From down-and-out to rich and famous

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OPRAH WINFREY: Rags to riches.


THE university graduate who felt ‘humiliated’ at having to perform a David Brent-style dance during an interview for a Currys job in South Wales got me thinking about interviews.

Many of us have experienced sessions where you undergo a series of challenges and tests with other candidates and the best get chosen. Always nerve-racking. The worst part the end, where they split the group into two and tell you you’re doing another test. Your group’s then led through a door where somebody’s waiting to tell you: “Unfortunately you guys haven’t made it through. Thanks for coming and please use the rear exit.” X-Factor style.

And that’s part of the problem. Reality shows like X-Factor which instantly (and, apparently, effortlessly) make contestants into ‘celebrities’ that young people strive to emulate. Coupled with the fact that many seem to think the world revolves around them – the “me me me” generation – and that they’re the star of the show anyway.

But success is neither instant nor effortless. Before JK Rowling started writing Harry Potter, she struggled as a single mother living off welfare. Likewise the American novelist Stephen King and actors Sarah Jessica Parker, Demi Moore and Hilary Swank all had difficult beginnings.

Surely though, the greatest rags-to-riches story of our era is that of Oprah Winfrey. Born into abject poverty in rural Mississippi, Winfrey transformed herself from news anchor to talk-show host to head of her own multiplatform media empire now worth $2.7 billion (€2.03 billion). Pretty sure she didn’t let the least bit of ‘humiliation’ hold her back!
We frequently read about sales jobs in UK high street chains attracting hordes of applicants. Not surprisingly with such competition they’re able to pick and choose those who’ll best sell their products in a tough economic marketplace. With youth unemployment in the UK at 21per cent – let alone here in Spain at 56 per cent – I just don’t get why anyone should feel ‘humiliated’. So, job applicants, get real!

Apologies for ranting a bit but it really gets my goat when people claiming to be desperate for work moan about being tested at interview. It’s like taxi drivers who moan about being in traffic. Anyway, rant over. Off to cheer myself up by taking another look at The Office – and that robot-dancing …

 

Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Retribution’, Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.77) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca   

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