About the Author
"I Wish I Were a Shark"
Let me start with a confession: I am terrible at job interviews. Some people say that but what they mean is that they get nervous or they feel weird about selling themselves. I mean neither of those things. I have actually said these words during a job interview, “It’s okay if you don’t give me the job.” Why? Because I wasn’t feeling great in the interview and, hey, why not be honest? Oh, because I have bills to pay, that’s why. Ugh.
One of my absolute worst moments in an interview did, at least, lead to an “aha” moment. It wasn’t quite an epiphany, but we’re not entitled to too many of those in one life time. Picture it, me with my theater degree and background in customer service and film work, sitting at a table with three lab technicians interviewing to be a...lab technician. I had recently discovered a love of science and a deep need to not deal with the general public anymore. The two led me to a corporation who shall remain nameless but let’s say that I would have been dealing with blood, urine, and fecal samples. Sounds gross but, at the time, I thought lab work would be amazing.
The interview had seemed to go well. I’d been engaging and forthright and had spoken of my desire to switch careers and do meaningful work. I thought I really had a chance. Then they hit me with the last question:
IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I stared at them dumfounded. This was something you asked your friends as a joke or to loosen people up at a dinner party, not something a hiring committee used to find a new potential employee. Why not ask me what books I would take to a deserted island? Sheesh.
I sighed heavily, knowing that this was not meant to be. “I know I should say something like I want to be a work horse, but honestly, I want to be a shark.”
The three ladies looked at me, their smiles sliding slowly into disapproving frowns. I had just admitted that I wanted to be a predator, and not just any predator, but the one most feared by humans. Who doesn’t step into the ocean and, at least for a brief second, think they’re going to be eaten? Who doesn’t read the summer shark-bite articles with enthusiasm, thinking they themselves had escaped such a fate? If you’ve seen JAWS, you fear sharks.
The ladies thanked me for my time and I was released back out into the world, jobless and a bit disappointed.
But, I’d meant it. Being a shark would be so cool. Sharks don’t sleep. They’re always on the move. They live in the ocean and travel miles and miles. I like all those things. I don’t want to fly or swing from branches, I want to swim and swim and swim. Okay, I’m not super interested in eating raw fish all the time, but I’d adjust. I like sushi. Plus, sharks are mysterious. We really don’t know much about them. Except that they cost us jobs. We know that much.
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