There is an extended joke I heard quite some time ago about a “gentleman” who was standing in line at an airline ticket counter trying to get on an over booked flight. In a demanding voice he uttered the above words at which point the ticket agent got on the PA system and announced that there was an individual at her counter who didn’t know who he was. If anyone recognized him, she would appreciate it if they would come forward.
At times, this job search thing can be really discouraging if for no other reason than those we are communicating with don’t know who we are. By that I mean they don’t know how important we are. (Or is it, think we are?)
The reason I bring this up is the need for you to be aware that there are a fairly large number of uninformed people out there. For some reason they are bound and determined to catch you off guard and ask you stupid questions. (Fortunately, stupidity isn’t against the law.)
I had one member this week who related a story about an interview he had with someone younger than his youngest son who 2 minutes into their conversation wanted to know his SAT scores. Yes I know, it is hard not to react.
To suggest that you be prepared to expect the unexpected is perhaps a contradiction in terms, but that’s where you have to live.
This attitude you need to adopt extends to the long delays in folks you have met getting back to you as well. I had a client this week who I have called repeatedly over the past 3 MONTHS for a status report on the candidates we sent. If I am one thing, it is persistent. At the end of my patience, I called several people at the firm who had introduced me and asked that they use their good offices to have her call. When she did, she reported that our candidates are all still being considered and that she didn’t call me because there was nothing new to report. Nothing new to report? Hard not to react after leaving a dozen messages over a period of 6 weeks, but without missing a beat I said: “That is so exciting! Thank you for letting me know.”
Whatever the outrage of the day, you unfortunately won’t gain ANYTHING by reacting negatively. Even when the answer is no, be polite.
That’s actual how you win long term. (At least I know who you are, and you don’t even need to show me your American Express Card.)