Interviews Ahoy, Pt. 1

5 Aug

July 22nd should have been the start of an eight day vacation.

July 22nd should have been a day of travel, marked by excitement at the prospect of seeing my friends.

July 22nd should have been a pretty unremarkable day.

Instead, July 22nd was a day that was at once nerve-wracking and thrilling, buzzing with uncontainable anxious energy.

I was heading to Boston to visit with friends, and my mother drove me to Tampa International with plenty of time to spare.  Unless you want to visit the gift shop or eat at Quizno’s, there’s not much to do at airports, even if you do have time to kill.  Besides, the novelty key chain and the sandwich are both likely to be of questionable quality and covered in fecal matter, so you’re doing your immunity system a solid by avoiding them altogether.  I’ve learned to rely on my wireless devices for constant bombardment of stimulation amusement.  Since Tampa is one of those awesome airports that offers free wifi (seriously Philadelphia, it’s not 2004), I powered up my ancient IBM and got an email that changed the entire purpose of my trip to New England.

For the past few weeks, I’d been interviewing with a New York based non-profit.  10 minutes before I was due to board, an email to this effect popped up in my inbox.  “Dear Sarah,” it said, “Haaaay!  You know how you were planning on relaxing and hanging out with your besties?  Well, not anymore, because  WE’RE INVITING YOU TO AN INTERVIEW.  It’s not a real interview, just a phone interview.  But this time it’s with the VP of Recruitment, so you know it’s legit.  Are you free to talk, like, tomorrow, by the way?  Because that’d be cool.  Anyway, good luck trying to think about anything else besides this–go ahead and let the possibilities consume you! TTYL!”


This was great news, but I was determined to make it even greater.  I was going to supersize it.  As a character on a show I’m too ashamed to name here** once advised, I had to grab life by the disco balls.  So, with shiny disco balls in hand, I emailed back and said that I would be “in the area” (a distance of 190 miles qualifies as being in the area, right?) and would appreciate the chance to drop in and meet the team in person.  Bam, greatness supersized: whaddup, I just asked for an in-person interview.  Now all they had to do was email me back praising my incredible ingenious and take advantage of my thoughtful offer, or even better, hire me on the spot (shh, don’t strip me of my dreams).

With the email sent and myself safely herded into economy seating, there was nothing left to do but wait. And ohmahgahhh waiting is so hard!  I’m the kind of person who sends an email, and then refreshes her inbox immediately afterwards, “just in case.”  This OCD tick needed an outlet, so I decided to fill my time by creating fantasies of life in New York.  I tried drawing on my memories of the city when I went with my high school senior class.  We stayed in New Jersey and we didn’t do much in New York except ride a bus with a lady who pointed at things.  Then we saw the Medieval Knights show, which was also in New Jersey.  I don’t think this trip really counts, and I definitely don’t know anything about the Big Apple.  For all I know, New York is now teeming with rats and shank-happy hobos, or maybe even hobos who’ll shank you with rats.  Also, is it even cool to call it the Big Apple?  These strike me as important things to know.

Dreaming about life in the big city, shank-free or otherwise, was not enough to get me through 10 hours of travel.  There are only so many permutations of the murderous hobo/rat combination that one can imagine, and I had terrified myself with them all.  My inability to check my email made me edgy–had the VP accepted my thinly veiled plea for an in-person interview? Would I be spending the week in Boston, or New York?  LIFE EVENTS, WHAT WILL THEY BE??

When I landed in Philadelphia, I called my mother and had her check my email for me.  And because I don’t trust my mother’s technological prowess at all, I then called my friend Diana and had her do the same.  The results were the same in both cases; nothing!  However, Diana proved to be n suitable distraction, and happily coached me through potential questions that they were sure to ask me in my currently-nonexistent-but-sure-to-happen interview.  “Don’t say that, you kind of sound like an idiot.”  I didn’t mind hearing that, because that meant there are times when I don’t sound like an idiot.  This was surprising to me, but I learned how to speak to the smartiest of my smartness, which was good and killed two hours.  Thanks Diana!

When I finally landed in Boston, I went to bed thinking that I was probably going to be sleeping in the same lovely bed at my friend’s house.  Again, reality was shattered the next morning when I checked my mail and saw that the VP wanted to call me later that afternoon.  No mention had been made of my totally brillz proposal, but whatever, I wasn’t going to disagree, right?

I passed through the phone interview, and the VP immediately informed me that she would like to see me in New York on Wednesday morning. This was to be my fourth round interview for an assistant position.  Who knew it be so damn hard to land a job that pays shit?  (EDIT: That isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with being paid shit.  I want to be paid shit if it means I’d be working for a cause, and fully welcome a meager paycheck.  I just never imagined that it would need six interview stages to land that.)

Regardless, I was thrilled to be going to New York.  I was that much closer to my future, even if it did mean getting shanked by giant hobo-eating rats. If that’s what it takes, man.

Next up: July 28th–The Interview

**Drop Dead Diva, on Lifetime.  Shut up.


4 Responses to “Interviews Ahoy, Pt. 1”

  1. just_uraverage August 7, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    “maybe even hobos who’ll shank you with rats” – best line ever!

  2. Jennie August 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    Good luck!

  3. Sarah August 12, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Thanks guys!


  1. Interviews Ahoy, Pt. 3: The End « - August 19, 2010

    […] 19 Aug Interviews Ahoy, Part 1 […]

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