The Job Interview – Part 1
After months of unemployment, isolated from all the living except for a cat, dog, goldfish and orchid, I had taken to wearing sweatpants every day and eating copious amounts of Cheetos. So while it was surprising when I finally got a job interview, it was not surprising that none of my business-appropriate attire fit. Well, my clothes “fit” – after squeezing into three pairs of Spanx and deciding that muffin top was not only acceptable, it was the new sexy.
On the humid, rainy morning of the interview it takes me 27 minutes and 32 seconds to dress myself in 14 layers of spandex and an interview suit. I check my hair and make-up in the hall mirror (hair looks like an already-bad 80’s perm gone horribly awry and makeup is melting), pop half a benzo and head out to my soon-to-be-repossessed car
Driving the 20 miles to the interview, my mind is humming while my makeup continues to slide off my face and onto my neck. This company manufactures the rubber stoppers that are put on chair legs to prevent floor damage. I will be interviewing for the Senior Copywriter position; if selected, I would oversee production of the quarterly rubber-chair-stopper (RCS) catalog, including writing all the copy. Did you know that RCSs come in 325 different colors, and 75 different sizes? And more recently, they had become available in eco-friendly, sustainable materials, like recycled plastic, bamboo, cork, soybeans and bio-combustible cornstarch? (Don’t ask, I don’t know what the hell the cornstarch stuff is either, which given Murphy’s stupid Law, I will be asked about in the interview.) Six materials X 325 colors X 75 different sizes = a lot of scintillating copy to write.
I had applied for this job in a fit of Resume Drunk Dialing.
Any company with an Internet job posting that included the words “writer,” “editor,” “marketing” or “communications” in the title received an inquiry from me. After emailing 67 cover letters and resumes, I only got two hits: a person who needed a ghostwriter with “excellent erotica writing skills” and, of course, the RCS company. Given that I can’t remember the last time I had sex and wouldn’t know anything erotic if it hit me square in my worry-lined forehead, I chose the latter.
I arrive at the office building, which sports your average, drab exterior: Ten stories with a gray façade in desperate need of a power-wash. The windows, also in need of a proper cleaning, are reflective. Although I can’t see inside, I am already picturing the building’s interior life. Xerox machines and water coolers, two of each on every floor; out-of-date bathrooms, with loose stall door locks, empty hand soap dispensers and cheap paper towels that disintegrate upon contact with water; baby-poop colored (was it once gray?) carpet, upon which stands an expansive cubicle farm; flickering fluorescent lights that cast an ominous apocalyptic pallor over people, desks, computer screens, everything; gossiping coworkers making the rounds, clutching coffee mugs – emblazoned with “World’s Best Grandma,” “I ♡ my Chihuahuas,” “Go Wildcats” – and discussing the latest episode of The Bachelor or what an asshole their boss is.
Sigh. This or Cheetos-induced coma? I choose rubber chair stoppers and get out of my car, against my better judgment.
To be continued…