I Wish I Were A Shark
Let me start with a confession: I am terrible at job
interviews. Some people say that but
what they mean is that they get nervous or they feel weird about selling
themselves. I mean neither of those
things. I have actually said these words
during a job interview, “It’s okay if you don’t give me the job.” Why?
Because I wasn’t feeling great in the interview and, hey, why not be
honest? Oh, because I have bills to pay,
that’s why. Ugh.
One of my absolute worst moments in an interview did, at
least, lead to an “aha” moment. It
wasn’t quite an epiphany, but we’re not entitled to too many of those in one
life time. Picture it, me with my
theater degree and background in customer service and film work, sitting at a
table with three lab technicians interviewing to be a…lab technician. I had recently discovered a love of science
and a deep need to not deal with the general public anymore. The two led me to a corporation who shall
remain nameless but let’s say that I would have been dealing with blood, urine,
and fecal samples. Sounds gross but, at
the time, I thought lab work would be amazing.
The interview had seemed to go well. I’d been engaging and forthright and had
spoken of my desire to switch careers and do meaningful work. I thought I really had a chance. Then they hit me with the last question:
IF YOU COULD BE ANY
ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I stared at them dumfounded.
This was something you asked your friends as a joke or to loosen people
up at a dinner party, not something a hiring committee used to find a new
potential employee. Why not ask me what
books I would take to a deserted island?
I sighed heavily, knowing that this was not meant to
be. “I know I should say something like
I want to be a work horse, but honestly, I want to be a shark.”
The three ladies looked at me, their smiles sliding slowly into disapproving
frowns. I had just admitted that I
wanted to be a predator, and not just any predator, but the one most feared by
humans. Who doesn’t step into the ocean
and, at least for a brief second, think they’re going to be eaten? Who doesn’t read the summer shark-bite
articles with enthusiasm, thinking they themselves had escaped such a fate? If you’ve seen JAWS, you fear sharks.
The ladies thanked me for my time and I was released back out into the world,
jobless and a bit disappointed.
But, I’d meant it.
Being a shark would be so cool.
Sharks don’t sleep. They’re
always on the move. They live in the
ocean and travel miles and miles. I like
all those things. I don’t want to fly or
swing from branches, I want to swim and swim and swim. Okay, I’m not super interested in eating raw
fish all the time, but I’d adjust. I
like sushi. Plus, sharks are
mysterious. We really don’t know much
about them. Except that they cost us
jobs. We know that much.