Help! Everything is bearish! People are losing their jobs faster than their bosses could say “Thoughts and Prayers.”
Lucky for you, fellow “opportunity seeker” and “comfort zone leaver,” we’re here to… uh, offer our opinion, if that helps.
If it isn’t obvious already, we here in this side of the room hate working in its traditional sense. We hate tiring ourselves for the benefit of some multinational corporation. We hate working for the profit of some local landlord. We hate roiling and toiling with and against comrades in the field, especially when the bread we’re making will end up not in our plates.
Despite this unshakeable hatred for work, we’re not naive enough to just sit back and relax, and let hunger and death prune us without a fight.
We try to hit back by slacking at work. Hit them in their pockets by sabotaging the production line.
But before we can do that, we must first be able to find a job. And we all know that finding one sucks as much as it is hard, if you know what we mean.
In our search, we must prepare for the useless interview questions during which you’re free to give honest answers, as long as it’s the ones they’ll like to hear.
The list below is our attempt to provide answers to the most pressing questions an interview has ever thrown our way.
What’s your background, personally and professionally?
Some ten years ago when having a Tumblr blog was still a major thing, I came across this thing called Solarpunk. It’s a different -punk; it’s optimistic, it’s environmental, it’s inclusive, among many other things. Cyberpunk was “cool” in the broadest sense, but it’s dystopic.
At the time, I had had enough of the teen angst, and was prepared to finally “grow up.” Fictional dystopia is interesting, but solarpunk offers a better future.
If you’re familiar with Tumblr, people can ask questions on a blog, and the blog owner can respond publicly or privately.
One day, one of the solarpunk blogs that I’d been following publicly answered a question along the lines of: “What is anarchy?” The blog owner’s response was long, informative, and yet didn’t really include intimidating terms in the outset. Something in me clicked: I may be an anarchist, or at least have so many anarchistic tendencies. I wanted to delve deeper into this notion.
Much, much later, I realize that in my country, as with many others, the capitalists and the state constantly create divide among people. Families and friends keep on egging me to look for job abroad, because “there’s no hope here; you need to get out.” At the time, I thought, “I don’t want to get out; I want to help.” I think it’s still holds true now.
I want to be able to help people in whatever capacity I can, even if it’s just educating them with the principles of mutual aid, radical responsibility, permaculture, anti-consumerism, etc.
One of the ways I do this is through a non-Tumblr blog.
Have you worked in this industry before?
Generally, yes, I’ve worked in this industry before, but only because I treat them all the same, it being within the capitalist industry complex, and all that.
Yes, I have worked full time, logged in 40+ hours in a week in something that I don’t enjoy doing for someone who prefers outsourcing their job to lower income communities.
There’s no comfort in any industry, whether or not you admit to yourself that you admit that.
What was a challenging project, and how did you manage it?
People, sometimes in their inexcusable daftness, would yell some work-ethic shill like “go big or go home!”
They seriously underestimate my willingness to go home.
Luckily, I only have myself to feed right now, so I don’t have to fret over petty office politics. But vamoosing homewards is literally the only sane goal in any corporate environment.
Sorry, what was the question again?
What’s your leadership style?
Terrible, maybe nonexistent.
I never liked lording over others, except for that one time when some strange pair of people knocked on my door to sell some religious belief.
I promptly told them to Fly Out. And Out they Flew.
That’s not to say that I dislike coordinating with my team. We do communicate our intentions with each other quite well, to be honest. I think it’s because of the absence of hierarchy, and everyone can just be themselves, you know, without having to worry about what the “boss” would say or think.
What’s your communication style?
End-to-end encrypted, of course. Though, I won’t recommend anything specific here. You have to vet the platforms for yourself, so you know what works for you and your team.
I believe that while the local government still isn’t capable of tracking down people effectively, unless the all are on Facebook, we maintain our invisibility by choosing discreet ways of communication.
We need them to think that we don’t exist or that we’re relevant.
Don’t worry, we are not violent. But the Anti-Terror Law doesn’t really support our endeavors, no?
When do you know the project is off-track?
I think it was The Rock who said something like:
Don’t work 8 hours for a company and then go home & not work on your own goals. You are not tired, you are uninspired..
But the thing about being The Rock is that he’s a celebrity. And I don’t believe them that quick, especially when they spout anything related to the Hustle Culture.
Who cares is the project is off-track? he would say, after raking in the dough for working a fraction of the time that the production team does.
From now on, I’ll hardly care if a project is off-track, thanks to you.
If the project is not adhering to schedule, how do you get it back on track?
I can’t even enjoy the things I like when something as silly as a Project goes off track? Well, wow, please expect me to count the ticking time until I’m old and weary. Time to retire and be able to barely enjoy things, since now, my body has deteriorated enough that I can’t do a lot of things that I hoped to do after worrying about how a Project isn’t adhering to some made-up schedule.
Except that I don’t really retire. Expire, maybe. As in, “After years of thankless toil, I shall expire quietly at my desk not having adhered to schedule.” After which, you’ll posthumously lay me off, and the management will attend the funeral for the lulz.
Except that the management wouldn’t waste time attending a funeral.
What’s your ideal project?
Something to do with Finance. I love Bread that much.
I’m a financial advisor, and I’ve been lucky to work for a start-up company. I want to create a program that will aid our less-fortunate Kababayan in their times of need.
Just kidding! I hate FA’s and the institutions they belong to! They can eat their policy for all I care.
Of course, the ideal project is the abolition of state and capitalism, and all of its oppressive tools and machinations. I would say that that project truly is way beyond schedule. We’re fortunate, though, that there are still people among us patient enough to push through with its completion, knowing full well that the end of tunnel may not be within this lifetime.
Do you have budget management experience?
I remember the monotonous drone of someone who told me off. He called me hypocrite because I “criticize capitalism and yet I own a smartphone.”
What a curious thing to say!
I told him, “I need the phone to keep a job, because my landlord expects me to pay rent on the first day of month, like clockwork!”
But really, what I should’ve said is, “It’s not hypocritical to critique capitalism while participating in it. We critique it because we are forced to participate in it just to get by.”
But that would scare him. By the way, he’s a former employer, and I didn’t want him to be scared of me, i.e. fire me.
Have you managed remote teams and outsourced resources?
The world burns too much, chokes on too much smoke. Climate change can potentially trigger famine. COVID has taken too much lives, partly due to incompetence, partly due to human greed. Fascism is getting popular again among kids these days.
And you’re concerned with what pathetic drivel again?
… Most of our stuff are outsourced in some way, don’t you think? It’s through this way that the systems in place have been made cheaper and efficient, at the expense of our valuable, finite resources.
What’s your current salary?
Before discussing my zero salary, I’d really like to learn more about what this role entails. I have looked you guys up. I’m sure you won’t agree to the number that I have in mind. But in the end, it won’t matter. Believe you me.
What do you like least about your job?
The long hours, the dreadful ticking of doomsday clock, the usual.
The more labor intensive it is, the less likely I’ll like it.
I also don’t like pretending on job interviews, who could tell? But you can forgive me, right, since I’m not on board yet?
What do you like to do outside of work?
Interviewers like to get to know prospects a little better, and to some extent, I understand that. But please, honesty is the least thing you’ll want right now for when I answer this question.
I’ll give you this: I believe that it’s none of the employer’s business what we do outside of work. I won’t be starting a side hustle nor a business to further commodify my existence, so you can rest easy.
Do you seek help outside of the project team?
Another thing that I can’t bring myself to answer directly.
I’m an incoherent person, to be honest, but let me try:
We are responsible for our lives. When we are finally aware that our actions matter, the choices we make become more calculated, granular even.
That’s not to say that I can’t help but blame the past generations for putting me in a messed-up environment. Many a movement has sprung from the grassroots to make a change, and I admire them. I have reached out to some, in fact. And some are willing to help.
I, too, want to change the world for the better, hopefully leaving it better than I found it. Through this, I hope to not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Do you delegate?
I know self-reliance doesn’t mean becoming an island of my own. It means that I know myself enough to get help when I need it.
And yet, it’s hard for me to get help.
It’s not because I don’t like feeling weak and helpless, but that I don’t like bothering people. Asking for help to me feels like wasting other people’s time.
I should remind myself that this is not the case, usually. I should then remember to look out for people who are more than willing to lend a hand. In mutual aid does our interpersonal relationships grow stronger.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made on a project?
The trinkets of etiquette dispersed in the unwritten tome of societal code must be unearthed soon before some sort of tension arises betwee all the parties involved. But, this only happens in the ideal world. More often, we learn from the wake of tension snapping.
I think it’s cooler if we ought to learn from the mistakes of others. Let them peel the passionate unfolding of judgmental eyes unto them, while You the observer jot down notes, and hopefully identify the symptoms if something similar were ever to happen to breathe your way.
How did your last project end?
I proposed yet another alternative to my then predicament that is being an employee of an employer, which includes handing over a resignation letter. The success rate was 100%, and the feedback from the stakeholder pleasant.
How do you gain agreement with teams?
What do we gain when we complain?
I think it depends on many things:
- the actual thing/s that we complain about;
- the delivery of the complaint;
- we the complainants; and
- the people in authority tasked to listen to us.
Perhaps there are more, but these are the things that come easily to me. I, myself, like to complain about the many mishaps in my life over which I have little control. And while it’s true that one should just focus on the things that they have direct control, I can’t help but feel… cheated in a way for not experiencing and/or receiving what I deserve. Because, I do deserve more than this.
We can think better. We can look after one another in a more just society.
What’s something you don’t want us to know?
Part of my daily practice is to let people know that there’s a better version of this society, where we don’t have to compete for resources. Some of them think this is me “radicalizing” them.
If taking care of yourself while taking care of others in the process is “radical,” then I would have to agree with them.
Why do you want this job?
I noticed that the position is vacant, and that I need money. I’ve always been passionate about not starving to death.
But more importantly, I’m passionate about providing aid to others, so they, too, may be passionate about not starving to death.
Happy Job Hunting, people!