Putting a positive spin on the narrative

Putting a positive spin on the narrativeI had taken the day off from the maintenance crew because I had an interview with a public-relations firm. I sat in the lobby in my itchy suit, my tie choking me like a silk noose.

As I was re-reading my resume for the thousandth time, the door opened and the hiring manager called me in. I stood up and offered her a sweaty hand. She shook it and winced.

She led me into a glimmering conference room. A row of sharply dressed executives sat at a long table.

“Please, have a seat,” a man said, motioning to the head of the table.

“Thank you.” I sat down, setting my resume in front of me. My sweaty palm left a noticeable handprint on the table’s glass surface. I immediately tried to wipe it off with my sleeve.

“So we understand you have a Journalism degree,” one of the executives said.

I nodded. “That’s correct. I graduated a few months ago.”

“And do you have any public-relations experience?” another executive asked.

My palms started to gush even more sweat. I hated this question. This was always when my interviews fell apart.

“I do have knowledge of public-relations concepts and values,” I said, sitting with my back straight. I opened my mouth to say more, but stopped.

The executives looked at each other.

“OK,” one said. “Tell us a little about your work history.”

This was another hardball question that tended to unravel my chances of getting the job. But this time, I was prepared with an answer.

“Well,” I said, “since graduation, I’ve been pursuing a career in the green industry.”

One of the executives raised his eyebrows. “The green industry?”

“That’s correct,” I said. “And as we all know, going green is important in today’s environmentally conscious climate.”

“It says here you’re employed with Benito’s Landscape Service,” one of the executives said, holding a copy of my resume.

I swallowed. “That’s correct.”

“And it says your position is a day laborer who specializes in mowing lawns.”

“Correct, yes,” I said.

The entire room stared at me.

“So you mow lawns?” the executive asked. “That’s your current profession?”

“Technically, yes,” I said. “But I often spin it as working in the green industry. You might even say I’m rebranding myself.”

The executive blinked several times. “Rebranding yourself?”

“Precisely,” I said. “And I believe my ability to put a positive spin on the narrative demonstrates my natural propensity for public relations. Wouldn’t you agree?”

The executive continued to stare.

I pointed to the door behind me. “Should I see myself out?”

“Please,” the executive said. “All the spin you’ve been spewing at us is making me dizzy.”

3 thoughts on “Putting a positive spin on the narrative

  1. tippysmom2

    Wow! Sorry it didn’t go well. I liked the spin and thought it showed ingenuity. I’m curious. Do these jobs you apply for specify that you must have prior experience? If not, then that shouldn’t automatically disqualify you. I’m not in that field, so don’t know if you had to do any public relations projects in school, or not. If you did, maybe you could emphasize how that went at your next interview.

    Liked by 1 person


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