Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Unemployment Diary: Who Are You? Who, Who, Who, Who?
I was being all careful. Grown up. As in panty hose. Okay, they were opaque black tights, but it was cold out today by Georgia standards and my one pair of black emergency nylons have a run in them that I could not strategically cover up. Not even with the skirt that hit below my knees.
I did manage to wear matching earrings. It's something.
I painted my nails clear and my cuticles weren't too horrendous. I bothered to straighten my hair and put on makeup. I went a little nuts and painted my toenails bright red. Yes, it occurred to me that no one in a job interview was going to ask to see my toes, but one can never be too sure in these competitive times.
I talked a blue streak to MathMan about how I was going to keep the real me hidden behind some modicum of respectability, some facade of acceptable professionalism. In other words, I was prepared to be someone else to get through this interview because, let us face it, shall we? My style isn't what you're going to read about in articles about how to get the big raise, how to hang on to your job or even how to get one. At WalMart. I'm an outlier and not in a good way.
So there I was in the parking lot of the big building, tugging the sweater over my head and putting on the suit jacket. I remembered to change out of my flats and into the smart black pumps that just rocked the opaque tights. Yes, my ankle was a wee bit lumpy. Like hell I was going to cut off the leather ankle bracelet.
I love buildings with public restrooms on the first floor. Hair smooth? Check. Black jacket and skirt gone over and plucked free of lint and stray hairs? Check and check. Tights tugged up so they aren't drooping? CHECK. Teeth? Lipstick free. Lipstick? Chose the dark pink over the raisin or ruby red. Sigh. Nose no longer running from the cold? Check. Hang on... booger check! All clear. Phew! Wouldn't want to miss that part of the self-inspection.
I was ready (or not) for this job interview. "I'm as ready as I'll ever be," I said to my reflection in the mirror. Up to the third floor. Casual conversation with the receptionist who made a nice impression. And then the HR Director fetched me for the Q&A.
I spent the next two hours being myself.