As you all know, I was not looking forward to this job or this group interview. I got up this morning, put on my corporate whore suit, and headed off to face my fate. As is always the case, there was a Burger King on the way to fate, and I stopped to have a cup of coffee.
There I was, sitting in this small town Burger King, wearing my suit, carrying my new briefcase, staring at my coffee, feeling like an alien. Everyone else there -- all five of them -- knew each other and were wearing shorts and t-shirts. Since I'm me, I immediately became uncomfortable, assumed every murmured "she" referred to me and was uttered in a derogatory manner, and shrunk a bit with each laugh, also assuming they were directed at me.
What an egotistical ass I am! Those people didn't look at me, let alone talk to me. They probably didn't know I was there. Why should I think that I would be the subject of scorn or even a topic of conversation, for that matter?
My self-consciousness made me a little self-aware today. I realized that I always feel I'm exceptional. Exceptionally smart, exceptionally ugly, exceptionally funny, exceptionally awkward. Somewhere along the line, I picked up the idea that I'm special, and as a result -- for good or bad -- I'm very egocentric.
This is what I contemplated on my way to the interview, and at the interview, I confirmed my theory.
For starters, though I was told the dress code was business casual, I was wearing a suit. If I were interviewing at McDonald's, I would wear a suit. Interview = suit; that's all there is to it. I was the only one in a suit. Exceptional.
Then we did an introduction thing. You know the drill: stand up, say your name, say an interesting fact about yourself. I'm exceptionally dull and couldn't come up with a very interesting fact. Exceptional.
We listed reasons for and against participation in the event, and I came up with questioning the legitimacy of the fundraiser/organization as a reason for refusal. This received oohs and aahs, and the trainer couldn't spell "legitimacy." Exceptional.
Finally, we did a read-through of the script (which is cheesy and awful). The first guy had a thick South Jersey accent and sounded dumb but did well. The next woman could hardly read, kept losing her place, and didn't remember any of the fallback-type information the instructor had gone over. Then I read. I was exceptionally nervous. My hands shook, and it was a strain to keep my voice from wavering in fear. I felt my blood pressure rising. I'm an exceptional ass. I've been doing telephone interviews for academic research for two years, and I'm good. I've written scripts, so reading them isn't a problem. I have a good memory and know how to counter difficult respondents, in role playing and real life. The only comment on my reading was another interviewee saying "Now I'm intimidated." I was really proud of my reading; it was exceptional.
I was exceptionally cynical and negative about the position before the interview. (See previous posts.) I thought fundraising was beneath me, and taking a pay cut to do a less desirable job, more akin to telemarketing, was the worst thing in the world.
Then we watched a video on the MDA camp this event is helping to fund.
I have NOTHING to complain about.
Now I think it will do my soul good to help raise money for these people. It's not like telemarketing at all. After the interview, I knew the approach would be persistence but not pushiness or "hard sell." The quotas are reasonable and flexible. The people are nice and really care about what they're doing. The whole project is very purpose oriented and purpose driven.
I'm looking forward to it now, and while I don't want to do this for the rest of my life, I've come to realize that nothing is beneath this egotist. I should thank God that I've found a job, that I have an apartment, that I have enough food to keep me this fat, that I have a loving family, amazing friends, and a terrific fiance, that my muscles aren't failing me, that I'm pretty healthy, overall.
Also, I'm going to try to "think a little more of others and a little less of me." (And if you know what song THAT's from, I'll give you a cookie!)