How to approach a job interview

So today I got up to meet some people south of Denver concerning a seasonal freelance opportunity. Dress was business casual, so after some deliberation I elected not to wear shorts and a T-shirt and even considered wearing clean underwear before deciding not to go overboard with the duds. I had planned the trip involving a short walk, a light-rail ride and a bus on the RTD Web site the day before, so in theory I knew what I was doing, but I had never taken the local train before and was stymied by the ticket machine, which kept spitting my cris $1 bills back at me one after the other. This kept happening even as people began silently piling up behind me. “Fuck!” I finally yelled in frustration, and backed away from the machine. The woman who’d been standing behind me promptly stepped up to the ticket dispenser, pressed a red button toward the left-hand side of it that said “PUSH TO START,” and quickly secured herself a ticket. “FUCK!” I said again, quite loudly this time, wondering for a moment why she hadn’t said anything to me–be it “press the red button” or “get out of the way, dipshit”–before deciding that she probably spoke no English. I started feeding bills into the machine apace just as my train pulled up, but just before my ticket was finally printed, away pulled the train and I had an extra 15 minutes to wait. Because of this and the scuttled bus connection, I knew I would be late. “God cunt it,” I muttered, deciding it didn’t matter because I didn’t really need the work.

When I got to the transfer station I had about 12 minutes to wait before the bus was due to arrive. I had slammed back about three venti bold blends at Starbucks earlier and the effects on my glomerular filtration rate had become uncomfortably evident, so I wandered off in search of a place to piss. The only spot that looked at all promising was behind a hotel dumpster. I wandered back there as a maid watched noncommittally from a guest-room doorway and did my business before realizing I had stumbled through a number of high-occupancy spiderwebs. This led to the placement of a modest but not invisible “silly spot,” but what did I care? I was going to be late anyway.

In fact I was only two minutes late when I got to the building itself, but it was part of a huge office complex and the first several doors I tried were not main entrances or egresses and were locked. When I finally got inside and found the right conference room it was 10:07. There were about ten or eleven others there, almost all of them women, and the spiel by the two employees in charge had just started. One of the women had on a garish and unlikely purple robe and was twitching a lot, and I thought back to the joke I’d posted on a message forum yesterday about showing up in a toga–that would have been more tame than what this creature sported. One of the women noted that there was coffee and cups available to one side of the room. A bunch of us got up, but I got there first; “coffee and cups” turned out to be one cup and about five ounces of coffee, and so, recognizing what any chivalrous person would do under the circumstances, took both for myself and returned to my seat with a grin.

Before long came a grammar test that was abominably easy given the nature of the job at stake–I am sure that 90% or more of the regular readers of the Refuge could have gotten a perfect score–and after that I was soon called to meet individually with the two women who’d presented the spiel. They said they had a handful of questions for me. They asked the first one and I went on at excessive length before shutting up to await the next question. They instead told me I had answered questions two, three and four in the course of addressing the first one and was already hired. When they said that I had scored a perfect X out of X on the test and that few managed to do this, I said “no fucking way!” before I could stop myself; they only chuckled, as it was that kind of interview and possibly because as an off-site freelancer my manners meant nothing and my work everything.

I only lied once in this post, but I hope to do better next time.

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