It snot you, it’s me.

I was certain the bad karma would catch-up with me eventually. All these years of quietly ridiculing candidates who list “WWE Wrestling” on their resumes under “Interests” (It has happened more than once), who inquire “Tell me something. Is the administrative position that I am interviewing for really just ‘women’s work’?” (True story), and who commit the numerous other bizarre faux pas that I have become accustomed to throughout six years of talent acquisition.

This story, like well over half of the stories that make it into my blog, is totally gross. I really do try to think of things to blog about that aren’t completely repulsive, but apparently I just need to accept the fact that now that I have children, my life is riddled with episodes of filth and squalor. If you read further, you may want to have at least a gallon of brain bleach and hand sanitizer at the ready.

Anyway, I have this awful head cold that my precious personal petri dishes children brought home from daycare. The hiring need for my organization, however, does not stop just because I chronically have the crud. Each winter, I am almost continuously armed with a box of tissues, a bag of cough drops, and a mug of hot tea while I interview candidates. I am sure this is completely off-putting for the interviewees, but if they are rattled by a bit of phlegm and theatrics, I work in a very high-touch industry and the fact of the matter is, they are probably not a good fit for the job.

Bright and early this morning, I was interviewing a promising candidate for management. We had excellent professional chemistry, and I was intent on selling this applicant on absolutely wanting the job. Somewhere between highlighting our numerous growth opportunities and showcasing our five consecutive years of Local Top Employer awards, I sneezed. A ladylike sneeze of course. Right into the crook of my sweatered elbow.

The interview continues, and at some point I cross my arms and plunge my hand into something that did not resemble the texture of my sleeve. In fact it was wet, and I most certainly had not just walked in from the rain. I look down and to my horror


I had a large conspicuous glob of sneeze-juice on my shoulder.

I immediately excused myself temporarily to take care of the snotuation but there is just no way on earth that this poor guy hadn’t seen it. And like a true gentleman, he just continued discussing employment with me without missing a beat.

If he declines the opportunity to join our company, I will totally know why. At that point, I may launch a spin-off of my The Real Reason They Didn’t Hire You series, and call it The Real Reason They Didn’t Accept Your Employment Offer.

So here I am. The subject of my own recruiting horror story. Me, my snotty sleeve, my  likely-to-remain-vacant manager position, and my shame.


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