Day 15: Today, you have a choice of two different activities related to point of view. When I say point of view, I mean the perspective used to tell the story. Think of the location of the camera when filming a movie. You can tell a story from inside a particular character’s head, showing what that character sees, thinks, and experiences.
Option 1: Think of an argument or uncomfortable encounter you had with another person. Tell the story of this encounter from the other person’s point of view. Or . . .
Option 2: Rewrite a story you have written previously, but write it from the point of view of a different character.
Taken from Day 11: Interview with a Tyrant
The entire week was unbelievably dull and exhausting for Mr. Shaw. Interview after excruciating interview just to find the perfect Production Assistant for his company was more than he could bear. He received resumes on top of resumes from people who knew nothing about the industry or the responsibilities; they were just people looking for a job while he was looking for someone passionate and driven, someone who could take his place eventually, someone on whom he could rely. None of the candidates were capable of such and he knew it with a glance at their resumes. He was accompanied by Ms. Curtis and Mrs. Lou-Chin who were with him every day during the interviews but they offered no support or perspective, they were just spectators; he was the sole man responsible for finding that person who could fit his unrealistic demands. Mr. Shaw knew he was being unreasonable but he also knew what he wanted, and if he existed, there were others out there like him: meticulous, passionate, and aspiring.
As Friday approached, the last day of the interviews, Mr. Shaw’s mood began to sour; he still hadn’t found his P.A. Thankfully, the day was short, with only twenty interviews he would be done before midday.
The candidates rolled into the room one right after the other; Mr. Shaw found himself getting angrier and bitter by the candidates. In one interview he made a woman tear up in front of him, he had gone too far. As the final candidate came in, Mr. Shaw glanced one last time at her resume frowning, and kindly told her the position’s been filled, before the formalities of the interview began. He was beyond exhausted and had fully given up on the prospect of finding his Production Assistant. He gathered his documents and the countless resumes and left the room with Ms. Curtis and Mrs. Lou-Chin in tow.
He headed straight for his office where he deposited his brief case and case files and told the ladies he was going for a walk before heading toward the elevator. When he neared the elevator, he saw that the doors were closing and ran to intercept them; he slid through the doors and glanced at the woman in the elevator. He thought she looked familiar as he checked that the ground floor button was pressed, then he backed himself into the far corner and rested his head back against the wall. As the elevator descended, he watched the floor dial above the door count down from 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 . . . The elevator then jolted to a stop, the woman yelped in surprise and the lights went out for a second then returned with an amber hue. Great, Mr. Shaw thought.
The woman sighed and bent to sit down on the ground then removed her jacket. Mr. Shaw removed his as well, it would get hot eventually, Mr. Shaw confirmed. As he leaned back against the wall he caught the woman look up at him and shake her head.
“What is it?” Mr. Shaw asked.
“What, what?” The woman replied.
Mr. Shaw furrowed his brow, “You looked at me and shook your head. What was that for?”
“Ah . . .”
“Didn’t anyone tell you not to start a response with ‘ah’?” Mr. Shaw was being annoyed now. Why did I even ask her anything in the first place? Mr. Shaw thought. The woman on the floor shook her head once more and squared her shoulders as she prepared herself to answer.
“First of all, you didn’t give me the opportunity of an interview, remember? And secondly, I was wondering what made you the way you are.” Realization dawned on him, she was the last candidate he saw, the one he told he had already found the candidate.
“The way I am? What way am I?” Mr. Shaw asked folding his arms.
“Miserable, unpleasant, Scrooge-like, antagonistic, unfr-” The woman responded before Mr. Shaw had finished his question.
“Ok I got it. Wow, you have a lot to say without really knowing me, don’t you?” Mr. Shaw was surprised. He knew he was unrealistic in his requirements of the candidates, and he became unpleasant when he was frustrated, but this has to be the first time anyone told him so.
“You rejected me without knowing me also.” The woman shot back.
“Fair enough.” Mr. Shaw replied thoughtfully. He wondered if he had made a mistake with this woman. There was something in her honest replies in this broken down elevator that interested Mr. Shaw.
“What makes you think you’re capable for this job?” Mr. Shaw asked after a moments’ thought.
“Oh don’t patronize me now. I didn’t get the job, and right now I don’t want it if it means I’ll see you on a regular basis. My job is perfectly fine for now.” Wow. again with the brutal honesty, Mr. Shaw mused.
“I’m sorry you feel that way.” He resigned.
“And I’m sorry you went through whatever it was that made you . . . like this.” The woman waved her hand in Mr. Shaw’s general direction. He frowned deeply, his shoulders sagged as he wondered what other people thought of him.
“I . . . shouldn’t have said that. I’m sorry.” The woman quickly replied in the tiniest voice. Mr. Shaw shook his head when the lights came back on and elevator jerked downward; he helped the woman get up as the elevator descended.
“Thank you,” the woman smiled at him gratefully.
“Listen, I’ve thought about it and I’d like for you to come and do a proper interview.” Mr. Shaw had a spark of inspiration.
“Ah . . .” The woman started but seemed a bit uncertain. “I’d love to but I already took the day off for this interview, I can’t take another day off to be rejected again.” Mr. Shaw sighed. She is a stubborn one as well, he thought.
“Are you sure there’s nothing I can do to persuade you?” Mr. Shaw gave her his most ingratiating smile he knew no woman could resist. She smiled back.
“I’ll think about it if you’ll think about smiling more often.” The woman replied. Mr. Shaw was again surprised by her response.
“Fair enough. I’ll call you with the new date and time?” He said as the elevator reached the ground floor and the doors pinged open.
“I’ll look forward to it.” She smiled as she stepped out into the lobby.
That afternoon, Mr. Shaw found himself smiling as he headed down the street, remembering the woman’s honesty in the elevator. That is something he wont long forget. And hopefully, the second interview with her will show him how right she is for the job.