The Interview

“I see, Mr. Wilson, you are applying here at Think-R-Us for a position as an SME?”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“Fine.  What is your particular area of expertise?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“Nothing.”

“Um, yes.”

“You pick up on things quickly.”

“Well, I’m in the HR Department, but I like to think those who hired me recognize latent talent.”

“Is there anything else you need to know?”

“Well, as an SME in ‘Nothing’ why do you feel Think-R-Us needs your services?”

“Whatever do you mean by that?”

“Simple enough.  Exactly what are your qualifications?”

“I’m always told I know all there is to know about nothing.  That makes me an SME on Nothing.”

“That is good?”

“Well, I’m certainly glad you agree.  The idiot down the hall from your office here doesn’t seem to understand.”

“She’s a psychiatrist.  She…”

“Whatever.  In addition to knowing all there is to know about nothing, I know a little bit about a lot of things – everything, actually.”

“I see.”

“So, in addition to being a Nothing SME, I can jump in and help other SMEs if they ever get stuck.”

“Let me write this down…”

“Good idea.”

“SME on Nothing; knows a little about everything else…”

“Right…”

“What particular segment of industry most often has need of your expertise?”

“Not sure.”

“Not sure?”

“Correct.  That’s outside my area of expertise, which is…”

“Nothing…”

“Exactly.”

“Well…”

“But in my capacity of knowing a little bit about everything, I can tell you with all the industries out there in trouble – they surely need help.”

“Yes, well…”

“And with my knowledge, it can’t but help.  I mean they’ve tried everything else.”

“Okay.  When can you start?”

“Not sure.”

“You’re not sure?”

“Well that falls into the things I know a little about.  Now if it were nothing, I would have the answer because that’s what I know everything about, but since it’s not nothing, quite specifically something, I know only enough to guess.”

“Oh.  Okay…”

“How does Monday work?”

“Okay.  Monday.”

“Where’s my office going to be?”

“I believe we’ll put you next to the Project Managers.  You’re strangely similar, you and they.”

“How is that?”

“They know a little about nothing and all there is to know about everything.”

“We’ll get on smartly.”

“’Smart.’ Not a word one generally thinks of when talking of Project Man…”

“I can feel the synergy now – the exchange of ideas…”

“PMs don’t exchange ideas.  They steal them.”

“That doesn’t bother anyone?”

“They run the show.  Once they hear an idea, they believe in their hearts they actually did come up with it.”

“I see.”

“That’s why there’s such a turnover in the SME department.”

“Any openings for PMs?”

“Why? You are thinking of applying as a PM?”

“Yes.  With a little cross training, an updating of ethics and a keener sense of timing, I might be able to pull it off…”

“Better stick with the SME spot for now.”

“Yeah, but aren’t PMs immune to obsolescence?”

“Oh, certainly, but according to a tough study in economics…”

“Keynesian?”

“Absurdian.”

“Out of my area.  See you Monday.”

“Fine.  Monday.”

© S P Wilcenski 2020

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