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Living the Wally Lifestyle

Can I Help You Pick One?

October 15, 1996

I find interviews to be very difficult sometimes. I work in the computer field where the relaxed look is always in. This actually makes it more difficult to interview because if you go in to formal, they assume you have a stick up your butt. If you go too casual, they assume you don't care.

Because of this I have had some pretty surreal interviews. One person had their office looking more like an opium den than a computer office. The person even had the color of their monitor jacked over to blue to make it easier on their eyes. The best of the odds came fairly recently.

I was interviewing with a person that sort of forgot about the interview. They were checking their e-mail when they finally remembered. It wasn't as much a memory flash as the voice mail from the receptionist explaining the dude you were supposed to see was like, still here.

They raced down to the lobby as fast as they could mosey, and to put me at ease, we had the interview in the cafeteria. Well it wasn't as much to put me at ease as it was so he could get another double mocha. We then sat down and he started asking me questions. The questions were not too difficult to answer. After all, I did know my stuff. What I found to be strange was the way the person sort of looked everywhere while talking to me. I was rattling away about how much I liked the product as the person sort of looked around much like a tourist gawking at the Eiffel Tower might do if they were suddenly hurled from downtown Seattle to Paris. I knew my interviewer was paying attention not so much by the way they were saying, "right, uh huh, sure..." as the fact that after touting the wonders of this software, he simply said, "The program sucks, but I didn't write it".

The one amazing thing about this interview was not the fact that he seemed to be conducting it to his coffee cup, which I thought was pretty bizarre. No the thing that I found so odd was how he started to massage his nose with his index finger for at least a minute, and continued to massage his nose until I guess the contents were at the right juicy consistency, and then started to pick the nose.

And I do mean pick the nose. Full-fingered, up-to-the-knuckle picking. I decided right then and there the man who picked his zits and rolled them during an earlier interview was definitely more appetizing to watch. The whole time he was digging for gold I had to continue to answer questions, and try to block out images of Buddy Ebsen and the beginning of every Beverly Hillbillies episode running through my brain (and out from his nose came a bubbling crude).

Despite all of this I really wanted the job, so I suppressed a growing urge to hand him a napkin, tell the person that picking in public is disgusting, or the desire to punch them in the nose to break their finger. You see, I felt that if I did any of the above it might make me look much more violent than I am. I felt that by keeping my composure I would be beneficial. It turned out that it was. You see I am still in that same department.

Since our first encounter I have avoided telling the person I have a Web page. After reading this, you may understand why.

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