Advice from the trenches: Be kind to strangers

Have we all heard the apocryphal story of the candidate who was late to his job interview because he’d stopped to help a stranded motorist in the rainstorm? The guy went on to the office anyway just to apologize and try to reschedule – only to find that the man he’d helped was in charge of recruiting, and naturally hired his road-rescuer on the dripping spot.

Is this a true story? I don’t know, but I actually witnessed the following episode:

When our receptionist was at lunch, our division manager needed to work on something at the front desk, so she sat down for a few minutes to do so. In waltzed a job candidate who was jaw-droppingly rude. I can’t remember if he actually called her “honey” but his body language was dismissive, his attitude imperious and his eye contact with her nonexistent (though he shot me a wink) as he handed over his resume and instructed her to inform the manager that he was there for his interview.

The very model of grace under pressure, our manager accepted the paper and without further ado, politely identified herself and sent him blushing and stammering into the elevator. “I wasn’t worried about me,” she told me later, “but I don’t want anybody treating my staff that way.”

As an aside, she was my favorite boss ever, and that’s partly why.


Advice from the trenches: Handling the stress interview

Advice from the trenches: Ignore some advice


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  1. […] Advice from the trenches: Be kind to strangers […]

  2. […] Advice from the trenches: Be kind to strangers […]

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