. I don’t think he actually has any decision-making power over the insurance agency.
The manager decided that he wanted to tell us all about his story, which to sum up pretty much started about three-thousand years ago when Ancient Greece was still the highest power of the land, before Gilbert Gottfried was the sort of funny cartoon duck caught in live-action we all know and mostly loathe today, in a strange foreign land of Ohio (I think?). He was a fresh-faced kid just out of college who had not quite realized that everything he said was solely bullshit, kind of like somebody else (me) who may be sharing his bullshit as we speak with friends and strangers. Some man wanted him to work for the soon to be Gilbert Gottfried-affiliated insurance which would pay him a lot of money, because he managed to sell a bajillion million units of insurance in a year for his first forever of doing it, eventually making like all of the money he had ever heard of by selling this insurance.
I did not like his pitch. Not because of the money thing, or how interested he seemed in his pitch. He was fully committed to it, and you could tell he believed in his product and how he was sharing it, but I want to talk about the way he spoke. I know this post is already way to long, and most anybody would have lost interest by now, but I am going to keep going because I am reminding myself how much this man annoyed me.
So, I believe that as a rule there is a certain number of rhetorical questions you can have in about an hour for any kind of presentation. What could that number be? Well, I’ll tell you, that number is generously about eight in the span of any hour. This man in the first five minutes of talking to us, after being six minutes late, no exaggeration, was about twenty-one, I know because I started counting. His use of rhetoricals did not slow down either, why would it? How could it? In fact, if anything, he started using more. I don’t know what kind of salesman school he went to, and I bet he knows more about selling things than I do, but if you ask so many rhetorical questions that it starts seeming like you’re just asking yourself questions in order to remember what the actual term you are using makes you seem like maybe you don’t remember any of this or at the very least are clinically insane and are trying to get us to see what your mind is like, then maybe you should work on your pitch just a little bit more. Maybe he thinks it’s a good ear grabber or expected us to respond to these questions in a quiz fashion and we just never did so he decided to keep talking, I don’t know, and really do not care. The only two things I know about this man is that he definitely had hair implants and wore a giant ring on his right hand unironically because he thought it made him look tougher.
So, when his parade of questions and self-responses was finished we each left with an information packet with Gilbert Gottfried’s famous bird persona spattered all over it, as if that would sell me on the job. I never flipped through that packet because I was scared of finding more questions inside. Gilbert Gottfried’s insurance firm sent me an e-mail the next day asking if I would accept a rose for the next round, one away from home towns (I can do more Bachelor references), and found out that you can, in fact, say no to the rose.
Garrett Eicher, Gilbert Gottfried’s number one fan.