This past Thursday and Friday I was very fortunate to have a two-day office visit interview for a position with a firm in Atlanta. As part of that office visit, all of the candidates are put up in a very nice hotel for the evening prior to our day in the office.
I finished class around 2pm Thursday afternoon, gathered my things, and hopped in the car to drive over to Atlanta before traffic got bad. As I approached the exit for the hotel in Atlanta I realized that I would need to valet my car at the hotel and my possessions were scattered all over the car rather than in my bag. I really did not want other candidates to pull in behind me in the valet line and watch me frantically throwing my things into my bag. So I did my best impression of a terrible Atlanta driver and gathered my things while navigating traffic, got them all into my bag, and zipped it up just as I was getting off the exit. Proud of my accomplishment and preparedness I looked over at my compact bag at the stop light after the exit. Wow – that is a grungy bag. I think it probably dates to before my birth and it doesn’t even have a shoulder strap on it. The bottom looks like its been drug through Sanford Stadium after a game. And I am about to carry it into an upscale Atlanta hotel. Oh well.
So I take a look back at my hanging clothes – at least those help me look professional. Doh. Except for the fact that there are about 5 different garments all hanging separately… without a bag around them. Ok – no big deal, right? It’s not like I’m interviewing for a job or walking into a five-star hotel or anything. Who am I kidding, yes I am, and I’m going to look like an idiot.
So I valeted my 2001 Honda Accord with a dent in the back, grabbed my grungy, 25 year old bag, and my complimentary dry-cleaner hangers with my professional attire draped on them and walked into the hotel with confidence. I’m a poor college kid, what can I say? Isn’t that the point of interviewing for jobs to begin with?
That’s life. Sometimes you’ll look like a fool. Sometimes you forget about the miniscule details that don’t matter… like putting a bag around your hanging clothes. Nothing about walking into that hotel affected my performance at the office visit. It didn’t affect my person. It would be a hilarious story to tell if I end up going to work for the firm. Don’t sweat the small stuff. A grungy bag and a hand full of hangers got the job done.