Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta honesty. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta honesty. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, 20 de enero de 2017

Interview

   That elevator ride fell as if it was going to last forever. I don’t really know if it stopped in every single floor but it really did seem to. My hands and my legs kept shaking and I was failing miserably in trying to control them. I was very nervous. I also kept cleaning the sweat off my hand with my pants, which wasn’t the best idea to have when going to an interview. At one point, I felt I was going to faint. The people there with me seemed completely oblivious to my personal struggle.

 When I finally got to my floor, after every other was gone, my legs seemed to be unwilling to help me anymore. Only a few step away from the elevator, I felt I couldn’t walk anymore My feet actually hurt and trying to move my body was very challenging. I have no idea how, but somehow I got myself to the reception, which was very close by. A woman heard my name and told me to wait in a seating area. Around me, other people were also waiting, all younger than me.

 I felt as if I wanted to run away from that place. When I checked every single face in that room, I realized I was way over my head. I had come thee looking for a job but these people were clearly much better for it than me. I even bet that some of them had much more experience than I and had even already worked somewhere else before. Their resume was quite possibly a long list of names, which they could put in there as a reference, from a clothing store to a big multinational company.

 I had my resume in folder I had brought and I instinctively wanted to check if I had put everything that was worth written on it but then remembered there wasn’t that much to tell, so I refrained from looking at it and instead tried to force my eyes to focus on the window that was very close by. It wasn’t easy to look out through it but it was much better to stare and try to imagine and quieter world than attempting to breathe normally with the typical methods that had never had a any real results. Looking through the window was my way to escape.

 I needed to do it if I wanted to keep breathing. The only way to make myself relax was to imagine a wide array of situations that could happen inside that waiting room or outside of it. It didn’t really matter. The point was that t all had to be happening around me, so the false memory, the invention, was all about making me feel like someone I wasn’t, at least for some time until I realized I was being childish and I needed to breathe a little and just move on. The thing was that it wasn’t always as easy as it sounds.

 Suddenly, the woman called my name. She told me to go through a door and then walk down an aisle to another door marked “Human resources”. My interview would be taking place in that office. Before leaving the waiting room, I had a brief eye contact with another guy waiting there and I have to say the only thing I could see n his eyes was fear. He seemed really terrified somehow and I kept thinking about him even after the interview was over, many hours later.

 I walked slowly towards the office and when I finally got there, no one was waiting for me. The place was empty so I had to check if I was in the right place. I was. The best thing to do was to wait outside, by the door. The person that was going to do the interview had to be very close by, so there was nothing to worry. However, I was shaking so much that my teeth started to make a very annoying noise that I had to try really hard to suppress. This was definitely not my element.

 The person finally got there and it was a woman. I was a little bit disappointed because I thought a man was going to ask me the questions. I’m not saying one is better than the other in the workplace but it is a fact that men are typically less harsh in interviews, unless you get a guy that had more in common with a buffalo than with an actual human male. But whatever, anything can happen so I just sat down, as she did on the other side of the table. The room seemed to have gone smaller.

 There was also a very particular scent but I couldn’t really point at what it was. She was really trying to be very nice and that was good because I felt my hands shaking much less than before. However, she started talking about work and about many things I had no idea about. She kept talking and talking and I just nodded at some of her comments and then answer some questions she threw from time to time. It was kind of hard to follow what she was saying but I did my best to do so.

 At one point, she stopped short and offered me a beverage. My bladder was full because of how nervous I was so it wasn’t an option to start drinking water or whatever she offered. The other reason I refused was because my throat felt closed to anything trying to go in. Every time I spoke, I had to clear my throat because it felt as if I was waking around the Sahara desert. She clearly noticed something about me but didn’t comment on it and I was very grateful she decided not to ask. My feet kept moving and my hands kept sweating profusely.

 She then asked me for my resume and I handed it to her. She looked through it for a couple of seconds and then put it on a huge pile I had neglected to see. At least some fifty other resumes had to be there, waiting for something that would probably never happen. She talked to me then and I feel like she said some important things but I wasn’t listening at all. The sight of that pile made me realized that I was fooling myself, that everyone was fooling themselves with this charade.

 I had no idea why I did it. I had never done anything remotely similar. I would normally just wait until the person was finished to say something, if I did because most of the time I was just a zombie that shook hands and maybe cracked a smile in order not to look like a complete mental patient. My mouth would normally be too dry to say a word and my body too shaky to keep making that moment go longer. So that was one of the few times I really surprised myself.

 My voice cut her off; making her stop her speech about something I have no idea. I noticed too that my body had made me stand up, which I even didn’t realize. Slowly, I grabbed my resume from the top of the pile and told the woman I was very grateful for the opportunity but that I knew that I had no real chance of getting such a job. I was highly overqualified in the academics side of it but grossly under qualified as experience is concerned. So my chances were pretty slim.

 I told her I knew of those kids outside would be getting it because it was just easier to make them do whatever the company needed and they could even pay them less because they were just beginning, even if they had worked for ten years already. Age was one of those things that companies used at will in order to grant or deny benefits around the workers. I knew that’s how it worked, even if I had never been paid to do anything in any company, anywhere to be perfectly honest.


 The woman had her mouth open and I thought of shaking her hand but I was shaking so much already and my hand was so sweaty that I refrained myself from doing it. I excused myself and left the room, almost running back to the elevator, which filled up once again and seemed to take years to get to the ground floor. My resume escaped my hands, falling to the floor. I felt a bit dizzy, probably hungry already. As soon as the elevator got to its destination, I ran outside, to the sun and the air and the freedom of a world that didn’t needed me to keep moving.

lunes, 1 de febrero de 2016

Hidden

   As the doors of the club opened, Hosni stumbled out flanked by two other guys, not one looking as lost as he was. He had to lean against a wall next to the club and just wait there. The two guys that had come out with him did not ask him if he was ok or if he wants some kind of help. Actually, they only looked at him glaringly and started talking on their phones almost immediately. His head felt very dizzy, he felt it turn and turn and not stopping but his body had no reaction further than that. He wasn’t going to vomit, so he just stayed there, looking wasted.

 The guys finally asked him if he was going with them. Hosni shook his head. He didn’t feel up to any task right now and just wanted to get home as soon as possible. As the guys left, he put his hands on the pockets of his jacket and checked everything that needed to be there was indeed there: the wallet, home keys, his socks and a candy. He even opened up the wallet to see how much money he had and realized he was obliged to walk back home, as he hadn’t enough money for a bus or the subway. And even if he had, he wasn’t in the best state to know where to walk to take any of those transportation options.

 So he started walking, at seven in the morning on a Sunday, through a neighborhood that he knew well as he had identified it as a go-to place since he had arrived in town five years ago. He remembered his excitement when seeing the order and the cleanliness and the coldness of people. It was very different from his home country, in both good and bad ways. The nice thing here is that his parents became a bit less religious and were not as tough with rules as hey had been before. The proof was that he was there, stumbling around corners at that time of day.

 Then he realized he hadn’t felt his cellphone in his jacket. He stopped right in front of a disco and people smoking outside watched as he furiously looked all over himself for the cellphone, only to find it in pocket close to the knee. He was wearing the cargo pants that his dad had felt would make a great worker, being able to carry all sorts of things everywhere. Even as he had studied to be a psychologist, his parents were still looking forward for Hosni to come to the family business, which was fixing all sorts of things, like a plumber.

 The walk was resumed, with Hosni checking out a map on the phone and rectifying his route. The small scare of not finding his cellphone had helped him being a little less wasted, he could see things little bit clearer. Yet, he wasn’t walking faster at all. He thought it would have been funny to go back to the club and make the owner or some guy turn on the lights to look for the cellphone. But then he remembered that couldn’t have been possible because electronic devices were not allowed in. He laughed stupidly, alone.

 After stumbling around for around thirty minutes, he finally got home safe and sound. It took him a while to open the main door of the building and he helped himself by holding the cellphone towards the door when opening the door of the apartment, in order not to wake up his family. He was very silent and when he got into his room he took every single piece of clothe of and just entered the cold bed stark naked, falling fast asleep in a matter of seconds.

 The following morning, the voice of his mother woke him up. She wasn’t calling for him but he could hear her in the kitchen, talking to his sister and father. They were probably having breakfast. He could smell the eggs and his stomach practically belched at the presence of the aroma. He would have wanted to eat but, again, his head was spinning. He was not wasted anymore, sleeping had taken care of most of the damage, but his head hurt and he just tried to fall asleep again but couldn’t.

 Besides, as he closed his eyes, he remembered various scenes from the previous night including many that he thought were not real. So he stayed with his eyes wide open looking at the ceiling, deciding which memories were real and which ones were fake. He knew he had a lot of beer and also some drugs, which weren’t allowed in the club but people still had them inside, when employees weren’t around and that was pretty often. The scent of the eggs felt stronger, so he got up.

 His family celebrated that he joined them and he was served a plate. Then, minutes later, he had to unfold the lie that he had been preparing since the day before. He said he had been in a friend’s house, drinking and having a small party with some of his friends that had recently arrived from his home country. All his parents could ask was what news they brought from home and how they were adapting to the city. They didn’t really care for anything else. It was his sister that asked at what time he had arrived and he had planned to lie about that too: he said he arrived around four in the morning, after helping a couple of his friends get home.

 The truth was he had arrived much later than that, even remembering seeing a bit of sunlight as he entered the building. He wasn’t asked much else, and he was thankful because remembering every single lie that he had planned before that night was difficult and made his head hurt even more. He just ate and enjoyed a time with his family and then went back to his room and tried to sleep some more but couldn’t. Again, he stared at the ceiling and just wandered about every single aspect of last night and how everyone had no idea of his real night.

 Later that Sunday, he took something for his headache and by night he was feeling better. He helped his dad around at the hardware store the family owned, as it opened every day, and just tried not to think about that night anymore. Now that he was better, he felt guilty and kind of scared that someone would be able to really now what he had been doing that night and so many other nights, because that one had not certainly being the only night he had gone out in order to be closer to what he thought was being his own real self.

 Since arriving to the city, he had been going out to places his parents had no idea he went and the thought of them knowing was enough to make the headache come back. He was afraid of the response, not only from his father but from his mother too. Even his sister’s response would be very hard to take in. He loved his family and wouldn’t want them to disappoint them or make them feel like he had betrayed them. But the fact was that he couldn’t tell any of them the truth. Because he knew how they would respond and he wasn’t ready for that yet.

 As if his thoughts had been heard in heaven, his father rolled out his prayer mat and felt in one very specific part of the store. Hosni did the same, just next to his father and prayed for a while with him. The amount of guilt that was piling up in his mind was too great and he seriously thought that his mind would explode one day. But it didn’t, because he was much stronger than he realized. After all, he had kept them out of the truth for many years and was ready to do it for many more.

 A couple of friends told him to be real, to live a more honest life and to lift that weight from his shoulders. But they didn’t understand how his family worked, how his religion and traditions really set a standard in which he didn’t fit in at all. Sometimes he had to go to his room when his parents had discussions over news in the TV that were “immoral” to them. He just couldn’t bear to hear them argue over something he felt they didn’t understand. He was just trapped between the life he had while a kid and the life he had now, after being able to go to college and have a real education.

 So, as always, for the following week, he was the Hosni everyone knew. He worked in the store and then he applied for jobs, some very far away, trying to get into the work world and into his profession, which he actually loved. He was charming with people all around him and loving with his parents and friends. He was just a young man full of dreams as anyone else, ready to take on life and just try to get the best out of it. He really wanted to be happy and thought that lying was part of that idea. It was unavoidable and he didn’t really mind.


 H was back in the club the following Saturday night. He had bought a year pass many months before so they knew him well. They gave him a token for a complimentary beverage and then he moved on the locker area, where he proceeded to strip down and only keep on his sneakers and his underwear. Then, he crossed a curtain to the bar where he drank vodka straight. Five minutes afterwards, Hosni was walking downstairs, to the dark room below, where his dreams did not live and he could be as close as he thought he could to the person he thought he was.

jueves, 19 de noviembre de 2015

Let's set the record straight

   Please, stand up with me and promise you will never stop doing whatever it is you love doing. Please promise you will never quit enjoying life and been positive about things that you love, just because someone else says that you’re not good for them. You know why?

 Because we are over seven thousand million human beings in this world and, even so, no one has the right to diminish you or your love for anything. Not one person, dead or alive, can do that? Not your teachers (good or bad) not your parents, not your so-called friends, not people you meet once or people you talk to a lot. No one, simple as that, can tell you what you are able to say or not, what you can feel or not or what you can think or not.

 Attention! This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from others, as that is one of the most beautiful and bright keys in the world. Learning is not only about techniques and structured forms to achieve something. You can also learn by hearing someone speak about their opinions, about what they love and what they hate. You can even learn a lot from the world by looking at the people on the street, in a market or on the bus. You just have to be attentive and be open about it all, not judge it and render it “useless”. Remember, even in the most horrible person, there’s a thread of good and even in the best person, there’s evil sleeping, so don’t rush in your judgments.

 Whenever you have words, whenever you feel like you must say something, please, do. Who cares what others will think? Your need to speak and be heard and learn is much greater than fear of ridicule. Besides, we can only be ridiculed if we subject ourselves to those awful feelings. When we own what we say and do, no one can really out us down using our own words as weapons.

 Never be that person who attacks for attacking, who tries to put down someone else in order for you to be on top. First, the world will never remember you were on top, only you. So, think about this: will you be able to live with yourself knowing what you had to do to be there, to be on top of the world? Guilt is a very slow poison but once it’s inside, it will act without a doubt.

 One of the most important things is to observe and listen. You will never get too far in life if you don’t do these two things. Stop and look at every side and see what happens. People always have different opinions about things and that’s not bad. Don’t try to impose your view on others, try to understand them and see why they think that way. If you think they’re wrong or not, that’s not what’s really important. The trick is to know how to learn to take all of that that you are not to build yourself better, to make yourself a greater human by learning from what is close to you, as well as from what is far.

  And please, accept criticism when it is your turn to be in that spot. Be able to hear when people say things that you don’t believe in, thing that might even make you uncomfortable. Remember the world will never revolve around you or them, so just open up your mind and listen and learn, no judgments.

 No one, no matter your religion, your ethnicity, your sexual preferences or your eye color (anything), will ever be on a position to tell you to shut up, to stop saying whatever it is that you believe in. Because after listening, after learning, after mashing up those things with your experience and your decisions, then you can say what’s on your mind in the best way possible. In a structured way, a proper message can be send to others about whatever you believe in. And you know what’s the best about it? People will listen.

 When opinions are built on solid ground and with strong conviction, people will respect them, no matter if they agree or not because, again, that’s never been the point. People focus too much on right and wring and false and true, but it is most important to acknowledge that the world is a mix of all of that. The world is built on our truths and our lies. What would the world be with our lies? Better o worse?

 Never let your morals attack someone else’s just because your conviction is too strong. Conviction works when it is used to explain and set your message straight. It’s never good when you use it to diminish others and to demolish everything other people have built close by.

 Respect is also one of the best ways to go about in life. Because how can you listen to someone, how can you expand your knowledge and your mind in general when you have no respect for others, or worse, for yourself?

 Many people have said that the first thing is to be honest with yourself and respectful of your own being. That means that you know your limits, you know exactly who you are and how you exteriorize that and also how we behave inside, in our minds. You are the only one to be able to choose the limits of your life and whichever you chose, that’s great, but always have them in mind and remember that your rights, in law, end when other person’s rights begin.

 Some are too fast to judge someone because he or she did this or that but they fail to understand that they are seeing it all from their personal points of view. They say certain things go against their morals and decide to ignore the morality of the person that originated whatever it is that is under siege. Yes, they are people that can have doubtful moralities but there are others that seek to impose theirs on every single person they meet. How can that be better, how can that be good in any form? Has imposing ever worked among humanity?

 You just have to be true to yourself and honest and respectful of yourself and others, never forgetting that you have a voice. You have a right to say and to think and to do and to stand up and shout if that’s what you want to do. And these rights you have are not consequence of the human law, but of life. You are a biological being that, for better or worse, evolved into what human being are today. Nature gave you vocal cords, the ability to stand up, the ability to walk, and run and, maybe best of all, nature gave us a brain.

 Inside that brain, there’s a universe we haven’t even begun to understand. An entire universe resides up there, inside our skull and every single person has one. It doesn’t matter if they are right or left wing extremists, if they are women or men, if they are old or young, black or white or speak English or Spanish. We all have that universe inside our skulls and we all have the capacity to decided what it is we do with it.

 Do we use it only to go forward, like in a video game, or do we fill it with information, with all of those beautiful things we like and even those things we hate? Because we are all an amalgam of those two opposites. Our own little universe can have so much and it helps us be a fully formed human being in the physical world. All that information inside that thing inside our skull, is what makes us... us. And we are not on the side of it as that universe is ours. So we can control it.

 We can learn with it, we can listen with it, we can refute and fight and struggle with it. It won’t be easy and it cannot be easy. Because life, the mere concept of life, is so vast and incredible, that just cannot be an easy thing. We will have to face our demons and we will have to meet a lot of people that we won’t like.

 But we will also feel people that, when they smile, we feel better and warm. People that make us believe there is a way out for humanity. And, also, life’s about looking around and living whatever it is that is happening around us. Enjoy your moments with your pet, reading a book, standing on the street as it rains or on a plane. Learn to feel your way around those moments, those precious moments that, after all, are only yours because when you feel something, it’s instantly personal. No one else will feel it exactly the same and you will never feel what others have felt. And that is tragic and beautiful.


 Finally, I think we can agree that this message is expected to make everyone who reads it believe they do count and that no one has the right to shut you up. Inteligence is only relative. Speak louder, make your voice be heard and never let people put a hand over your mouth. Bite if you have to bite, kiss when you want to kiss them and just fight your way to wherever you want to go. Life’s not a struggle, the struggle is to live among humanity and that’s only achieved when you take into account what I’ve just exposed. Cheers!