Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Being accepted by the herd

The human race are a funny lot. On one hand, they promote acceptance (or, dare I say it, tolerance) of every race or creed but, on the other, there is an invisible language that every person perceives and conforms to with the hope of being accepted by society's unwritten laws.

Here I am sitting in a cafe watching an 'informal' interview process where a woman feigns interest and has obviously modified her diction and appearance to suit her possible employer's expectations.  It amuses me that we have to go through this masquerade for a few short hours just to revert back to our old selves. That's not to say that you can't remain professional; just that the interviewer doesn't really get a true sense of who you are - unless they are able to look past the slick facade before them. Wouldn't it be nice if you were chosen on what you bring to the table rather than how you choose to convey yourself?

I could almost say the same thing when it comes to buying cars. I've recently been on the hunt for a manual (that is, 'stick shift') mode of transport and was amused that the main factor that governs the price of used vehicles is mileage. Yes, it is true that vehicles that have covered large numbers of miles are probably going to break down a little more regularly than a less-travelled version of the same car but surely that's not all that should be taken into account. A car that has been maintained and driven nicely (and is from a solid manufacturer) will fare far better than a car with half the miles that has been thrashed or is from an unreliable manufacturer. The car I finally decided to purchase was neither the prettiest car nor the one with the fewest miles. It was dirty, had a healthy collection of dust ... and yet started first time, the transmission worked great and it ran perfectly. When I came by for final settlement - I had a fairy-tale moment - for what once had been merely perfunctory, had now turned into a (relatively) beautiful swan after some detailing and minor touch-ups. I honestly did a double-take when I first saw it ... and yet it was still the same car under all that new-found prettiness. What I saw now simply solidified my view that I had made the right choice all along - not that it might still prove to be a lemon in the near future; but I digress ...

And so, as with most things, not everything can be measured by looking at the cold hard numbers, so don't just rely upon the facts presented before you to measure your future employee's worth ...  or your possible mode of transport.