The Job Interview
INTERVIEWER: Hello, Napoleon, is it?
NAPOLEON: Actually, people call me Monsieur Bonaparte.
INTERVIEWER: Of course. Nice to meet you. I’m glad you and I can be on a last-name basis with each other. First of all, would you like a cup of coffee before we begin?
NAPOLEON: Yes. And tell your worthless minions to put cream in it.
INTERVIEWER: They’re not minions, sir, but will do. Alright, well, I’ve gone over your resumé. Pretty solid. Sounds like you have a lot of ambition and quite a bit of experience.
NAPOLEON: I’m a self-starter. If a stack of reports needs collating or a small country with a weak military needs a leader, I’m your man.
INTERVIEWER: That’s what you put down as part of your objective. Now Monsieur Bonaparte, why are you interested in bill collections?
NAPOLEON: Well, having once been called an enemy of humanity, I felt the next logical step was collections. My mother thinks I would also make a great auditor. I can be quite convincing on the phone. Once an entire army surrendered itself to me because I refused to let them put me on hold.
INTERVIEWER: Excellent. Can you tell me a little about yourself?
NAPOLEON: Well, they named a complex after me, but generally, I’m easy to get along with. If I have a problem with a co-worker, I’ll usually try to arbitrate the grievance. If we can’t come to any sort of agreement, I’ll form a coup against that person and overthrow them.
INTERVIEWER: Great. Sounds great. Your work history shows some gaps. What were you doing in between jobs?
NAPOLEON: I had a pretty steady work experience. In between battles, I would strategize ways to take over the European continent. I undertook a massive campaign to rule Europe beginning in 1796 with the Battle of Montenotte. In 1798, the Battle of the Pyramids. 1813 was a tough year, and I lead a series of massive assaults in Germany. After a serious naval blunder at Trafalgar, I made a comeback, but thereafter was defeated at Waterloo. I’m sure you’ve heard about that.
INTERVIEWER: Sounds like some defeat! What did you like most about your last job?
NAPOLEON: When I surprised the occupying Austrian forces in Italy. They didn’t see it coming. It was a proud moment. You should’ve seen the looks on their faces right before my men slaughtered them like pigs. It was pretty funny.
INTERVIEWER: That does sound funny. Describe the last position you held. Why did you leave?
NAPOLEON: I was the Emperor of France from 1804–1821. I left my post because Britain considered me a warmonger. Unfortunately, I was fired without so much as a severance package and exiled to the island of Elba. I was only entitled to unemployment for six months, which isn’t very long when you’re trying to find work on an island where there are only five other people. Things weren’t weren’t bad enough, they took my penis and put it in a museum. By the way, it has shriveled some. It was much, much bigger before. Really. Mummification doesn’t do it justice.
INTERVIEWER: Yes, I’ve heard that can happen. Can you list all positions you’ve held?
NAPOLEON: Let’s see, I was a dictator, statesman, tyrant, sovereign, and monarch. Prior to that, I was a captain of artillery and a brigadier general. But those were only temp jobs.
INTERVIEWER: Describe a time when you used your customer service skills.
NAPOLEON: I spent several months in negotiations with Pope Pius VII, which lead to the Concordat. But my real shining moment happened when Pius wanted to send his linguini back to the kitchen and I offered to switch dinners with him instead. I try to avoid ugly scenes in restaurants. It gives me anxiety.
INTERVIEWER: Was he amenable to the switch?
NAPOLEON: Does Pope Pius wear a tall hat?
INTERVIEWER: Ha, ha. Good one. Okay, describe a time when you encountered a problem at work and came up with a solution.
NAPOLEON: I single-handedly introduced the Civil Code when it became apparent that French people were being denied civil rights and liberties, especially when it came to appliance warrantees. Before the French Revolution, the ancient regime allowed a six-month trial period for a ratchet set. Can you believe that? It was like the Sears and Roebuck Dark Ages.
INTERVIEWER: Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
NAPOLEON: That is complicated. I was imprisoned in 1794 for an alleged alliance with a powerful family, but I was never formally charged with anything. So no.
INTERVIEWER: Have you ever been terminated? If so, why?
NAPOLEON: Like I explained, I was sent to Elba Island in 1814 on the grounds that I was Public Enemy no. 1. But the Directory that I overthrew did write me a letter of recommendation and said I could use them as references. You can contact Robespierre as well. We’re good friends.
INTERVIEWER: What did you like the least about your last job?
NAPOLEON: That I was de facto ruler, that I had to crown myself at my coronation. I was first consul, but no one would call me emperor for the longest time. I found it exceptionally frustrating to govern a large empire and yet still be denied same-day pants alterations.
INTERVIEWER: Do you speak any foreign languages?
NAPOLEON: A little French, but I’m rusty.
INTERVIEWER: Describe any managerial experience.
NAPOLEON: I was the commander of both the Army of England and the Army of Italy.
INTERVIEWER: List any skills or special knowledge you possess.
NAPOLEON: I’m a grand tactician. I’m very good at mobilizing troops and launching pre-emptive midnight strikes. Also, I’m certified in Python.
INTERVIEWER: Are you currently employed?
NAPOLEON: Right now I’m working for myself as a freelance oppressor.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have your own transportation?
NAPOLEON: I ride a small mule. I would normally get around by horse, but with insurance being so steep these days…
INTERVIEWER: I understand that alright! Okay, Bonaparte, we’ll be in contact with you regarding the position. Of course, we have to interview all candidates before we make a decision.
NAPOLEON: It would be great if maybe you could get me a list of those candidates. You know, addresses, phone numbers. It’s good to know where the competition lives. I mean, know your competition.