At first, it seemed one of the weirdest things I have ever seen. I was visiting a local market in Germany (Berlin) a few years back, and I heard a person screaming from the top of his lungs “wooden ties everyone, just 15 euros.”
I was thinking that perhaps my German was not as good as I thought, or that these people are speaking a sort of dialect, different from what I used in other parts of the country. But I continued walking and I saw something that left me speechless. There was a person who was selling wooden ties. Not tie, but ties! Some of them had weird colors painted on them. Others were stripped. But what was even more interesting was the fact that he seem to be successful. Lots of people went there to buy these ties. You can imagine my face when seeing this!
After this episode I forgot all about these wooden ties. And then 2-3 years ago I was at an interview in Birmingham, at a huge department store. It was the last round, and there were just 2 persons fighting for this great, full-time job – me and some other guy. I arrived 20 minutes earlier, as it seemed normal, and I was guided to take a seat in a waiting room. Being the first one, I sat on a chair and waited. Then, you won’t believe what happened. A man comes to me and gives me his hand. He was so confident that I assumed that he was the person who was supposed to interview me. But when he presented himself, he said that he was the other candidate at the job. I must admit that his confidence was extremely disturbing at that time.
But what followed next was even more surprising. I saw that he was wearing a pink tie. Not just any type of tie. You probably guessed: a wooden tie. When seeing this, my confidence came back. I was no longer intimidated by this man because I didn’t think he would be taken seriously. But I was never more wrong!
It turns out that Cameron, my fellow candidate, got the job instead of me. In the rejection letter, I was informed that, despite the fact that I was well prepared for the job, my competitor seemed to have more authority and a better presence. Were they right? I have met a lot of people at interviews, but he was the only one who was stuck in my mind. I didn’t even forget his name and everything. Does this have anything to do with the wooden tie? What do you think?