My first job was as a clerk with a very small consulting firm. It was then natural to aspire to join multi-nationals to progress the career path. After many applications, I was called for interview with a fortune 500 company. Imagine the excitement. Then, I didn’t have a car and had to depend on public transport.
I checked out the bus schedule and time needed to reach the place as it was located quite a distance from my home. First impression was important and I wanted to make sure I was punctual for the interview. I allocated additional time to reach the place well in advance so took an earlier bus. Just so to make sure I didn’t miss the place, as a precautionary measure, I thought it best to enlist the help of the bus conductor to press the bell for the driver to stop at the station I was supposed to alight. With that I sat back to relax and take in the view along the journey.
I saw the company sign from afar and got ready so I could alight as soon as the conductor signaled me. Alas, he has forgotten all about me and the bus rattled past the station at full speed. I panicked and frantically pushed the bell. The bus finally stopped at the next station. I rushed down the bus, took a look at the surroundings to get my bearing and started to walk back towards the direction of the company sign. Thank goodness I could still see it from afar but unfortunately, I was to discover that it was definitely far from near! To add to the agony, it was mid-day and the sun was scorching hot.
The walk took me almost 45 minutes and by the time I reached my destination, I was drenched with hot and cold sweat. My feet were aching from the pebbled roads and my hair was in disarray as result of the strong wind churned up by the passing vehicles. When I reported at the reception, I was 10 minutes late. Obviously I must have been a real sight ‘cos the receptionist took one look at me and asked me to hurry into the washroom to freshen up and tidy up my hair. I was all nervous and panting and felt my heart beating so loud.
After the ordeal, I dared not pin my hopes on the job but luck was with me as got the job.
The helpful receptionist became one of my good friends. Later, she told me that I looked like someone who just finished a marathon when I walked into the reception that day “sweat dripping all over my face, hair in disarray, face red like lobster”. Looking back, it all seemed so funny and even wondered how I pulled myself thru the interview.