[Platform to Herod's Temple]George Herbert: "The Church-porch"

Day 16: Evening


Spend not on hopes. They that by pleading clothes

Do fortunes seek, when worth and service fail,

Would have their tale beleeved for their oathes,

And are like empty vessels under sail.

     Old Courtiers know this; therefore set out so,

     As all the day thou mayst hold out to go.

     Do not spend what you have on hopes [or dreams]. They who wear begging clothes to seek their fortune, when their worth and service fail [to impress], expect to have their story believed for their promises. They are like ships in transit without cargo [empty ships on a pointless voyage]. Experienced company men know this; therefore they don't do this, otherwise all day you may persistently go.

     "Pleading" may mean good clothes, blue suit and tie, to make a good impression or shabby clothes to plead poverty; whatever it takes to look the part to get the job, the favor, the loan or the gift. If you put everything in the preparation, appearance, plans and expectations, you deserve to be disappointed. You can waste your time going through the motions, taking courses, reading books, asking advice and writing endless letters. This does not include resumés, interviews, informal contacts or networking your abilities. This is all socially required as a sign of conformity or submission to authority, but the interviewer should know the superficiality of the convention. The true worth and service extends beyond the resumé or bio snippets. Sometimes the interviewer believes the formalities, that the blue suit and tie really proves that you are qualified for the job.

     It is your worth and your service that rates the central importance. Don't spend your time, effort or money on the hope of impressing someone. What you have done and can now do because of your experience and education makes you qualified. The ones on whom you are trying your tricks know them all. If you expect your dress, your hard luck stories and your manner to get you what you want, you may waste your entire day.

© 1997 J. R. Arner

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