Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Never Enough

I've played some more phone tag, called some more people. I'm not working as hard as I should be working in order to be working. I'm going in spurts. I make a lot of contacts, then slack off, but while I'm slacking off the previous contacts pay off. Then when the dust settles and I still don't have a job, I go back to applying for work.

I'm glad I took the break to learn some linguistics. It was interesting and complex but showed me that I can still jump in and learn things. I'm not stupid. I feel stupid sometimes, and unfortunately sometimes I act stupid. I had an interview for a job I really wanted and the questions showed that the employer really cared about the same things I did.

He threw in some technical questions on the aircraft I've been flying lately. Really easy questions and for some reason I sounded like this woman. My brain was full of Screaming Weasel numbers and I either couldn't answer, or worse gave incorrect answers to basic questions about my own airplane. Please Mr. Chief Pilot, please, please overlook that and somehow see though to someone who will do a good job for you. What's the use of being smart and knowledgeable if I can't even look like someone who is when it counts? They weren't hard questions. It wasn't like the sixth guy story from these interviews.

I got my very first job on technical questions--I know because I sucked on the HR questions. Now I have learned how to act like a human being on the HR side but apparently I don't know anything. I'm so disappointed in myself. They said they might take two weeks or so to select the candidates, but it's been longer and still no reply. I kind of like it when an employer has the decency to tell you they don't want you. Unfortunately this kind of thing is common in aviation.

Somewhere, in a parallel universe, there's a copy of me that didn't screw up that interview. Maybe there's a copy that put a lot more work into the right things in the right place and is an astronaut. An astronaut went to my school, a few years before me, and had a lot of the same hobbies.

I'll go back to some technical aviation posts, to try and be ready. In gratitude for your tolerating all those linguistics posts, I'll respond to your requests for technical subjects.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I will always think of you as Leela from Futurama

Aviatrix said...

I am delighted to be Leela from Futurama. I'm adding her now to my short list of personal heroes.

Ward said...

It's been over 2 years and I still cringe inwardly thinking about an interview I screwed up. The company would've been a good fit for, I was familiar with the technology they were using (but I would've learned a lot), the pay and location were good...

But I couldn't answer even the most straightforward questions properly. I blanked out on stuff I knew, misunderstood a couple others, just came off looking like I was way over my head.

Job interviews are so much a solo performance, like being on stage by yourself singing or playing the piano, that if you don't do as well as you think you should've, you can't help but feel like you blew it.

pat said...

One trick I use for job interviews and a few other anticipated stressful situations:

I take a pill of beta-blocking medicine "Propranol" It's a french medicine but maybe the name is the same in Canada?

My doctor prescribed it to me and it's really helpful. It helps staying calm (by slowing down the heartbeat).

I've known situations in the past where I was no longer myself, unable to answer questions to things I knew...

Cirrocumulus said...

If the company would've been that good a fit you'd have felt more confident in the interview. Ask yourself what you were detecting that you don't want to acknowledge?

Today's verification word is in Turkish.

Frank Van Haste said...

Re: pat's comment: Propranolol is a beta-blocker commonly used to control hypertension. Prescription-only in the US. If you usually have low-normal BP, be careful with it, you wouldn't want to faint in the middle of the interview.

Frank

John Lennerton said...

I am delighted to be Leela from Futurama. I'm adding her now to my short list of personal heroes.

Only with two eyes, right? I'm not sure how Leela passed her flight physical with cycloptic vision.

Aviatrix said...

Cirrocumulus: I felt fine, happy and comfortable. I just didn't have the answers to the technical questions in my head because they were about an airplane I haven't flown since a few months before filling my mind with the Screaming Weasel. From there point of view I was utterly ignorant about my own airplane. I'm not sure why I was quite so ignorant, because after I hung up I could rattle off the facts, but they weren't there when I was asked, and a pilot has to have it all there on the worst day.

Pat: I wouldn't ever consider chemically altering myself in preparation for an interview. It would probably invalidate my medical for a week, and it's just not my style.

Steve Pomroy said...

Wow. That first paragraph sounds so familiar... Been there. A couple of times!

Aviatrix, your recent writings on linguistics inspired the intro to my latest blog post. Read it here: http://www.flightwriter.com/2011/05/fly-little-wing.html. Cheers!

Sarah said...

Brain freeze can be so embarrassing. I'm sure the interviewer was aware you had not been in the weedwacker (?) for several months. Numbers, like performance speeds tend to pop off my stack pretty quickly and I need a last minute refresher if it's been a awhile.

Other embarrassing lockups - recently I about fell apart trying to read back and understand a clearance. Instead of "cleared as filed" they made one little change and read all the VORs as names instead of 3-letter abbreviations. It confused me and should not have. This is just practice, and preparation. Next time, I'll write down the flippin' names too! I hate looking stoopid.

majroj said...

EVERY time I was quizzed by an instructor I froze, for all four years of nursing college, even though I'd already been doing much of what they were covering, either during clinicals or during the years prior doing street EMS and crash rescueman work. You are blessed it only happened because you were crammed.
Self-prescribing beta blockers is not a good idea; besides being against the law (prescription), there is a slight rebound when you stop...unless you have been taking them in higher doses for a while, then there is a "mild" detox.

townmouse said...

All the interviews I've *really* screwed up, the ones where I've been cursing myself all the way home, are the ones where I've got the job. So I'm not giving up hope for you yet

nec Timide said...

I just want to echo majrog's advice and give kudos to Aviatrix for her stance on chemical crutches.

I recently underwent a course of beta blockers as initial treatment for a more chronic (but I'm glad to say easily controlable condition). They are terifyingly effective. In my case they brought me back to 'normal', but even so in consultation with my CAME we decided I shouldn't fly until well after I was off them. Based on the effect they had on me I'm not sure I would be medically fit to walk, let alone drive or fly if I were to take one today.

DeAnn said...

Okay ... first of all laughing my butt off (oh ... wouldn't that be an easier way to do it ...) at your first link. I came in to visit today specifically to admire your ability to transport me to a different site when I step on a word ... love that! Also ... wondering what all your linguistic roamings have taught you about "making up" words. I like to make up words ... an then act like they are real words. Recently, I have begun looking up words in the urban dictionary ... it turns out, I am a much more colorful conversationalist then I had previous imagined.

What I have seen in the local market among the decision makers is ... there are a lot of candidates for a few (maybe just one really) slot. The person who follows up most responsibly gets the slot. In other words ... the interview for a specific seat is not over until someone is actually sitting in that seat. Hang in there ... you're not the only pilot to scatter some specifics, but you are the only you. I bet you'd hire your little badass self ... .

Aviatrix said...

De Ann: If you make up a word and it conveys what you wanted it to to your listeners, then it works, and if other people pick it up and use it, then it's a word.

kbq said...

yIH SUrghwI'!

(sorry, the phrase appeals... :)

Kevin

pat said...

Just one more words about beta-blockers.
They also brought me back to 'normal' and helped passing job interviews and a few public performances.
They're on presciption only in France too, of course.

I would not fly for a while after taking one, though. Even if I did not notice any side effect.

vgb said...

Hang in there A! You won't be the last person to put their foot into their mouth. Stuff happens.

This too shall pass!

Vic

flightless bird said...

Interestingly enough you don't need to have vision in both your eyes (or even have two eyes) to renew your medical in NZ. You do to get your initial medical but not for a renewal - something about the second eye helping you to learn how to land but not being so important once you already know how.

krishnendu said...

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Anoynmous said...

kbq: what's so appealing about tribble skinner? (And how come that particular phrase shows up in so many online dictionaries?)