general humor

The Corporate Guru

Have you met the Corporate Guru? Let me tell you about him.

The Corporate Guru has the power to look at your cover letter, résumé and writing samples and intuit your Entire Being from them. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

The Corporate Guru will find every professional hole you’ve ever recognized in yourself and maybe even a few you’ve never acknowledged. He will outline them for you beginning at the two hour mark in your interview process, which is when you start to tank because your last food intake was a nervous shoving-in of breakfast over four hours ago.

You will answer the Corporate Guru like he’s attacking you. Which maybe he isn’t. But it seems like he is. Because you forgot to take your anti-anxiety meds that morning. And you will begin to feel about him the way you felt about every other super interesting, smart boy when you were in college: You want to date him, even though you know he doesn’t like you that much.

You answer in rambling circles, the exact thing your Getting a Job workshop instructor and your husband told you not to do. “Be brilliant, be brief, be gone,” is out the window. In its place are: Answers, please like me, defend myself, more answers, until the point I say to the Corporate Guru, “I’ve talked myself around this question so much, I can’t even remember what the question was.” He repeats it.

The Corporate Guru believes: There is no try, there is only do. But all you do is try, try, try. The Corporate Guru makes a funny face when you try, try, try to couch what you need in a boss as a great insight into yourself, when–in fact–it is a Really Bad Thing to Say in an Interview.

The Corporate Guru  tells you that you are probably like the soldiers who can assemble a weapon really well while a battle is going on, but who can’t take notice of all the other important things that need to get done during the fighting. You ask the Corporate Guru if this has anything to do with the non-multi-tasking weakness you wrote about. You try to convince him that the non-multi-tasker answer is not true, because that very morning you made two parfaits, homemade bread, pasta, packed two lunches, cleaned up and then prepared for your interview. “I’m not a uni-tasker!” You try to convince him. “I just need practice handling multiple tasks.” The Corporate Guru knows he’ll be killed if he goes to war with you.

The Corporate Guru says two times before you leave that he really enjoyed his time with you. You believe him. Probably because you have self-esteem issues, but mostly because you think the Corporate Guru is someone you’d get along with outside of work. You could hear about all his Corporate Guru interview tricks, like making interviewees pick where they sit. You would laugh at the Corporate Guru’s tales of the unsuspecting job candidates. How naive! How stupid! “Wait! Which chair should they pick, Corporate Guru?” You realize then that no one should ever pick the chair at the head of the conference table in his office.

If I do meet the Corporate Guru again, I will say, “Hi, Corporate Guru!” And he will look straight into my eyes and say, “She who speaks, does not know. She who knows, does not break out into spontaneous nervous laughter during a job interview.”

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