Etiquette And The Modern World


There are individuals whose sensibilities and reluctance to cause offense can seriously damage their chances of making the best of any situation. I am reminded of an event in history when the Kingdom of Postonia got embroiled in an unfortunate war with its larger neighbour over some awkward misunderstanding concerning the reliability of railway timetables.

As sometimes happens during conflicts, the two armies were assembled, and by some odd chance, the Postonian Army, much smaller than the opposing forces, arrived at the battlefield very early in the morning while the enemy was still asleep. An opportunistic Colonel 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 uncouth, at best, to attack an enemy before they have a chance to wash and put on their uniforms.”

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, ever helpful 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 realised his jacket was not buttoned up correctly !

Moving forward to the 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, what qualities do you feel you can bring to this post” the candidate is asked. There is a brief pause before he replies. “I don’t think it’s really for me to say sir.”
“Pardon”, says the startled interviewer. “This is an interview dammit. You’re 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 fails to get the job.

Of course, care must be taken not to veer too far in the other direction. Back to the interview and Geoffrey is asked, “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 childhood, creative writing, Fiction, humour, Peter Wells and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Etiquette And The Modern World

  1. beth says:

    ah, to find that middle ground and not veer too far – when one tries to overcome one’s character, the end result is often not a good one

    Like

  2. Love it! And mainly because this is so true: how often do the best candidates for a job fail to get the position because there is someone else who shouts louder! Adore the analogy too!

    Like

  3. I got my last job by telling them a joke as they were fed up with other candidates. Three years later they were going through some old emails and found my original enquiry for the post. Attached to it was my CV which they a) hadn’t read, b) didn’t know it was there and c) wondered what the little paper clip icon was.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dtrichards says:

    As a job interviewer, I’m wary of candidates who are overconfident. As a job interviewee, I’m just desperate to get the job….

    Like

  5. lbeth1950 says:

    Oh boy. If Forced to interview agin, I’ll use second model. I am retired And don’t want a job.

    Like

  6. cupofsass says:

    Damage. That word is the perfect caption for what you state. Finding a middle ground is essential, for ones sanity too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Is that story true about Postonia?

    Like

  8. judithhb says:

    Thank goodness I am retired and job interviews, either as the interviewer or interviewee are long behind me.

    Like

  9. Scarlet says:

    Oh dear. Square pegs and triangular pieces of chocolate spring to mind. We’re probably all in the wrong job!
    Sx

    Like

  10. nelle says:

    Be bold in protection of your posterior.

    Like

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