I appear to be on a single track with my posts regarding searching for work, but it’s the stuff of my experience right now. And so last week we were asked to observe the differences between a story and a model. I was thinking that in a sense a model ‘short–hands’ experience. For instance, I have a model for an upcoming meeting, it’s an employment interview, and as such, it’s expected to unfold within certain parameters. There will be discussion and evaluations, a mutual give and take to determine whether or not I might bring needed talent and experience, which might result in a job offer and acceptance.
My stories about the meeting consist of anticipations with regard to who I will meet, and what that meeting will be like, points I should remember to make, and questions I should ask. Afterwards, there will be stories based on my memory of the meeting, and my interpretations of how it went, what I learned, and resulting judgments and conclusions about this new knowledge.
So, in this instance the model is a kind of invisible blueprint, a social convention categorized as an employment interview, as it underpins my meeting. This model of an employment interview ‘excludes‘ the kinds of exchanges that would occur in other kinds of meetings, (a romantic meeting, a meeting of friends at a sporting event or the movies) and in defining the range of interactions the model seems to correspond to a communiqué, a setting up in advance of the adhered to but unseen hand of logical structure that guides both the interviewer and the interviewee in the dance they do.
For this week we were asked to continue looking at stories in operation: “the ways you make sense, the ways you excuse and justify, the ways you judge others and yourself, and so on.”
So I looked into the stories that resulted from my interview and how I judged what happened. And right from the start I realized my judgments were from a center, from a perspective that was me. I judged how ‘I’ performed in the interview, how the company I was applying to stacked up to ‘my’ criteria of whether or not I would fit well, if I would be happy there, if I could grow and prosper there. I was fitting myself into my notions and conclusions about what working there would be like. I was adding to a context that I had established as a sort of empty placeholder in my mind that stood for the company when I first sent in my resume.
I should say, there were moments during the interview, that I simply forgot about the interview model and my ‘self’, and simply remained present to the other person as he spoke, and I opened to, and responded to, his communication. During those moments I felt a kind of bond, a sense of mutual understanding and agreement. I can’t say whether or not I will end up working there or not, but maybe that has something to do with why I was called back for a second interview.