Pi


I went on an interview once. It was our first year of marriage and we were on vacation in the U.K. A friend of mine managed to secure for me an interview at a British-based firm. One thing about me. I can always get the job done. But sometimes I need external sources. Use what I can with what I have. Google. Books. Peers. Whatever. That’s what resources are there for. To be used. Because resources.

This particular interview went particularly bad. Perhaps, in a way, they were trying to sift the English-speakers from the not-so-English speakers. Because I had to do a test. And one of the questions was, explain a paper clip. Now, I could see the paper clip in my mind, I could see how it should be used, but for the life of me, I could not at the time figure out how, even in my native language, to explain a paper clip? Words failed. Completely. A thin piece of wire twisted and turned and coiled to hold paper together? Nah, nope, not happening.

Next question. What is the value of pi. Omigosh! I learnt math at school and was good at it, but that was many years ago, and right now, right here, on vacation, without google (in fact, this was pre-google days) I could not think of the correct value of pi. 22 divide by 7? And approximate to something? Words fail. 

So it is with great pleasure that my son is able to recite pi correctly to the 120th decimal point. Winning the class competition and chocolates to do so. It might be a small achievement. But at least for a mother who failed miserably at some random interview test (thereby not getting the job or opportunity to move to the UK), there is a son who definitely knows his pi. 

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14 thoughts on “Pi

  1. I could draw a paper clip, but describe it? I prefer not to try. I live in US, English speaking, right? When I had a interview for a school principal position. One of the test was to write a letter to the parents in Spanish!! – of course, I didn’t get the job!! Thank you for sharing!

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  2. If they had given me that first question they would have caught their “not so English speaker”. I would try my best to lie or invent something, though.

    And reciting 120 decimal places of Pi is no joke. I hope you bought him even more stuff.

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    • I did congratulate him heaps! So how would you describe a paper clip? Because I still have no idea how I would describe it, lol 🙂 I tried my best, but on that day, my best was pretty darn miserable! The interviewer worked with my friend (actually he was the manager of my friend), I’m so glad I never had to hear the conversation the following day, how embarrassing to say the least!

      Liked by 1 person

      • actually, more humiliating than embarrassing, I can still feel the emotion around it now, just hoping for the floor to open and swallow me whole!

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      • Well, not saying that it’s correct, but I’d have said it’s made from a stainless steel wire or strip folded in a curl in the opposite about three times, I think, with two parallel straight edges, such that the inner fold and the outer fold may grip a paper or papers inserted between them. And it’s okay, don’t beat yourself up about it; knowledge can’t be accurately quantified. Interview questions which are anybody’s guess are just unfair to say the least.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a great attempt, I think the parallel straight edges and inner and outer folds in order to grip paper is a key explanation, I never even thought about parallel straight edges lol, I was more doh, I have no idea how to describe this! Interview questions are generally no good for me any which they are! I’m hopeless at interview questions 🙂

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