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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

first impressions

Going By The Book

I've decided to quit all this nonsense about staying true to myself and thinking outside the box and live entirely according to the step-by-step teachings of three excellent books that have been on my shelf for many a moon but, victims of my unstructured lifestyle and inability to do anything on time, have gone undigested and unread.

I'm not sure I've got the balls to read the last one right through - sort of literary equivalent of going on Doctor Phil, I would imagine.

Anyway, joblessness is the ideal dilemma to be facing with these books, and in fact provide pretty decent companionship in their cheery bullying way. (Speaking of joblessness is a good reason to spread the word of Odd Todd's fine and hilarious site.)

First off, I followed Rita's advice and gave myself an hour to get as far as I could with her book. It chafed a bit after 27 minutes but the pages are so white and the type so clean and the weird 7" x 5" format so comfy to handle, I only stopped to make lunch and then spurned TV or radio for pressing on with the remaining chapters. It felt good and of course was the first tottering step towards salvation.

Next start, the 18 chapters on organizing myself which of course looked daunting and depressing, so I allowed myself to be utterly weak and cowardly and tackle just two, 'Task hopping' and 'Fence sitting', both of burning interest and therefore not hard to get stuck into.

First Impressions: Chapter Five looked good - 'Enough about me: showing interest' - and relevant to an interview coming up.

I didn't have to bother too much with the body language bit, tho' I do tend to make important phone calls on my feet, gesturing as necessary and laughing and smiling as appropriate or persuasive.

I've done research on the company and personnel but there's always room for more. I called the VP's assistant and told her how encouraged I'd been by the way the initial phone interview had gone and how I looked forward to the in-person interview.

Could I, I oozed, take up 2 mins of her time to compare notes on the URLs I'd been checking - *and* could she suggest any others?

After cooing nicely about my accent - *and* saying that none of the other candidates had bothered to take that route - she emailed me 3 links that her boss thought good and also a quasi internal link on their homesite, buried under their 'About Us' section.

"It kinda gives you the culture and language. Use a few of the buzz words and you'll have Gary's attention. Hey, no problem, good luck and we'll see you Tuesday."
  • What's in a name?
  • Art of asking questions
  • Self-check
  • Art of listening
  • Art of responding
  • Interest intensity

One of benefits of ageing is that by sheer force of repeated failings, one inches towards the occasional glimmer of truth about oneself.

I may scoff in public at self-help books and gifted showmen inquisitors like Phil McGraw, but I respond to their nannying and hectoring tone. I don't go round spouting chapters word for word, shoving up charts and positive Post-It thoughts, but I need that language to insulate me against the vacuums of self-doubt and idleness. I'm a walking Heineken of wrong thoughts and self-deception: I can deliver packets of negativity to nooks and crannies that my shrink hasn't *heard* of let alone fancies he can reach. I'm a clog-free broadband conduit for messages that sap and ingenious permissions for myself to sink from the occasion. Sinew-stiffening messages? Round the back, sir - the tradesmen's entrance. The maid will show you where the dialup is kept. I'm a one-man luke warmth seeking missile, hence my absolute need to read these books and drum the lingo in.

Progress reports as they occur and ... er ... dependent on actual progress.

yikes! busk up! Er, I mean, buck up! Yur a wonderful writer and you make me laugh and I feel absolutely desolee when I have to wait around for your tirades. I checked out the third book about first impressions...pul-lease! I prefer you AS IS..
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