I have always hated going on job interviews. I think hate is a bit too mild to describe my feelings. To put things in perspective should I depart this earth and be sent to the hot place my eternal damnation would be an endless series of job interviews. Should I be in the military and captured I would not surrender a shred of information if the enemy water boarded me or stuck flaming bamboo shoots under my fingernails. Once they said I’d have to go on a job interview I’d tell them everything I knew including the birthstone of my commanding officer’s mother. I really don’t like job interviews.
As a person who is unemployed in an economy that is very bad, job interviews have become a necessary evil. As my unemployment compensation dwindles away desperation is slowly seeping into my mind. I recently got a call for a job interview at a large company located in a huge building in the city. When I got the call asking me if I was interested I wanted to scream “Don’t you people have modern technology? Haven’t you ever heard of Skype? What kind of modern operation doesn’t know about this? If I was guaranteed to get the job I’d have no problem getting dressed up and venturing into the city to jump through your hoops. Don’t you understand if I don’t get the job I’ve wasted time and money?”
I didn’t scream that and what I actually said was something like “Friday morning will be fine. I’ll see you there.”
When Friday arrives I get up and have that sick feeling in my stomach. The bills are always on my mind and they seem like little demons that constantly poke at me. I know the only cure is to pay them their monthly financial tribute so they get out of my thoughts for awhile. Since winning the lottery may not be a realistic option and I have no rich relatives about to meet their demise who have me as a beneficiary in their will, I guess throwing myself onto the sacrificial alter of the corporate job interview process is my only option.
Sometimes I think about turning to a life of crime but I understand the retirement plans are awful, it’s really difficult to advance in such organizations and it’s very stressful. Also I’m told pay is only performance based and there is never even an attempt to help you further your formal education. On the positive you get to dress really well and have lots of people be afraid of you. I bury my head in my hands as I realize I’ve worked in the corporate world a bit too long.
One of the worst parts of the job interview is holding a piece of paper in my hand as I walk down a hallway of doors in search of the right office. When this happens I almost sense a beacon of light following me that says this guy is clueless. I’m always hoping I wrote down the right information because going into the wrong office could be problematic.
When I find the right office there’s always that awkward moment when I walk in and look at the receptionist. She’s usually fielding calls and is dressed rather well. Her desk is neat and she has a pleasant smile when she talks to you. The next thing I dread is when she hands me a clipboard with a form to fill out.
At this point I want to scream “I’ve sent you a letter and detailed resume so what possible purpose does your form serve? Why do you care about my high school days? Why do you want to know about my hobbies? Guess what? My hobby is burning forms from the corporate world while I chant my resume is all you need.”
What I actually say is “Thank you.”
I’ve never understood the corporate world’s obsession with forms. I think there is probably a psychological disorder called “Formobsessaphobia.” I once dated a girl who loved forms so much she wanted me to fill one out before a date. I told her I needed a form for that and never heard from her again.
After filling out the form and handing it back to the receptionist there is that awful period of time when I’m waiting and wondering what the interview will be like. Will the person doing the interview be nice or put their feet up on the desk, tell me I’m the thousandth person they’ve had come to interview for the position. They’re actually going to hire someone who works at the company. I’m only here because it’s corporate policy to have outside interviews and besides that they really love to screw with people.
It’s during this time of waiting that other people arrive and get the receptionist issued form. I know they’re after the same job. As I eye up the competition I’ll smile and look around at the people walking through the reception area. To them I must look like a street person with eyes silently begging for help to get out of this situation.
Suddenly a well dressed woman in her early forties opens the reception door and yells my name. She tells me to follow her and leaves. I suppose she assumes I know all about the tracking device that enables people to find her when she disappears. I get out of the reception area as fast as I can and catch up with the woman. Without turning around she continues to walk and says “So, how are you today?”
I want to scream “I’m in hell. I hate job interviews. I hate filling out forms and the only reason I’m here is because I want money. If I win the lottery or have a wealthy relative pass away who leaves me a good inheritance I just may come down here and relive myself on your desk. Besides that boom boom thighs, the sound of your nylons scraping together as you walk is very loud and could cause sparks to fly. Do you realize you’re a mobile fire hazard?”
What I actually say is “I’m doing okay.”
She opens a door, walks in and turns on the lights. It’s a conference room that looks as if it’s in a museum. Everything is in its place, complete with tacky fake plants and awful wall paintings.
“Well good to hear it. Mrs. Soberan will be in here momentarily.”
After dispensing that bit of information she’s gone.
While sitting alone in a conference room waiting for a job interview lots of things go through a person’s mind. For me I’m always thinking that a life which consists of mooching off relatives and begging in the streets might not be so bad. Yes, I would be a social pariah but you have to pay for everything in life one way or another. Then I remember how much I like my smart phone, large screen television and laptop. I do enjoy how I’ve furnished my apartment and with depression I accept the fact that I’m just another corporate hooker selling myself to the highest bidder to maintain my lifestyle.
Suddenly the door opens and a young, attractive, well-dressed woman wearing designer clothes and expensive jewelry walks in smiling. I stand up, we shake hands, she tells me she’s Mrs. Soberan and we sit down. Mrs. Soberan then looks down and begins shuffling papers.
Her hair is perfect and her gold bracelets jingle as she looks through papers. When she talks I can tell someone in her life has spent quite a bit of money on orthodontia work for her perfect teeth. I’m thinking she’s probably married to a wealthy man she seduced with her looks and charm. I bet she drives a really expensive car and lives in an extremely wealthy neighborhood. I even suppose her grandparents didn’t pinch her cheek when she was a child or try to clean her face by rubbing their fingers on her after wetting them from their mouths. Oh what a charmed life Mrs. Soberan has probably led.
She looks up and smiles. The obligatory small talk occurs as she asks me about my resume and past work experience. Then she asks the interview question I hate the most.
“So, tell me a bit about yourself?”
I want to scream “I’m on a work release program from the criminally insane where I’m being treated for murdering job interviewers who ask me to tell them about myself. I forgot to take my medication today and you may just want to offer me the position right here and now if you know what’s good for you.”
What I really do give her the standard run down of my life and career. She seems satisfied and looks back down and shuffles her papers some more. She holds one up and says “I see at your last job you were in the business development department for a period of time. Did you enjoy doing that type of work?”
I want to scream “I cold called idiots who hung up on me and used expletives to describe me, my family, my pets and any female I may be romantically involved with past, present or future. I hated it. I would’ve sold a kidney to get out of doing that job.”
What I actually say is the job was challenging and I learned from it. It sounds so much better than saying “It really sucked.”
The beautiful Mrs. Soberan then begins telling me about the position and that’s when things go terribly wrong. When she finishes I look at her in stunned silence.
“Mrs. Soberan the position you just described is for accounting. I have no accounting education and no accounting background. I don’t think I could do that job.”
A look of shock comes over her face as she frantically shuffles her papers. The clinking of her bracelets reach a fevered pitch. Suddenly she stands up and says “Excuse me” before quickly departing.
I stand up and realize this was a waste of time. I want a chance to ask Mrs. Soberan if I can have just one of her bracelets. I bet it would probably cover my bills for a month or two and this embarrassing moment would then be forgiven. She may not care, but at this point I feel the least she could give me the contact information for her orthodontist.
When the door opens it’s the well dressed woman in her early forties again. The look on her face tells me she wants me out of here as fast as humanly possible.
“We’re so sorry. There’s been a terrible mistake. We’ll keep your resume on file in case another position opens up that is better suited for you.”
I want to scream “No, there’s been a major screw up. Poor Mrs. Soberan will probably have to go to expensive jewelry purchasing therapy after this. Whenever I hear about keeping my resume on file from you corporate types I doubt any of you could say that while taking a lie detector test and pass.”
I actually say nothing and follow her back to the reception area. I quickly get my coat and other things. Before leaving I get another round of apologies and then it happens. It could’ve been the fruit I had for breakfast combined with my nerves but instead of struggling not to break wind I decide to just let it go. To my surprise it’s loud and long with a smell that could kill crabgrass. Only young children and guys in fraternities could appreciate how this moment is special.
The well dressed woman in her early forties reacts instantly by covering her mouth, walking away and looking at me with an expression of disgust. The receptionist groans and slams something on her desk and covers her nose. Not knowing what to do I yell “And I thought wasting my time coming here to interview for the wrong job really stunk.”
I chuckle as I quickly leave and make my way to a bank of elevators. Standing there I smile and realize that was probably the best job interview I ever had. Maybe it’s time I forget about the corporate world and seek employment as an actor in the dietary supplement industry focusing on gas prevention. I just hope they don’t make you interview for those jobs.
More Humor from the Author
Yard maintenance Soldier
Ye Ole Yard Sale