Most people are somewhat familiar with the term schadenfreude. It's defined as the distinct pleasure that is derived when someone else suffers from pain or misfortune. When that person you've been hate-following on social media (we all do it) ends up with a canceled flight, the little extra giddiness you feel is schadenfreude. It's a great term...but it's nothing compared to fremdschamen.
"Fremdschamen" is another German word that is surprisingly applicable to a lot of different situations. It refers to the embarrassment you feel on someone else's behalf. If you, like me, find it nearly impossible to watch the entirety of the "Scott's Tots" episode of The Office, then you're very familiar with the concept of fremdschamen.
You'll also be feeling record-breaking amounts of fremdschamen after reading the following story. It all started when a woman named Laura Maclean got an interview with Microsoft...
Look, getting a job can be tough.Many young people attempt to enter the workforce in a less-than-ideal economic climate and lugging tens of thousands of dollars of student debt behind them. It's a jungle out there.
And it's all in the hopes of securing an interview.Of course, even if you do manage to get an interview at a company, so many things can still go wrong.
You might start off with a super awkward handshake.Good luck recovering after that one! It can really throw you off your groove!
Or you might say the completely wrong thing.Maybe you make a joke that falls flat — I have! Maybe you use a bad example to illustrate something about yourself — I've done that, too!
And then there's the dreaded question: "Why do you want to work for us?"I still feel like this question is some kind of trap. I want to work here because I live in a world where you need money in order to, you know, live. I heard you can use a job to exchange services for payment, and that seemed like an arrangement that would be beneficial to my lifestyle.
Even if your interview goes perfectly, there's still a chance you won't get the job.And you find out from a phone call or an email. You'll find out by simply not hearing anything back. Ever. However, as harrowing as job interviews can be, I think a young woman named Laura Maclean may take the prize for Most Embarrassing Job Interview Ever.
This is Laura.She's a 21-year-old Scottish student studying management and marketing at Robert Gordon University in the UK.
Recently, Maclean was invited to interview with Microsoft's University Recruitment team.Pretty sweet, right? Obviously, Maclean was pretty excited about the opportunity. The interview would take place via Skype on February 18th, 2019.
She studied like crazy in preparation for the interview.She even asked her friends and family members to help her prepare for the interview by quizzing her on the company.
Finally, Maclean felt ready.After all that studying, Maclean was prepared. The job was as good as hers.
On the morning of the January 18th, Maclean woke up nice and early.The interview was scheduled for 11 am, so she spent the early morning getting dressed in her interview clothes, putting on makeup, and doing some last-minute prep.
Then, she signed onto Skype.She was ready. She was going to nail the heck out of that interview.
Now, careful readers will have already realized that Maclean had a problemA big problem. You see, Maclean's interview was scheduled for February 18 at 11 am.
But it was January 18.That's right. It was a full month before Maclean's scheduled interview.
But Maclean didn't realize her mistake yet.In a perfect world, Maclean would have double-checked the interview invitation, realized her hilarious mistake, and gone back to bed. But we don't live in a perfect world, my friends.
She gave it until 11:12 am and then sent this email to the Microsoft Student Recruitment team.Remember that term I talked about at the beginning of this story? Fremdschamen? Yeah. This is where that starts kicking in.
I can't look.Guys, I have been pondering this story for the past hour, and my face is still getting hot from second-hand embarrassment.
Microsoft sent this polite response to Maclean's email.OK. Embarrassing, sure, but I'm sure Maclean instantly recognized her error, laughed it off, and logged out of Skype, right? WRONG.
SHE SENT ANOTHER EMAIL."It is the 18th of February," she wrote on a day that was, in fact, the 18th of January.
This is me right now:LAURA! You sweet, summer child. For the love of all that is holy, please, please just LOOK AT YOUR CALENDAR.
Microsoft responded yet again:"February is the next month." I imagine Maclean has been whispering those five words to herself for the past week.
So, yeah, that went about as poorly as it could have.If it were me, I would want to instantly melt into the floor. In fact, it wasn't me, and I still kind of want to melt into the floor.
Maclean was a pretty good sport about it, though.
all dressed up ready n freaking out for my big skype interview with Microsoft and this happens. possibly the bigges… https://t.co/ZY4DgWwiPZ— laura maclean (@laura maclean)1547813575.0
Some people pointed out that being an entire month early to your interview is actually pretty impressive.
@lauramacleann You were a month ahead of your deadline, that’s impressive tbh— Kev (@Kev)1547853798.0
At least she knows how to answer this question, though.
@ozzieoneill @lauramacleann @rchlcrns "What would you say is your greatest weakness?" "I really hate being late for things"— Jaymask OC (@Jaymask OC)1547885593.0
A few people also shared their own stories of interviews gone wrong.
@lauramacleann I've done it. I turned up at an interview a week early. I was actually offered the job the following week lol.— Frank W (@Frank W)1547871795.0
This person's response is so sweet.
@lauramacleann i hired 100s of people at MSFT. i’d have been delighted by your excitement for the interview.— Ivan Leichtling (@Ivan Leichtling)1547985118.0
This is another great idea:
@lauramacleann (Hastily updates résumé) “Special skills include strategic manipulation of the Space-Time Continuum”— C. Scott Sierra (@C. Scott Sierra)1547974197.0
Let's all just hope this doesn't happen, though:
@lauramacleann @KimsFUCKERY Irony dictates you forget about the call next month lol— Holden Berries (@Holden Berries)1547963820.0
Microsoft even responded to her tweet!
@lauramacleann Can't wait to laugh about this on the 18th. Of February. 😉— Microsoft Life (@Microsoft Life)1548346652.0