Note: I stumbled upon this this piece in my Google Drive, and thought of sharing it with a close group of friends.
This was written in Jan 26, 2016 – back when I was an intern at my first job.
After reading it today after 2.5 years, I could spot a ton of editorial improvements. However, I’m considering pursuing this project.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
It was the first Sunday morning aptitude training class, when a fat, short, rather funny looking dolt wearing in a yellow t-shirt, blue jeans and grandfather sandals, entered the classroom and took the first seat in the third row. As you can imagine, it was a Sunday, and the words “aptitude training” resonated with the intimidating prospect of securing a job in less than eighteen months.
If all else failed, this dolt was certain that he could secure a position in one of the mass-recruitment firms, with a bit (or a lot of) aptitude practice. Having started University life less than a week ago, 1600kms away from home, this ma ka laadla had high hopes.
“Body language during PI (personal interview) sessions” was the topic of discussion, I believe. The dolt was interested in body language, or so he believed, having read the first 50 pages of a popular book. He liked where the class was taking him and was fairly familiar with the content presented in the “handouts”.
A few minutes passed and the dolt began getting used to the class dynamics. He felt a bit easy. He started look around, gazing at his classmates. This dolt knew he was good with faces but not with names, and hence began associating self-made names to the familiar faces from last week. He started clockwise – the forerunners were the serious folk, dominated by women. The middle berth was a combination of girls and boys who took to their work moderately. And the backbench, well, you know what the backbench resembles – mostly people busy with their phones or chatting away with one another. The dolt smiled at the startling universality of classroom dynamics which was completely independent of the degree of education.
The instructor started explaining the next page in the handout. It was a fairly simple exercise. A picture of a man portraying various emotions was presented and the reader was asked to tick the possible emotions he/she felt was applicable. The dolt hurried his answer out of excitement – started checking multiple correct solutions.
He felt a bit proud of himself and lifted his head to check how his competitors were doing. Subconsciously, the dolt’s brain was processing the previous task of scanning the class for familiar faces. Naturally, rather involuntarily, the dolt’s head now turned left and that’s when it hit him.
A lady clad in a white kurti, wearing square maroon spectacles and long black hair endowed with a beautiful hair bow, intently wrote on the handout. There wasn’t anything to write, since the question simply asked to tick the possible answers. This piqued the dolt’s interest.
He tried to catch a proper glance at what the lady was writing. But wow! Had never seen such beautiful handwriting. Long, spacious and crisp blue words started making their way on the scant whitespace in the handout.
The dolt noticed that the lady was running out of space. But she didn’t care. She didn’t modify her handwriting to fit in, rather, she stomped past the faded black print of an average photocopy the handout clearly was. The blue stood out. It read “The man is possibly in a state of distress as indicated by…”
The dolt tried to read the line when his attention was drawn to the instructor’s voice – “Can anybody tell me why the man in the picture is in distress?”
When a man adjusts his necktie, it’s a form of pacifying behaviour. It helps calm ourselves down when we’re in a tense situation. It’s symbolic to touching the Adam’s apple, which, from an evolutionary perspective, was something we’ve acquired from our ancestors.
The dolt knew this and wrote it in his answer. But he didn’t respond to the instructor’s question. He was more interested in the lady with the beautiful handwriting.
“Touching the neck right?”
“The pacifying behaviour. It’s because the man was adjusting his tie, right?”
The lady nodded “hmm” and swiftly turned to her writing.
The dolt knew better. He had had his failed attempts with girls before. This narrative wouldn’t refer to him as a dolt, if indeed, we weren’t one. College taught him a lot of things, the most important of one of which was, that short fat guys with braces and pimples should only “remain friends” with tall beautiful women, no matter how smooth a talker they were.
He backed off, as he didn’t want to dive into the rabbit hole once again. 18 months to a job interview, remember?
But the dolt’s heart was soft and focus diluted. It needed to be grilled a lot more.
Class was over and the lady with the beautiful handwriting started gathering her belongings, I’ll admit a tad bit clumsily. She didn’t wear a watch, so she turned on her white Nokia Lumia smartphone, glanced at the time and promptly walked out, without so much as looking back at anyone.
“Well at least she’s my height”, thought the dolt. He smiled for jumping past the rabbit hole. Or at least he thought he did.
Little did this funny looking ma ka laadla know that this random encounter marked the beginning of his end.