The Interview


The interview

Karim grew up in a neighbourhood that was average. There was nothing fancy and nothing too creepy. The neighbours were nice and occasionally there were some problems but nothing out of the ordinary. His mum had died when he was fifteen and he had lived with his dad ever since. Before his mother died, she had made him swear that he will do well in school in order to get what he wanted in life. To honour her memory, he studied hard and was determined to achieve his goal. He had two friends. One was a boy named Youssef and the other was a girl whose name was Fatima. Youssef and Fatima were very good in school and they did not need to study that hard in order to have excellent grades. Their standards of living were the same and they were all in the same class. When Karim was not studying, he was playing with them.

They grew up like that until high school. They went in the same college and then university. Although they were in the same college and University, they took different field and they no longer went in the same class but they remained friends. They spent most of their time together. Karim went into business law, Youssef took architecture and Fatima computer engineering. They all graduated at the same time and looked for work.

Fatima was the first to find a job in her field. Youssef decided that he would start right away by creating his own architecture agency where he could work for himself. He started as a consultant then slowly but surely he was getting clients. He was not rich but he was not poor either. As for Karim, he looked for a job for a while without finding anything. He took several internships that were either not paid or paid very little. After that he found temporary jobs here and there and was able to manage his life. They lived like that for the next three to four years then Karim got call for an interview for a job he did not apply to. Since he had nothing to loose, he decided to go check it out.

A law firm contacted him and asked him if he would be ready to work for them. He said yes and they offered him a large sum of money for that. Before he signed the contract though, the owner of the firm told him to think about it. He expressly told him that it was a demanding job and that he will not be able to see his friends or family the way he saw them before. He added that his father might need him around him in couple of years and because of the job he had, he might have difficulties to help him.

Karim simply replied that he knew only one thing and it was that if he had the money, everything would be possible and perfect. He would be able to help his dad and bring him to the best hospital if anything should happen to him. He had seen his mum dying partly because they could not afford some medical operations and his father being broke because he had spent all of his money trying to keep her alive and it was not enough. Given those circumstances, there was no way he was simply going to hesitate before taking the job. He told the owner who was guarding him against the risks involved with taking the job that maybe he did not experience poverty and it was probably the reason he was still finding something glamorous about it. He told him that there were many frustrations and humiliations that came with it and that the people who found anything about it amusing were simply foolish people or unrealistic and out of touch with reality.

He told the president of that company that he had already experienced poverty and that the time had came for him to experience having lot of money and he was not going to let that past because of some retarded views about poverty. He had realized that the world was full of beautiful things and that it was the duty of mankind to enjoy that beauty. Being shy to about it was simply a lack of love and unfortunately, people were maintaining the poor in the illusion that there was something angelic about being poor were actually the ones who bore on their shoulders a great responsibility in their suffering. He added that he was not saying that he had not learnt a lot while he was poor but it was not a state in which he wanted to remain. He had work hard to get an opportunity like the one that was in front of him and he had the clear intention to cease it.

The president looked at him and said: “well, my dear Karim, you got the job.” and Karim replied that he would do anything to deserve his position and the opportunity. The president looked at him and said he was not worry about that because he knew how to bring people to do what he wanted but he was more worry about Karim vigilance. He told him that he could not agree more with him about the statement he made about poverty but things were never as easy as they seemed to be. It was one thing to have the money but it was another thing to handle it.

Unfortunately, the people he had seen around him have all been unable to handle money very well because they were not aware of the dangers that around the corner once money was flowing in enormous quantity. He insisted that he did not want Karim to change his view about poverty and being rich and as a matter of fact, he added one more time that he fully agreed with him but did not want Karim to act without vigilance when money pours in. The owner said that he knew that if he did not act the way he was suggesting him to act, he was almost certain that money might turn out to be his worst enemy and he did not want him to be in that situation. The consequences are often disastrous and horrible for anyone who is not careful. They end up being scared of money associated it with Satan which is the most ridiculous thing to do. The president said that he did not want him to follow that path.

He had witnessed people sometimes choosing to be poor and stayed in that situation because they have experienced bad things in their lives with money and it scared them too much that they no longer want to have single thing to do with it. He did not want Karim to be one of those people. If Karim was not paying attention to what was going on in his lives, there was a chance that he might end up like everyone who considered that having money is a problem.

Then the president said that he had one last proposition he wanted to make before he signed the contract and Karim said that he would like to sign the contract before then the president said, let me at least say what it is. Karim waited and the president told him about a school he knew that could help people to live happily and rich without falling in the trap that the rich lives can provide to people. He asked Karim if he wanted to be part of that school before signing the contract and especially before starting his job.

Karim was a little bite irritated and asked if the interview was a joke. He told the president that, he should not have called him if it was to play with his mind because he came there to get a job and certainly not to be teased around. If that was the purpose of the meeting they were having, he was ready to leave. The president replied that he just asked a simple question. There was no reason to get all excited. The answers were clear. It was either a yes or no. He told him that everybody in his company went through this process and they all picked different answers. Karim asked to know what the consequences of their choices were. The owner told Karim that he could not know because it would only complicate and confuse things even more for him. He told him to decide with no help what so ever. The consequences of their choices did not matter for him because they were not at the same stage of their lives when they were called by his company. Karim could never be at their place, in their lives and was definitely not in their shoes. He could only be in his own shoes. That’s why there was no reason for him to try to know what had happened to the others.

Karim stood there and did not know what to do as this interview was getting weirder and weirder. The president waited patiently for his answers.

The interview Part 2

Facing the choice, Karim asked how long the school was supposed to last if he wanted to engage himself in that direction. The owner said that time was absolutely relative in this affair and that the consequences that might occurred should he decides to go in that school or not to go in that school would be drastically opposite. For the untrained eyes they might look almost the same if not the same but in reality, they would be completely different. The time he would spend in that school was solely going to depend on him and his capacity to understand and follow the guidelines that they were going give him.

The only thing Karim could think of was that he had the choice to take the job right away or to wait for a period of time that was not even clear. From what he understood about what the owner said, the school he was supposed to attend could last from several months to several years. He had already spent seven years studying law and he did not want to go back to school. He was not even sure that this school was free. The moment that thought irrupted in his mind, the president looked at him and said that the school was not free.

Talking from experience, the owner told him that it was the most expensive school he had ever attended and yet he did not spend a single penny. He remembered that everything he wanted to learn required him to give up something. Whenever he wanted to graduate for a higher level, he had to drop certain ideas, principles that he carried with him for so long. He had to question all the ideas that the people who loved him gave him when he grew up. Those were the hardest things to do. He had to destroy the pedestal on top of which he had put them in order to reach higher sphere. It was hard for him to differentiate between hating them and questioning their thoughts or the legacy they gave him because he loved them. It felt like he was betraying them. He had to destroy everything that he believed in order to see through and understand what that school was all about. It was about him and nobody else. The success he had have with his business and the way he was handling money and behaving towards it were the direct results of the fact that he attended that school. This is why he was recommending it to all of his employees.

Karim listened to him carefully and thought that he was in front of a man who called him for an interview and now wanted to send him to school first for an undetermined period of time. It was not even a school where he was going to get a specialisation. The school the owner was referring to had nothing to do with a school he had known or heard of in the past. No one had ever mentioned something like that around him. In addition to that, he was telling him that he was going to destroy the people he loved. What kind of deal the president was offering him? Was it some kind of joke that people were playing on him? Where exactly all this was leading?

Karim had no answer to his own questions. He was only looking at the prospect of getting a lot of money right away and getting it at a later time or maybe even never. Although his situation was not horrible, it was not the best one. He wanted a decent life and stability. The prospect of getting the job was alluring and quite frankly extremely difficult to resist. The man in front of him was just confusing him with his thoughts about handling money. Karim said to himself that he did not need anybody to tell him how to behave in life. He knew the value of money and was not like the people who were born with it and who did not understand that they were privileged to have that amount of money available. He was not going to act like a crazy person would. He had his feet on the ground and the people around him were his friends and if ever he was going that road, he was absolutely certain that they would remind him in the most direct way that he was going off track. They have always behaved as such among them in the past and it had worked pretty much very well so far. It was there way of dealing with each other and it was not going to change soon. Therefore there was nothing to worry about.

The owner looked at him and said that, everything was going to change. He told Karim that he had been in his life on a journey that was moving in a single road but this road was going in two directions now. He had been privileged to have done minor choices in his life so far. Those choices he made his past did not have the kind of magnitude and repercussions on his life than the choice he was about to make. This time, the choice was a difficult one and was going to engage his entire life. This is why he had been sent to assist him in this situation. The president insisted on telling Karim that depending on the choice he was going to make on that day, everything was going to change around him. Whether or not he was choosing to go in that school, the people around him, the situations he was going to be in, the experiences he was going to live, everything was going to move. Nothing was going to remain the same after his choice. It was an important one. He was there to let him feel the weight his signature was going to mean.

Karim wanted to know if there was a right and a wrong choice but, the owner told him that it was not about right or wrong but the types of consequences he was going to endure in his life. Karim looked at the situation and saw on one hand that he had the opportunity to have money right away and on the other hand, he would go through hardships that are unheard of. He told the president that he wanted to sign the contract and the president told him to take his time to think about it.

He advised him to talk about it to his friends before making up his mind. Karim wanted to slap him because at the beginning he told him that he could sign it right away and now that he was ready to do it, the president now wanted him to think about it further. The president asked him to talk about it not only to his friends but to his dad as well. He promised that by the next Monday morning, when he comes back in the building, he was not even going to see him because he would send somebody with the documents ready at the reception for him to sign. The only thing he would have to do then with nobody around him to influence him any further would be to either sign to go school or to get the job right away.

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