Monday, October 15, 2007

Setting the Table for Disaster

A while back, I was in an interview for much better position than the one I currently hold. Towards the end, the interviewer paused and said, “I know this is a cliché, but what can you bring to the table that none of the other candidates can?”

I thought long and hard on this one. It forced me to do an honest appraisal of myself and my skill set. What did I do better than any other person?

For a moment, the only thing that came to me was that I have a sixth sense about movies. You see, I can walk into any movie I’ve never seen before and tell you within three minutes the four following things: 1.) Whether or not the movie will have nudity, 2.) Approximately how long you’ll have to wait to see any nudity (usually accurate to within 5 minutes), 3.) What type of nudity you’ll see, and 4.) Whether that nudity is male or female.

You may doubt my skill. After all, it does sound rather incredulous, but my accuracy is uncanny. It’s a gift that I’ve never taken lightly. Throughout our teenage years, my younger brothers and I watched all manner of cable movies on HBO and Showtime (no Cinemax, that would be too easy) and they were routinely floored by my estimates. There has only been one movie that thwarted my ability, In the Bedroom. Seeing Marisa Tomei frolicking around early with some young jasper led me to believe there would be some skin. There was not. And you know what? The movie was so damn good, I didn’t give a whit.

But, the real question was, how could I work this skill into the interview? I pride myself on taking a different tack on everyday problems, but something told me this guy would not be impressed with this particular skill.

So, I wussed out and told him that I like to burn stuff and I’d probably bring an awesome smoke detector to the table so that no one else got hurt.

He pulled out his Zippo and said, “Me too, Donkey. Me too.”

Since it’s been a couple weeks and I haven’t heard anything, maybe I should have gone with the nudity answer. Well, I’ll just file that away for next time.

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