Friday, August 25, 2006

Tales from the Job Front

I remember when Sarah called yesterday and told me that her friend had found a job posting that sounded perfect for me. Great! I thought. Tell me about it.

SARAH: Well, now hear me out. Be open-minded.
ALICE: Why? What’s wrong with it?
SARAH: Nothing. It’s just that you have to work in (indecipherable) guitar.
ALICE: Guitar? What do you mean?
SARAH: NO! You are not hearing me. You must work in guitar…
ALICE: You mean a guitar shop?
SARAH: NO! Qatar. You know, like Dubai. Only not.

Oh. Well, Alice here really loves cool weather, bosky vistas, lakes, and woods. She really dislikes hot weather, humidity, and sandy places. So, of course, it makes sense to seriously consider applying for a job in Doha, Qatar. Yes, Qatar, as in Middle Eastern country where the summers are very hot, and humid; where the terrain is mostly flat, barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel. Yeah. That sounds like a great match for me. I know that my family is desperate for me to be employed at long last. But still.

The job as an assistant editor for a college website sounded good, but the pay was not so good. Then after reading blogs from people who actually lived there, one learns that it is a very expensive place to survive. So there’s that, too. Also, I learned that Sarah and I were not pronouncing it correctly. Apparently, It does not rhyme with guitar but rather a cross between cutter and gutter. Huh?

SARAH: Oh, come on, where’s your sense of adventure?
ALICE: Right where it should be. Right here safe and sound.
SARAH: Do you have anything better in mind? I mean you don’t have any job offers at the moment, huh?
ALICE: As a matter of fact, I do have an interview this afternoon and I have a feeling that it will go very well. So there!
SARAH: Yeah, right. Good luck with that.

I went to meet with a Susan for a job that sounded great; it required great organizational skills, writing ability, event-planning capabilities for social and political functions. Yeah, I thought, this is sooooo me. Oh, yes. Salary open to discussion. I’ll discuss, sure.

Went to the interview and it turns out that the place is just an employment agency. That’s so not how it was presented in the listing. Susan turned out to be the type of dame that populates offices in film noir movies. The interview begins.

SUSAN: So, the job is with a very well known female journalist who writes about foreign affairs. Look, honey, if I told you her name you would know it right away; she is BIG in the business and she is always in the paper.

MY BRAIN: Whatever!
My MOUTH: How… fascinating.

SUSAN: Yeah, so anyways, she is looking for someone to be her right hand. But I gotta tell you, she is a big pill, very difficult to work with and, gotta tell you the truth to let you know what you’re getting here, I would never work for her.

MY BRAIN: You actually represent her? You actually are trying to HELP her find someone?

SUSAN: Yeah. Hours are long and she travels a lot. One minute here, next minute London, next minute Paris. You know.

MY BRAIN: Well, how bad could it be? Sounds like she would never be around to be a bitch.
MY MOUTH: Yes. Yes, I know.

SUSAN: Are you thick-skinned, honey?

MY BRAIN: NO! I AM SO NOT THICK-SKINNED. MY SKIN IS THIN, THIN, THIN. But don’t tell her that! You WANT a job, remember.
MY MOUTH: Um. Er. No.

SUSAN: Well, whaddaya want to do?

MY BRAIN: I want to not be here with you, thank you very much.
MY MOUTH: Well, I believe that I should meet this person and see if we could work together. The job sounds interesting and perhaps we could find a way to have a strong, respectful working relationship…

SUSAN: Yeah, yeah, right. Okay. I just wanna let you know that she is tough.

MY MOUTH: Well, is she verbally abusive?

SUSAN: Oh, no. She just wants things done her way. ALL THE TIME. NO DISCUSSION, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.

MY BRAIN: Sigh. And this is different from the life I lead with the people I know, how?
MY MOUTH: Well, I am happy to meet with her at her convenience to discuss further.

SUSAN: I’ll fax her your resume and if she wants to see you, she’ll see you. If she doesn’t she won’t.

MY BRAIN: I wonder what your I.Q. is.
MY MOUTH: That sounds…..sensible.

SUSAN: Oh, if she asks you how long you plan on staying with her, just tell her the one thing that will please her and make her hire you.


SUSAN: Forever.

MY MOUTH: Forever?

SUSAN: Yeah.

MY MOUTH: Well, (a quick laugh) no one can stay FOREVER at a job.

SUSAN (not looking amused): Yeah, well, with her you do.

MY MOUTH: Forever. Got it.

So no one has called. Never mind about for-ever, it seems that Miss well-known-psycho-harpy-journalist DOES NOT want to meet me for-now. The bitch. I am going to go scrub myself in the shower to toughen and thicken my skin before I go out into the world again.

Now, how bad could hot, humid, barren, sandy, gravel-ridden really be?

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