Thursday, June 14, 2007

Killing Two Birds With One Stone

My buddy and fellow rock star deadspot wanted to know what the dumbest question anyone ever asked me was and Dirty wanted to know how to answer the dumbest question anyone could ever ask me. So, in a blogging double-play, I'll try to satisfy both of them with one post.

The dumbest question anyone ever asked me is "What are your weaknesses," because, obviously, I don't have any. However, I do have what I like to call "performance quirks," which could be seen as weaknesses by some. So, in a job interview situation, if asked the dumbest question anyone ever asked me, I tell them the truth. I don't try to trump myself up with things like, "I work to hard," or "I tend to take on too much responsibility." Instead, I say any or all of the following:

  • Sometimes, time management is a problem for me. I have a difficult time estimating how long it will take me to complete a task, due to unforseen problems that may arise. This is a good answer because it's true, I often come in under the wire on projects or they are just plain late. Sometimes the unforseen circumstances are from other people, but often it's my fault. But the way I pose the weakness puts responsibility in the hands of fate and chaos, two very handy scapegoats. I also think that this raises a point for the interviewers, who, I'm sure, have had outside forces mess with them on occaision.
  • I have difficulty saying "no" to projects, because I like to be helpful. But, in the past, this has caused me to overbook myself. This alerts the interviewers to the fact that I'm enthusiastic and that they will have to help me monitor my workload, so that I won't bite off more than I can chew.
  • Bureaucracy frustrates me and I often become impatient and frustrated when bogged down with red tape. I don't like it when the system gets in the way of serving the customer. This irritation and impatience sometimes surfaces in my communications with others in the organization. This statement lets them know that the customer comes first with me and I'm willing to knock some heads together for their sake.
  • Sometimes I overthink situations and get bogged down before implementing solutions. This lets the interviewers know that I have a brain and I'm not afraid to use it.

I hope these are helpful, Dirty. And deadspot, I hope this satisfies your request too. Though, I did toy with this question as the dumbest question anyone ever asked me:

"Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?"

It's a dumb question to ask me because it takes all the patience of Job for me to restrain myself from punching the question-poser in the throat. First of all, it's none of their business. Secondly, I know it's a come-on from those born again who are trying to add notches their halos by saving another poor soul, and therefore, completely self-interested. Do you know, one asshole actually asked me this at my Granpda's funeral? He's lucky he's not breathing through a tube.


  1. Oh Flannery, isn't it such blessing to know the Lord?! Yes, praise Jesus! Praise you Lord.

    Oh wait, am I going to to hell now?Shit!

  2. Haha...thank you! I knew I could count on you to answer the impossible question. I love that you call them performance quirks...that is brilliant.

  3. I'll be using your interview ammo answers rather than continuing on with my present 'I hate working for a living'. Why do I never seem to get anywhere?

  4. Elizabeth: depending on how strict your interpretation, you've been doomed to hell for ages and ages. That's why this Antichrist dude is gaining followers.

    As for the Jesus thing: if you notch your halo TOO much, it'll break in half!! Doens't anyone know that??

  5. God, I hate that question. I also hate, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" because the truthful answer is "sipping champagne on a yacht with Jeremy Sisto." Just because I can see it doesn't mean it will happen.

  6. Flannery I admire your restraint.

  7. One of the freakiest things about the Jesus questions is that I've noticed an increasing trend or these nosey nutjobs to refer to Jesus as their "personal" lord and savior. Like he's a pan pizza or something.

  8. Elizabeth, I'll see you there! Save me a seat.

    Dirty, You're welcome!

    Dale, It's better to sugar coat that kind of thing for future employers. Load up on all my ammo.

    BOUM: I didn't know that! Though it is just a metaphor...

    Beckeye, we must dare to dream!

    Pezda, thank you.

    Anandamide: Oooh! I forgot that bit! That is what they always say! Personal as opposed to what? My public Lord and Savior? My impersonal Lord and Savior...hey, that's more on the mark. At least for those of us who see God as much more of a hands-off kind of guy.

  9. I've accepted Jesus Christ as my personal valet...

  10. "Where do you see yourself in 5 years", usually gets a response "Oh I don't know, your job looks pretty easy".

    And God is my Co-pilot, but we crashed in the woods and I had to eat him to survive...

    Thank you, thank you very much. I'll be here all week, be sure to tip the wait-staff!

  11. sky dad: that Jesus is my co-pilot thing was on a tee-shirt once. I wish I could find it again.

    Meanwhile, when people ask you how you are, the Jimmy Buffett song "My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, and I Don't Love Jesus" gets some really, REALLY interesting reactions!!

  12. "He's lucky he's not breathing through a tube." Oh, stop, Flan. You had me at "It's a dumb question to ask me because it takes all the patience of Job for me to restrain myself from punching the question-poser in the throat."