While painting this inconsequential accent wall, I thought about how Trishna (left) and John (right) might paint in “The Story.” Trishna might lock her breaks, dip her roller with extension pole into a paint tray, paint one section, move, and repeat. John might then get the finer details along the corners. Since painting takes preparation, planning – and when working with others, teamwork, collaboration, and delegation of duties – how well would they handle any possible friction?
The 5-person panel interview at the Department of Revenue was going ‘excellent’ and ‘alright’ simultaneously. Everyone flipped between either word for every answer. Jane was having trouble reading the expressions of the two potential teammates, hiring manager, and two customers when she heard the strangest interview question of her career: “If my team were a farm, what barnyard animal would you be, and why?” She’d brushed up on any applicable modern technology, but nothing agricultural.
She too arrived early for the most important interview of her career. Her mind raced during the overwhelming drive to the stately building. No meditation training helped ease the anxiety, which bled onto the receptionist’s desk. “H-H-Hi, I’m here for an interview with,” she checked her paperwork, “M-Marissa Desta and… Z-Zheng Harper.” “Yes. Can I see your ID, miss?” After blundering through innocent answers, she had a temporary badge, and a seat by the window.
We can decide whether our weaknesses will cause us to become weak. While most weaknesses can become excuses that can potentially control us, there are exceptions that should be respected. My intentions are pure, so let’s not focus on any possible hypotheticals for this week’s update to “The Story.” Instead, let’s focus on two casual examples of when main characters John (off-center) and Trishna (center) decide to not let their physical weaknesses make them weak.
“OK, Jane. We have time for one more question.”
“What’s the successful candidate look like in this role? What should I focus on to prevent myself from being unsuccessful?”
“Well, lemme tell you about the old guy. What a lazy bum! Couldn’t do nothing! He couldn’t understand anything we’d give ‘im! We’d tell him repeatedly how to do his assigned work and he’d seem to just forget! Stay away from the guy you are replacing!”
What captivates us about stories of heroes and villains? Do we enjoy seeing competent players battle, with the winner usually being one closely matching our morals and ideals? How much influence do we allow these fictional and realistic heroes to play in our lives? In “The Story,” does Rogue influence Trishna (left)? Does Deadpool influence John (right)? Would they even appear, in passing, as copyright-obscured characters? Or would their world value different sorts of heroes?
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (just worldbuilding)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW OUR HEROES ARE MERELY JUST HUMAN/HUMAN-INSPIRED SYMBOLS OF WHAT IS POPULAR AND WHAT WE ASPIRE TO BECOME? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Jane’s last day into that misaligned technical role ended innocuously. She received two paid weeks to look for work matching her career scope. Other than assisting as she could within her skillset, that time was spent job hunting. Time to go. She went to her lead’s office.
“Any prospects lined up?”
“Nothing solid. I have two interviews lined up soon.”
“I’m so sorry this happened to you. You have my contact information. Stay in touch!”
Fiction fascinates me most when characters face impossible odds and sometimes overcome them. Heroes vanquishing villains, people confronting their demons, or even overcoming common problems. The more we relate and invest in these characters, the harder it is to see them battered around. I’ve cared about John and Trishna [center] for over 15 years now. How far will I break them when I write “The Story?” Will I need to break myself in the process?
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (brainstorming about conflict)
WANNA READ ABOUT BREAKING DOWN CHARACTERS FROM THE APPROACH OF HOW WE BUILD THEM UP IN TERMS OF RELATING TO THEM? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Jane’s first day back into a technical role began innocently. After meet-and-greets, her lead rambled through materials far above anything in her career scope, occasionally speaking another technical language. After realizing she was overwhelmed, she found an opening:
“Hey, umm… Gayle.”
“Oh, have a question about how I configured the Scribewise 88620 ports?”
“Yeah. I… didn’t understand any of that.”
“Yeah, I troubleshoot primarily Wilesware computers with customers.”
“Oh. Dear. You’re in the wrong job.”