It was on a Saturday. Applicants had overwhelmingly gathered for the recruitment process. The unfavourability of the aptitude test got many back to their various domiciles. Those who scaled through the first hurdle were proceeded to the next level.

On the panel of interviewers were the school management members and I – the consultant. Each was engaged via interview and micro-teaching. In the long run, something funny but unfortunate happened. I doubt if I would ever believe it if told.

Gently entered was a handsome young man. And warmly was he welcomed as habitually demonstrated by the panelists. “2 x 2,” asked the school head. “How dare you ask me such a ridiculous question!” the guy blew hot. I was shocked by such an unprecedented display of arrogance.

“What do you take me for? Do you think I am a dumb-skull? Do you know where I work? I teach in a big school like yours,” he blew hotter. Interestingly, none of the interviewers asked him to halt his rant. All were just dumbfounded. I wanted to know his big school but I couldn’t ask to avoid another episode of his melancholic garrulousness. The guy went on, and finally, he did my wish. “I teach in…?” he mentioned the name of the school. Apparently, it’s a big, popular school.

I laughed unnoticeably because that’s a school I had once spent years as educator and rose to being the head of teachers. By the time he was through with his oral ejaculation, I mockingly asked: “Do you know so, so, so and so in your school?” I mentioned the names of his boss and his employers. The guy was shocked and his mouth sealed. I saw fear legibly scribed in his eyes. Not only the physiognomy but his tone changed and he stammered as though in his mouth was a hot food.

He was startled to know that I used to be a boss in the school referenced by him. Boastfully – like he did – I threatened to put a call to those people to put his job on the line. I told him how his boss used to be my very loyal subordinate. Honestly, I roared, not like a cub but like its mum. Immediately, he was sober. “I am sorry, sir,” he begged. He was admonished and later excused.

Months later, I visited his school and saw the guy. He was shocked to see me but I was there on an entirely different mission. Why would I blow such a balloon? What would be my gain?

Knowledge without humility amounts to nothing but vanity. Humility is the tool that makes knowledge a blessed phenomenon. The simple question was just to test his humility and he failed woefully.

Be humble!


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