Thursday, June 28, 2007

Best Interview Ever

This is an email from back in March 2005. I wrote it right after this happened...

I've been looking for a new job lately. My current employer is being acquired and my manager has resigned, so it is time for me to move on. And, for those who are wondering, this will constitute the sixth job I’ve had since college, none lasting more than 30 months.

I had an interview this morning that lasted for over four hours. I assume that it will turn out to be positive, but I honestly don’t know. The setup for the interview is that I’ve got one long interview in which I am going to be meeting with multiple people. First one was with a senior executive in the company and seemed to go very well. He was easy to talk to, I had relatively coherent answers to his questions, and I got the sense that he liked me. On to the next interview, this time with the executive who oversees the group I would be joining. Much older guy than I normally meet; probably in his sixties, but could just be that he drinks too much and spends a lot of time in the sun. He starts the interview by saying that the whole interview is going to be me asking him questions. I wasn’t sure if it was a sign that he is simply an overaggressive type who wants to challenge me or if he just has no idea what to ask me. I paused for a moment since I really wasn’t sure how to proceed and then I start asking him questions. First question I ask, his response is “Oh, that is a very good question…a very good question” leading me to believe that this guy just doesn’t know what to ask me. We go back and forth, me asking the questions and him responding with generalities and non-answers. He wasn’t being vague for the purpose of secrecy; I think he just couldn’t formulate a thoughtful, professional response to anything I asked him.

At one point, the tables turn and he is actually asking me the questions. I am talking a fair amount and when I finish answering what seems to be his last question to me, I ask if I can continue to interview him. He pauses and just looks at me for several seconds. His face seems pained and a little red, but it wasn’t that different than how he had looked for the majority of the interview. Then he says:

“Hmmm. I’ve gotta piss real bad.”

I say, “Okay, I’ll wait.”

He then continues to simply sit in his chair, directly across from me. I have no idea what is going on, but I keep wondering why he isn’t just getting up and going to the freaking bathroom. While I am waiting, he continues to make strange faces and look down at his crotch. Every few seconds, he grunts or moans or makes a faint noise that suggests displeasure with himself. Then he says:

“I’m sorry, dude. I pissed my pants.”

I’m dumbfounded. Be sure, this is not a joke. This shit absolutely, positively happened to me. So, this guy sits there with his wet pants on, apologizing to me about the whole deal. I suggest he use his jacket to cover himself so he can get to the bathroom with some dignity. In his attempts to deal with this situation, he says things like “It’s my prostate” and “This happened to me on an airplane once and that was really horrible”. I try to make him feel better and say “It’s cool, man. I know what its like.”

Of course, I have no fucking clue what it’s like to piss your pants in public, let alone in the workplace while conducting an interview. I’ve certainly laid some unbelievably foul farts at work, but that never stained my pants.

Then, he stands up, shows me the damage by highlighting it with his hands, takes his jacket, and goes to the bathroom. I just sit there, fumbling to try and deal with what just happened. All I can think is that my interview is shot because this dude will never be able to think of me without thinking about the fact that he wet himself. And, he can’t let me get hired because I am the only witness to this little episode.

He comes back, puts his jacket on the chair, and again shows me the wet spot, which is now larger for some reason. He sits down and we continue the interview - no lie. At the end, he again makes an apology.

To which I say “At least you’ll remember this interview.”

He then responds with “It’s not like you made me piss my pants. This had nothing to do with you.”

The end result of this encounter is that I am seated next to him in my last interview of the day, an unexpected opportunity to talk to the CEO of the company. Mr. LooseBladder, who went home to change his pants, is basically acting like my best friend in front of the CEO, patting me on the back, praising my interview with him, and all sorts of extra friendly behavior. He ends up escorting me out of the office, shakes my hand a number of different times, tells me I did a great job, and apologizes one last time.

I’ll let you all know what happens next if anything. If they hire me, this has to be one of the greatest coworker stories of all time. Assuming he is still there when I join them.

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