Death By Manners

There are individuals whose sensibilities and general wariness about causing offense can seriously damage their chances of making the best of their situation or talents. I am reminded of a famous, though receding event in the history of mankind when the Kingdom of Crème de Postonia got embroiled in an unfortunate war with its neighbour over some awkward misunderstanding concerning postage and the reliability of railway timetables.

As sometimes happens during wars, the two armies were assembled, and by some odd chance, again possibly the result of faulty timetables, the Postonia Army, much smaller than the opposition, arrived at the agreed location very early on the morning of the battle while the opposing army was still asleep. An opportunistic Colonel, who went on to make a considerable fortune as a Yoga guru and Merchant Banker, whispered in the ear of his commanding officer, “Let’s attack them now, while they are still asleep. They won’t know what’s hit them,”  “I don’t think so”, said the general. “It would be unnecessarily disturbing to attack an enemy before they have a chance to wash and enjoy a good breakfast.”

Needless to say, the Colonel was stunned by his commanding officer’s response, and sure enough, their army was destroyed in the ensuing melee. Postonia vanished from the history books. The  General, a decent chap by all accounts, with a developing reputation in the world of Orchids, was stabbed to death by an enemy soldier as he asked him if he was lost.

Moving forward to the high fuelled, driven modern job market, we drift into an interview room where a gifted university graduate is seeking his first position at a pharmaceutical company. “OK tell me Geoffrey” ( His name was actually Geoffrey Jeffries as a result of his father’s weak sense of humour and growing friendship with beer ), “What qualities do you feel you can bring to this post”. There is a brief pause. “I don’t think it’s really for me to say sir” says the well-mannered candidate.  “Pardon”, says the startled interviewer. “This is an interview dammit. Your meant to put your best foot forward”. “I quite understand”, says poor Geoffrey, ” And I have no wish to offend,but I wouldn’t like to unfairly influence you one way or the other”. Needless to say, regardless of his excellent qualifications,  he failed to get the job.

Of course, care must be taken not to veer to far in the other direction in order to correct the disadvantages incurred through an over developed sensibility. Back to the interview and the opening question, which I will repeat for those like me, who spend too much mental capacity thinking about sausages at the expense of their short term memory.  The interviewer asks Geoffrey, “What qualities do you feel you can bring to this post”. Geoffrey leans forward and says, “Shut it Mister. I start on Monday, and don’t fob me off with a desk at the back of the office”. Apparently he conducts the rest of his interview in the company of security guards while being guided to a new position on the pavement, or sidewalk depending on the location of your exit.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, employment, Fiction, skils, Talent, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Death By Manners

  1. Ina says:

    A good breakfast is essential, even for the enemy 🙂


  2. catterel says:

    Alas, the days of “don’t blow your own trumpet” and “Play up, play up, and play the game” are long gone. But we dwell lovingly on the lingering memory of chivalry …Very well told, Ducks!


  3. Fantastic post! And one close to home after our daughter has just got her very first job as a fully qualified social worker. She was a little like the first young person here though not quite, but she lacked the confidence to “sell” herself. Anyway after a few attempts she learned “how to be interviewed” and sailed through to her first job which she loves. Its all about balance isn’t it?

    I saw a funny thing on Facebook last week, it went something like this:-

    Interviewer – “what would you say is your weakest character trait?”
    Interviewee – “honesty”
    Interviewer – “I don’t think honesty is a weakness”
    Interviewee – “I don’t give a **** what you think”

    Made me laugh anyway! 🙂


  4. Al says:

    I would comment on the many fine nuances contained in this post, but I don’t want to unduly and selfishly take up your valuable time or say something that might cause misunderstanding and therefore, hurt feelings. And please forgive my rambling on like this…..


  5. winsomebella says:

    It’s chocolate, not sausage, that has reduced my mental capacity.


  6. babs50nfab says:

    I love your skewed view Peter! You make me laugh.


  7. –The commanding officer may be stupid, but he’s a def. a dude after my heart.

    Peter, one of my interviews went something like this. “Kim, are there any last questions or comments you’d like to make?” “Yes.” I said. “Where do I park?”

    I guess I was TOO confident! Oooo, I didn’t get the job!!

    Great post, dear, AS ALWAYS. Xx


  8. I love that. You made me smile which is a great antidote to the wet and windy weather we are “enjoying” at the moment.


  9. nelle says:

    rofl, you had me giggling all the way!


  10. renxkyoko says:

    ” Honey, do I look fat in this new blue dress? ” ” You look fine dear, but that red dress you wore at Aunt Bertha’s party looks so much better on you.” That’s a nicer way, I guess, rather than telling her she really looks like a fat sausage and she needs to go on a diet, pronto.


  11. Kirri White says:

    Do you laugh to yourself while you are writing blog posts such as these Peter? You crack me up (I like to imagine you having a chuckle!). The comments are gold too – I’m stealing that one by ‘journeyintopoetry’.


  12. I wouldn’t know where to start if I had to go for an interview now. All this modern jargon and buzz words are lost on me. Everyone talks in riddles


  13. What do you think is at the core when folks become wary like you said? By suppressing their true feelings, do you really think they can improve their chances?

    Excellent post.



  14. Hit home with me, Peter … I have an job interview on Tuesday and it may be difficult to put this post out of my mind. It is all rather farcical, isn’t it, this selling ourselves? Oh, well, the interviewers will probably be wondering why I’m smiling like an idiot … at my age I’ve earned that right. (Oh, ok, I will behave … for I do still need a day job …) Thanks for the smile! Love the title, too!


  15. You should write a sequel to “How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying.” Chapter One: First Impressions… 😉


  16. Writerlious says:

    Oh my gosh, you always make me laugh! I loved this post. 🙂


  17. Had me laughing as far as I could scroll! Cruel as it sounds, makes a pretend-Postonia go down in the hilarious part of them history books! 😀


  18. ElizOF says:

    Poor chap. I do admire G’s audacity though. 😆


  19. “Well behaved women, rarely make history”

    Love this post, very well put!


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