Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Failing a test and Passing a test

Ok, this story is the flip-side of yesterdays story!

I was looking for that critical first job right out of college. You know, you have the degree but you have zippo experience and employers are wary.

I went to an interview at Automated Telephone Management systems. I interviewed with one of the lead programmers there. After about 5 minutes it became painfully obvious I had nothing they were looking for. What I had studied and what they were doing were just totally different.

I knew I was not getting this job so I relaxed and with the pressure off my playful personality came out. I remember even cracking a joke about how I did not like their toilet in the lobby. It had a "booster seat" for the handicapped and said I felt like I was 5 years old with my legs dangling off the toilet like that.

The people in the surrounding cubes and the guy interviewing me all broke up laughing.

Then I delved off into Kirk VS Picard. My long standing position is that when Picard delvers a flying drop kick to someones chest then bags the blue chick, THEN we can talk!

Again laughter rippled throughout the surrounding cubes!

They made me an offer. I was SHOCKED!

Everyday I was there I was convinced they would realize their mistake and fire me so I really hit the books and studied all the new technology they used. I was given simple assignments that let me learn without overwhelming me. Still I was ready for that ax to fall any second!

In the meantime that manager at the hospital in the previous story would have LOVED this place. It was full of anti-social nerds who never said anything or talked to anybody. The monastery like silence was killing me! Once day I even stood up in my cube and yelled "What is this a library!? Somebody say something!"

So I started just going to random cubes and saying something like "It's break time lets go outside and see the sun?" Then I would get a chance to talk to that person and get to know them a little. Once the ice was broken they would talk to you in the future. One by one I pulled the monks out of their cubicles and got them talking to me. Before long I had us going to lunches together or hanging out together after work. Of course some people never joined in but most did.

I had been there about 5 months and I knew I was getting the technology down when I was assigned my first major project. It was a tough one too! In fact, It was so tough no one else wanted it and basically it got fobbed off on the new guy!

When I  pulled off that project I felt secure in that job for the first time. There was a question I had wanted to ask for 6 months but never dared ask before. Now that I no longer felt they were going to fire me at any second I finally asked it.

Mr. Manager, why did you hire me? I knew nothing you needed!

He nodded and chuckled! Well Rob, I had a personnel problem here. I had a lot of really bright gifted people working here but I did not have a team. They were not working together.  No one ever talked to each other, they never bonded. I had tried to loosen them up but as the boss they would not ease up around me. In your interview I tagged you as a team builder and even though you had NONE of the tech skills I needed I thought you would be a net gain as an actual team formed. I was right.

It's just a bonus you actually learned the skills we needed to boot.

So, after years of hard work and sacrifice to get that degree I was hired for my personality?!  Ouch!

So that is how women who get hired for thier looks feel like huh? :)


tammy said...

I think that's a great reason to be hired. And I never minded being hired because of my looks. It was when I was fired because of my looks and a jealous new wife that ticked me off.

jinksto said...

My reply got a little long. :)


NerdyRedneck Rob said...

@tammy - Well yeah, fired for your looks would be way worse than hired for your looks! lol!

@Jinksto - lol! I know that feeling! Your welcome for the post idea though! :)

Chandan said...

I have heard this story about 'n' times, in between the cubes, at coffee breaks, team meetings and our lunch time, however it has been told in n+1 ways all the time ! I was freaking laughing through the article though I very well knew what you are going to talk about. Rob, you definitely got a personality. Pleasure is all on this side of the table :-)

Chandan said...
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