We're All Damaged

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Job Interview

I step into this man’s office, Steve SomethingorOther, noting an inspirational poster about TEAMWORK and a bobble head of an athlete I don’t recognize. It might be Joe Montana, but it’s hard to tell because I had a few drinks on the way here and everything's kind of blurry. I wonder if he can tell. A lot of business people frown on drinking before 10 a.m.

Hmm. And maybe I should have worn a tie.

“So,” the man says, “I see from your résumé here—which is, for some reason, printed on a napkin from Subway—that you recently worked for a company called the Death Star? Is that one of those new cutting-edge design firms?”

“A lot of people ask me that,” I say. “No, it’s literally the Death Star. You know, the evil, moon-sized headquarters of the Galactic Empire. With the big super laser. I attached a reference from Emperor Palpatine. He was sort of a mentor back when I was an intern.”

Steve SomethingorOther makes a note on his legal pad. “I see. It says here also that you reported directly to the VP of Doom Spreading and Soul Destroying. Would that be, umm, Darth Vader?”

“No, I wish,” I say. “Very few of us in the cube sector really had any contact with Mr. Vader. I did see him briefly at the holiday party last year though. He killed the DJ and a bunch of the wait staff, and then he left with his wife.”

Ahh. I see. Under key skills, you’ve provided an impressive list. Let’s see, Crying quietly so that your cube neighbor doesn’t hear you. That’s useful. Sleeping with your eyes open during pointless team-building exercises. And, finally, Masking your contempt for the never-ending kick in the crotch that was your meaningless job.

“Yep,” I say. “And I’m also proficient with Microsoft Word. You see, Mr. SomethingorOther--”

“It’s actually Johnson.”

“Oh, really? Well, you see Mr. Johnson, mine is a proactive, systematic thought process. I believe in 110%, and I’m certainly no fan of having a silo mentality. For me, it’s about streamlining, leveraging human capital and right-sizing businesses for maximum top-of-mind awareness.”

Umm, you do realize, Mr. Norman, that none of what you just said makes any sense, right?”

“Well, I think someone’s being a little short-sided. Trust me, best practices don’t leverage themselves.”


“You heard me, Mr. SomethingorJohnson. Synergy.”

“Having you been drinking, Mr. Norman?”

“What? Don’t be ridiculous.”

“You’re actually holding an open bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine right now.”

“Low-hanging fruit.”

“And, you’re not wearing any pants.”

“It’s called holistic thinking, Mr. JohnsonorSomething. Stakeholders respond favorably to coordination across business verticals.”

“OK, Mr. Norman. I’ll give you a thirty-second head start, and then I’m calling security.”

“Alright then. Thanks for the one-on-one. I’ll follow-up next week. We’ll brainstorm over lunch!”


  1. Matt Norman, you are an American treasure. Please come back to Washington and help me fix this economic problem. London is so lucky to have you.

  2. Matt Norman. Thanks for the advice on the new album. It worked, we're #1 in like 100 countries. Next time I'm in London, we'll get drunk . . . Irish drunk. Rock and Roll Doggie!

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  4. Another amazingly hilarious post! Just came across your blog now but I can't stop reading!