probably the strangest question during my 9 hour job interview last week was the final question:
how would you like us to remember you?
how i would like you to remember me? am i understanding that correctly?
wow. that’s a really really great question. i don’t think i’ve ever heard a question like that. it’s a great great question.
i guess i would like you to remember me as … um… as… as someone who was here. who was sitting in this chair. who inhabited this chair at one time, although no records exist to support that claim.
still… it was me who was here. i am still here. and i will be here as long as you remember i am here. i am here as long as you would like me to stay. i would like you to think of me as someone who does not like to be asked to leave this chair.
i would like you to remember me as the kind of person who just cannot accept no or yes as an answer. who doesn’t know the meaning of yes or no. who doesn’t know the meaning of 1 or 2 other words. i would like you to think of me as someone with whom words have no meaning. or is that someone of whom words have no meaning?
i would like you to remember me as someone who will always be here for you. and by here, i am not only referring to this chair. i will always be in this chair in certain respects, but if you would like me to be elsewhere, i can do that, too. i’ve done it before.
i would like you to remember me as someone whose character was never in question (but always in doubt). and by character, i am not speaking of identity or personality or sensibility or integrity, or plausibility or perpetuity, or other traits and vicissitudes. because that is not at all what i am about. and i hope that is something you will always remember.
for what is memory? what stands in its place when there is no memory? actually, perhaps the better question might be who stands in the place of memory when there is no memory?
the answer to that, ladies and gentlemen of the search committee, is me.
i would like you to remember me as a memory. but a memory in the present tense and sometimes the future tense. when you remember a memory, i hope you will always remember that it is me. that is who i am.
ladies and gentlemen of the search committee, you must never forget that, no matter what. you will promise me that, won’t you? and i promise i will do the same for you.
how does that sound?