Friday, March 30, 2007

The Right Man For The Job

It's been a long time since I had to interview for a job. Last summer I came close when I wandered around Boulder and its outlying suburban areas in search for a job that my niece would be willing to do during her senior year in high school. That was easy enough, since I had little or no worries about approaching the management of this novelty store or that beauty shop asking for an application. "It's for my seventeen year old niece," I would assure them as they gave me a courteous smile. I even stood behind her while she dutifully filled out an on-line form inside a Target store that once employed me. I felt that she was a legacy, and destined to follow in my footsteps.
In the end, she got her own job, and good for her. As for me, I have remained conveniently and, for the most part, happily employed at the same school for ten years. There was a moment, a few years back when the district began shaking its employment tree in hopes of getting more staff cohesion (or something like that). I had to interview for the job that I had been doing for the previous six years. Many of my fellow teachers viewed this as an insult and chose to change schools rather than go through the indignity. I chose to see it as an opportunity to sharpen my interpersonal skills. At some level, I suppose that anyone who would submit themselves to the interviewing process willingly for a job that didn't have a line forming behind it was already looking like a good candidate for the position. Still, I gave it my all. I remembered all the interviews that I had conducted as a warehouse manager and tried to appear as the person that I would want to hire. I am very good at the "team player" concept and make a very snappy impression. Only on the way out of the interview did it occur to me that I was essentially stuck being that person for the duration of my stay at Horace Mann Elementary school.
Now it's been another three years, and I'm staring at a form that asks if I am interested in an inter-district transfer. I have this vision of "Mister Caven's Opus" in which I am ceremoniously carted out of the building after thirty years of dedicated service, having served my entire teaching career at one location. Students who were once wide-eyed elementary schoolers are now parents sending their children to me to learn the magic of algebra and homophones. The auditorium is full of former colleagues and teacher's pets. I say a few choice remarks, and off I ride into the sunset, ready to spend my remaining years basking in reflective glory.
Of course, it never hurts to sharpen those interview skills.

1 comment:

J-Roc said...

Personally, I believe you should always try to interview at least once a year - whether or not you're interested in changing gigs.

Interviewing is a specialty skill and it's easy for atrophy to set in.

Actually, it's a hell of a lot like dating - you know early on if there's a Love Connection (and whether or not you'll be seeing one another again - regardless of who pays for it...)