“I will tell you that you present yourself very well,” said The Chairman of the company I was interviewing with today, “You do. And you appear to know what you’re talking about.”
To the naked eye (or ear) that would sound like a compliment, wouldn’t it?
What is the word that you see that might make you think otherwise? Look closely. Which word would lead you to believe that this was not a compliment at all but an accusatory, suspicious, disparaging statement?
That’s right, Cussers. APPEAR. If someone APPEARS to know what they are talking about doesn’t that then denote that just because they APPEAR to know something, doesn't mean they actually do?
Let’s take it a step further. Behold the following sentences. Which one would make you feel confident, talented and knowledgeable in your craft? Which one would make you think The Chairman thinks you are somehow trying to trick your way into a job by acting like you know stuff but you secretly don’t?
1. “You know what you’re talking about.”
2. “You appear to know what you’re talking about.”
What do you say to someone who says “Well [YOUR NAME HERE], you appear to know what you’re talking about,”?
Do you say:
1. “Well I’m MAGIC! I can make things appear and disappear!”
2. “That’s half the battle!”
3. “I like pretending that I know things to waste people’s (including my) time and money!”
4. “So all I need to do is appear to know things? AWESOME. Now pay me.”
Did you pick any of those as your response? I wish I had. When presented with the ridiculous, demeaning statement of “You appear to know what you’re talking about,” I said, “Well, I would hope so because I do.”
That was met with some comment about “Well hopefully your references will back that up.”
NEWSFLASH: They are MY references. If you call MY references and they tell you that I only APPEAR to know my shit, then I am a total moron for having such horrible references.
But it doesn’t matter. The Chairman ain’t getting my references.
I only appear to have them anyway.
Now you see me. Now you f-ing DON'T.