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The Guardian Sphinx

April 28th, 2010 by the_lifer

It is now Winona’s turn to navigate the intricacies of a job interview.

In Wellington, the mushy term “Business Analyst” can be read as “Smart Person Wanted.” So Winona sent in a CV for a position being guarded by an employment agency. Gratifyingly, her cellphone rang two days later.

Now, she is facing off across a desk with the guardian sphinx for this position. She wouldn’t be surprised if this dark-eyed Senior Consultant, with her enigmatic smile, truly had the lower body of a sphinx or dragon, for she has stayed seated the whole time.

The air hums with, unexpectedly, affinity. Winona is asking tough questions, and the HR sphinx seems to like this. She has saved the toughest for the end. “You mentioned that this was for a government department. May I ask which one?”

“They’re quite careful about their confidentiality.”

Winona raises an eyebrow. She had a conversation with her mother a few weeks back. “There are good Ministries to work for, and there are the difficult ones. Mad office cultures, software projects that go on forever, too many contractors there half-time so nobody knows what’s going on.” Her spider-sense tells her that one of the Difficult ones is concealed behind this coyness.

After a chess player’s pause, she ripostes, “I might have something special to offer them if I knew their main area.”

The sphinx relents, and names the department. Sure enough, it is one of the Difficult ones.

It is on the table. The sphinx doesn’t blink her onyx eyes as she waits for Winona’s response. “They’re a bit special, I’ve heard. I’m very well organized and assertive, and I think…”

She burbles on a bit more,. By a slight twitch of a smile, she knows that the sphinx knows that Winona knows it’s Difficult. And the sphinx knows that Winona, for her own reasons, is still interested. The sphinx starts talking about setting up another meeting. Privately, Winona is thinking, Well, at least I know what I’m getting into, now.

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