You [answering the phone]: Uh, hello?
Some voice: Hello, is this Mr. or Mrs. You?
You: Who’s calling?
Some voice: It’s [inaudible] from Mammoth Studios. Are you still looking for a job?
You: Well, sure.
Some voice: Great. We’ll be in touch with a tech interview for our client on Wednesday morning.
You: What client?
Some voice: Thank you [room full of other Some Voices are excitedly talking to other Yous]
You: When on Wednesday?
Some voice: [Click].
Wednesday, during the daily stand up, you get a call from a blocked number.
You: Uh, hello?
Some other voice: Hi, is this Mr. or Mrs. You?
You: Hold on, let me step in another room.
Some other voice doesn’t wait — it just keeps talking: You are being interviewed for a lead position at Paper Street Soap Co. This interview will take about 1 hour.
You: Where is it located?
Some other voice: Massachusetts.
You: I live in New Hampshire. Where in Massachusetts?
Some other voice: If you do well on the interview, we’ll let you know.
Yet another voice: Hi, You, I’m [inaudible] and I’ll be providing the tech screening for Paper Street Soap Co. Tell me the 3 variations of traditional batch processes for making soap.
You: I’ve made soap for 12 years. I don’t normally think of it as limited to just just 3 processes, but I can tell you how I’ve made soap for my 4 previous and current employers?
Yet another voice: Uh, huh. [sounds disappointed]. Well, the three processes are: the cold process, the semi-boiled or “hot process,” and the fully boiled process.
You: Ah, I see what you were referring to. You wouldn’t happen to be reading questions someone else made for you, are you?
Yet another voice: [ignoring you] And what are the types of semi-boiled hot process methods?
You: Well, we use the Crock Pot Hot Process. That’s the one I’ve used the most. But just today…
Yet another voice: The other one is the Double Boiler Hot Process.
You: I knew that. I was just about to say that we tried Double Boiler Hot Process.
Yet another voice: Uh huh.
Some other voice: You, and you say you’ve been making soap for 12 years? I only see soap making on your resume for 5 years. [Sounds doubtful]
You: Where did you get my resume?
Some other voice: Mammoth Studios gave us this resume. You live in South Dakota, right?
You: South Dakota? That resume is 7 years old! I live in New Hampshire.
Yet another voice: In the 9th century, where was Hard toilet soap with a pleasant smell imported to Europe from?
You: I, uh, I think I know this. Was it Mesopotamia?
Yet another voice: Close. The Middle East.
You: That’s the same thing, right?
Some other voice: Yet another voice is our chief soap maker. He knows how to make soap.
Yet another voice: One more question. Do you know what jojoba oil is?
You: Yes, it’s…
Some other voice: Thanks. Any questions for us?
You: Where in Massachusetts are you located?
Some other voice: We don’t work in the Massachusetts plant, so we can’t tell you. But you live in New Hampshire, you said, so you can drive it.
You: Depends. I live in Nashua, so it is on the border. I’m googling you. Looks like you have an office in Boston. That’s more than 3 hours of commute per direction.
Some other voice: We don’t know the Massachusetts plants. But you can drive that, right? Or relocate if needed?
You: I hope you have plants closer to New Hampshire.
Some other voice: If you get to the next round of the interview process, and we’re still interviewing candidates, Mr. or Mrs. Voice You Haven’t Heard Yet will tell you precisely where the plant is.
You: That would be helpful.
You hear Yet another voice telling Some other voice how hard it is to find a candidate nowadays who knows the soap-making process, and you are about to reply, when the phone clicks down on their end.
You look outside the office you’ve walked into for the phone screening and your soap making scrum master is staring at you, wondering why you walked out on the stand up.
You can’t help wondering, too.