Not having a job is EXHAUSTING! Yesterday I had my second round interview for the marketing gig. Then I had an interview at a staffing agency downtown for administrative assistant sort of work. We had a practice interview. She gave me a typing test. She concluded I had “great personality”, which was interesting because I thought she needed help in that department. At one point she started talking about how she wanted big dogs because the way she likes to play she would break a small dog… Awkward. What in the hell are you doing? I’m tempted to flag her with the human society. Anyway, animal molester said I needed to put that I can type 70+wpm on my resume because that is “such an asset”! The woman then critiqued my resume and gave me tips on how to make it as promising as I was in person, which I found amusing because I generally think I’m much better on paper than in person. Yadda yadda she has EXCITING prospects for me, which translates to she has access to interviews for clerical office work I would find dull, mind-numbing, and generally soul-sucking but anything for a paycheck! I promised to be in touch.
As I was leaving the building I got to walk through our very own knock-off OCCUPY WALLSTREET tent city. It was so bitterly cold I couldn’t help but wonder if there was anything on earth I cared about enough to inspire me to sleep outside during a yankee winter by choice for an extended period of time. I discovered, nothing would motivate me to make such a commitment. I am a shallow person. It was a disappointing realization.
When I finally reached the parking lot where I had safely stowed my vehicle I was so cold I was uncontrollably shivering. I was also required to pay $25.00 for an hour of parking even though the sign I was lured in by said $8.00. That was just for the twenty minutes, apparently. As if the robbery wasn’t enough, the ancient machine available to pay with a credit card (because seriously, who carries that much cash around!) was set up like a rubix cube. Once I coaxed the contraption into a receipt I hopped into my car and headed toward the exit. The attendant’s window was closed, and he was chatting on his phone with great animation. I inched closer to the gate, no response from man or pole. The window remained closed. I inched backward and glared, he finally opened the window. Turns out I don’t need a receipt to leave, I need the ticket still in the machine, and no, he wouldn’t just open the gate based on my receipt. I had to repark, expose my vulnerable frozen self to the whipping winds all over again, and come back. The gate still didn’t open. I still had to wait for him to open his window and choose to open the gate after he looked at my ticket. He found my frustration delightful, and was smirking the entire time. I wanted to shank the gleefulness right out of him. I wanted to scream YOU SIT ON A THRONE OF CORRUPTION AND ARBITRARY GAMES, PARKING MAN, but I just drove away.
Then, much to my surprise, I was called for a third round over-the-phone interview from the marketing place with the mean-girl receptionists! I dazzled them yet again with my sparkling trickery and have actually schemed my way into employment once again! Horray! EMPLOYED!
Now, despite this joyous news I still intended to go to the interview I had set up for this morning to babysit old people. We all know I really like the oldies, so I wanted to explore this option still. I slept in til 8:00 am. Unemployment is so much fun! Fully reassembled in my disguise I headed to starbucks for my coffee fix when my phone rang at 10:05,
“Natasha? This is ‘Mark’, from _____ _______ Care.”
“Hi Mark!” I had no idea why he was calling. our interview was scheduled for 11am.
“Hi. Are you on your way?”
“Mmm, I understood our interview was at 11am at Panera.” Since the business was based entirely in people’s homes, he had earlier explained that he had a home office and preferred to meet people at Panera. Fair enough. I glanced at my notes from the phone call to double-check myself. I had been taking detailed accounts of everyone I spoke with, precisely to avoid this situation.
“I had 10 o’clock. Perhaps it was my mistake. I’m here now.” Although, his tone indicated he clearly didn’t think this was his mistake.
“I could be there by 10:30 if that’s alright?” I still needed to make copies of my information, per his request, and get to the neighboring town where he had instructed we meet.
“Fine. See you soon.” Click.
How odd, I thought to myself, as I rushed through my tasks and arrived at Panera at 10:25am; giving myself a pat on the back for being so swift. I glanced around and didn’t see anyone who struck me as the disorganized head of a senior care organization. I called him back,
“Hi Mark! It’s Natasha, I just walked in to Panera. I’m wearing a green shirt, if you can see me!”
“I’m wearing a white shirt and I’m sitting by the door. I don’t see you.”
“Well, I’m also wearing black pants and… are you in a booth?”
“No, I’m not. Which Panera are you at?”
This is where our conversation rapidly deteriorated.
“The one off of Route ## by Wal-Mart in ‘neighboring town‘.”
“NO! I am at the Panera in ‘Timbuktu‘!”
“I’m not familiar with that location…” I had absolutely no idea where he was, furthermore, I was pretty put off by the fact he had just shouted at me when it was becoming glaringly clear who had recorded details of our prior conversation and who had not. He began to bark directions to me, indicating what roads I needed to take, and sealed the deal with,
“You have twenty minutes to correct this. You’ll need to be here by 10:45.”
Now, dear friends, our arrangement was to meet at 11:00 at the Panera where I was currently standing. I had confirmed the address with him during our first conversation, which I remember doing vividly because I am not from this area and was concerned because there are about a thousand Paneras in the greater metropolitan area. Now, this man was being rude and giving me a time constraint which was 15 minutes earlier than the time we had originally agreed upon? No thank you!
“Actually, I don’t think I’ll be able to make it.” I started, all interest in meeting this man and signing up to be employed by him rapidly draining away.
“WHAT? And WHY is that? You know I can’t imagine why you people do this. You don’t have jobs and I set up these meetings and then you don’t show up and YOU WASTE MY TIME! You’re not the first one, and I want to know WHY?!” Before he had been shouting, now he was bellowing.
“Well,I found it very unprofessional that we agreed to meet here at 11:00 and you started calling me at 10:00 from somewhere else,” I began, having completely lost my patience. I put up with enough crazy shit from crazy people in my personal life, there is no room for bafoonery from my potential boss.
“DON’T MAKE EXCUSES! I TOLD YOU THIS PLACE, IT’S EVEN CLOSER TO ______ ,WHERE YOU LIVE!”
“Actually, that’s not where I told you I lived,” nor was it listed as my residence on my resume, “Secondly, I am not unemployed,” technically, I am still being paid from my job I was laid off from for a short time on top of my new offer, “I have employment offers.”
“THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE CANCELLED THIS INTERVIEW.”
“I did not cancel this interview because I was still interested in this position and was actually really hoping to become involved with your company. However, after the level of unprofessionalism and disorganization I have been introduced to thus far I am no longer interested AT ALL.”
“YOU LISTEN TO ME,”
“LASTLY,” I continued, “I will not be spoken to this way. Good luck finding people who will.” and I hung up. Immediately, I realized this complete disaster of a telephone conversation had transpired in the entryway of a very crowded Panera.
Furious and indignant I sped to the marketing company to fill out my new hire paperwork and field congratulatory remarks about how many other candidates I triumphed over! This is the kind of job that will be temporary and only marginally lucrative if I suck at it, but really awesome, profitable and long-term if I can pull it off. Let’s hope I can keep my cranky court jester personality under wraps and resist the urge to share humiliating antecdotes about my life! I’m really hoping I can keep the ruse going for some time! :)