Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Card Trick (part 1 of something)

If my friend Ashbey Dawn lands a face-to-face interview, she usually gets the job. I have absolutely no idea why.

I envy and despise the way she can quit jobs, and does, whenever she wants, completely assured that she can get another good one immediately. There are, though, some things beyond her reach. She can't get a face-to-face interview for everything.

Once her foot is in the door, it's total victory, but on occasion people fail to see how much she can offer their company before they've met her.

My cousin Levi has a problem that rhymes with Ashbey's. Sometimes he's in a bar. Sometimes there are girls. Girls can't always tell that you're a RuKwangali-speaking elite data scientist who plays the piano and gives no quarter in global AI competitions. People who know Levi as a sort of House M.D. crazy-brained badass are generally in awe of him. And yet, handing a girl an abbreviated resume at a bar somehow seems like it would backfire.

Paper maps of the Kavango and Levi's Ramsey Number notebooks.

I think it also might backfire for Ashbey if she sent a cover letter saying "please interview me, seriously, I'm hot."

People want to tell themselves that attraction is about chance and Disney Magic and coincidence. They also want to tell themselves that they hire based solely on qualifications. These things are false, but they get a lot truer if you bring them up. 

So the question becomes "How do I signal that I have qualities about which it is uncouth to send signals?"


"What is something high that I can reach for so my jacket lifts a bit and people catch site of the glock in my holster?"

Me and Levi brainstormed about this. People are terrible at this. You can try to force the conversation down weird alleys, "OH, there's salt on the table, THAT REMINDS ME, when I had dinner with the Pope there was salt then too, HAHA LOL."

(Here the author pauses his writing and tries to repress a thousand memories.)

We had the idea that you could give a girl a business card, so that she'd have your number. Then we thought that was too direct and creepy.

We finally became kind-of ok with the idea that you could pull out a business card, incidentally, as something to write on. "OH YEAH, um, lemme write it! The name of that band is The Eels."

But I still can't do it. Because it reeks of subterfuge and guile. Kant says you shouldn't use people as a means to an end that they're not included in, but my own foibles also require people to know what I'm up to. If I ever used a pick-up artist technique I'd end up being compelled to say "Oh, also, that was a pick-up artist technique."

Tell me why / tell me why / all these riddles and lies / and delicate threads of disguise / when the games that we play / they're so carefully staged / why do we still roll the dice

Oh the eternal autistic lament.

We're designed capitalizing on accidents, not planning, but in this post-hunter-gatherer information-centric world, that thinking is SO outdated and there are so much more efficient ways of getting things, right?

--To be continued.--

1 comment:

  1. Awwwww im so touched you choose to put me in your blog <3

    Wish I had an answer for you, temporary agencies are very helpful, as has been career builder for me.

    You're pretty good at landing jobs too, ya'know