I read with interest the notice in the office newsletter about a vacancy. I hadn’t been promoted in years. Although I already had a great job where I was chained to a computer and forced to drink black coffee all day, my career had stagnated. I could work in my sleep, and very often did, in spite of the stimulation. It was time for a change.
I could hardly contain myself until I could set up an interview. I called and made an appointment with someone named Barbie who had been there only a year and had already being promoted to management. She was sure it had nothing to do with her being related to the CEO.
I visualized myself in my new cubical, doing important tasks on the computer, handling business efficiently, watering my plants, and all at a much higher salary. I was beginning to get enthusiastic about how I was going to spend all that extra money.
I got out the old resume and padded it shamelessly to make my current job sound responsible. I wanted to make an impression, a very good impression. I typed it up and dreamed about how great this new job was going to be as I watched it print.
I figured I needed the perfect outfit to wear for the big day. Somehow I had a feeling that Barbie didn’t come to work in a gray flannel suit. I finally decided to buy something new, a navy blue dress in the new longer length that was stylish but businesslike. They call it “dressing for success.” It maxed out my credit card, but I figured no sacrifice was too great when it came to advancing my career.
It took me most of the day, but I tried to think of possible questions that they might ask and possible answers I might give to emphasize my impressive profession qualities without giving away any of my shortcomings. No need to mention the computer files I once accidentally deleted or the time I burned popcorn in the office microwave, I decided.
I rehearsed a few answers in front of the mirror, which was hard because being a female, I had to keep stopping to fix my hair. By the time the big day came, I was pretty nervous. I dropped the toothpaste in the toilet and nearly stabbed myself in the eye with mascara. By the time I finished, however, my hair was perfect, my makeup tasteful, and I had on plenty of deodorant.
It took two motivational tapes to get me out the door, but I finally felt ready. I showed up right on time, not too early and certainly not too late. I clenched my teeth and smiled, trying not to be irritated at being kept waiting while Barbie made an appointment for her hair, nails and aerobic class.
At last I was ushered in. The interviewer began to drill me with the expectations of the new job and asked none of the questions that I had rehearsed. I maintained eye contact and tried hard not to faint until perhaps later when no one was watching. I wondered how long it would take my resume to be filed in the paper shredder after I left. When it was finished, I shook her hand and thanked her for her time, feeling as if the IRS had audited me.
Back at my old office, I lacked the strength to use my computer mouse, so I simply stared at the screen saver all afternoon, wondering why I had never noticed all the pretty colors before. Well, if I don’t get the job at least I will know why. The CEO probably had another relative.
My greatest fear, however, was not that I might NOT get the job, but that they might actually offer it to me.