"People need to learn to leave their personal lives at the door. This isn't the Kardashians."

The agency I work for lost a designer last week. In the middle of a client meeting with Kraft Foods, our senior designer Simon stood, stated, "I can't do this anymore," and left. His dramatic exit was diminished somewhat when, despite having opened and closed the boardroom door hundreds of times, he pulled and shook the handle for a few seconds yelling, "What the fuck is wrong with this door?" before remembering it swung outwards. Earlier that week, Simon confided to Melissa, our secretary, that he was having 'relationship issues', so everyone knew within an hour.

I've posted articles about Simon before and it may have been construed that he and I did not play well together - which was not the case. 'Mr Bobbity' and I butted heads often, but for the most part we were 'in this together'.

Simon's father came in to collect his personal belongings a few days later and, when I asked how Simon was doing, he stated, "He'll be fine, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Which isn't always true as I know a guy who contracted Ross River Virus several years ago and now he needs to be pushed around in a wheelchair, moaning the whole time about his joints and inadequate ramp access. I visited him in his ground-floor apartment once but it was a miserable conversation so I told him I had a present for him in my car, went out to get it, and drove home.

From: Mike Campbell
Date: Wednesday 4 June 2014 10.09am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Interviews

David,

My flight is at 2pm today but I need to pack so I'll leave around 12. I fly back Tuesday morning. Jen is on annual leave so you and Kevin will have to hold the first round of interviews in my absence. Please rearrange your schedule for Thursday and Friday to suit.

The resumes are on my desk in the blue folder. There are 7 interviews on Thursday and 6 on Friday. Ask Melissa to make sure the board room is clean and offer applicants coffee when they arrive.

We're only selecting 5 for final interviews so let's get a good feel for fit. Please organize a list of 10 questions for the applicants before tomorrow and attach their answers to the top of each resume so I can go through them next week. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Are they proactive or reactive? etc..

Mike

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 4 June 2014 10.26am
To: Mike Campbell
Subject: Re: Interviews

Mike,

No problem. I'll perform a google search for 'modern interviewing techniques circa 1982' right away. The importance of determining which applicants are capable of providing contrived responses to stupid questions cannot be overstated. It's essentially the key to getting on well with everyone here.

It's possible, however, more could learnt, and a greater 'feel for fit' obtained, through open discussion. Perhaps over a beer. I therefore suggest Kevin and I meet each applicant in the board room before proceeding to the local bar to chat. Or wait there and have Melissa give them directions.

David

From: Mike Campbell
Date: Wednesday 4 June 2014 10.55am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Interviews

David,

All interviews will take place in the boardroom. Asking set questions means I can rate the answers when I get back. What will I have to go on if you just chat?

It's going to be a busy month and we need to replace Simon immediately. With someone normal. Asking the right questions will help us avoid a repeat of last month's embarrassing drama. I'm sorry he's having relationship issues but people need to learn to leave their personal lives at the door. This isn't the Kardashians.

Mike

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 4 June 2014 11.18am
To: Mike Campbell
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Interviews

Mike,

I'm not sure what Star Trek has to do with any of this but embarrassing drama is standard operating procedure around here. Bringing someone normal into the fold would just be cruel.

Melissa isn't speaking to anyone because she just found out Jodie makes more than her and Jodie has gone emergency hat shopping due to her hairdresser cutting her bangs too short. As she left, I heard Melissa say to someone on the phone, "It must be nice to be able to afford hats."

Ben is wearing Spandex leggings without underpants today, Rebecca's desk collapsed when she stood on it to get everyone's attention about a missing Snicker's bar, and Jennifer's automated 'out of office' reply states, "In Mexico for a week bitches. Jelly much?"

Kevin is the only 'normal' person here and that's because he gave up on having a personality when he discovered gardening. Nobody cares how your cabbages are doing, Kevin.

But yes, it is certainly possible that had Simon been asked about weaknesses prior to employment, that particular drama may have been avoided. When selecting final candidates from this week's interviews, we will immediately weed out those answering, "Dramatic things might happen during a client meeting if I ever find out my partner had sex with a white-water rafting instructor while away on holiday for three days."

Do we also discard the likes of, "If I ever go hiking on the edge of a volcano I might slip and fall into lava without backing up my work," or do these go in the 'maybe' pile with, "I've been known to get caught in open fields during lightning storms."?

Multiple-choice questions might streamline the process. This would provide a range of possible scenarios to preempt and serve as a score tally to "go on." Should there be a draw, we can have the finalists solve a simple math equation on the whiteboard, guess the amount of jellybeans in a jar, and time how long it takes them to do twenty push-ups for bonus points. Any remaining Interview time that would otherwise be wasted on chatting can be spent sitting quietly avoiding eye contact.

In addition to those already suggested, are there any specific pointless questions you want included?

David

From: Mike Campbell
Date: Wednesday 4 June 2014 11.41am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interviews

How is this an issue? Just ask 10 fucking interview questions. I don't care what they are as long as I have a record. And add notes so you can remember who they are.

Mike






From: Mike Campbell
Date: Tuesday 10 June 2014 12.21pm
To: David Thorne
Cc: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: No subject

David,

Can I see you and Kevin in my office please?

Mike




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