145 — My First Job Interview Ever
[00:00:04] CHRIS: Hello to all the young kids doing the whip on the dance floor. It’s Beautiful Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred.
[00:00:18] THEME MUSIC: I’d rather go one-on-one. I think it’ll be more fun and I’ll get to know you and you’ll get to know me.
[00:00:30] CHRIS: Hey everybody, Chris Gethard here. Welcome to Beautiful Anonymous. Hope you’re doing well. Hope the new year’s starting off right. Hope you’re feeling good. Hope everybody you know is feeling good. Thank you for listening to the show. That’s a nice way to start. Didn’t expect to say that. You may notice that the sound quality here sounds different. I’m actually on vacation, but I think it will sound pretty good. Jared sent me a very fancy microphone that I’m not certain I know how to use. So we’re all figuring that out together. I am currently-I haven’t worked-this is the first work I’ve done in about eight days. I’m usually a workaholic. That’s not like me. I’m in an undisclosed location somewhere deep in southern Florida. Please don’t try to find me. OK, what do we have to. Oh, thanks to everybody who’s been listening. I saw a ton of positive feedback on the Facebook group about the New Year’s Eve episode or New Year’s Day episode, rather, everybody’s resolutions. It was really cool to see everybody throwing in their own. Also, I want to say Noel who’s one of the mods of the Facebook group is running a 30 Days of Kindness project right now where everybody in the Beautiful Anonymous Facebook group is teaming up and doing their own acts of kindness together. But hey, everybody, today we’re all gonna buy the drink behind us for the person in the Starbucks line. Hey, everybody today we’re all-we’re all gonna leave a book that we really loved in a public place with a note that someone should take it. It’s a really cool thing to see. And so cool that Noel spearheaded that one and joined the Facebook group. If you haven’t joined up a lot of other nice people there talking about episodes and doing nice things. It’s really cool. What else? What else to talk about? Oh, I have to apologize to both Sally, my mother, and Aunt Karen. Both of them over the holidays noted that I have been using the F-word more than usual on the show lately. Sorry, Sally. Sorry, Aunt Karen. I will clean up my act. New Yorkers, I got my union hall shows in Brooklyn. The first three in January are already sold out. Grab tickets for the other ones. I got one more in January with tickets left and then the February and March shows are up there. New Yorkers, support me. I’m only doing local shows right now because I gotta stay in town. Can’t be on the road when the wife’s expecting. That would be bad-husbanding, can’t have that. The Love is Everywhere follow-up. So many people were blown away by that. I’m so happy we got to release that in the free feed. Thanks to everybody at Stitcher Premium for letting us do that. That episode, I think-as many people-it’s Ron Paul’s Baby, it’s Love is Everywhere. And I wanted to make sure that one in particular came out from behind the paywall. So, thanks to Stitcher Premium for letting that happen. And thank all you guys for listening to it. And thank you, of course, to the caller who really broke our hearts and blew our minds. This week’s episode, very excited. This one has a real old school Beautiful Anonymous feel. I’m psyched to see what you think of this one. One of my favorite things about the show in the early days is we’d start talking about one thing, sometimes it would turn into another. This one starts that way. It’s simple. A job interview later that day. Then we start to learn about this caller’s life in a way that’s very organic and very unexpected. But man, does it put some new perspective on things. Sending a lot of love out to the caller. Thank you, caller, for opening up, for letting us in on this part of your life. I hope the job interview went great. I hope everybody out there enjoys the call.
[00:03:50] PHONE ROBOT: Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous a beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host. [Beep]
[00:03:58] CHRIS: Hello.
[00:03:59] CALLER: Hello?
[00:04:00] CHRIS: Hi.
[00:04:02] CALLER: Hi. How are you?
[00:04:05] CHRIS: How am I? I’m doing good. I’m on the tail end of a cold, so I’m scared I’m going to sneeze. That’s exactly how I’m doing. How are you? How are you?
[00:04:14] CALLER: I’m really nervous. Not only for this call, but I have like one of my first interviews ever in about an hour.
[00:04:24] CHRIS: You’re first…did you say interview?
[00:04:26] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. I have a Skype interview for a spring internship in like an hour.
[00:04:33] CHRIS: So, a job interview.
[00:04:36] CALLER: Yes.
[00:04:37] CHRIS: Not like you’re getting interviewed by a journalist. A job interview.
[00:04:40] CALLER: Oh, no. Yeah. I should have been more specific.
[00:04:43] CHRIS: That’s OK. And you said it was…it’s one of your first job interviews ever?
[00:04:47] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. So, here’s where all the older listeners are gonna roll their eyes. I’m 20.
[00:04:53] CHRIS: Uh-huh.
[00:04:54] CALLER: So, yeah. In my program in college, we do like alternating semesters between doing a co-op and school.
[00:05:03] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:05:03] CALLER: And so, I’m interviewing to try to get a co-op position
[00:05:08] CHRIS: A co-op position? And, and I…I’m not certain what that means. And I want to know what field. I want to know what field this this position is in.
[00:05:16] CALLER: OK. Well, co-op is basically. I don’t know what it stands for. It’s just like a paid internship where, like, we learn from the people we’re working with. And I’m going into design, communication design, to be specific.
[00:05:32] CHRIS: Communication design. OK.
[00:05:34] CALLER: That’s just a fancy way of saying graphic design. I don’t know why we have to be all boujee about it.
[00:05:38] CHRIS: Graphic design. Okay. Well, how long until the interview goes down?
[00:05:46] CALLER: It’s at two o’clock and it’s 12:30 here. I forgot that time zones exist.
[00:05:51] CHRIS: Yeah, OK. So, we’re looking at about an hour and a half. Okay, so that gives me an hour to pump you up and then you get a half hour to put your game face on.
[00:06:02] CALLER: I’ll do my best.
[00:06:03] CHRIS: I like that you let out that deep breath. I like that. That’s good.
[00:06:08] CALLER: I’ll try not to, like, breathe into the phone too much.
[00:06:11] CHRIS: That’s quite all right. You need to breathe to stay alive. I won’t be mad at you. I won’t be mad.
[00:06:16] CALLER: OK.
[00:06:17] CHRIS: Now, is this a position that you’d be particularly thrilled to have?
[00:06:22] CALLER: Wait, wait, wait. Hold on.
[00:06:23] CHRIS: Hello?
[00:06:23] CALLER: Sorry, an alarm just went off. I’m supposed to mail my water bill. OK, continue.
[00:06:28] CHRIS: The alarm to mail your water bill just went off? That’s what that was?
[00:06:32] CALLER: Yeah, I had to…If I don’t mail it today then the water will be shut off-
[00:06:37] CHRIS: Yeah, can’t have that.
[00:06:38] CALLER: -at my house and, so, I had to set an alarm.
[00:06:41] CHRIS: Yeah. So, keep breathing.
[00:06:41] CALLER: Sorry about that.
[00:06:42] CHRIS: Mail the water bill and we’re gonna get you this job. That’s, those are the three mandates starting today.
[00:06:47] CALLER: I’m very high-strung today, if you didn’t notice.
[00:06:50] CHRIS: I have noticed this. I’m picking up on this. You gotta let out a deep breath so that this potential employer senses some calm-calm, some cool confidence that’ll make them feel like they need to be clamoring to have you. Can’t be, can’t be too-
[00:07:05] CALLER: Oh, we’ll see.
[00:07:06] CHRIS: –we can’t be too overeager on this one.
[00:07:09] CALLER: Yeah, well, my whole…like I said, my whole class has been searching for jobs and I started way back in October. And so, I’m like one of the last probably like 15 or 20 people still searching. So, I am pretty desperate for a job at this point.
[00:07:24] CHRIS: Well, they can’t know that. They can’t sense that.
[00:07:27] CALLER: OK.
[00:07:28] CHRIS: That desperation.
[00:07:28] CALLER: OK, I turned down so many offers just to work with…that’s the, I guess…
[00:07:32] CHRIS: You’ve been playing the field. You’ve been fielding offers. You’re keeping certain things in consideration and you’d love to feel out what they have to offer as well. Not-not “I’m desperate and I’m the last one to get a job. Please save my life”. It’s the last thing anybody needs to hear. They wanna know that you’re an asset who can work under pressure. Now, what kind of a…? Can, I ask without you airing out too much that might-that might cross any lines. What type of industry is this potential internship in?
[00:08:01] CALLER: This one, it’s like, it’s an architecture and interior design company.
[00:08:07] CHRIS: Ooh.
[00:08:08] CALLER: But they have a branded environment, like, section which is where I would come in with graphic design. And they’re looking for someone with strong typography skills and wayfinding stuff.
[00:08:23] CHRIS: And you feel like that’s you, strong typography skills? You feel like you fit the bill on this.
[00:08:28] CALLER: Yeah. I’ve taken two typography courses because there’s always more to learn. When I first saw my syllabus it was like, “Oh, you’re taking typography?”. I was like, “why do I need to take a whole semester worth of just learning about fun?”
[00:08:44] CHRIS: Yeah
[00:08:45] CALLER: But, turns out you have to take three semesters of it.
[00:08:47] CHRIS: And have you learned to love it?
[00:08:48] CALLER: So, I have.
[00:08:52] CHRIS: That’s good.
[00:08:53] CALLER: I don’t know. I love a good font. My friends and I are big nerds and will go out to a restaurant and then we’ll have to be like, “Okay. What, like, what typeface is that?”. I have a friend who’s, like, really good at picking them out. She’ll be like, “Oh, that? It’s Proxima Nova all the way”. And I’m like, “Okay, sure”.
[00:09:08] CHRIS: This is great. This is great. So, your gonna tell this employer…you’re gonna say, “I’ve noticed that you’re looking for someone with passion for typography”. And here’s what…you might want to write this down. You might want to write this down, right. You’re gonna say-
[00:09:19] CALLER: OK.
[00:09:19] CHRIS: -When I…when I first had to take a typography class, I wondered how could we possibly spend a whole semester talking about fonts? And now I can’t get enough. And I actually have to take three semesters of typography and I’m thrilled because my friends and I, we go out. Half the time, the waiter comes and talks to us. We’re not even ready to order because we’ve been sitting there analyzing those fonts so hard.
[00:09:44] CALLER: Uh-huh.
[00:09:45] CHRIS: A nice, charming anecdote.
[00:09:45] CALLER: That’s good.
[00:09:47] CHRIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Now, what’s your favorite font? Talk to me about your favorite font.
[00:09:54] CALLER: Oof. Right now it’s probably Futura. My portfolio’s in a nice clean Futura.
[00:09:59] CHRIS: Mhm-hmm. Mhm-hmm.
[00:10:00] CALLER: Yeah, I also really love, oh many, I think it’s like Cooper B.T. Black. And that’s the UDF font, the United Dairy Farmers. Just because that one has a lot of nostalgia. You can’t use it for anything because it’s, like, such a bold display face. But, I don’t know, I really like that one.
[00:10:18] CHRIS: Okay. And what are your least favorite fonts?
[00:10:22] CALLER: Oh. I mean, there’s like the obvious comic sans, like, you…no one can use that. But there’s also Papyrus. Do you know what that looks like?
[00:10:33] CHRIS: I do, because my friend Julio Torres wrote a pretty brilliant sketch for Saturday Night Live about how weird it was that Avatar used Papyrus as the font for their movie. Have you seen that sketch?
[00:10:45] CALLER: Papyrus is…I haven’t, I’ll look it up.
[00:10:47] CHRIS: Oh, you’ll love it!
[00:10:47] CALLER: I’m actually writing a note down right now.
[00:10:49] CHRIS: For a font nerd like you, you’re gonna love it.
[00:10:53] CALLER: You can only use Papyrus if it’s a church bulletin or if you’re, like, making candles. And those are the two uses for it.
[00:11:00] CHRIS: There you go. There you go. And now, did you say that…when you said that this architecture firm has an environment wing? Is this environmental work? Is this stuff that concerns the environment, the planet, or is this some industry term I’m not familiar with?
[00:11:16] CALLER: OK, here’s the thing. I also don’t know a lot of the terms. I just kind of go along with it. I’m pretty sure it’s just…it’s talking about like branded environments. So, like if you’re in a space-
[00:11:30] CHRIS: OK
[00:11:30] CALLER: -I don’t even know…You, like, you know, like what brand it’s for and just my job would be like making it as easy as possible for people to know, like, where they’re going. So, like, for example, I’m really giving you my interview, like, responses here. For example, I did a project where I had to take…make a time schedule for, like, a ferry boat. And you want people to be able to go up to it and, like, find which boat they’re looking for and, like, the time, like, as quickly as possible. And so that uses a lot of, like, typography and composition. And, so I think that’s what I’d be doing at this place, but not for ferries.
[00:12:03] CHRIS: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. And this is all for their branded content wing, OK. For their brand environments.
[00:12:09] CALLER: I believe so.
[00:12:11] CHRIS: So, here’s a couple things you’re gonna say. Here’s a couple…you got the pen and pencil? You got out the pen and paper ready?
[00:12:16] CALLER: Got it.
[00:12:17] CHRIS: A nice, sweet, simple: “I don’t see any reason why branded content can’t be cool”. You got to say that. And then here’s what you say as a follow-up. You go: “The key is to make people feel like they’re not being hit over the head with ads. The key is to make people feel like this is a brand that’s getting onboard with something they are already into and championing it. And the visual layout of that exact conversation between the brand and the consumer is what make it feel casual and cool instead of like a forced advert”.
[00:12:50] CALLER: Yeah, that was a good sentence.
[00:12:52] CHRIS: Oh, believe me, I’ve said that a few times.
[00:12:54] CALLER: This whole layout between brand.
[00:12:55] CHRIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a conversation between the brand and the consumer.
[00:12:59] CALLER: Nice. I made some really good notes here.
[00:13:00] CHRIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a conversation between the brand and the consumer. And I think that the visual layout of how these things go can facilitate that conversation in a positive and productive way.
[00:13:16] CALLER: Mhm. Really great words.
[00:13:17] CHRIS: Thank you so much, positive and productive really goes a long way in these things. And then what you’re gonna say to ego: “You know, in an ideal world, a consumer can actually walk away from a branded experience feeling like it was just as valid an experience as they would have had without the branding at all. There is no need that needs to feel”. Here’s what you say: “The last thing you want is for a consumer to walk into an environment and have it have the same feeling as an unwanted spam email showing up in your inbox. You want them to feel like they had the experience that they signed up to have and that it was actually enhanced by what the brand brought to the table”. Use that phrase a lot. Bring what I can bring to the table, what they bring to the table. A lot of people like when you bring things to tables. That’s my thing. ‘Cause, I tell you, I’ve had a lot of-between the TV and the podcasting, a lot of brand conversations.
[00:14:13] CALLER: Mhm-hmm.
[00:14:14] CHRIS: One of the funniest conversations of my entire life involved branded content. I don’t know if you’d like to hear about it or we need to focus up on getting you this gig.
[00:14:24] CALLER: No, no. I’d love to hear about it.
[00:14:26] CHRIS: So I won’t say which television network I worked with in this particular one because I’ve worked with a few. And I feel like by not naming the particular television network that it might keep me off the hook for feeling too guilty. But I was once working on a TV show. You might say that I was at the helm of it, but I’ll keep it vague beyond that. And we had a meeting with a network’s branded content department and I, actually, was into it. I always wanted the idea with my show of, if we do branded stuff, let’s be bold faced about it and have it feel like one of those 50s variety shows where the hosts would just walk over and start like actually using the stuff on camera. I always thought that could be funny and cool. Nobody ever bought on that. But we meet with this branded guy. And he was really unprepared for this meeting and we’d been given presentations from like all these different departments. Here’s what the promo department’s gonna be doing for you. Here’s all the back-channel stuff that this department is gonna be doing for you. And these people are stepping up and really trying to charm me and my producer who is with me to make ’em feel like they were put in the work for us. Then he gets up to the branded thing and the guy comes in late and you could see immediately everybody was mad at this guy ’cause first thing he does, he’s like, “We should do some branded stuff, I don’t know. Like car companies, any car companies?”. And we were all like-
[00:15:41] CALLER: Ooh.
[00:15:42] CHRIS: -“Why don’t you tell us?”. And then the people are like, “Do you have relationships brewing with car companies?”. He’s like, “Not really, but we should look into that”. And they’re like, “Yeah, we should”. And then he starts bringing up: “You guys have any other brandeds?”. And we’re like, “Yeah, we had one branded thing last, last season”. “We should follow up with them and see if we can do another one”. It’s like, yeah, you think? I think we all can agree that’s a starting point. And then finally he goes…here’s where it gets good. He goes, “You know, I do have a thing bubbling with Trident”. And I turned to my producer. I go, “Oh , Trident. Trident gum. That’s pretty…that would be pretty good. Trident gum. We can do some episode where everybody’s chewing gum and you know, we can integrate it right into the show. Who can chew the most gum with our children and Geth, classic Chris Gethard Show style idea”. He goes, “No, no, no. It’s not Trident gum. It’s the Trident Fish Company”. He looks me in the eye, he says, “It’s the Trident Fish Company” and everyone in the-you could feel everyone in the room just like simultaneously thinking like, what the fuck is going on, man? And he goes, “Yeah, there’s this company. I’ve been talking a lot with them. They’re called the Trident Fish Company. And they’ve got this initiative. They want to get people to stop eating so much cod and start to eat more pollock, pollock’s and other type of fish. It has very similar nutritional qualities to cod and cod’s got a stranglehold on the market. They want pollock to break through”. And you could feel his superiors in the room. You like, you saw them, like, like, the way their eyes changed while looking at this man was like, “Oh, he’s going to get yelled at and maybe fired for this”. I don’t know if that did happen. I hope not. I…I’m not going to get anyone fired.
[00:17:20] CALLER: As soon as the words “Fish company” came out of his mouth-
[00:17:22] CHRIS: Oh, like, god.
[00:17:23] CALLER: -they all thought he was fired.
[00:17:24] CHRIS: You have no idea. Like at least demoted or at least shamed and yelled at publicly in front of everyone. And I just looked straight at him and I was like, “Yeah, I’m into it”. And everybody in the room looked at me. I was like, “Close that account”. I want the Trident Fish company to be the main sponsor of the Chris Gethard. Please get me, please get me the pollock versus cod initiative branded content within the show, please. And it didn’t happen. And I’m still so mad about it. And I’m glad my show is canceled so I can now tell some of these behind the scenes stories. But Jesus Christ, that made me laugh so hard, “Not the gum, the Trident Fish Company”. All right, yeah. All right. Anyway, back to you. I got my funny story.
[00:18:10] CALLER: OK. I have a question for you.
[00:18:12] CHRIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:18:13] CALLER: What, ok, so when people say what are your weaknesses, what is one thing you say?
[00:18:20] CHRIS: Ooh, what is one thing I say? Me, personally?
[00:18:23] CALLER: Yeah. And not one of those, like, cheesy answers where it’s like I’d say my weakness is caring too much.
[00:18:29] CHRIS: Right, yeah.
[00:18:30] CALLER: A real weakness.
[00:18:31] CHRIS: Sometimes I work too hard. There’s that. No, I mean, if I had to list my weaknesses…Luckily I’m in an industry where I’ve carved out my own corner of the world where I’m a self-starter. So, that’s nice. But if I was in an environment, I mean, I have to be like I have the emotional stability of a dear who just heard a gunshot. Maybe that’s a weakness, is that I’m thirty-five seconds from having a panic attack at any given point in any given day. Maybe that’s a weakness. That would-they would shake my hand and say, “Thank you so much for coming in, we’ll be in-we’ll call you”. But yeah. If I was listing my real weaknesses….I have a constant, constant struggle to have anything resembling a healthy self-esteem. How ’bout that? I wouldn’t bring any of these up if I was you. But those are my weaknesses. How ’bout you? Let’s go through it.
[00:19:18] CALLER: This is getting really deep.
[00:19:19] CHRIS: And if you had to tell me what are some of your weaknesses and I, I’m going to treat it like an interview here. I’m going to respond as an interviewer might with some head games.
[00:19:28] CALLER: OK. So I, like, I got this idea for my sister to have a notes app in my…a note pulled up in my phone of, like, my weaknesses. So when I think of one…So far, it only has like a few, which isn’t me being cocky. It’s just I don’t spend much time thinking about it.
[00:19:43] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:19:44] CALLER: One of my weaknesses is I could not do, like, public speaking on the fly. I love writing. I can…I can do some great writing. But if a teacher is like, hey, go stand up and like critique this person’s work, I seriously start freaking out. I have to, like, have time to prepare. And so that’s a big one for me.
[00:20:04] CHRIS: Yeah, and you know what I would do? Here’s what I would do if I were you. Start with the thing about I tend to overprepare. If you put me in a situation where I have to improvise on the fly, sometimes I get a little overwhelmed. I really like breaking down all the information in a clear way and following the game plan. But I do admit that it creates an Achilles heel where-where if I gotta ad-lib in front of people, sometimes that’s a bit dicey. But because of that I tend to pour myself heart and soul into that preparation. And you follow up with that. I’m going to get you this gig.
[00:20:40] CALLER: This weakness, like…This weakness came about because one day in class, my professor did the thing where he is like, “OK, go up and critique this person’s work next to yours”. And I was like, “Oh, shoot. Please try to use words that don’t make me sound dumb. Because you’re not supposed to go up and say, “I like this”. That’s a phrase that’s like, oh no, that’s not okay. You have to be like, “It works well because of this. And so I’m up there just saying all these words that immediately after I seriously said out loud, “Why did I use that word?”. And all the people in my class were like, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, she’s going crazy”. And then as soon as I…as soon as I was done, he goes…He looks at mine and he goes, “So tell me why hers is better than yours”. And I was like, “Oh, she used, like, these sketchy lines better than I did”. And he’s like, “OK”. And then he shook my hand, which was just like, so bizarre because he didn’t do it for anyone else. And then I sat down and I was so stressed out. I was not upset in the slightest that he said mine was bad. I was not. I was so stressed out that I started crying. And then he, like, kept trying to talk to me. And he was like, “Oh, are you OK-like, did I upset you?”. I’m like, “No, I’m fine. I’m just, like, really stressed out from presenting”. He’s like, “No, ’cause yours was fine”. I was like, “Please stop talking to me”. I’m just very anxiety-filled at this moment. And so I just, like, sat there laughing while crying, which is, like, such a weird experience.
[00:22:01] CHRIS: Oh, I’ve had it. So, laughing while crying, I would say is my sweet spot as a human being.
[00:22:07] CALLER: And not, like…Not crying because you’re laughing so hard. Like, you know what I mean.
[00:22:12] CHRIS: Yeah, crying and laughing at the same time because your head becomes a mix that creates some new emotion that it doesn’t have a word for it. That life hasn’t come up with a word yet. I wouldn’t necessarily tell the employer the part where you yelled at the professor, “Please stop talking to me”. I would leave that part out. You want to go through? You want to go through a…We got 41 minutes left. You want to go through a little mini dry run of this interview. Would that help?
[00:22:40] CALLER: Oh, God, sure. We’ll see what happens.
[00:22:44] CHRIS: And you want one…You want one piece of advice that I’ve…of advice I’ve learned from doing Beautiful Anonymous?
[00:22:50] CALLER: OK. Yes.
[00:22:51] CHRIS: Because you were saying people were going to roll their eyes at the fact that you’re 20. I think some people will. I think that’s on them, not you. I think that’s ignorance. I’m on record saying, I think people of my generation above-and above have a very weird chip on their shoulder about people of your generation and the younger generation always winds up being correct. And I think that we’re underestimating you guys and it’s gonna bite us in the ass in many ways. We have to stop underestimating young people.
[00:23:19] CALLER: I’m think I’m right on the cusp between the two generations. It depends on who’s getting the most flak at the time. If everyone’s like, “We hate Gen Z”, then I’m like, “Oh, man, I’m a millennial”. And if they’re like, “We hate millennials”, then I’m like, “I guess I’m a Gen-Zer right now”.
[00:23:32] CHRIS: Wow. I mean, I’m so old that this is the first time I’ve heard of Gen Z. That’s how.
[00:23:37] CALLER: Really?
[00:23:38] CHRIS: Well, I’m an X-ennial
[00:23:39] CALLER: Yeah, is that-
[00:23:39] CHRIS: I’m an X-ennial.
[00:23:40] CALLER: Oh wow.
[00:23:41] CHRIS: I’m right on the edge of Generation X and millennials.
[00:23:46] CALLER: Oh damn, sorry.
[00:23:46] CHRIS: So are we just skipping Generation-Y? Just going right to Z?
[00:23:50] CALLER: Oh, I think so.
[00:23:52] CHRIS: OK.
[00:23:53] CALLER: I…I learned about like demographics in my user-centered design class and I do not remember anything about a generation Y.
[00:24:01] CHRIS: OK, now I’m gonna tell you. Here’s one thing I have learned from Beautiful Anonymous is that older people have one serious problem with your generation, which is the frequency with which you say the word like. And you might want to watch that at the interview. Because you say the word like very often and…it is it is hilarious to see in our comments section, anytime there’s someone under the age of 29, you’ll see at least three comments, they’re like, “How come these kids say like so much?”. So, you might want to keep an eye on that.
[00:24:30] CALLER: They can just fuck straight off because-
[00:24:33] CHRIS: Woo.
[00:24:34] CALLER: I’m doing my best here.
[00:24:34] CHRIS: Woo, everybody fuck straight off. You hear that comments sections on the internet? Fuck off. Sorry Sally, sorry Sally.
[00:24:43] CALLER: I guarantee that if this somehow gets, like, published, I will not listen to it because I will be cringing at the sound of my voice so hard and I will not look at any comments.
[00:24:54] CHRIS: Yeah, that’s how I am too. When we do the Beautiful Follow-ups, Jared has to send me notes because I can’t get through an episode because I hate my voice. And when I appear on television, I cannot watch it because it sends me into a tailspin of depression because I become convinced that I am a monster man. Anyway, let’s do this. Let’s…let’s go ahead and do this dry run of an interview. How’s this sound?
[00:25:14] CALLER: OK.
[00:25:17] CHRIS: Oh, is he…is it gonna be a funny fake version of an interviews? Or is he gonna start yelling at her? What’s…what’s this interview gonna be? You’re gonna have to stay tuned to find out. In the meantime, we got ads. Check ’em out. Use the promo codes. We’ll be right back.
[00:25:36] [AD BREAK]
[00:26:51] CHRIS: Anyway, let’s do this. Let’s…let’s go ahead and do this dry run of an interview. How’s this sound?
[00:26:56] CALLER: OK.
[00:26:57] CHRIS: OK, so you, OK, so it’s on Skype. So, Skype comes up. Hi. It’s so, so nice to meet you. Thanks for taking some time out of your day.
[00:27:06] CALLER: Oh, yeah. Thank you. Thanks, so much for reaching out to me. I’d love to learn more about your company, you know, and see what you’re all about.
[00:27:16] CHRIS: OK. OK, we’re going to have to clean that out, but we’ll fix it later. OK. OK. So, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself. You’re in school right now. What’s your…what’s your plan B on it? When you’re…when you think of five years from now, where would you like to be? That might help me determine if we can help get you there.
[00:27:34] CALLER: Yeah. Oh, five years from now, I will just be graduating from my program because it is a five year program and I’m just starting my second year. I hope since I have so many co-ops, which you know about because, you know about our programs so well, I would love the opportunity to travel around the country, go to different places. And so I really want to use this first co-op to get my foot in the door with different companies and especially yours. That would be a good thing to say. Don’t talk about other companies in an interview…
[00:28:01] CHRIS: Yeah, let’s not bring up the competitors. Let’s put our game face on.
[00:28:05] CALLER: And I would really like to learn about your little corner of design and figure about…figure out what you’re about. And I’d love to learn from you guys because I know you’ve been in this field for a couple of years.
[00:28:18] CHRIS: Mhm-hmm. Mhm-hmm. OK. And, if you had to tell me just in a couple short sentences what you think makes you a good designer. What would you say?
[00:28:31] CALLER: I would say one thing that makes me a great designer-oh, not great, good-
[00:28:35] CHRIS: Say great.
[00:28:36] CALLER: -is that I am a very quick learner and I’m very passionate about my source material recently. This is more than a few sentences. Recently I did a project where I had to make a poster series about different occasions in history where youth took a stand against the adults. And I wrote so many narratives and I did a lot of short stories kind of figuring out who these youths were. And so by the time I actually sat down to design, I felt like I really had a strong understanding of who they were and what message I was trying to convey about them.
[00:29:08] CHRIS: I love that. I love looking at the stories behind the design, the feel, the design itself. That’s a lot of what we focus on here as well. Maybe this will be a good match. But before I decide that, we tend to work pretty collaboratively here at this company. Do you feel…You know, a lot of designers, I think historically like to kind of go off and do their own thing. Do you feel that you work better as an individual or in a group environment?
[00:29:32] CALLER: I definitely think I can benefit from a little bit of both. I…in my classroom environment, I have…I work with about 20 close peers and of course we’re working on our own individual designs. But we always come together to critique and just, like, work towards a goal of making everyone better. So I think through that, I’ve really learned how to work with other people and kind of bounce ideas off of each other and see where they lead.
[00:29:58] CHRIS: Mhm. Good answer, good answer. And it’s…you brought up critique. How do you handle being critiqued in those environments?
[00:30:06] CALLER: Yeah, I think I…I think I handle being critiqued pretty well. You just you don’t take it personally. You just think that the person is trying to make you better and especially in a work environment, making sure that the client would be happy. And I’d take those notes and I ask questions and think of…try to think of ways that we can both be happy with that critique.
[00:30:29] CHRIS: That’s great. See you trying to learn and try to grow. How do you stay abreast of the latest design trends?
[00:30:37] CALLER: I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?
[00:30:39] CHRIS: How do you stay abreast of the latest design trends, trends?
[00:30:45] CALLER: I would say that you have to stay up with the design trends. You have to be on social media, but you can’t let social media affect your design too much. I have a professor who said she doesn’t want us looking at Pinterest at all during your project because it’s so easy to let those designs seep into the back of your mind and make their way into yours without even realizing it. So, I think a healthy dose of the media and what’s out there is good, but you really have to focus on yourself and try to see what message you’re trying to convey.
[00:31:19] CHRIS: I love that answer. So, it sounds to me like you’re saying you, while you stay aware of the trends that are developing in your field, you’re not looking to mimic the trends. You’re looking to set the trends.
[00:31:30] CALLER: Hold on, I have another alarm.
[00:31:31] CHRIS: Set that…write that down, the set the trends thing.
[00:31:33] CALLER: I have a lot of alarms set.
[00:31:34] CHRIS: Okay. Pay your water bill some other time. I’m giving you gold while I’m-
[00:31:40] CALLER: That one is done. This alarm is so I wouldn’t oversleep and miss my interview.
[00:31:45] CHRIS: Okay. Well, we’re on top of that, we’re on top of that. I like that. Write that thing down. I appreciate the trends. I know that it’s my job to be aware of them. But I’m not looking to follow trends. I’m looking to set trends. I want people following mine, me where I set the bar. Here…here’s another thing. Write this down, too. Here’s another thing that every interviewer wants to hear. OK, ready? Right from the start. Right when it’s, why do you think you’d be good for us? Like, I’m so-
[00:32:09] CALLER: OK, I’m ready.
[00:32:08] CHRIS: Here, you write this down. I’m so excited to put my head down and do the hard work. Boom.
[00:32:16] CALLER: Mhm.
[00:32:17] CHRIS: Boom. ‘Cause, you know, I’ve been in a position where I’ve had to interview people for positions. Do you know this? And a number of job interviews where I’ve been the person on the other side of the line from where you are here.
[00:32:28] CALLER: Let me just finish writing.
[00:32:30] CHRIS: Oh, here’s another thing. Here’s another thing you’re gonna write down.
[00:32:33] CALLER: OK.
[00:32:34] CHRIS: You can write this down. You’re gonna say, I’m so excited to see what I can learn from everybody who works at your company. And I’m so excited to see how what I bring to the table fits in there. You say that and your gonna get this gig. Your old buddy Gethard is going to get you this.
[00:32:52] CALLER: They’re going to ask who my biggest influence is. And I’m going to say…
[00:32:55] CHRIS: Chris Gethard.
[00:32:56] CALLER: You know, the comedian Chris Gethard?
[00:32:57] CHRIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:32:58] CALLER: No, we meant a designer and I said…I’ll be like, no, no, no. Chris Gethard is my biggest influence.
[00:33:02] CHRIS: Thank you so much. And they’ll say, why is that? You’ll say, well, he’s got a…he’s got a real dedication in his comedy towards compassion and listening. And I think that when I’m sitting down to do design, I want it to be as open and as much of an experience for the consumer as his phone call-based podcast is. Anyways. All right.
[00:33:26] CALLER: That’s actually one of the big, like, talking points I think about this interview is when they first call me to schedule it, the receptionist told me a lot about what they’re looking for. And they were talking about, like, the users. And I was like, well, let me tell you, I just did a user-centered design class that’s all about the users. And also, one of my like, like I said, one of my talking points is that my dad is a quadriplegic. And so, I’ve been I’ve been…I’ve grown up like thinking about the user-
[00:33:57] CHRIS: Oh, wow.
[00:33:58] CALLER: -and thinking about accessibility and just, like, making sure everyone can use your product rather than just the prime user.
[00:34:08] CHRIS: That’s really incredible. That’s a…
[00:34:12] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:34:12] CHRIS: That’s something. And…and what has thus far in our first half-hour been a very, I think, casual and fun episode. That’s a bomb to drop. And I think that is such a unique perspective of my father is in this situation where we constantly have to experience things in a way where you have to analyze in what ways they’re inviting people to participate. So, I have a particular mindset towards that. That’s a-
[00:34:37] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:34:38] CHRIS: That’s a great answer.
[00:34:38] CALLER: Yeah, most companies, even when you tell them that, like, hey, I like just last week…my dad has been in a wheelchair since I was 2 years old and him and my mom were in a car accident. So I lived with it or, I mean, that’s…that’s making it about myself. Like, my family has been in this situation for 18 years now. And so, we’re just used to it. But, like, just last week I called ahead at a restaurant and I said, hey, I’m just calling ahead before we drive out there to make sure you guys are handicapped accessible. Like make sure there’s no steps going into the restaurant. All that stuff. And they’re like, oh, yeah. Yeah, sure. Come on out. I get there and I walked up ahead of my parents just to like double check and they had a revolving door and then, like, a side door. And so I was like, oh, like, our…like, can we use a side door to, like, get in? And they’re like, oh yeah, this door is accessible. But then we open that door. There’s a step going up from the sidewalk. And I said, oh, no, this door has a step going in. Do you have any other ones? They were like, no. It’s like, no, there’s no step here. And I was like, yeah, yeah, there is. Like, there is a step up to this little platform. And then that platform walked in. I don’t know if you’re picturing this well. I’m bad at describing.
[00:35:50] CHRIS: No, of course, of course.
[00:35:51] CALLER: But-
[00:35:52] CHRIS: Don’t say you’re bad at describing because that means, like, you’re not much of a visual…a visual thinker and you don’t want them to know that. Okay. Anyway, continue, because this story is very gripping. The story is very gripping.
[00:36:04] CALLER: OK. Yeah, well, it was just like a little casual Tuesday night thing. And I was like, no, there’s…there’s clearly a step right there. Like, my dad cannot get up the step. And then the manager came over and I was explaining to him. And he’s like, oh, no, no, like, we can lift him up. I’m thinking, no, we can’t. Like you haven’t seen. It’s like a big power wheelchair. My dad’s a big guy, like, I know we cannot lift him up. And they’re like…they’re like, oh, well, we have this side door and that one still had a step. It was like…it was probably a couple inches. So not as bad. But, like, when my dad came down it, it was like a sight to be seen because, like, my mom was like holding onto him to make sure he didn’t fly out of his chair. But like, people just don’t think about it, you know?
[00:36:48] CHRIS: Yeah. Yeah. That’s an incredible story. And I got to say…I got to tell you something. I’m certainly not saying use any of your family situation or you…or, you know, any pain. But the way you just laid that out to me and said…I think that’s something that an interviewer would be blown away by. The idea of, I have this unique perspective where I always have to consider different people’s experiences because I have a family situation where that happens every day, and that means that I want to make my work something that is really, very clear as far as what people are going to get out of it. I think that’s incredible. Wow.
[00:37:39] CALLER: Yeah, this is…there’s a lot of little things people don’t think about. One thing that comes to mind is on sidewalks, you have to have an area that like dips down. So, there’s no like step down from the sidewalk. Like, sometimes we’ll walk for like a block or two before we can find a place where my dad can cross the street. So, I think that’s one thing that I can contribute really well to my designs is, like, I try to consider so many different aspects, especially visions, like, vision impairment and also like physical, physical bodies. Like it’s…if a design is like way up in the air…like, someone like my dad, who is sitting in a chair, won’t be able to read it as well as the one who is standing upright.
[00:38:26] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:38:26] CALLER: I tied it back into design.
[00:38:28] CHRIS: Wow. Yeah, that’s a…that’s an incredible story. That is an incredible story and it does give you a unique perspective and it makes me want to stop fucking around and pretending we’re doing a job interview because that conversation deserves better than that.
[00:38:46] CALLER: I mean, we can go into it if you want.
[00:38:48] CHRIS: Well, I don’t want to….I also…if you legit need to practice this job interview or have me distract you from it so you can go into it in a chill mindset, we can do that. It’s really up to you. But, it’s pretty fascinating.
[00:39:00] CALLER: No, we can…we can leave behind the job interview stuff. Well, one thing. I had…I had one interview before this, which was like months ago, and it was not like a job like event. So there’s so many different people. And I was talking so much that day and I went out to this employer and we had a scheduled interview. And he’s like, okay, tell me about yourself. And I did the whole load design spiel. But then I was also like, okay, another thing about me is that I’m the youngest in my family. I have two older sisters and I could never get a whole sentence in when I was younger. I always got interrupted. But as I’ve grown up and I’ve stopped being interrupted, my stories just don’t end. I just talk so much.
[00:39:47] CHRIS: You tell stories like someone who…yeah, I get it. I just interrupted you. In a story about you being interrupted, I interrupt you. I’m so sorry.
[00:39:53] CALLER: It’s okay. I’m just like…so I went into that interview and I was like, “Okay, like yeah, just so you know I talk a lot”. And the interviewer was like, “Oh, no, me too”. And so I was like, “Thank god”.
[00:40:03] CHRIS: Here’s the main piece of advice I’ll give you. As someone who’s had to hire people for jobs. And this goes for anybody…is you want to….I think a lot of times our instinct is to explain to people why we fit into what they do and that is necessary. But the thing that makes you shine is when you explain to them how you offer something that they don’t already have, you know?
[00:40:28] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:40:29] CHRIS: Here’s the perspective I have that you probably don’t already. And here’s why that’s a valuable thing to your company. I can tell you, I don’t think he would mind me saying it because he’s become one of my best friends. But we hired a writer for the Chris Gethard show named Carmen Christopher, and he’s one of my great friends. He’s so funny. And he gave us a writing packet that was, like, the ideas were good. Don’t get me wrong, they were good. But he put a cover on…a cover letter on it that was totally insane. That made me laugh out loud. And I hired him because the cover letter was so funny, and it had nothing to do with the actual ideas we were asking for. But I was like, man, this guy just has a weird brain that would even think to do this. And I don’t have that in my writer’s room already. His ideas are right in the mix of, like, they’re good ideas that we could use. But there’s a bunch of packets that have good ideas we can use. But he submitted this insane cover letter where the fonts were in four different colors and he said he was gonna fight the rest of our writers. And I was like, this is just insane and funny, and I need this in my room. I don’t have this already. So keep that in mind. That’s the main thing I would say to you. Oh, that’s what you do. Here’s why I think I fit right into it. Also, I have these other perspectives that maybe you don’t have yet. Maybe that would be valuable for you to have around as well. Here’s what I can get from you. And I think you can get some things from me. I think that that’s the that’s the basis of what I always wanted to figure out. Not you do this, and I think I could help with that. Well, we’re already doing that. You do this and here’s what I bring to the table that you might not have yet. That’s when I would hire somebody.
[00:42:02] CALLER: Yeah, going into this, I told my sisters. I was like, I had this interview on Tuesday or Monday, shit…Give me your advice because they’re older than me and they have their jobs. And they’re like, okay, yeah. Like, do all this research around the company, like do all this stuff I find. And I was like, yeah, that’s a good idea. That’s a good idea. And I will do it. But also I just need to…I just need to talk to people. Like, I feel like if someone’s just looking at my portfolio they might think, oh, this person’s okay. But, like, if you talk to me in person and I can explain my designs and all the little intricacies in there, then I think that’s what I can sell myself.
[00:42:37] CHRIS: Yeah. And I think, tell them all the things that make you unique, because that’s the type of thing that somebody goes this is a person we need to have around because they think in a way that I haven’t heard before and that diversity of thought might give us an advantage that we don’t already have. That’s what I would say. It’s not how I hired people. Now. Can I ask you one question that comes to mind about your dad, if that’s OK. And if I’m forcing it, please let me-
[00:43:07] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:43:08] CHRIS: Here’s something I want.
[00:43:09] CALLER: Like I said, I talk a lot, so.
[00:43:10] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:43:12] CALLER: I’ll, I’m sure I can come up with something.
[00:43:14] CHRIS: Here’s one thing that I wonder is like, I know that in..in, like, in my family, which I think probably I would say maybe fits the traditional mold in the…in this sense that I know that my dad was kind of the enforcer when we were in our teenage years and being rebellious and being, you know, just like shitty teens who would push envelopes and see what we could get away with. How’s your relationship with that…with, like, a parent who’s a quadriplegic? In terms of that, in terms of their ability to maintain authority over you.
[00:43:50] CALLER: Mhm-hmm. Yeah, I think it has a lot to deal with. We…my sisters and I had so much respect for our parents growing up. Because my sister, my sisters and I were two, four and six at the time of the accident. And so, like, like I said, we really grew up with it. We saw how much my mom was caring for my dad and we saw how much my dad was struggling as well. And so my sisters and I actually talked about…my oldest one, she went through like the city teen years. But my myself and my other sister, we never did. Which is like a subtle brag. Real…my mom says we were pretty good teens, so we didn’t have to deal with a lot of the discipline. But yeah, it’s definitely…let me take a step back and see if I’m answering the question. Yeah. I think if, with that respect, we learn to like let my dad be a disciplinarian. Because sometimes it’s easy just like to roll our eyes and walk away. But you have to just like stand there and be like, no, I’m hearing what you’re saying and I’m sorry for being a shitty kid.
[00:45:00] CHRIS: Right. So, you have to just…you have to just opt into a certain amount of respect for the authority.
[00:45:08] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:45:09] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:45:11] CALLER: Yeah. There’s one thing. Like my dad, since he’s a quadriplegic he can’t use his hands. I don’t know how much you know about that. But so, he realized…like, he went to college and so he would say…he would be working on homework and he would say, hey, come turn the page for me. Now he’s like, OK. But then there’s always, like, the ugh, you go turn it. Like, someone go help dad, I just sat down. And you really have to, like, take yourself out of the mode of like thinking about yourself and just be like, no, he can’t turn this page on his own, like we have to help him or else like he’s just stuck sitting here doing nothing. So you really have to like not be selfish as a kid.
[00:45:51] CHRIS: Yeah. What a…what a….to have three young daughters and to have everything, everything about your life just change in a moment. Your parents must be super strong people, huh?
[00:46:12] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. My…yeah, they’re pretty cool. They give speeches at the local driving school to be like, hey kids don’t be a piece of shit. And like, what you do matters because, like, they were hit by two teenagers going like 30 over the speed limit and just like shit like that. So it was just like a big like learning thing. But also, my mom came from a family of 14. You know, a big Catholic family. So we have such a great support system.
[00:46:45] CHRIS: Wow, so everybody stepped up?
[00:46:47] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. I actually….my…so, we live in Ohio. At the time of my parents’ accident, they lived in Michigan. But the best like rehab facility for quadriplegics is in Colorado. So for a couple of months, my family moved out there. As a young little 2 year old, I was a lot to handle for my mom. So I lived with one of my aunts for a couple months while they were in Colorado.
[00:47:14] CHRIS: Yeah. Wow. And did…did those did those teens who caused this, did they go to jail or anything like that?
[00:47:24] CALLER: One…it’s really hard. One had his…when you…the passenger was sitting in, it was like a…it was in an August, so a warm summer day. He had his head out of the window.
[00:47:37] CHRIS: Uh-oh.
[00:47:38] CALLER: So he was decapitated on sight. And then the other one is permanently brain injured. So he is also in a wheelchair. But he’s…yeah, so they didn’t go to jail, but they, you know, they had their consequences.
[00:47:56] CHRIS: Right.
[00:47:57] CALLER: I don’t know. It really…it’s really horrible from every aspect.
[00:48:00] CHRIS: Yeah. There’s nothing good about that story. Nothing good about it.
[00:48:04] CALLER: No, yeah. My mom actually reached out to…I think the mother of the one who is brain injured. And like, just like, will have conversations with her every couple of years. Nothing crazy. Just like, hey, I’m praying for you and your family. Just like we have completely forgiven you. This is, like, there’s so many aspects, you know. My parents being as religious as they are. They’re like, oh, so many blessings have come from this and like x, y, z…all that stuff. So, my mom will reach out every once in a while to those families.
[00:48:36] CHRIS: Yeah. How did your…I would have to imagine there must be some strain on paying the…paying the actual bills when something like that happens.
[00:48:47] CALLER: OK. So, I don’t…I’m, I’m not great at knowing all this information. But I think because Michigan is like a no-fault state with when it comes to like car accidents, I think. So basically…yeah, I think my parents weren’t at fault. But I think like insurance covered like so much. And, yeah. My…yeah. It’s just, I think it’s all through insurance. I don’t know how everything happens, but I’m living. I have a house. Or, my parents have a house I live in. But like, you know, we’re fine.
[00:49:27] CHRIS: And does your…did your…does your mom work full time?
[00:49:29] CALLER: My mom…Okay, so, with my dad being a quadriplegic, he requires 24/7 care. And, but my parents don’t, like, we don’t want a nurse in our house all the hours of the day. So we’ll have a nurse who comes in from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., the night shift nurse. And then we have one who works from 7 to 3. And then my mom takes like the evening shift. So tech-so, like, in my eyes she’s a stay at home mom. But technically, she’s working through like this nursing agency. So she works, like, you know, basically a full, full-time job. We’ve had so many problems in the past with, like, nurses calling off at the last minute. And so my mom will have to, like, pick up more shifts. So, stuff like that.
[00:50:15] CHRIS: So she technically has been trained and, and is compensated as a nurse through the company that is contracted to do that?
[00:50:24] CALLER: Mhm-hmm.
[00:50:25] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:50:26] CALLER: Yeah. She’s not like trained…she doesn’t have any…my mom didn’t go to college or anything. But it’s more like home care aide. Like that type of thing.
[00:50:37] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:50:38] CALLER: So that’s my mom.
[00:50:40] CHRIS: Wow. That’s, that’s one hell of a story. That is one hell of a story you can…It is rare at this point in doing this show that I get stopped in my tracks, but I thought we were just talking about a job interview for a spring internship. And you have managed…you have managed…to throw me a loop in a way that has me blown away.
[00:51:09] CALLER: Yeah. It’s like, I’m really casual about it because like I said, I’ve grown up with it my whole life. In school, like in all our religion classes, they’d be like, what’s one thing your grateful for? Or what’s something that seems negative, but you can put it in a positive light. So, I’ve been talking about this forever and so it’s no big deal to me. But I can see how it might be a little bit of a shock.
[00:51:33] CHRIS: Well, let me…to, to loop this back around. I would say something very heartfelt and honest, which is that, at least in my experience, and granted, I work in an industry where by definition, you just gotta go and figure it out for yourself and, and prove that you can do it. But I think I’ve gotten blustery on the show before about like, oh, school is for the birds. And that’s just all rooted in my own bad experiences. But I will say-
[00:52:01] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:52:01] CHRIS: -I think…I think in any industry I would have to imagine, down to engineering where everything you do have to have an immense amount of technical knowledge and book smarts and training. I still think there’s something to be said for any, any job in the world. The one thing that they can’t ever teach you is how to be a real human being in the world and deal with real life. And I got to say that you’ve dealt with more real life than probably anyone else of your, I would have to imagine anybody else going on these interviews. And I think anybody worth their salt who’s interviewing you is going to sense that, and would be really lucky to have you. Because the fact that you’re like, yep, no, I’m used to it. My family takes care of each other. It’s a thing we’ve dealt with. Just shows that you have a great head on your shoulders and that you were really, really raised right in the face of some stuff that by anyone’s definition is, is really tough. And I think anybody would be lucky to have you. I hope that you go into it with that confidence.
[00:53:17] CALLER: Thank you. If my mom heard that, she would be like…she’d be so like grinning ear to ear and be like, yeah, see I’m a pretty good mom. She, she likes to brag like that.
[00:53:30] CHRIS: I’m sure…she has to…for someone like you to say, yeah, I was never a shitty teen. And I learned…I knew that I just had to choose to respect my dad. And we didn’t go through that phase. Right there. You were really raised right. And that’s the one thing. I really believe it’s true. You cannot teach real life. You just have to live it. And you just have to take from it. And you just have to decide how you’re going to deal with it and move forward. And you see it, you see that a lot. You see people…Right, we’ve all seen examples of someone who is just, just able to sit down and read a book and have it memorized. But they don’t, they never figure out how to tie their own shoes. Well, what good does that give anybody, you know? Or you see somebody who has all the advantages in life, right? That’s the stereotype, too. You get that thing of, oh, you’re born into wealth and you never had to lift a finger. But now you don’t know how to lift a finger. So, what does that get anybody?
[00:54:20] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:54:21] CHRIS: Yeah. And you certainly don’t fit into any of those categories. You’re someone who…and think about what that’s taught you as far as how to respect people and how to be in environments where…I would have to imagine that there’s not too many people you’re going to meet with where you’re not going to be able to sit down and have a conversation…where that’s going to throw you. Because you’ve been in all sorts of situations your whole life that other people might feel taken aback by. And you’ve learned how to handle all of those with, with giving people the respect that they deserve and understanding that they deserve and dignity that they deserve. What an amazing set of qualities and… Again, yeah. Your mom, I think, deserves to have that grin because it sounds like she has worked her ass off and done a good job.
[00:55:12] CALLER: Yeah. It’s so fun coming home because I go to school about three hours away. So, I’m home for like winter break and my mom…it’s like one of those cutesy things where like, my mom’s my best friend. But, like, it’s true. So, it’s so fun coming home because my mom and I are just like constantly singing around the house. And my mom was like, I’m so glad to have you because your dad…your dad, like, is getting so annoyed with me…like, I finally have someone to sing with.
[00:55:44] CHRIS: Yeah, that’s great. That’s great that you and your mom can give that to each other and I’m sure that, that gives…I’m sure that that is so genuine from her. How does it work? How does your relationship with your dad…’cause I would imagine it’s like you said, when you go out, he has like a power wheelchair? When he’s when he’s home, I would imagine… Like, so do you…I don’t want to be…Again, I don’t want…I don’t…if anything’s like, yeah, that’s my story, my family story. But do you go and sit with him and fill him in? And you guys just have conversations? Like, how do you…what’s the…what’s the nature, like…I guess that’s the basic question.
[00:56:26] CALLER: What’s the nature of our relationship?
[00:56:28] CHRIS: Yeah. And how does it unfold? If that’s not too callous a question, just like, how does that relationship unfold?
[00:56:34] CALLER: No, it’s OK. Yeah. Growing up is definitely…I…like I said, I’m so close to my mom. And so sometimes my dad would get really self-conscious because I’m in a family with three girls. And so he would always… he would worry to my mom that like the girls love you more, which is like a really tough, like parenting thing. Like, oh man. Like how are you going to deal with that? My mom always approaches it with, like, no, it’s just they’re girls. I’m their mother. Like, it’s a thing. But yeah, it’s definitel….My relationship with my dad is, it’s pretty good. I have to…my dad’s not as talkative as, like, myself or my mom is. But if…I’ll call him, like once or twice a week, and will just like, you know, we’ll just chit chat. We’ll try to find things to talk about. And it’s just like, again, making the effort to reach out to someone. And it’s just, I’m really close to my dad because of little things we do together. We’ll try it…anytime I come home, we’ll try to go out to a lunch together. Stuff like that. And my dad always prides himself on being like the generous parent. Like, if we need anything, he’ll be like, oh, like, I’m going to take you shopping rather than your mom, because your mom’s stingy. And so, my dad will be like, okay, do you want to get like the expensive granola bars in a store. Like, let’s get the expensive ones. So, there’s like little things like that.
[00:58:02] CHRIS: That’s cool. That’s cool. And a sensitive question. A sensitive question, if I may. There’s a lot of traditional…there’s a lot of traditional moments in the relationship between a parent and child. And dads and daughters. I’m thinking of things like you know, like a sweet 16 party where you have a dance or, I don’t know if your older sisters are…are married, but bringing someone down the aisle. I hate to bring it up ’cause it’s sad, but I just wonder if your family has accounted for your own versions of that? Or what the conversations surrounding things like that are?
[00:58:45] CALLER: Yeah. So, I actually have…my two sisters I’ve been talking about are not married. But, I actually have like half siblings who are older, who are married. I just…it’s hard to like…when someone’s like, how many siblings do you have? You’re like, I either have two or five. Like it’s a whole thing. Whatever. When my older sisters got married, I believe my dad walked her down the aisle. They had to like Jimmy up this little like shields to put on the side of his chair to make sure that it, like, didn’t catch her dress when they were walking down the aisle. But still, like stuff like that. And we’re definitely figuring out because we want to make sure we can include our dad in these occasions. Growing up, we had father daughter dances like at my school. And so at that point, we were still young enough to like sit in my dad’s lap. And so we would do that and he would spin us around and dance with us that way. So, it was sweet. I’m trying to think ahead. Something else. Can’t remember it. Hold on. I’ll figure it out. I don’t know. So we definitely, we definitely make sure that we’re taking account of our dad. When I was touring houses to live in like down at school….like, a concern in the back of my mind…I couldn’t be too picky because It’s like college housing and I was trying to find a house for me and my five friends. But like, a thought in the back of my head is like, could my dad get in here? Like, we have these ramps that help him. But like, sometimes there’s like five or six steps and you’re like, he couldn’t get in here. So, we just try to keep stuff like that in the back of our heads to make sure that he’s as included as possible in situations like this.
[01:00:33] CHRIS: Wow. All right. Everything I told you before
[01:00:36] CALLER: Oh, wait, wait.
[01:00:37] CHRIS: Oh, yeah. Go for it.
[01:00:37] CALLER: I thought, I thought of this thing I forgot. Can I?
[01:00:40] CHRIS: Yeah.
[01:00:41] CALLER: So, in high school I was on, like…another example of something that didn’t quite work out. I was on, like, the homecoming court and there’s that, like, tradition of…I don’t know if every town does this. But, like, the people on the homecoming court will sit in, like, a convertible car and drive through the town and wave at people. And, like, my dad couldn’t get into that car so my sisters drove me, instead. And then my parents just like met us there. But it’s like stuff like that where it doesn’t work out and so you have to compromise.
[01:01:09] CHRIS: Yeah. Yeah. But it sounds like, again. You’ve learned how to handle all this stuff with just, here’s our version of it. And if we can’t have our version of it, we accept that and we keep a lot of communication open to always figure that out. You’re a cool person. So very lucky that I got to talk to you.
[01:01:39] CALLER: That’s funny. My bio for like any social media is like, I’m an OK person.
[01:01:44] CHRIS: No, you’ve got to change that.
[01:01:46] CALLER: I don’t know. It’s just like, a nice go-to.
[01:01:50] CHRIS: Yeah, it is.
[01:01:50] CALLER: I don’t know. because I’m like…there’s always like people growing up when they’re like outsiders and they’re like, oh my gosh, you’re so sweet. Like, well, not to make fun of you, but that’s basically what you’re doing. But it’s like older, like older people in our parish would just be like, you guys take care of your dad so well. And we’re like, okay, yeah. But, like, you don’t know the inside of our life. Like, you don’t know when I roll my eyes when I have to stand up and help him. And so, people are always like, oh, you’re such a great person. And I’m like, I’m okay. And so that’s where that comes from.
[01:02:22] CHRIS: Well, I don’t know you well enough to…so, to know if you’re great. So I’m not gonna fall into that trap that you just laid out. But I do feel like within an hour I’ve learned enough about you to know that you’re strong and you’re kind. And I think those things are just true.
[01:02:39] CALLER: You can’t it see ’cause we’re on a phone, but I just whipped when you said that.
[01:02:44] CHRIS: You just what?
[01:02:44] CALLER: In case you want to know something else about me.
[01:02:46] CHRIS: Wait, you just what?
[01:02:47] CALLER: I whipped? Like, you know…
[01:02:48] CHRIS: Whipped?
[01:02:50] CALLER: Do I have to say it again? Like, you know the dance move? When you…
[01:02:55] CHRIS: I’m 38.
[01:02:57] CALLER: -you throw your arm out.
[01:02:57] CHRIS: I’m 38 years old.
[01:02:59] CALLER: Dude.
[01:03:00] CHRIS: Is that like dabbing?
[01:03:01] CALLER: Any like-
[01:03:02] CHRIS: Is dabbing a thing still?
[01:03:04] CALLER: It’s not. See, like, I do it like, I would like to say ironically. But it’s just a force of habit. Wait, you really don’t know what whipping is?
[01:03:13] CHRIS: I’m thirty eight years old, I don’t know what whipping is! Do you? Jared, Jared doesn’t know. Harry does know. That’s, that’s the exact generational breakdown that we just discovered. Harry, can you show me a whip so I can visualize this? Harry is going to show me a whip through the glass. So, it’s looks like a punch. It’s like a punch in the air.
[01:03:36] CALLER: Yeah. Yes. It’s like…if you’re doing the actual dance, like you really get into it. You lean to one side. But, sometimes when I get like a good critique or someone says something nice, I’ll just do a little one with my hand. Just be like, oh yeah.
[01:03:49] CHRIS: Here’s, here’s the thing. Okay. You got this interview in about half an hour and all that stuff I was talking about you before. Maybe some of that language is useful, but it’s tricks and most of it was jokes, as you know. Here’s one thing I really want you to say, though. Here’s one thing I really want you to say, is when they ask you about your strengths, I think you just…I think one thing you can say and it’s not exploiting your own story…I think you can just say I honestly think more than most 20-year-olds that you’re going to meet, you can throw anything at me, because I’ve dealt with a lot of real life and it’s taught me how to handle things being thrown at me. And I don’t think…I think more than most 20-year-olds, I’m not gonna be thrown by anything you throw at me because I’ve just learned how to deal with so many situations that a lot of young people haven’t had to think about. And I think that’s totally true. You’ve dealt with a lot of real life and-
[01:04:37] CALLER: That’s a very good, like, interview sentence.
[01:04:39] CHRIS: Yeah, but it’s also true. It’s also, true.
[01:04:44] CALLER: Yup, that’s what makes it great.
[01:04:46] CHRIS: I would go with that. I would let them know a lot of 20-year-olds, you gotta teach them about real life. You don’t have to teach me about real life because I’ve, I’ve learned a lot about that. And like I said, then you say I’m ready to put my head down and do the work and think about the relationship between the client and the product and the consumer. Then you get into all that bullshit. But you’ve lived a lot of real life.
[01:05:04] CALLER: Boda-bing. Boda-boom.
[01:05:06] CHRIS: Yeah, you’re…you’re a tough one. You’re…you’re a tough cookie.
[01:05:11] CALLER: People in my class might not think so because, as I said, I have openly cried.
[01:05:16] CHRIS: Well, like you said. They can straight fuck off. Caller, thank you so much for telling us your story and your family’s story. And for opening up and I hope you get that gig. I sincerely do. I hope you get that gig and that you have a lot of fun doing it and that you just crush it. Have fun. Thank you, caller. Thanks to all of you for listening. Thanks to Jared O’Connell and Harry Nelson in the booth. Thank you, Justin Windale for all your help in my life. Thank you, Shellshag for the intro music. Want to know about me and when I’m going out on the road and when I’m doing shows around New York? Go to chrisgeth.com. All ticket links will be there. If you like Beautiful Anonymous. One thing you can do to help the show, you go to Apple podcasts, you rate, review, subscribe. It really helps when you do. See you next time on Beautiful Anonymous.
[NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW]
[01:06:26] CHRIS: Next time on Beautiful Anonymous, someone from Berlin introduces us to a guy who grew up in Oklahoma. But then he moved to Washington and now he lives in Finland.
[01:06:36] CALLER 1: I…I hope this is not gonna be weird. I warned him, but he was like, okay. So…he knows the show, but he’s not…that’s bad.
[01:06:47] CHRIS: Okay. This is such a lovely…I’m glad I got to talk to you for a few minutes. And this is such a lovely surprise. Hello.
[01:06:55] CALLER 2: Hi.
[01:06:56] CHRIS: Hi. This is Chris.
[01:06:58] CALLER 2: Hi, Chris. This is [beep].
[01:07:01] CHRIS: Oh, hi.
[01:07:03] CALLER 2: Yeah.
[01:07:05] CALLER 1: All right. I’m just going to say bye now.
[01:07:06] CALLER 2: Are you on the phone, too?
[01:07:08] CALLER 1: No offense. Yeah.
[01:07:09] CHRIS: So now we’re all on the phone together. That’s next time on Beautiful Anonymous.