Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mr. Cowboy Boots

I was an IT Director for 15 years for a large ad agency. From time to time I would have to hire new staff, which meant interviewing people. This was a difficult process for several reasons. One, it was hard to find the right people and two, the transition to a new person meant that it would take awhile to return to the service level that I wanted.
I would find candidates from various locations. LAMUG, word of mouth, agencies and the like. I would set up the interview appointment after speaking to the candidate on the phone, to ensure they have some level of verbal skills I could work with.
I had the rare privilege of interviewing Mr. Dirty Cowboy Boots. The reason I knew they were dirty was that he had his legs crossed and the one boot was stuck up where I could see the dirt and need of a new sole. Crossing your legs in an interview is fine as long as knee is touching knee, but not knee touching ankle. That is too familiar for an interview.
He proceeded to tell me all his accomplishments and qualifications. I had already decided that this guy was a slacker and I would not be hiring him. He went on and on and then I took a turn and told him about our environment and what I was looking for.
As I was about to wrap it up and get his parking ticket validated, he stopped me and said “Oh, I forgot to tell you, I also have done blah blah and know the ………” I interrupted him and said, “Yes, you told me that you Blah Blah….” I completed verbatim what he had already told me about himself. Pause. Then Mr. Cowboy Boots says: “Oh, you are smarter than I thought you were.”
Silence as I stare at the floor in disbelief. I look up at the young man and say, very slowly: “Oh I’m smarter than you thought I was. Oh. Okay well let’s get that parking ticket validated, alrightie?”

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