'Have you ever petted a wolverine with a cinnamon smile?' I always ask a curt question to decipher the sincerity of a prospective employer. Were he to retort 'what?' in a confused or jovial tone I would simply dish him further rhetoric. Such as - 'Have you ever skin dived with a flamingo in the hot waters of the Serengeti?' My purpose being to further unnerve the apprentice to such a point as to truly test his character.
The day Jason Malt walked into our studio was just another day. A hot capuccino in my hand, a gulp of which would elevate me from the sinking feeling I had experienced going down in the elevator at the earlier that morning. I had reached a point of utter frustration and decided that the walls of convention could no longer hold me. New tactics were required. I felt that at the interview I had brought a stale approach to the dialogue and this had hindered my application to the point of failure.
It is worthy for me to note here that I can certainly draft an impressive cover letter that will bring me to the point of interview, so it is not in my writing that the failure lies, rather it is in my direct approach to dealing with people in person, face to face, and so to speak ..... cheek to cheek.
Perhaps embracing cliches like the above with confidence and gustau will cultivate a more approving feeling in my prospective employers.
'Ever played Black Jack with a lacrosse professional?' I assert to one member of the interview panel. This particular member being heavy in stature with a gleam in the eye which would suggest regular consumption of cognac and cigars, perhaps in unison with a hand of cards. He shuffled noticeably in his leather studded chair and replied with a defensive tone which suggested he had been caught off guard
'no, have you?'
At this point I had opened a door for discussion, and stepped through with a duel-footed leap. 'Can you offer me a job as a luminary?' I quizzed the heavy gambler. 'As it seems that I have not only ticked, but created the boxes that you wish to be ticked' 'and furthermore, i know the boxes which need to be created in which you will ask me to place my mark in the near future'
Once again caught off guard by my high brow line of dialogue, the panel of three all looked flustered. First to reply was a bespectacled young woman with a fine set of pins, hair up off her shoulders, and wearing a boddice made of fine silk and cashmere.
'now listen here honey. I don't know who you think you are, but we run a close knit operation here and to think that you can know more than us about what we ourselves only know about is by its nature preposterous and I will not digest such an assertion unless it is backed up with real force'
'Ok lady' I replied with a contemporary swagger, adjusting the lapels on my vintage shirt, 'let me show you what kind of a man I am'
Reeling in anger at the nerve of the woman to suggest that I need to prove myself - despite a powerful cover letter, a slick outfit and a high brow intro - in a heartbeat I devise a new approach to the game. Swiveling in my chair with a gentle push from my 1970s brogues, I move 360 degrees in an anticlockwise rotation then leap into the air in a searing airbourne display of utter transparency. Landing knees down on the table, I begin to thrust my crotch towards the lady in an Elvis impersonating style. My position of legs tucked under backside ensures that my posture is not threatening, albeit strong and persuading.
She cannot handle this explosion of personality and is literally taken aback, her colleague dragging her by the under arms in a direction of least interference, which happens to be towards a trolley dolly who is deploying sandwiches to the workers at their desks just across the studio.
In their urgency to escape this unhinged interviewee, the two land backwards on the sandwich cart. Tuna melts, egg and cress and italian cheese and salami flavour wiches squashing into their exclusive designer fabrics. Oh the indignity.
I climb down off the table and sit back in the chair. Point made. The other member of the panel looks at me with a kind of, what can I say expression. His mind dumbed from the incident which has clearly thrown him off guard as well as throwing his colleagues onto the sandwich cart.
I ponder my next move. The lady walks back towards the table, brushing some rye and ham from her shoulder blade and straightening her hair with her hand, while her colleague reassures her that it is safe to return to the panel. They sit, bewildered, but ready to listen. 'So Mr Malt' 'It seems that you can certainly make quite an impact' 'I assume that you have heard of our tradition of delivering ensuite furnishings to office settings using people attired as legendary famous people?'
'Of course' I retort.
'Then how does that sound as a job for you Malt?'
'I would be honoured Mr Felzi. When do I start?'
'See you here Monday 10 sharp. We would like you to dress as Jason Bourne from the Bourne Supremacy. Can you do that?'
'Not only would I be honoured, but I will rise to the occasion by delving into my furthest wardrobe in the recesses of my flat and uncover a 2003 costume of Bourne. The costume consists of no less, than a pair of well fitting jeans, a tight blue t shirt and a selection of foreign passports and currency'
'That will be perfect' uttered Feliz, a look of pleasure covering his face as he he exploded into a raucous laugh. The lady grinned sheepishly in agreement, a faint smile crossing her bemused face. The gambler retained his glazed expression, focusing on me with a stare which I was beginning to find unnerving.
' La Crosse you say...'