One bright and sunny day Joseph gets a call from a local store. It is manager Gary asking if he is available to come in for his interview. Joseph asks him to give him half an hour to get ready, the manager complies.

-- 30 minutes later --

Joseph walks into the store and is asked to meet Gary in the meeting room alone.

Upon entering the room the door is shut behind him and he hears a click as the door locks. The lights have been lowered to an intimidating dimness and only a mirror is available on side of the room.

Joseph takes his seat on one end of the long table and calmly asserts himself to relax and wait patiently.


Gary is on the other side of the two-way mirror observing his potential employee watching every move he makes and analyzing his posture and body language to see his reaction to any stimulation.

He asks to have the lights flicker a little to see if Joseph gets nervous or jumpy. The lights flicker off then back on, no response. Gary then asks to have someone open the door for a moment, look in, then slam the door as loud as possible; again, no response from Joseph.

Gary becomes curious as to what is keeping Joseph so calm and content. Normally his interviews have the potential employee on edge what with all the stimulation and intimidating procedure the company takes on to see if the person can handle pressure and stress of high levels. Yet for some reason, Joseph seems to be unshaken and not disturbed at all. It seems their test just isn't working at all.


Joseph sits calmly without a worry on his mind and is at peace with himself even though everything around him is buzzing with activity.

Moments later, Gary enters the room with a look of pure frustration and sits at the other side of the table across the room and gives a look of confused irritation towards Joseph.

He says, "Do you have anyone we can contact to reference?". Joseph nods and hands over a small list of three people and then replies, "These people will tell what they think of me if you need them to." Gary, accepting the paper, raises an eyebrow then pulls out his cellphone, still Joseph does not stir.

He calls the first number, inquiring about Joseph. The caller on the other end goes into a full-blown rant about how Joseph "can be a bit stubborn and hard-headed when he wants something done".

The next one Gary calls explains that Joseph can "sometimes seem over-bearing and opinionated when he feels strongly about an option or path to take".

The last caller Gary contacts seems a tad over-zealous about Joseph, saying that he is the worst employee he has ever had. When Gary asked why, the caller replied: "He doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut, the moment you slip up and think he won't rat you out.. he'll report you promptly without a second thought. The dirty snitch."

Gary closes his cell phone and takes a moment to collect his thoughts about this new employee. Joseph continues to sit calmly and is in no way ruffled or anxious as to Gary's decision.

Minutes pass by in silence as Gary can find no way to stir Joseph in any way and yet cannot feel the references given were too reliable.

Finally, Gary lets out a large sigh and tells Joseph, "I am not sure why I am doing this, but you've got the job. We would like you to start on Monday at 8 am and make sure to bring plenty of paper and a pen to take notes for your first few days."

Joseph made no sudden jump, nor did he smile. He simply leaned over the table and stared pensively at Gary. Then he spoke: "Good sir, you have made it through the interview."

Gary was taken aback a bit by this strange and random reply. He asks Joseph what he means by his statement, since he cannot understand who he is talking about since he was not the one being interviewed.

Joseph replies:

"Good sir, as I sat here while you stood behind the two-way mirror asking others to flicker the lights and slam the door to make me nervous, you were being interviewed."

"As you saw I made no stir, nor did I make any motions of anxiety or fear. This seemed to have frustrated you, for you couldn't understand why I wasn't reacting just as everyone before me has."

"You entered this room frustrated and perplexed at my lack of reactions. Yet, you still chose to call my references to learn more about me. I gave you the three people that would tell you whatever they felt was necessary. So as expected they did, and I am sure they were not all too positive about me. I am sure the last one you contacted was not at all happy with me."

"Those three individuals I had only known for a brief time, and had worked with them. They do not like me or perhaps what I believe in, yet I still gave their numbers to you."

"I wanted you to see the negatives that others may see in me. Yet, the choice was still yours to see if perhaps these things are spoken in truth or in opinion about how they feel towards me."

"You chose to see them as opinions, and still give me a chance at this job. Despite your failed attempts at scaring me and the references that spoke ill of me, you still gave me a chance."

"Good sir, you showed me that even through all the bad of this world and ill words of others. You still choose to give a chance and in that you show that you are indeed human."


Gary's mouth dropped in shock to all the statements. He almost felt angry and annoyed with Joseph, until he saw a smile. At this point Joseph began to chuckle and exclaimed, "Don't be so angry with me, but take it as a positive to know you're still a human being and not just another money making manager."

At this, Joseph stood up and thanks Gary for his time. He promised to show up on Monday and will be very well pre-pared as Gary had advised him to be.

As he left he said on final statement:

"Gary, always remember that no matter how much money you or this company make, you are still a human being and no greater or lesser than the rest of us. Never forget that we are all one and the same, not just numbers and letters put together for a corporation to control. Have a good day."

With that, Joseph walks out of the room leaving Gary behind stunned.


October 19, 2010