So…finally…it’s here. The second part of the worst interview of my entire life.
Post Dirty-Mouth Rabbi.
I was truly stunned by the amount of times the Rabbis said “fuck” over the process of those few minutes. Am I the only one that believes that Rabbis (of all people) must set the example for the rest of us? I am totally okay with progressive Rabbi’s who swears once in a while, like everyone else, but this was a bit obnoxious. I do not consider myself a religious man, however, I do consider myself a spiritual man. It has reminded me of how I look to others as I swear from time to time. I have since been watching my “naughty” language. Every day.
Me: What’s next? More scenarios? I am beginning to enjoy this!
Just When I Thought It Couldn’t Get Worse…
The Scenarios didn’t end there. I wish I could say that was it…but it wasn’t.
Pro Bono: Well…it sounds like you understand your role is protect the Company.
Me: I’m sorry, what was that?
Pro Bono: Your role is to protect the Company.
Me: (um…what?) As an employment attorney, you know that the HR Department has a dual-function purpose, which is to protect the rights of the Employee while limiting the potential exposure to liability and risks to the Employer.
Pro Bono: No, your role is to protect the Company, the people who pay you.
Rabbi’s Assistant: I think she’s right.
Rabbi: Of course, she’s right. She’s the lawyer.
Me: I’m sorry. That is not what seven years of Corporate HR experience has taught me. Yes, the Company pays me to protect their interests, but by California Law and Federal Labor Law, I must protect the rights of the employees…
The next minute was awkward. Glaring at me with such distaste, Pro Bono started to babble more heated considerations my way. The Rabbi’s assistant started questioning my aptitude in HR, and the Rabbi tried to calm them both down.
My Most Uncomfortable Moment Ever (In An Interview).
Pro Bono: Are you serious, right now?
It was at this moment that I took my final sip of water. I thought to myself I am actually being harassed. Perhaps I really should just pick up my things and leave. If I leave, it could make the Chairman look bad. So, I stayed…and instead…
Me: I have to say, I have never felt so uncomfortable in an interview. I actually feel harassed at this moment. Why do you think I feel that way?
Pro Bono: I don’t know why you would feel that way, we are just asking you questions.
Me: No, I feel attacked.
(Boy did that shut everyone up and quickly!)
Rabbi: We are simply trying to make sure you know what you are talking about.
Pro Bono: (After a brief pause) Let’s continue.
Rabbi’s Assistant: I have a couple questions.
Me: Oh boy, I can’t wait!
The HR Business Acumen.
The Rabbi’s Assistant proceeded to inquire about the hiring and firing process. I thought to myself, please! You mean, on-boarding and off-boarding. Those just happen to be my specialty. After wow’ing them with my in-depth knowledge of on-boarding, off-boarding, and background checks where I schooled them all a bit on the subject, the room fell silent for a moment. I really hoped we were done. My fingers were literally crossed.
My Polite Correction.
Pro Bono: Under California State Law, what forms must you give to new hires or have them sign?
Me: Really? You want me to run through all of them?
Rabbi’s Assistant: And Federal Law?
Pro Bono: Yes.
And I proceeded to go through each one. I was very articulate. I did not stutter. When I mentioned a new(er) form, Pro Bono winced.
Pro Bono: That’s not one of the forms.
Me: Actually, Pro Bono, it’s new(er) as of January 1, 2012. If you want, I can forward you the document once I return to work.
Pro Bono: Yes, please do that.
I explained that particular form in more detail. You bet I did. Take that! I will admit I was a bit condescending but at that point, I knew I would NEVER work with them NOR would I ever have good things to say about her.
My Last Interjection.
As Pro Bono turned to Rabbi’s assistant inquiring about time, I thought I would just throw out one more piece of information about me that they probably would never have guessed.
Me: I also enjoy hiking and I am an urban farmer with two goats and four chickens in my WeHo backyard.
Pro Bono: What?
Me: Well…you didn’t ask about anything about my life, so I thought I would offer you something special. (I was a bitch!) Rabbi, you should come over and see them sometime.
Rabbi: I don’t really like goats all that much. haha. (He laughed and snickered).
Pro Bono. Okay then, well, thank you for your time.
Me: No, thank you for your time. (I had to be a gentleman because that’s just who I am, right?)
The Walk of Redemption.
Rabbi: I know you felt a little uncomfortable and Pro Bono can definitely make people feel uncomfortable. (ya think?) We are trying to make sure that the HR person comes in here and not only knows their stuff, but also can handle any and all situations. It’s quite challenging here.
Me: I know HR. I don’t know if that’s the best way to do it, but I understand.
Rabbi: I’m sorry if she came off too much for you.
Me: Just be careful with her.
Rabbi: (as we arrived at the entrance/exit) Well…Thank you so much, Seth for coming in and interviewing.
I took one look at the entrance/exit and was glad I would most likely never step foot in that “Center” again. Ever!
What I failed to mention was that I had actually brought my yarmulke to wear during the interview, but after seeing the space before the interview room, I quickly shoved it back into my murse.
When I got to my car, I almost cried. I felt defeated. I felt disappointed in myself. Then, I realized I really was honest and I really did know my HR stuff. Yuck!
When I returned to my office, I forwarded her the requested document and thanked her for her time once again. I just couldn’t help myself. Also, though, I did appreciate their time
I wrote an honest email to the Chairman who’s somewhat immediate response was apologetic but politically correct. Clearly, he would have preferred my first impression be a better one. Me too.
What I Have Leanred.
Number #1: Sometimes too much honesty is not the best, especially in interviews.
Number #2: I probably should have done more research off-line instead of online. I could have found out the “environment” into which I was about to enter. It turns out a couple of my friends were not surprised.
Number #3: No matter how uncomfortable an interview may be, stick with it. It shows tremendous inner strength and you will fell all the better for it afterward.
Number #4: Sometimes, it’s the other person. No matter what happens, I will never change the core of who Pro Bono is. I won’t be able to help her discover the bitterness and sadness within her life. Unless, of course, she comes for some coaching. Now, that would be fun! Perhaps when my next door neighbor’s pig, Delilah, flies.
1) My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with Boston right now.
2) My ankle surgery was successful. It has been very humbling to accept help from others. In fact, I really don’t like it at all. It’s an experience for me.
3) Belinda was a God-send this past Friday for my surgery. She waited on me hand and foot. Thanks to my other friends (and co-workers) too for their support — especially those who helped me shower (humbling), brought me matzoh ball soup, and for the delicious cupcakes.
4) Forgive me if there are errors, I’m not feeling too well now. A little lightheaded and am feeling terrible nausea. I hope it passes quick.
A Smile From The Inside Production 🙂