It was 2006 and I was frustrated at work, yet again. (Noticing a pattern here?? Ha!)
The writing was on the wall after year one, but like a dog with a bone, I wasn’t letting go that easily.
When it was time to leave, I still had no idea what I was going to do. The only reason I didn’t succumb to my fear of the unknown was because I made a point to remember how it all worked out two years prior.
If life is like a classroom, then I was just moving on to the next grade.
After a couple of cool “coincidences” that led to temporary freelance gigs - which I talk about in the podcast. Can you tell I’d love for you to listen? :) - I received a call out of the blue from a pharmaceutical sales director asking me to interview for a position on her team.
Turns out, a friend of mine posted my resume on their job board and when a role opened up, I was called. Being open to opportunities, I agreed to meet the director to find out more.
During the interview I was asked to sell my favorite movie, book, and restaurant.
I froze. Because, you know, why would I expect to have to sell something during an interview for a sales position?? So, naïve!
“Wait. Did she say and or was that or?? Which one should I pick?” My mind suddenly went blank.
I thought, “I pretty much only order pizza, so I can’t sell a restaurant. That’s out. Book. Book? Have I read lately? I think I was just reading something, so why can’t I remember the title? Oh wait - Dr. Phil’s Self Matters? Forget it! Moving on! Next category…”
Then, a flashing neon sign went off in my mind with the movie title: Wedding Crashers.
“WHAT?? I mean, really!? If I choose Wedding Crashers, there’s no way I’ll be taken seriously and my shot at this job is over. What if she hates that kind of humor? She’ll totally judge me. Pssst - she’s judging you anyway Amy! Of all the movies, you can’t think of one that’s at least Oscar-worthy??”
I don’t know how much time passed, but it felt like FOREVER. I was trying to stay cool, but it was absolutely nerve-wracking with her looking at me from across the table waiting as I grinned and tried to pull something together and casually wipe the sweat from my upper lip!
Then in a flash, I decided I just couldn’t care. I had to start talking. I had to go with what I was given and make the most of it. Besides, that was me, take it or leave it – I loved Wedding Crashers!
“You know a movie’s great if I pay to see it 5 times.” And with that, the director’s curiosity was piqued and we were on a roll!
We began talking about the movie, which led to a discussion about other comedies like The 40 Year Old Virgin, and then somehow to her upcoming foot surgery!
When we were done, she just said, “That was great.” Great? I didn’t even try to sell her on the movie. We were just shooting the breeze – ah ha!!
That’s when it hit me that you don’t have to be aggressive, cheesy, or shady to sell something. (A whole other topic…)
After the interview, I walked to the Virgin Megastore and bought a copy of Wedding Crashers to send along with a thank you and my wishes for luck and laughs as she recovered from her surgery.
While I did have to go through more interviews with more people, I landed that job and attribute it to my unbridled passion for Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn’s comedic chemistry. ;-)
Now, I clearly don’t work there anymore, so you know a story about that job will surface one day too, BUT the point here is that I chose to keep it real, show her who I was in that moment, and be myself.
When you’re fake, people can feel it. And not only that, but then you have to use your energy to keep up the facade. Just say no. ;)
Tell the truth. Be yourself. It’s all you can do. And if someone doesn’t get it, that’s not on you.
Well, thanks for letting me share that story which still makes me cringe and laugh to this day! If you liked it or know someone who might, I’d “bee” ever so grateful if you shared it with the social media buttons below!
Amy, The Queen Bee NYC
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