Friday, December 30, 2011

614. The Recent Interview

I have been on many interviews in my time. Most I have even cared about. Typically, I will receive a phone call from some mystery person whose name I didn’t quite catch because I didn’t recognize the number and therefore was bracing for a telemarketer.

Mystery Voice:  Hello, may I please speak with MOV?

Me (as a question):  This is she?

Mystery Voice:  Hi, MOV! My name is Kara/ Karen/ Caroline Something-or-other Johanson/ Cranson/ Shmansonson. I work for Perfect Job Company and I am calling about your résumé?

Me:  Hi! Yes! Great! Oh, hi! Uh, what is your name again, I’m sorry?

Perfect Job HR Guru (ignoring what I just said):  I see here that you used to work in the airline industry?

Me: Yes!

Perfect Job HR Guru:  Great! Can you tell me a little bit about that experience?

Me (choking, now realizing that this is in fact, going to be an impromptu phone interview):  I loved flying! I loved people! I loved flying people! I flew with flying people for 10 years! Best. Job. Ever.

Do I need to mention that Perfect Job Company had absolutely nothing to do with flying/ travel and that I possessed no discernible transferable skills? You just eavesdropped on the “best” part of the interview.

Fast forward to today. The eight-year-old walks into the study where I am pretending to “work” (read: blog) but am actually surfing the J.Crew website and their spectacular after-Christmas sale. He taps me on the shoulder and says, “Are you ready for your interview?”

My mind catapults to the aforementioned hideous phone interview and I suppress an involuntary shudder. Next, I panic. Does my older son know something I don’t? Is there an interviewer currently at the front door and as usual I am still in my pajamas (the flannel ones with the snow globes)?

“Is something wrong, Mom?” he inquires, as if we were not just bound by DNA but bound by impressive ESP skills as well. “Because you said I could interview you.”

“Of course, Tall, you can interview me. Fire away!” (I make a quick mental note to not use phrases with the words “fire,” “firing,” “got fired,” or “should have been fired” for real job interviews in the near future.)

He sits down, opens his notebook, and clicks his pen.

“What is your name?”

Easy enough. I should be able to get this one right. I give my answer.

“Have you ever had a nickname and why?”

I smile to think of the sweet but boring nickname my doting grandmother gave me: Blondie. Because I was blond. I confide this interesting tidbit about myself, to which my son laughs.

“That’s a dumb nickname. Besides, you’re not really even that blond. Are you sure she didn’t mean to call you Gray-Gray or Klutzy or something more apropos?”

This is the way Tall speaks. Like a second year law student instead of a second-grader. He uses words like “discerning” and “blasphemous” and “irrelevant.”

I struggle to come up with something better, something that will make him happy. Was there a different nickname that I am perhaps blocking out? A funny nickname, a sporty nickname, a silly nickname that reveals important information about me?

“That Super Smart Girl Who Knows Everything.”

He scribbles something down, then crosses it out.

“We’ll stick with ‘Blondie.’ Okay, next question: What is your hidden talent?”

I pause. I am very, very good at handicapping horses at the track. I have been known to win several hundred dollars in a day.

“I can pick winning race horses.” I smile, proud of my answer.

“Huh.” He scrunches his little face. “Anything else you can think of?”

“I’m good at drawing?”

More scribbling. Some flipping of pages.

“What present do you want for your next birthday?”

Queen Good Mommy arrives on cue. “Absolutely nothing. I have everything I need. You and your brother are—”

“What about that trip to Hawaii you are always talking about with Pop?”

“Oh, yeah, put that.”

Scribble, scribble. 

“Last question: Which movie star are you most like?”

“Gwyneth Paltrow,” I answer without hesitation. “We could be twins.”

“Excuse me, Mom, Gwyneth Paltrow?” He shakes his head. “How do you spell that name?”

I spell it out for him. He has no idea who she is.

“This concludes our interview for today. Thank you for your participation.”

I would like to tell you he is reading from a script at this point. He is very much not.

I wonder when I’ll find out if I got the job?



    okay i'll read it now.
    -Motaki, Aspiring Falconer

  2. My comfirmation code was 'caessess'. WTF?
    And what is your favorite color? This concludes our interview for this comment.
    -Motaki, Aspiring Falconer
    (And my confirm for THIS comment is/was 'deodead'. DEODEAD! HAHA!)

  3. Eight? Wow - I see where he gets his wordsmith skills from...

  4. Gwyneth, we need to talk. I have never had the impression you were an insipid blond that pretended to cook. Or pretended anything. Unless you were just day-dreaming of pretending that Blythe Danner was your pretend mom as she is one of favorites. And please don't tell me that Tall and Short are their real names, ala Apple.

  5. I don 't know if you could be Gweneth; I don't consider her funny and you crack me up. Those boys of yours inherited your wit, most certainly.

  6. motaki--love the devoted-ness. Those falcons better watch out!

    julie--8 going on 28.

    nola--I am an insipid blond who pretends to bake and know what insipid means. Their real names are not Tall and Short (if you buy the book they are mentioned on the acknowledgement page so you will know their real names--ha!). I think the big draw for me about Gwyneth is I think she is beautiful and I tell myself that if people REALLY SQUINT they might confuse us. (trade out "squint" for "close eyes all together") She is blond, I am blond. She has blue eyes, I have blue eyes. She is tall, I am tall. She is female, I am female. She is Caucasian, I am Caucasian. She has two kids, I have two kids. See what I mean now? The similarities are spooky!!!

    kay--awww, thank you. You made my day. Keep squinting.


  7. Hey - I have all the hallmarks of a Gweneth Paltrow also. And she's one of my favourite actresses repeat spooky.

  8. Funny post! My oldest is in third grade and I have yet to be interviewed. What's up with that?? Found you via Julie the awesome watercolor girl. :)

  9. julie--we must be the Gwyneth triplets, separated at birth.........

    wendy--hate to say it, maybe she interviewed your husband instead when you weren't looking? Ask him. And so glad you found my blog!! Welcome!!



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