‘Never Judge People By Their Appearance’

I just watched the most lovely video on Facebook depicting a well dressed and serious man waiting to interviewed for a position in a law firm.  As the gentleman waits, somewhat impatiently, for the interviewer to come out and invite him into his office he has the distinct appearance of someone who is nervous and who wants to make a good impression.

When the interviewer appears he is also in a suit and tie and offers his hand in greeting and he has Down syndrome.  The interviewer is not only very friendly but is almost theatrical in his invitation to the interviewee to enter his office…where there are movie memorabilia on the conference table.  The interviewee ask if someone is going to join them to which he is told no.  The interviewer inquires as to why the person is seeking the position which is a lesser job than what he currently holds at another law firm?  He replies that the firm that he is with is only interested in making money…while he wants to help people.

The interviewer asks the interviewee if he likes a, vey nice, post modern painting that is on the wall of the office?  He replies that he does and the non-typical executive informs him that he is the painter and that there are several of them throughout the firm.

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Suddenly, a stern looking managerial figure enters and asks the interviewer what he is doing…and admonishes him that he has to quit ‘role playing’ with people seeking positions with the firm and get back to his pastry and beverage cart.

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The stern administrator asks the young man why he wanted to interview the candidate…and he replied that he had noticed that he was seeking a position with their firm that paid less than what he was currently making…and that he had understood that this man wanted to help people…and that it was not just about money.

As the gruff man sits down he begins to read the very detailed and cogent questions that the interviewer had written down for the interviewer…and he asks the young man to sit by him and continue the interview…as he is impressed with the questions.

As the interview concluded the candidate was asked by the inspired young man…what was his goal in five years?  He answered that he wanted to be working in the firm’s Pro Bono department with the young interviewer…

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I had the significant honor and great pleasure of hiring many intellectually and physically challenged individuals during my years at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale.  The joy of working with these wonderful professionals and learning from them…was the epitome of my career!

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On numerous occasions I pointed out to both chancellors and presidents that they, perhaps, were not seeing the forest for the trees…as there were many talented individuals in both the civil service and administrative professional staff…that could help them extricate the knots from the primary problems that faced them….the recruitment and retention of students.

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The video ends with the young man and the man that he was initially interviewing…interviewing another candidate…and the young professional telling the interviewee that he had been with the firm for almost fifteen years and that he, ‘knew a thing or two about what was going on.’

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