The fact that the office of the building firm I work for is completely open plan is annoying when I want to take a snooze, but does present some unique opportunities for amusement.
A few weeks ago for instance, we all witnessed a young man hurrying past our desks, looking harassed, and nervous and most definitely late for the interview he was due to attend in my boss’s cubicle.
My boss sat him down, quickly flicked through his CV, which he hadn’t bothered to read before and started off: “So then Harold…”
At this point I was a bit confused, because when I’d read through the CVs and help my boss decide on the candidates, I thought this guy was called John…
“How did you get here?” asked the boss, not the most welcoming of openings, considering the candidate’s clear anxiety about his lateness (and a bit harsh considering he was only actually five minutes past the due time).
“I got a lift.”
“Can’t you drive.”
At this point the boss flicked through the CV again, clearly seemed to spot something which contradicted this answer, frowned and said: “Well then, you’re wasting my time.”
The young man looked mortified at being humiliated in front of so many people like this, not to mention the man he had hoped would soon employ him.
Unsure of the correct etiquette and whether to stay or go (I later learned that this was his first ever interview), he just sat in stunned silence as my boss proceeded to phone the recruitment consultancy who had sent him their way – and inform them that they were all a bunch of “bollocking morons” for sending him such “a lying little bollock” with such a lot of bollocks on his CV that they really should have checked before sending him on to him. Not to mention the fact that he was clearly a “dweeb:” who would be entirely unsuited to manning diggers and building site work – even if he could drive.
It was at this point that I finally twigged. My boss had the CVs mixed up and thought he was supposed to be interviewing a site manager rather than a graduate office intern.
When I went and whispered the sorry truth to him he was so embarrassed that he offered to hire the by now utterly bemused graduate on the spot.