“Terrified, stupefied, petrified, fortified, mortified” (ala John Nash) would probably best describe the way I felt as returned home. My dad taking a peculiar pity, on me revived me with a shot of Scotch adding reasuuringly that this was the one time , if ever, I deserved that liberty. Even my friends later in the evening were perplexed as to why I surprisingly seemed very distant and cut off that night. On reflection, I thought that even though the interview was probably the most mentally challenging 45 minutes I had ever spent in my short life, it actually went pretty well. Vanessa, who also happened to be a witness during my interview seconded this and added that I was the the only person upon whom the stresser bestowed the "Its been a pleasure dialogue"
I had my doubts.The next day, still recovering from the events of the previous day, I recounted my experience with an experienced victim of such interviews. He told me that apparently , I made a mistake by declining the “Biscuit bandits”. Apparently their game plan is that, As soon as you take a bite of the biscuit, they will attack you with a question to see whether you first finish the biscuit, or answer with the biscuit still in your mouth . In hindsight, I probably then made the right decision . Considering my previous track record with such affairs , not to mention my eagerness to get the interview moving then,let’s just say the chances of half of Columbia and Korea suddenly being surged upon by “Good day” particles from my jaw were in my estimate “disturbingly high”.
I also couldn’t help but ponder that taking into account that they were aimlessly frolicking for a good half hour after the previous victim had left, they just might have actually made me wait on purpose. How pathetic ! With these, and similar heavy thoughts on my mind, I had a disturbed night’s sleep knowing fully well that the next day would be the day when, I would know my fate.
The following night, the phone rang.”Hello, this is Yousuf...Regional President (for the 5th time) “ It was 10:30 in the night, hardly an auspicious time for a conversation of this nature So, I thought it was one of my friends taking my micky. He had just about finished his now infamous introduction and carried on. .” I am sorry to inform you, that our H.R Firm cannot service your application”.
I was a little startled. More so, by the trivial manner in which he replied then anything else “Yes, Can you give me a reason for this decision", I mustered. He thought for a bit and replied , “Well , we don’t look at the normal criterion a normal Indian H.R Firm looks for (fair enough), Besides we thought you were Over confident (hmm) , not to mention impatient .( Please Note : 90 Min Wait) We also thought you were overtly selective about your countries ( OK, I was’nt too inclined on going to Aceh, or East Timor) . And then, after a brief interlude
“ If there is one reason to single out, It would probably be cause you have a technical background but , you are more inclined towards a Management job role”.
Hang on a minute, I thought. Where have I heard that one before!!
I put the phone down, with his words still ringing in my head reflecting how every minute detail in this interview was ingeniously artfully plotted, with utmost foresight and Ambani like deceit.
This was probably the only company in the world which made you apply, made you masquerade around them for a month to acquire an interview, made you subject to intense mental torture and then made you give them a reason as to why they should'nt employ you.
I was that unfortunate person . A battered beleaguered soul, and I really felt like an unfortunate victim of a hitchcock plot. With a prayer on my lips, It was now time to go to sleep. I closed my eyes, slowly drifting into an indefinite slumber. A song played out in the background, I finally knew what it actually meant. It was my only solace .
There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Now I got that feeling once again.
I can’t explain, you would not understand.
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb