I applied for a job and had an interview last week. I had strange feelings about it from the beginning, the hours sounded fabulous but there was something about the vibe of the interview and the place that put me on edge.
I never used to believe in vibes, I always thought that it was god giving me insider information and that was why I knew more than other people or was able to read situations better. when I became an atheist I refused to believe and didn’t want to believe that there was someone out there telling me insider information and helping me be a little psyhic. So for a long time, I just put it down to knowing how life works and an overactive mind, reading into situations around me. However, it wasn’t until last week that I started to wonder if there was something to be said about intuition and picking up vibes after all. I had major bad vibes at this charity that I had an interview for. The bad vibes started when I had applied for the job and I wanted to ask a question about the job and the HR team took a long time to reply. The thought of the job made me feel uncomfortable and I wasn’t quite sure why. As I was applying for the role I had to complete a section about the organisations’ vision and values and how I lived their values. When I looked up their values, they said that they derived their values from the christian faith… and I actually groaned out loud, “Oh hell no!”
The job was, on a paper, a good one for me, so I put in an application and twisted what they defined as “christian” values so that I would not be lying in my statement. So what if they derive their values from christianity? Most large charities were founded by a religious person, so surely it wouldn’t be too awful to work there. The charity that I worked for recently was a saving lives at sea charity, and when the lifesaving boats were named, christian hymns were sung. These made me feel deeply uncomfortable, so I stopped attending the naming ceremonies. Thankfully that was the only time that I had seen christianity appear so overtly at my place of work. Would this new organisation expect employees to be christian? The wording was so vague that I expected no. So I did my best without lying through my teeth to say that I derived some of my values from christian values. The truth is that I actually took very few good learnings from christianity into my humanist beliefs.
What I found profoundly bizarre was that this organisation claims to be putting inclusion and diversity at the forefront of their strategy yet they still claim that their values come from christianity. I fail to understand how it would be inclusive of them to expect an atheist, like me, to declare that I hold similar christian beliefs. Well of course I will say I do on a job application, because I want a job! But now looking back at what I put on the application form, I wasn’t being true to myself, which is one of the main reasons that I left my other role. What I probably should have done was point out that I couldn’t in right conscience pretend that my values line up with christianity completely and that actually the values of the organisation are not inclusive. It wouldn’t have made any difference though, I doubt they would change the values.
The application form was odd and then the interview itself was odd. This is where the bad vibes came through even more. It was as soon as I arrived that I felt deeply uncomfortable. I put it down to nerves though, which it could have been but this felt more profound than that. It was the unfriendly and unwelcoming atmosphere that put me off further. The interview questions were worded in a convoluted way that really confused me, which can I add again is not very inclusive. Perhaps, the above examples had influenced me more than I thought and the bad feeling that I had was then compounded at the venue itself.
Least to say I was relieved when they told me I wouldn’t be the right fit for them, but “it was close” between me and the other person. I doubt that it was, my thinking is that they had someone in mind already and they had no real intention of making me feel welcome or me having a good interview experience. I had a lucky escape.
What is still perplexing me is, whether I actually created a self fulfilling prophecy. did maybe I induce the anxiety and the feeling that there were bad “vibes” because I knew I would probably feel uncomfortable working there and that I actually didn’t want the job.
Feeling “vibes” is just intuition, our sixth sense that we have developed through evolution to interpret the world around us and to instinctively know when we should leave an unsafe area and prepare ourselves for fight or flight. I was worried about myself a bit that I had embraced “wooo thinking” and I was starting to believe in “vibes” when actually there is nothing spiritual or woo about it, we are animals and we have instincts, simple.
So conclusion is, when I feel like running from something in the future and I get that instinct that something is not quite right, I will not pursue it as it probably won’t work out in the long run and I will never comfortable in the situation.