Friday, December 9, 2011
Unemployment Diary: Shortfalls and little sins
On Monday I put on dress clothes. Underneath was a torture device otherwise known as a foundation garment and a pair of pantyhose that have been in the drawer for so many months, they no longer recognize the shape of my leg. Good thing putting on pantyhose is like riding bicycle. You don't quite forget.
I applied makeup and lipstick. Not my usual red, but something more subtle and understated. I put on conservative jewelry and made sure my ankle bracelet didn't peek out from under my pants when I sat down. In that moment, I was glad that I'd forgone that chest tattoo. With a rack like mine, I'm not supposed to wear high necklines. It's a rule, so say my daughters who've watched plenty of What Not to Wear.
I walked out to the garage careful to avoid any contact with the cats. I was wearing black and didn't need to be flecked with cat hair. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw how clean the car was. MathMan had made a special effort to have it tidied up. I would be pulling up to valet parking and I wanted to make a good first impression.
This would be my first in person job interview since February 2010 and I was nervous as hell.
All the way there, I thought about what I would say, the examples I could give for how I was the best qualified person for the job. It's a position outside of my former career industry so it feels like a long shot to begin with, but I kept telling myself that I had years of related experience and therefore had no reason to be so nervous.
You know your strengths and weaknesses, I told myself. Play to your strengths.
And yet, it felt like so much was riding on this. It's only the fourth interview I've had in two years. The further south on I75 I traveled, the more monumental this interview became.
I arrived and introductions were made. Everything was going well.
And then the first question of many more to come was asked. It was, of course, the one question that would expose my most critical weakness.
I admitted I didn't have an immediate answer to the question, but that I would know where to find the answer. Then I saved myself with a follow up comment.
"Oooh, that's good. Yes," the interviewer said with a smile.
Okay, I told myself, the worst is over and the interviewer hasn't cut this short.
The rest of the situational interview went well, I thought, and I had plenty of experience to draw from for each answer. I didn't spill my glass of water, curse or lean over and pick lint off the interviewer's suit. (He was dressed impeccably.) My handshake was firm and my personality warm.
As I drove home, I listened to MSNBC. They played a clip of some doof or other repeating the mantra that the unemployed need to just go get a job.
Were it that easy. The unemployment rate in Georgia is 10.2%.
It still feels like a long shot. I'm trying not to make myself crazy wondering if I'll hear back from them. I haven't taken to ironing yet so maybe the steps I'm taking to reduce my anxiety are working.
If I don't hear from them by next Monday, I'll be putting out the following alert: Send laundry.
Give me something good about your week. What's gone well?