Last week I had a job interview. I have had a few of them over the past few months, and they all have one thing in common – they are really annoying. I am usually a little nervous beforehand, and afterwards I feel like I have just been released from prison after 20 years. For a crime I didn’t commit. This latest interview went something like this:
I arrived at the main reception desk five minutes early and told them my name. The receptionist said that the person conducting the interview has a new office. On a different floor. In a different building. It’s a good thing I came five minutes early, because now I will only be five minutes late, instead of ten.
After aimlessly wandering the halls, I arrived at my destination. A balding man peaked out of the door at me and asked, “Are you John?” My only thoughts were that my half-open fly and extra perspiration gave me away. “Yes, I am” I replied, projecting an air of confidence seldom seen among the unemployed.
“I am Chuck. This lovely lady over here is Phyllis. And that is Julie, and over here is Bob.”
“Hello, nice to meet you Chuck, Alice, Judy, Bill.”
Why are they looking at me like that? Did I make a faux pau? Did I already screw up? What the heck was that lady’s name? Allison? Ashley? Why am I sweating? My God it’s hot in here! Why does this chair go back so far? I’m going to fall over, for God’s sake. I hope they notice my shoes.
“We just have a few questions for you.”
A few questions? What’s with all of that paperwork in front of you? Is this an interview or a parole hearing?
“Our first question is this. If you were all alone at the front desk, and the phone was ringing, there was someone at the front desk, and your supervisor had a high priority project, what would you do?”
“I would unplug the phone, put up a “Back in 15 minutes” sign, and tend to my boss’s problem, like they do in the DMZ. I mean the DMV.”
“Tell us when you came up with a solution to a problem in the workplace.”
“Well, there was this “person” who kept getting on my case for no reason, and causing me all kinds of grief. Let’s just say this “person” hasn’t been heard from for a long long time. Problem solved.”
“If you were having problems with a co-worker, how would you handle it?”
“Didn’t you hear my answer to the last question?”
“What would you do if you caught someone stealing company property?”
“I would tattle on him, like a little rat. A little weasel of a rat.”
“Well, I guess that’s about it for us. Do you have any questions for us?”
“Just one. Exactly what job am I interviewing for?”
“Temporary On-Call Cat-Box Cleaner at Animal Services.”
“That’s what I thought. I have always wanted to work with cat poop. Well, thanks so much for speaking with me. It got me out of the house. I haven’t left for 38 days. It’s been nice meeting you, Fred, Michael, Phoebe, Doris…”
I left the room, got in my car, and headed downtown. After parking in the free 20-minute Post Office parking lot, I made the gauntlet to the local Gap Clothing Store to look at 50-Something-Wear. It’s kind of tricky getting to the Gap from the Post Office parking lot. You see, there are always panhandlers there. And they probably have more money than I do, yet I am the one avoiding eye contact. Go figure.
I entered the Gap and was greeted by a woman who said, with much enthusiasm, “Can I help you find anything?”
“I’m just looking for some shorts.”
“This is all we have left this season, I’m not sure if we have anything in your size.”
I could she was staring right at my stomach. Or I guess it was my waist. I’m not really sure anymore. It’s kind of a gray area down there.
There were sizes 28 and smaller, and sizes 40 and larger. So I either need to lose 30 pounds or put on, well, some weight.
I left the store and went home to begin putting on some weight so I could buy the size 40 shorts before the sale ended. As far as the job goes, I haven’t gotten a call yet. But I’m sure Brad is going to call me any day now.