When I am running dual monitors from my powerbook, I have the external monitor set to a wallpaper of a purple jelly monster roaming a city of white stick people.
There were two job interviews where I presented accidentally displaying the purple jelly monster wallpaper on the projector when I plugged in my laptop. At one job interview, the people present were amused and laughed as I apologized for the wallpaper’s appearance. I got an offer. At the other job interview, nobody said anything and so I make a joke about how that wallpaper accidentally appeared. I didn’t get an offer.
Granted, there was probably more than the wallpaper that got me through the interview. But perhaps the purple jelly monster roaming the streets matched a whimiscal personality I seeked in my next opportunity. But ultimately, I still wonder if that one wallpaper determined my fate in those interviews. One for the better and one for the worse? First impressions.
Although I didn’t take that offer, I don’t think I would have been happy with a place that didn’t find a purple jelly monster incredibly amusing.