Sunday, July 09, 2006

Job interview

A couple of weeks ago, in a moment of madness, I applied for a job. Simply because it was in Glasgow, and I like Glasgow.

Oddly, I got an interview. Which really surprised me, as it was way out of my league. And I hadn't a clue what the job was.

Don't get me wrong - the job ad didn't say "Earn $$$s from home!" - it was just that every time I read the job description it looked like a different job. Completely. But, it was with a brilliant bunch of people, and, as I said, in Glasgow. The only thing I could be certain of was that the job title was nice. And very long. Which had to be a good thing.

The train journey was fun. A 13 hour round trip from Cardiff to Glasgow was still easier than trying to catch the plane. And, you know, better for the, um, environment thingy.

I nearly pulled on the train journey up. Or, at least, I got glowered at several times by a man who looked like he used his knuckles for maths. How wonderful, I thought. What a good omen!

He passed me in a corridor, and loitered menacingly. I'm ashamed to say I went giddy as a nervous schoolgirl. Partly 'cos I've never done it in a Virgin Train bog. They're enormous, shiny and full of buttons. They even have something like a flip-down ironing board. Yay!

Anyway, there we were in a corridor, him lowering away like a summer storm. Just as I'm about to surrender my heart and my wallet, my phone rings. It's habitat. They wait three months to tell me the dark walnut mirror is back in stock... and then call just as I'm about to enjoy a furtive bog shag with a simmering gay so rough his kitten has an ASBO. Bastards.

Rough gay isn't impressed, and wanders off. I'm left with a broken heart and a half-finished presentation on something no-one knows anything about for a job I don't understand.

The job interview is predictably hilarious. I've not had one for years, and I alternated between breezy incompetence and cheery terror. I discovered from watching a recent tv appearance that, when stressed, I slow down and posh up. So, bless 'em, some lovely Scottish people end up interviewing Tim Nice-But-Dim.

At the "Now, is there anything you'd like to ask us?" stage I cracked. "Yes, the job description's terribly lovely, but sounds very, um, you know, broad. Would you mind telling me what the job actually involves?"

There's an awkward pause and a flinty glare. "It seems perfectly straightforward to us..." Reading glasses are popped on. And the job description is read to me.

"Oh," I say, still in the dark, but pressing on. "Now, if you were applying for the job, what bit of it most excites you?"

The flint sparks. "All of it." There's a pause. "But I guess, what's best is..." And then they describe the job to me. And it's a brilliant job. An amazing job. A job I've just completely failed an interview for.

On the long train back, the air conditioning jams at Crewe, and I spend the last four hours shivering, watching my breath freeze in the air. The ticket inspector's worse - she's stuck in her thin summer blouse and micro skirt. She canters through the train every hour, teeth chattering, lips blue.

"Rubbish job, sometimes," she says. I nod.


frobisher said...

I can sympathize having applied for a job on a whim & ended up having two interviews. God, the second one was so painful I still shudder when I think about it.

Foshie said...

I had an interview a few years ago at Watford Hospital. The interview was really relaxed and the three interviewers and I just sat in armchairs around a coffee table - lovely and informal.

"Well" one of them asked, "what personal qualities do you think you'd bring to the post?" After what seemed like ages the best thing I could come up with was...
"I think I look quite nice in a suit"

I didn't even get a rejection letter :O(

Limehouse Dan said...

I think the tease of the rough on the way must have been worth the experience alone. Well done for having the guts to go for the chappie; it's not your fault Habitat couldn't be arsed calling at a more convenient time.