Saying the right thing

Over the past few weeks, I've had a lot of time to think about what it means to "say the right thing." This thought has been inspired by spending a lot of time preparing for job interviews, talking to my girlfriend, and so on.

There's a pretty high premium placed on saying the right thing these days. Knowing what to say can you get you a job, a girl, a hot meal, and more. Moreover, there's a certain amount of in-the-moment pressure to say what you know the other person wants to hear. Along with a lot of other people, I guiltily admit to loving instant-gratification. There's nothing like saying the right thing for getting a smile of approval, one of the ultimate forms of inst-grat.

There's a part of me that really hates self-presentation. I'm really bad at hyping myself - I don't want to tell other people that I'm smart, rich, capable, or ridiculously good in bed, even if it happens to be the truth (which it, unfortunately for my girlfriend, is not). Consequently, there's probably a part of me that really hates having to do things like this.

Really, I'd much rather have some sort of brain-scan that would show prospective employers where I actually stand. Not only would that relieve the pressure of having to go through interviews, it would also make me a lot less uneasy about whether I'm being hired for who I am, or for who I represented myself to be. Having sat behind the interviewer's desk, there's really only so much that you can pick up about a person in an hour. Sure, you can toss out a case question and see if they're smart. But it's hard to tell if they're lazy, the full extent of their skill set/experience, and whether or not you'll actually be able to work with them over an extended period of time.

As a guy that just got hired, I'm totally freaked out that they might be expecting a lot more from me than I can actually do. Anyway, I'm sure it'll be fine. But still. I think the whole interview process could be done better.



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