Matric students have come to the end of their school life and workers have come to the end of their contracts. Everyone in this country is either on contract or has a contract out on them. The only people making money are the lawyers who draw up the contracts and the undertakers who bury the rest.
It is a time of change. A time to tell your boss to stick it up his bottom. A time to look for a new job. A time for newspaper articles on how to increase your chances of employment.
Many of these articles are a pack of lies. They are written by freelance journalists who are trying to get jobs themselves and the last thing they want is competition from the likes of you and me.
The first thing you need to know is this. Do not be on your best behaviour. A lot of the people who head human resources these days have fought their way up from the bottom. And when I say from the bottom, I mean from the bottom of Soweto to the top of the Angolan highlands, right across Zambia, then into Swaziland after a spot of military training in East Germany, through Mozambique and back into South Africa.
The last thing they want to see is a smartly dressed, well-spoken candidate with all his teeth and hair in place. Quatro camp has become corporate headquarters. Business is the new revolution and the new revolutionary doesn’t use moisturiser or colour-code his clothes.
Bring an AK-47 to your first interview. If the security guard at reception has a problem, shoot him. Just kidding. That wouldn’t look good on your résumé. Explain to him that a gun is key to your new job. If he says you don’t need an automatic weapon to work at a call centre, then you can shoot him. Be sure to make eye contact. That would be the polite thing to do.
Some experts will advise you not to subconsciously sabotage your chances of getting the job. In this case, the only expert worth listening to is an explosives expert. Sabotage is often the only way you will get the job. I am not suggesting that you blow up the entire building, unless, of course, you don’t get the job, but you may wish to consider sabotaging the other applicants by planting small amounts of heroin in their briefcases and then calling the police when you leave. This may not always work because by the time the police arrive your competitors will probably be on pension.
If your cellphone rings during the interview, ask the interviewer to leave the room so that you can take the call. If he objects, tell him your dealer is on the line and that anyone overhearing the conversation could be convicted as an accessory. He will appreciate the warning and in all likelihood will award you points for honesty.
It is important to make it clear to the interviewer that you do not need the job. Nobody but a prostitute or a banker has time for a desperate man. Tell him you are extremely wealthy from trading perlemoen for ephedrine. If he appears shocked, make up a story about how you once saved a dog from being eaten by a member of the Chinese triads. Everyone loves dogs. You will get points for that, too.
If the interviewer asks if you have ever been fired, laugh loudly and put your feet up on his desk. Tell him the police are still looking for parts of your last boss and that you’re wanted in four provinces. This will get his respect and win you some valuable upper-hand time.
In most interview situations, you will be asked if you would like something to drink. The biggest mistake you can make is to ask for water, or worse, a cup of coffee. You need to ask for a 1926 Macallan with a Stolichnaya chaser and a couple of salmon roses on the side. If he balks, stand up abruptly and walk to the door. If he doesn’t call you back, return to your chair and tell him you were joking. Tell him you will settle for a J&B and an apology. Odds are, you will get it.
The interviewer will probably present you with a hypothetical conflict situation and ask how you would deal with it. If you foolishly left your AK-47 at reception, a stapler, punch or paperweight all make effective weapons if used correctly. If none of these are available, pick up the framed photograph of his family and push it firmly into his face. Do not kill him. He is your future boss and so far you have been getting along fine. He will appreciate your resourcefulness and give you more points.
The interviewer will also quiz you on how much you know about the company. Tell him you have a cousin who works in the Revenue Service’s criminal investigations unit and you’ll get back to him once your relative has done the necessary research.
Some so-called experts recommend that you don’t discuss salary requirements at your first interview. This makes about as much sense as going to a restaurant and refusing to tell the waiter what you want. Tell him you demand a million rand a month, plus a free car and a second house on the beach. If he so much as looks at you sideways, pick up his phone and pretend to call Julius Malema.
Afterwards, ask the interviewer for a lift home. Tell him that your Ferrari is in for repairs. Follow these simple instructions and the job will be yours.
Trust me on this.