I am very fortunate to have a job interview today. I know that when I’ve had 70 or 80 interviews the odds are good that I will get a job, but it’s hard to be enthusiastic. I barked at the HR staffer on the phone who called me to set up an appointment because I didn’t recognize the number and I’d just had a big long run of writing and wasn’t in, “Hey dumdum you’re supposed to answer the phone like God’s receptionist!” mode. Which -every other time- I have done. And I got an interview anyway. Not exactly sure how to feel.
It’s a reputable company doing reputable things, and it’s a half-hour commute by bus away, just like I’ve wanted.
But I think about job interviews where they love my resume and then they’re like this when I show up because I’m 57.
Or when I ask them about how online reviews say they’re the worst place on earth to work and she snaps, “That’s the factory in the States, not here,” and then THREE TIMES OVER THE NEXT YEAR they run an ad for the position I interviewed for (got a second interview, even), and instead of saying to myself Holy Crapstacks! dodged a bullet! you know what I do? I cry. Because they didn’t hire me. I know I wouldn’t have lasted if it was so bad three people quit in a year, but still there’s me looking at the Craigslist ad, this last time was only six weeks ago, and thinking why didn’t they hire me?
Or I go to a headhunter and get told, “You have to spend money on clothes and wear makeup or you will never ever get a job.”
Or I go to a headhunter and get told by a woman younger than my daughter that I need to freshen up my resumé. I’d certainly like to know how, given that I haven’t worked for pay in 2 years.
“Volunteer! Spend days researching every company you want to work for and then pitch them hard! Go door to door with your resumé! You need to be looking at jobs anywhere on transit and quit with this foolishness about needing a short commute. Take any job however menial or destructive to your hearing, health or sanity, and look for a better one while you’re working! Go back to school and get something buzzy and pointless on your resumé! Have you tried …(a suggestion which implies that the person you’re talking to, whom you’ve known for 15 years, hasn’t actually spent any time learning who the hell you are)? Leave town and go where the jobs are, like Fort St John and Ft McMurray!”
I understand the world has changed; I have never expected to have a job for life. I want a job which will feed me, stop me from destroying my life savings, and not be so demanding that I don’t have the energy to write. If that is too much to hope for, I will adjust my hopes accordingly. But I am not at the point where I can take just any job, because it would not be fair to my employer for me to just quit when presented with a better opportunity. And there is always the possibility, since it’s obviously true, that there won’t be another job, and I’ll work in the dishpit of an Italian restaurant until I dissolve with the steam into a little spot of grease in a uniform, but not before my varicose veins crap out.