Written by RMI’s MD, Ken Kemp.

John was a recruitment consultant. He went to his local butcher’s shop and asked for a really nice couple of pieces of steak as it was a special night – his wedding anniversary – and he wanted to cook a special meal to match the occasion.


The butcher said he was waiting for a delivery so he asked John if he could come back in a couple of hours. John decided to go to the supermarket instead and when he walked in he fell over a hand basket and hurt his ankle. While he was being looked after and tended to by the customer care assistant in the manager’s office, he overheard a conversation – the manager was receiving a call from a potential new recruit who was phoning to say he had taken another job and wouldn’t be starting, after all, at the end of the month.


I’m sure you can write the end of the story – it was a butcher’s assistant vacancy! John hobbled back to the butcher to get his steak (as he had embarrassedly left the supermarket without making it round the store) to find the butcher was frustrated with his situation because his employer was continually getting deliveries too late, resulting in lost custom. – so he wanted a new job and John placed him at the supermarket? Well, actually, no – he went home empty handed to find that his wife had left him.


The good news was that he hadn’t spent a fortune on the anniversary meal!


There’s a silver lining in every cloud. In some situations it’s more difficult than others to find, but dig deep enough and you will. Think hard enough and you will learn something positive from every experience, no matter how disappointing it initially feels.


Remember this story the next time a candidate turns down a job or a cold call gets a poor response.