My little secret in the interview process…

I generally do not prepare in advance when conducting interviews – I seem to have a good instinct when we shake hands as to the type of person they might be. Years of observing people and their behaviours have given me rich data to work with. And interviews are probably the only scenario where it is expected that one fill silence with prepared speeches and ridiculous exaggerations of one’s talents and skills. It’s like you have gotten stuck at the party with the really annoying person, in a very tiny space, and you are desperately trying to leave but simply cannot get away. And they happen to be in this rather cramped space with their mother – to extol all their god-like virtues and grand achievements at the various church social clubs, hospitals and charity work for the poor. For this reason, I like to side step the mother completely and get right to the point. I have found over the years that it is best not to ask the traditional “so, tell me a little about yourself” question. I much prefer to use the urban myth interview question of “if you could be any animal in the kingdom, which would you be?” Way better results.

People will always fall into one of two categories. The first is the wide-eyed, “I can’t believe you just asked me that”, colour-draining-from-the-face type of response that clearly was not anticipated nor prepared for. Stammering generally occurs. I am often curious at this point “Hmmm, how will they get out of that one…I wonder….”. Unfortunately for me, this category of reaction generally ends the interview in a rather painful and anti-climatic manner.

The second category is the knee-jerk reaction truth. And that is really the answer that I am looking for in an interview. Dog = happy and loyal sometimes to a fault. Cat = lazy and obsessively clean, perhaps snobby. Ostrich = humourous and does not take things too seriously – potential lawsuit. By using this method, I have just cut months of wistful waiting and expensive training costs to figure out this person outside the traditional manner. Who needs the safety of a probationary period now? Shake hands and move on. Did I mention I can be cold and highly efficient?

Perhaps I generalize with this method. Perhaps I make decisions based on false assumptions. But let’s face it, one needs to communicate and make an impression of their personality, work ethic and ability to complete tasks to a complete stranger almost instantly. Sigh… here comes that two-minute elevator pitch again. Really, I do not swoon that easily. Thanks internet for making me jaded.

Oh, and by the way, here is another little secret…I am always a horse 🙂

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How to give a bottle of ketchup for Christmas and not look cheap

Christmas Tourtiere Recipe

For a yummy and indulgent meal this holiday season – without any thought of calories, fat (save that for March when bikini season is fast approaching), or any other modern sense of health-related reasoning – try this meat pie. I can guarantee you that it will bring the tallest and strongest man quite literally to his knees in utter gratitude and awe for your homemade creation! Seriously ladies – if you need a proposal, this is the smoking gun…I should know – I have gotten 2 as a result….

BTW – it takes a couple of days if you want to do it right. I got this recipe from a proper, elderly, French Canadian woman -quantities and instructions can be sketchy at times so go with your gut – as all cooking really ought to be done anyways…

It will make 3 pies – but don’t worry, it’s not too much. The extras can be frozen and enjoyed at a later date – should your man need a reminder of how amazing you actually are.

Crust:
About 6 cups flour
1 package golden/cookie type shortening
About 2 cups of milk
A bit of salt

Mix flour and salt.
Cut the shortening into the flour until crumbly.
Add the milk gradually until the dough gets all sticky like chewing gum – add more milk/flour to get the right consistency.
Make 2 balls.
Wrap each in wax paper.
Put in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for 24 hours – a must in this process- don’t skimp.

Next day….
Take one ball and divide it in three to roll out the bottoms for the pies. Don’t forget! The dough will shrink slightly so make a slight overhang over the edge!
Pierce bottoms with a fork.
Bake at 350 until golden. You’ll know when its done because it will smell yummy.
Cool completely.

Filling:
1 package each ground lamb, beef and veal.
Onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup – FULL FAT AND SODIUM (re-read 1St paragraph if you need a reminder of the intent of this recipe)
Salt and Pepper
Allspice

Fry onions in oil. One or two cooking onions per pie usually works.
Fry meat in pot. Once cooked – A MUST!!! Drain the excess liquid. Soppy pie = no proposal.
Add soup.
Add salt, pepper and allspice. You’ll know when it’s good.

Take meat and mix it in a food processor.
Spread the filling into the pies.

Take the last ball of dough and roll out 3 tops. Pierce with a fork. You can take a moment here to get creative by adding a hint for your man – but you must know that your message will become purely subliminal – his brain, eyes and ears will shut off completely once his lips taste your creation. If you don’t want a proposal – I applaud your independence and choices – then this would be a good time to ask for that puppy or whatever it is he has been opposed to for unknown reasons.

Bake until top is golden – about 30 minutes or so. If you freeze the extras, reheat covered in foil for about an hour at 350.

Serve with your beautifully wrapped bottle of ketchup and voila! Kitchen goddess!

Watch what you say – someone is listening!

IMG_1018I am cursed with having a really good sense of hearing.  Not that I am a nosy person, I just happen to hear everything that goes on around me.  It has proven to be a very valuable skill in times when I am meant to be caught off guard by my attacker, only to have their plan foiled when I already have a response prepared and subsequently delivered without any hesitation.  I can see the look in their eyes after this exchange – a combination of defeat and competition and envy all rolled into one.

Seriously, if you are going to try to knock me down, you’d better bring it.  Just saying.

But it also means that I hear all the little whispers that circulate around me – comments meant not to be heard but desperate to be voiced and validated.  You know the passive-aggressive type – always sly in nature because actually voicing the true meaning out loud for all to hear would mean that they would have to stand firm when faced with opposition or retaliation.  I have come to understand that there are few people who are willing to put themselves in this position and as a result, will try to circumvent the issue through quietly veiled comments.  Sarcastic remarks replace the truth.  Because unfortunately, the truth can sometimes sting.

I often sit back and secretly enjoy these whispers because they always reveal a vulnerability.  The “look what she’s wearing” tone really tells me that they are not happy with their body and wish they had the courage to take a fashion risk.  The “must be nice to have all that free time” tone tells me that they wish they were better organized in their daily tasks so that they no longer feel overwhelmed.

I doubt if they ever really listen to what they are saying.  I also doubt that they know how much I am truly listening and analyzing their hidden meanings.  And I doubt that I will ever have the opportunity to really clear through the fog with them to get at the true message of their words.  I simply file it away as another piece of information whose usage remains unknown.  But I have the knowledge in knowing that it will be useful to me someday, ready to be pulled out in an unknown offensive strategy designed to thwart another attacker.  They will be green with envy.

And I have to.  They just keep coming at me.

Cue the musical score

Fuck you Cinderella.  Yes, I said it and you heard me right.  That’s for building up a fantasy world full of love, adoration, chivalry and happy endings for little girls everywhere.

Sigh.  I am a hopeless romantic.

But, I am also an intelligent, successful woman who is independent, self-sufficient and highly suspicious of people’s motives and intents.  I have never wired money to Nigeria, I change my PIN number on my bank cards consistently and never leave my purse unattended (at least not anymore…).

How did I let this one slip by me?!  I have been completely sucked in to her unattainable ideal – filled with lovely dresses, sweeping musical sonnets and glittery eyes.  She’s a diabolical  marketing genius in glass – not plastic, high-heeled shoes.  Now maybe, if she were the one asking me for money, I might swoon under those pleading blue eyes and open my wallet to her misfortune.  She was locked in a tower you know…

So, why do I continue to buy into this fantasy knowing full-well that I will be setting myself up for failure?  How can there be chivalry when I (and my date) expect to split the cheque?  And is it really too much for me to ask to have a strong and protective man sweep me off my feet simply to avoid messy puddles on the sidewalk, dotting on my every whim with love and affection all while dancing in the moonlight AND  let me run my own empire and make more money than him?  Can we ever effectively merge our two “castles” and live happily ever after?

Clearly I need to get my priorities straight. Reality does not accommodate this fantasy – and trust me – I have tested it.   And if I push it, I appear to align more with the ugly stepsister and we all know how she fares by the end of the story.  While I am now at least aware of my unrealistic romantic ideals, old habits die-hard.  For I will always fall hard for the man standing at the bottom of the sweeping staircase, waiting for me with open arms.