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Standing out

I've always stood out in a crowd. It started when I was very young. I was pegged as being a boy and got the nickname of George, but that was one way of standing out. There are many other ways to stand out, and most of them in my experience has been good.

When I was about fifth-grade, I ended up with acquired duet out of 81 girls. I thought at the time that was one of the biggest things that would ever happened to me. I was so proud as I got down from my normal post in the choir lineup, and stood in front of the microphone down front and center. Thank goodness it for choir, it definitely helps with the stage fright.

I normally interview quite well. It is again because I stand out from the crowd. I cannot contribute that to my red hair, though I would like to. (I haven't always been a redhead,secretly.) There is only one job I can ever think of that come out when interviewed, I was not made an offer of employment. It was a job far beyond my capabilities anyway, so it was definitely for the best all-around. Then again, it was the only job that I had actually applied for that was beyond my capabilities. Most of the jobs that I applied for are either beneath me or a perfect fit. I've even gotten jobs that I was not qualified for, but did to the best of my ability. Unfortunately, they usually didn't last long.

When it came to competitions, if I was brave enough to try, I was usually front and center. Again, I stood out from the crowd. I really have no idea what that is, or why I tend to stand out the way I do, but whatever it is, I am glad of it.

Once upon a time, I stood in front of a crowd of 450 people. I had rehearsed in my head what I was going to say to them in my 60 seconds of time for the past 20 minutes. I knew exactly what I was going to say, and even if I lost it, I had the bullet points outlined on the palm of my hand in ink. I walked up to the podium, smiled my very best smile, and blew it.

That's right, that's another way to stand out from the crowd. If you blow something badly, they'll remember you. Quite luckily, it wasn't badly.

I got up there to the podium, and I Stidd far enough back from them I cannot know anyone's ears out but close enough to where the entire room would hear me. I was extremely nervous, as anyone would be when speaking to the group of 450 people, but I didn't let that show.

I opened my mouth to speak, and everything in the world went blank. Everything, that is, except the 450 faces looking back at me. I wasn't able to picture them in their underwear. I couldn't think that far in advance. When you're in that kind of a situation, you don't think about picturing people in their underwear. All you can think about is making yourself look like an idiot. Are you can really concentrate on is trying not to do that. All you want to do is bear your head in the sand. All you can do, is do your best.

I'm so I said what I needed to say comment but not on the way I needed to say it. I do completely forgotten that I had the bullet points written on the palm of my hand. I forgot over half of my speech. Over half of my speech consisted of about 30 seconds, but when you're talking about only having 60 seconds worth of stuff to remember, that's actually not good. In fact, it's quite embarrassing. And redheads have a tendency to blush easily. Well, I turned about as Scarlet as a candy apple sports car. But without a single stutter or pause, I breezed through an entire 60 seconds of something to say.

It was close to what I wanted to originally say. Of course, as I always did in school, I completely forgot the entire second part of my whole speech, but I may do. I filled in the blanks with new stuff that I hadn't thought of until I was put on the spot. And the end I was smiling, and so was the audience. I didn't get anyone to laugh the way I had originally planned, but I did alright. And watching the other 450 take their turn, I realized how well I actually did. I couldn't remember a darn word that I had said up there anymore once I sat down, but I heard the words that they were saying. They were filled with the words on that and large pauses. I know I didn't have any of those, and I know that I sounded far more smooth.

The strangest part was that when they told us we would be doing this, I Hexigon excited. I knew that the majority of people out there in the world do not have enough conviction in their hearts to be able to stand up and confidently speak to 450 people that they never met before. I knew it was a point that I would have an advantage. I've always been comfortable speaking to strangers. It's part of growing up in the military life. Remembering my talent as a writer would come in handy here. I knew I had approximately 20 minutes to rehearse what it was I was going to say, so I didn't worry too much. I wrote what I wanted to say an artful way, blending each point together and fading things through.

The rest of it was just a waiting game after that. Either way the rest of the 450 people to make their speeches.

Believe it or not, that was actually a job interview where I had to do that. It's probably one of the greatest of job interviews I've ever been to, especially if you're going to be dealing with the public on a regular basis and be the face of the company. It was made fairly obvious who was going to be who would be the strong ones in the group. Again, I stood out.

After everyone had their moment to speak, the Next task was to go and have lunch. It was probably a test to see how well we associated with one another, to see who would be the friendly among the group. Again, I certainly stood out. I've never had a problem talking to strangers. After lunch, we were to see who had passed the first test by the looking to see who's name was on a list. If your name was on the list, you had past the first interview, which was you standing in front of 450 people to give it sixty second speech. I could not help but, when I saw my name on that list I jumped up and down and squealed like a little girl, clapping my hands the whole while. People around me were putting your hands on my shoulders and congratulating me. Many of them turned and walked away. There names had not been on the list. I felt sad when I realized this. I wish I had not gotten so excited.

The very next task was to sit in a room that we were originally and give our speeches, and wait in order to have our names called for a second interview. I sat beside the same people that I'd eat lunch with, two girls. Their names were izzy and Erica, and they could not be more opposite. Both were extremely sweet girls out and I actually was almost able to call them friends towards the end of today.

The remaining 150 people, my name was called fairly soon. My name was called before any of the people around me, and everyone was so excited for me. In secret, I was actually nervous. I didn't know quite what to expect. I've heard rumors of test questions that consisted of very difficult scenarios. The whole thing reminded me of a Highway Patrol exam I had taken years ago.

I walked up to my interviewer and shook her hand. Her name was Heather, and she was actually very sweet with a snow white face. It was very easy to like her right away.

She of course asked me if I had any questions regarding the paperwork, to which I replied I did not. I had filled out everything accurately. One of the questions on the paperwork was asking if I had been written up at any job. I wrote down that I had. Who hasn't in this day and age? As easy pointed out to me I don't believe there's anyone out there who hasn't been at least verbally reprimanded at their occupation in someway for something. Well I'm no exception. I was written up in 2004 at Kinko's for hugging a coworker. For some strange reason, the manager took offense. I could tell when Heather got to that part of my paperwork by the smirking that she suddenly developed. I asked her if that's what it was about, and she smiled.


"Yep. That's it."

"It seems a little silly to me," she said.

"Oh, it was."

From there the interview was a breeze. Both of us were set perfectly at ease, and I made her laugh so often that when I got up to walk away, she said it was a pleasure to meet me and I believe she meant it.

I was free to leave at that point, but I refused to. I wanted to wait for my friends. I wanted to see how they did in their interview and if they had the same questions that I had. They were surprised when I chose to stay.

Izzy was the next of our small group. Her interview took far longer than mine, and it started to make me wonder if everything was okay. Eventually, I guessed that maybe she just left after interview. When should go to head back through the door smiling at us, I was really wondering what happened.

She thought she did well in the interview. I was very happy for her. She's a sweet girl, and I know she wanted to drop everything as much as I did. Next I was waiting for Erica. Izzy needed to leave. She Gathered her things and headed for the door as I sat there with Erica, again in idle chitchat conversation. Only 10 minutes later, Izzy return. The battery on her borrowed car was dead. She couldn't go anywhere and had a long drive.

Without even thinking about it, I stood up, walked to the front of the room, stood in front of the podium, and tapped the Mic. It was still on.

"Excuse me, does anyone out there have jumper cables?"

Went silent in a few hands raised up in the air. Izzy kind of blushed a little.

Oh my gosh, she said, you're even more bold than I am. I Took it upon myself to introduce the two strangers, one of them being a stranger to me even. Then, I hatched a plan. As a plan to make most people proud. Rather than borrowing the other girls car, I borrowed her jumper cables from her car as she waited for her interview. And I put the jumper cables and my passenger into my car and drove over to Izzys car. I got Izzy back on the road, and after several moments conversation, headed back up to the room. I handed the keys back to the owner of the other car, and went back to Erica.

As I walked through that room of the remaining 50 people, people were asking me if I was able to get the car started. People were asking if the three of us have come together. Of course we had not. We actually had only met at lunch. Everyone told me that I was such a hero. THey told me how nice I was. Secretly, I was grinning. Outwardly, I was smiling and telling them all that I was not.

It's all strategy. When you go to an interview, from the second you walk through the door into the second you leave and get back home, everything is a test. If we are supposed to be able to deal with the public job, then the job interview should be an open display of how far we are willing to go to help our fellow man.

If this means flagging down the waitress at lunch Because my companions had not yet been able to order lunch on their limited lunch break, harassing the waitress until they're able to order finally, And even risking myself being late in returning in order to come accompany them at the table as they ate, then so be it.

At the end of the interviews, we were told that it was okay to go home. As already said, I didn't. I stayed there to wait for my friends. I already knew that I would find out nothing at the end of the day. We were told we would find out something within 5 to 7 days. Our results would show up in an email.

Several days later as I was thumbing through all of my emails from eBay and friends, I saw one from the company I had interviewed for. More nervous than I care to admit, I opened the email.

"Dear Amanda," it started...


1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry about all the grammatical errors! This entire post was dictated using Siri while traveling a long distance down the 405 freeway speaking into my headset....


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