Microfiction: The dreaded question

For today’s Inkling.


I went for a job in a bank and they turned me down, I went for a job in insurance and they turned me down, I tried them all—retail, social services, farming, working in a home for seniors, in a centre for illegals, the police service, the army. I even tried dog breeding. Each time I failed at the same interview question. When they asked what was my greatest weakness, I said, compassion.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

40 thoughts on “Microfiction: The dreaded question”

  1. Ah, I bet the insurance company would never interview you if you had a CV check prior. It’s a gift to humanity but in the real world, it’s a nonentity and a bleacher or that’s what they make us think. I loved this one Jane, as I have many others. Well done. You gave me a good hearty laugh this time around.

    1. Thank you 🙂 I’m glad it made you smile. My mother’s father was fired from his job with an insurance company for writing off the payments of people he’d been round to see and decided they couldn’t afford it.

      1. Don’t apologise, I really am glad it made you smile. My grandma and my mother were always very proud of what he did. It made them smile too 🙂

      2. I think that’s probably what they were counting on from him. It was in the days when the insurance salesman was responsible for collecting the payments from customers himself. Poor people insured against sickness so they could pay the doctor. He just couldn’t being himself to take their money.

      3. There are some who at least start of their careers with integrity, but that eventually gets knocked out of them. Politics is a career after all, like any other.

    1. No, it isn’t true. I never had any of the paper qualifications for most of those jobs. I think compassion is an essential for every human being. I don’t suppose writers have more than the average dose of it and it hasn’t stopped some of them being extremely rich and famous.

  2. Wonderful written, Jane! So sad, but so true. My interview starting at a seminary for priests went the same way. By the leader of the seminary (catholic) i was ask why i want to become a priest. I answered to help people in life, and now after years i got paid for this, and my eyes wide opened, too. 😉 Have a nice Sunday! Michael

    1. Yes, it all links up. My mother and her sister remember him using the golf course as a shortcut home and asking weren’t they trespassing. He told them they didn’t have to respect the owners of that golf course at all—it didn’t allow Jews.

      1. Like Woody Guthrie and the verse from “This Land is Your Land” that is usually not included:
        As I went walking I saw a sign there
        And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
        But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
        That side was made for you and me.

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