29 août 2005

A travesty of many things

This is turning into a diary. I'm swamped doing nothing, because there are so many trivial details that seem to demand my most urgent attention, and everything seems to take forever.
I go out all the time, so really I should have plenty to talk about and poke fun at, and nothing comes. And my printer's broken, and I can't get my modem to connect on my new computer, and everything I write on my notebook turns to self-pitying mush when I'm not even feeling that self-pitying to begin with. What is wrong with me???
Whew. Glad that's out of my system.

That interview yesterday was one big, intergalactic joke. I wasn't particularly stressed beforehand, except for the dressing part. I'm sartorially challenged, I've told you before, haven't I? Yeah, I have. Well, I am, I'm not kidding. (Ok, let me digress a bit. There's this song that's playing right now. I love singing, I really do, so I am singing along as I type (multi-talented), but there's one thing I really can't do, and it's go "ooh-ooh" or "hmm-hmm", and there's plenty of that in said song. Frustrating. Back to topic.) So I changed a few times before going, settling on something I would never wear on a first date. That was my source of balancing stress: the fact that I didn't want the job
didn't mean I wanted to seem cocky. I got there in plenty of time, and looked for a copy-shop because the sheet of paper my CV was printed on was a bit old (printer broken, yes?). If you find yourself in that area of the 8th arrondissement and need photocopying stuff, don't bother, there's none.
Oh, bit of background (completely irrelevant at this point, but hey, might as well say it when I think of it). I'm going for an interview at one of the major French publishing groups. Now, when I say publishing group, I don't mean literature or coffee-table books. We're talking dentist and hairdresser's waiting rooms. Rag mags. Everything I love. I jest. But you know, I thought, maybe they'll have something else they can offer... A column... I jest again. Anyway. I get there, listen in on the receptionist's phone talks (apparently, her boyfriend has cholesterol problems), and wait, refusing quite adamantly to pick up a magazine. I'm told after we're already ten minutes late that the lady I'm seeing will be about twenty minutes late. Compared to now or to the initial appointment time? I relent and pick up a magazine. She finally appears. Typical, now that I've just shown my principles mean in fact nothing to me.
Smile, smile, hello, hello, sorry to have kept you waiting, it's all right I don't want your job anyway, and once the niceties have been dealt with, we go up the elevator. I love elevator etiquette. We both know we'll be talking in her office, but god forbid we should start the conversation in the lift. And clearly, even eye contact is out of the question. We walk into her office, sit down, she asks for my CV (which the receptionist copied for me as an
exception) and says: "Right, well, it'll be easier if you do the talking", gets up again, goes to get some paper to write down all the fascinating stuff I'm about to disclose, comes back, sits down and, having apparently changed her mind, asks: "So, you're an assistant?" My dressing style is obviously begging to differ, and I reply very amicably that no, I'm in fact a translator. "Really?" No, I'm just saying that, in reality, I'm a neuro-surgeon. "But we're looking for an assistant." Yes. The job agency wasn't exactly gushing out the details when I talked to them... "That won't do at all." So we end up talking about what I want to do instead. She seemed to have a few minutes to kill.
At the end of our... chat, I venture a timid yet jocular (hmmm) "well, if you ever need a translator, you have my CV, ha ha" which she crushed with "I don't think we really need those...? Oh, hang on.", left, came back and handed me a copy of Geo and National Geographic magazines. They're good magazines. It's fine.
So much for interview practice, I guess.

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