A couple years ago I applied for a job at a brickyard. The pay and benefits were better than anything I had before. To diminish a flood of applicants, each person applying for the position had to take the GED at the employment-testing center. At the time I had a B.S. in biology, and that alone, should have been enough to exempt me from taking this test. Nope. Still had to take it. Four hours of my life lost.
After finishing the test, the staff graded it and said, “Looks like you passed it. You did great.”
To which, I thought, “God, I sure would hope so.”
Passing the test put my name into the pot of interviewees. I received a call for the date and time of my interview. I promptly arrived on the day and waited in the reception area until a manager came and introduced himself to me. He stood around six foot four.
“Not to alarm you,” he said. “But we’re interviewing you in a roundhouse meeting. All the other managers are there, too.”
I entered the conference room and sat at the table with five managers. The interview questions weren’t out of the ordinary, and I answered them honestly. Then one manager looked at me and asked, “Where do you hope to be five years from now?”
This is a normal interview question, but my reply certainly wasn’t one they expected. I simply stated, “I would hope my novels would be on the bestsellers list.”
They were stunned. Their mouths actually dropped open at my response. This opened up a whole new set of questions from them. A couple of the men seemed amazed and entertained. The interview ended, and I really believed I had done well. But two weeks later, I received a letter in the mail (not a phone call) that I had been passed over and “Thanks for doing the interview.” Really? Wow. Four hours taking a test I shouldn’t have had to take, and all I get is a letter telling me I didn’t have the job?
While I should have been angered, I still think a lot about that final question: “Where do you hope to be five years from now?”
In five years, I will pass the BIG 5-0. Yes. Fifty. Thinking about this makes me want to work even harder on my novels, the screenplays, and starting my editing/proofreading business as well. Time passes faster than you expect, and if I don’t take the time, right now, today, to set goals, when will I?
Procrastination sets in easily if our minds get sidetracked. I know. I’ve allowed games like World of Warcraft to etch away valuable time when I could be doing something far more constructive with my mind. In five years I want to look back with satisfaction and not regret. So, it’s time to work harder than ever.