[Host: Welcome to another episode of Candidate Camera, the show where we secretly record job interviews with candidates who don’t realize that the joke is on them! Today: you know how some job seekers seem to think that the best way to impress an interviewer is to just tell him whatever he wants to hear? Well, watch what happens when our own Lena Fahn impersonates an interviewer to find out just how far this candidate is willing to go . . .]
Lena: . . . Well, Sam, you’ve done some interesting work over the past several years. What makes you want to come work here at Acme now?
Sam: To be honest, I have always wanted to work for Acme. You guys are the best in the business.
Lena: Well, we think so. Ha ha ha! I see that for the last couple of years your work has been heavy on engineering, which is great. For this position, though, we’d probably ask you to take on other duties.
Sam: That’s great. I’m always looking to expand my repertoire.
Lena: I like that attitude. How do you feel about sales and marketing?
Sam: Hey, you can’t have a successful business without sales.
Lena: That is so true. Ha ha ha! You see, this position is going to involve a certain amount of cold calling. Is that something you are interested in?
Sam: Very interested. Do you use marketing lists of former customers and likely customers and such?
Lena: No need. We just scan the obituaries.
Lena: Absolutely! We find that the emotionally vulnerable are easily persuaded to buy our products. The recently widowed are a huge revenue source for us. Ha ha ha! I take it you would have no trouble hounding a grieving elderly woman?
Sam: Uh, no. No. I, I think that I would, ah, probably be doing them a favor. Human contact in a time of need. You know, letting them know someone cares.
Lena: We do care, Sam. I can tell you’d fit right in with us. I’m getting a good feeling about you! Now, I can’t make any guarantees at this point, but you are a very strong candidate.
Sam: Thank you. I do think I’d be a great fit.
Lena: So glad to hear that. Because my real goal is to bring someone on board who can be really pro-active in the marketing sphere.
Sam: Hey, that’s me. I try to be very forward-thinking.
Lena: Then you’ve probably already thought of this: widows and widowers are reliable customers, but they usually have more limited resources because of the expenses associated with their departed’s long illness. In order to be able to maximize our revenue stream, we’re looking for a candidate who can maximize the good and minimize the bad. Are you that candidate, Sam?
Sam: You bet! Whatever it takes. My goal is to make Acme look good.
Lena: Fantastic. What we are seeking, specifically, is someone to help end the suffering of patients recently diagnosed with terminal illness.
Sam: “End the suffering”?
Lena: Well, “prevent the suffering” would be more precise. Once they have the diagnosis, why wait for the pain to arrive? Is that something you’d be interesting in taking on?
Sam: You mean, like assisted suicide?
Lena: Sort of, except for the suicide part. But remember: only the happily married ones!
Sam: It’s not something I’d ever considered–
Lena: Look, Sam, I like you, but if you can’t step up to the plate, let’s not waste each other’s time. I could find a half-dozen laid-off Ivy League M&A attorneys who would do this work for free. But I want someone who will grow with Acme, and I think that someone is you. Am I right?
Sam: Yes. Certainly. If I can be of “assistance”, then, then, then you can count on me. I mean, it’s painless, right? They won’t feel anything, right?
Lena: Not after it’s over, Sam. Ha ha ha! But just one more thing —
Sam: Oh, please, no . . .
Lena: — I just need to tell you that I am not really with Acme, this entire conversation has been recorded, and I want you to smile — you’re on Candidate Camera!
Sam: Oh my god. Oh. My. God. You mean to tell me —
Lena: You are off the hook! You do not have to “assist” anybody!
Sam: But I still have the job, right?
Lena: Ah, no.
[Host: And now I can’t tell: is Sam laughing, or crying? Maybe it’s both — after all, it would be obvious to any actual employer that Sam just doesn’t know what he really wants! But hopefully you folks at home are at least smiling, watching Candidate Camera!]