trying to be the brightest

the gentle man said
that you would be ranked
from top to bottom
with the person on top of the pile likely to be offered the job
while the person at the bottom of the pile
the loser (although he was much too polite to put it like that)
the rank outsider
being unlikely to be offered the position

so one job
many applicants
one post
Why do you think you be the best person for the job?’

then the tug of war between what I should say to get the position
on top of the pile
and Jesus, Jesus pulling the other side of the rope saying
wash feet serve others first do unto others
or variants and the general all round craziness of the situation
of trying to finish top of the pile
just to justify that I’m not a layabout or to get extra cash
in a time of austerity

this is madness
a choice of trying my best to finish top of the pile
knowing that other people want the same thing
(or else they wouldn’t have applied)
to win the competition
and people will be happy/relieved for me
Good luck!‘ they wish me
Y9u’re as good as the next man!‘ they reassure me

yet what sort of reassurance is it?
because I’m torn between
two contradictions…