One of the contributors in the November issue used Hobby and Motorcycling in the same sentence, and that got me to thinking... semantics. Now, those of you who still make ends meet by working for the man, which often results in having to fill out job applications and going out for job interviews, I suggest you bear with me and read on.
As an engineering manager, I have found myself on both sides of the interview table from time to time, as interviewer and as interviewee, which resulted in my attending an interviewing seminar. Our instructor told us that hobbies is a trick question and when filling out the section with the heading HOBBIES, we should always state, I have no hobbies, but I do have many interests and activities because hobbies implies inactive, singular, nonsocial and introspective, such as stamp collecting or crosswords [in my case, crosswords is not so much a hobby as it is an obsession]. What most employers are looking for are outgoing, active team players that interact well with others. What they really want to hear are the group activities you're involved in like rallies, bowling leagues, church groups, civic organizations, and even golfing. If you do have hobbies, you can always just forget to mention them, while stressing your social activities.
And anyone who rides knows that motorcycling is an activity... even the pillion can't be a couch potato. And all of us who enjoy riding with others, including our itinerary rallies, The Rock Store, Newcombe's Ranch, Alice's Restaurant or race meets, know that motorcycling is definitely a social activity.
He also taught us that employers don't want negative employees who might poison the workforce, so personnel managers are trained to ask questions designed to elicit a negative response, like, what didn't you like about your last boss? [Oh, he was okay; maybe a little preoccupied sometimes, but then an awful lot was going on] or, what part of your last job didn't you particularly like? [Oh, gosh, we were so busy most of the time, I guess I really didn't have time to think about it] or, why did you leave your last job? [Well, it wasn't so much that I left the job as it was that the job left me when our division was shut down]. LOOK OUT! DON'T FALL INTO THE TRAP. Always give a positive response, even if it doesn't fit the question. Like a good scout, BE PREPARED. Before the interview, list all the negative questions that you might be asked and come up with a positive response to each one. And, yes, there is a positive answer to every question; it's hard at first, but after you get the hang of it, you'll find that it's a fun game. Don't be afraid to get a friend to help you with it.
Shortly after the seminar, I went out on an interview, and sure enough, I ran up against an interviewer who tried to trap me into negative responses. It was really fun watching his confusion when I kept coming up with positive responses; he never did figure out that he was interviewing an interviewee who had just taken the interviewer's seminar! Dirty pool, maybe, but that's life!
Semantics, schematics... whether its hobbies, interests, activities, obsessions or whatever; whether the interview went well or not; whether the job was worth the interview, throw a leg over that saddle and motate down that road, square those corners, scrub off some rubber [gotta keep them tyres round], blow the cobwebs to the wind, and live life to the fullest! `Cuz, cuz, that's what its all about!!!
Ain't bikin' the greatest???
Vaya con Dios, and keep the shiny side up! firstname.lastname@example.org