Interviews are my Spanish Inquisition as they are simultaneously ridiculous and terrifying. Mostly terrifying.
I am, of course, referring to the latest interview I've taken part in this past Thursday. L.S. came through and scored me an interview at her client's bank. She called me on Tuesday and said come in Thursday; so, that is what occurred. I showed up ten minutes early, finished a smoke in the parking lot, and entered. L.S.'s office number was 301 which I couldn't decide to take as a good sign or a bad sign since that's the same office number as Dr. M's at The Ghetto Clinic. L.S. laughed at the sight of me in a tie (as she said I would), but offered a quick pep-talk as we strolled the hall to D.B.'s office. She introduced me to the Human Resource Director, then padded off whispering, "Good luck, Mac" with a smile.
The HR Director C. gave me the usual application to fill out and went through it explaining some of the odd parts in an accent I couldn't place. I filled the forms out sitting at a tiny desk and chair pairing with fabric patterns that looked like they'd been stolen from a motel room. I handed them in and sat back down, looking around the large room with cubicles huddled in the middle. All remained pretty quiet and motionless except for the low clacking of keyboards and a prairie dog or two under the bright fluorescent lighting.
After a few minutes, HR Director C. came over with a key and told me D.B. is in a meeting, so it'll be a while, did I need to use the washroom. "No, thank you," I said, and realized I probably should/could go the minute her office door shut, but took out a New Yorker instead.
I'd just flipped past the opening advertisements and started looking at the contributing authors list, when another woman approached me; A.H. turned out to be D.B.'s co-manager of a long list of departments and had just been handed my Application and Resumes a few minutes ago. Since D.B. would be in and out of meetings, she was to interview me.
A.H. seemed pretty cool as we talked. She kept glancing at my Resume throughout the interview since she just got it. She asked me some of the typical questions: "What do you like/hate about your current job?" "How would you improve an aspect of your current job?" We had a good, comfortable vibe going, I thought. I gave flattering, but not embellished statements about myself blah blah blah.
And then: "I'm not sure about the earrings; I mean there's mostly women working here, but I can't remember any men having earrings."
WTF!?! How is it not yet an accepted accessory for men. I mean, it's fucking 2006, and men have worn earrings for centuries all around the globe. Nowadays I'd say this mentality is similar to saying women must wear dress, not pants because, as Brother Jed (the insane, ultra-conservative "preacher that used to soapbox on my college green) said, "All women who wear jeans or pants are Leeeeeessssssbiannnnns, and will burn in Heeeelllllllll!" My earrings are small; and, for God's Sake, I'll be working in the basement.
At one point, D.B. popped in and went over in machine-gun rapid words basically what A.H. and I had already spoken about He looked like a taller, thinner, better-looking version of this guy. Blunt-speaking, and fast...did I mention machine-gun rapid fire speech? He and A.H. let me know a little of the requirements of the job and also the fact that the last couple of guys to hold the position were"idiots." And then he shot out of the room for meeting with someone from the Federal Reserve. A.H. and I shook hands and concluded the meeting.
I returned to L.S.'s office for a smoke and some water. We and her officemate, B. sat for a while talking about the interview and various opinions of their fellow coworkers until A.H. and D.B. popped in the door. They were heading to lunch, but told L.S. they would return and talk about me afterwards. Yikes!
I guess the talk went okay. After closing work on Friday, I listened to a voicemail from another HR Department person wanting to set up a meeting with the HR Director this coming Monday.
That's a positive thing, right?