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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Is It Mandatory to Shower Before an Interview?

It’s ‘Chcken Soup’ for those voices in your head.

I’m finally on my way towards jobdom. Which is not to say that I actually have a job yet, but at least I finally have job prospects. And I’m all about the baby steps.

(And the baby formula, when we run out of mayonnaise. But I’m pretty sure that’s not relevant just now.)

So, after two full months of placement agencies calling me, talking to me, telling me how good — no, great — no, *wow* — my resume looks, and then toddling off to god-knows-where to ignore me completely, I’ve finally begun to have real, live interviews. With real, live managers. At real, live companies. For real, live money, even.

(Though some of the money is realier — and livelier — than others.)

Here’s the score so far:

Company #1 is a bio-research non-profit organization. One of my old co-workers from my last company turned down a job there, but asked another ex-co-worker if he’d be interested. He wasn’t, because he’d already lined up his own new job, but he passed it along to me, and sent my name back to the first guy, and he told the company I’m interested. So far, I’ve only traded emails with a lady from the company, so I don’t think I could have possibly pissed them off enough to be out of the running. On the other hand, that was on Tuesday, and I haven’t heard anything back yet. Maybe I shouldn’t have used ‘Yo, phat chicky‘ as the salutation, after all. Eh. Live and learn.

Anyway, assuming that I ever do hear back from these folks — and that the correspondence doesn’t consist of a restraining order and a summons of some kind — I think working there would be pretty interesting. Not terribly lucrative, but that’s okay. As long as the mortgage gets paid, and we have enough left over for beer and dog biscuits, I’m cool with that. I’m not looking to jewel-encrust the toilet seats around here, or anything like that.

(Though I do have the fourteen-karat gold-plated nail clipper set. Seriously, you can never skimp when it comes to personal hygeine.)

Of course, there’s another possible issue with this place. See, there are really two non-profits involved, bits of which are soon to merge into a third organization, which is where the person filling this slot will likely end up. But in the meantime, it’s likely to be a ‘work in one and get paid by the other’ type of scenario. Which, again, is not the end of the world. My checks can come from the ‘Flubbo Jenkins Clown College‘, for all I give a damn, as long as the checks convert seamlessly into cold, hard cash. But the up-in-the-airyness of it all makes me just a bit nervous. I can see the definite possibility of having about seven bosses, all telling me to do different shit. Ever see Cool Hand Luke?

Manager One: Boy, what in the hell is your HTML doing on the VP’s intranet?

Me: Sorry, boss. I’ll move it to the corporate site.

Manager One: See that you do, boy. Move the whole dang program over there. The VP don’t take kindly to sass.

Me: Yessir, boss.

Three hours pass…

Manager Two: Son, I hear your Java code is all over the VP’s corporate site.

Me: But … he told me —

Manager Two: Boy, don’t you sass back. Just git that code back on the staging server, dangit.

Me: Yes, boss. Right away, boss.

Four hours later…

Manager Three: What in the Sam hell is this? Get this code off the staging server, boy!

Me: But… but I… he…

Manager Three: You got somethin’ to say, son? Don’t make me git the switch out.

Me: Yes, boss.

Manager Three: Awright. Now git this code off there and onto the VP’s intranet. And make it pronto!

Me: Okay, boss. Whatever you say, boss.

After three days…

Manager One: Son, I thought I told you to get this code off the VP’s intranet.

Me: Yes, boss.

Manager One: Well, then, why the hell is it still there? You sassin’ me, son?

Me: No, boss. I…I… aaaaaaauuuuuaaaaaaaahhhhh. Boss, don’t hit me. I’ll be good, boss. I got my mind right now! Just don’t hit me any more, boss!

Of course, then I’d just recover, and try to escape again, and I’d end up shot dead after hiding out with George Kennedy in the farmhouse. And nobody wants that. So I’ll have to find out more before I’d take this job.

Company #2 is in the healthcare industry. A friend of my wife’s works there, and put in a good word for me when I turned my resume in. Of course, that was three weeks ago, so I was actually a little bit surprised when the company emailed me yesterday to set up an interview. I’d started to think that maybe my wife told her friend what I’m really like, and they’d decided not to take any chances.

But, it seems I’m still in the running, and I’m scheduled for a Tuesday interview. They offered me Monday morning at 9am, or Tuesday at 2pm. Hmmm, let’s see. Get up on Monday at seven or so, rush to get ready, and then fight commuter traffic all the way to some building where I’ve never been, and I’m likely to get lost while trying to find? Or roll out of bed at eleven, take a nice leisurely shower, grab some lunch, and cruise over there at one-thirty when there’s no one else on the road? I hate to seem under-eager by putting off the interview for a day, but I think I’ll take door number two. As long as you’re offering, that is.

Besides the convenience factor, that decision also moves me up the depth chart just a little. See, if they have pre-defined time slots, then you’ve got to figure that they have multiple candidates, and they’re scheduling two or three a day to come in. And now someone else is going to get that Monday morning slot. So I’ll be better than at least one person in this round of interviews — really, who looks good and can manage to concentrate at nine am on a Monday morning? I’m lucky if I have underwear on at that point. Luckier still if it’s my underwear, and it’s covering all the bits that most people typically use it for. So, I figure I can’t do any worse than next-to-last. Good strategy, huh?

Then there’s Company #3. This one came out of the blue, and has really been a whirlwind ride so far. I got a call on Monday from a recruiter describing the job. Fine. Like I said, I get a lot of recruiter calls, but none of them had turned up anything before. They’re like telemarketers that I have to be nice to. More ass than assistance, for the most part.

But this one seemed different. First of all, he actually told me the name of the company in question. Most of the peckers (and peckerettes) who called me were about as forthcoming as a gay catcher in the New York Mets locker room.

(Not that I’m naming names or anything… but it rhymes with Briazza. I’m just saying.)

Anyway, this guy was more informative than most. He told me where the job was, and that he’d worked there himself. He pointed me at their web site and emailed me the job posting. He said he’d get back to me by Wednesday at the latest.

And, by jove, he was true to his word.

(Whatever the hell a ‘jove’ is. Just ignore that part. I thought it would sound cool and refined and all, but I don’t know what the hell it is. I guess I’ll just have to stick with ‘by cracky’ and ‘who’da thunk it’. *sigh* I’ll never get invited to any of the good parties, will I?)

Anyway, he called on Wednesday, and asked whether I could do a phone interview. ‘Sure‘, I said. He asked whether 10am the next day would be okay. ‘I guess I can find a way to roll out of bed before then. I don’t have to have pants on or anything while I’m talking, do I?‘ He assured me that I didn’t, and we were all set.

So, I talked to a very nice lady for about forty-five minutes on Thursday morning, and things went just swimmingly. So swimmingly — see, it’s still italicized; it was just that swimmingly — that she asked whether I could come into the office in person. ‘Absolutely,’ I said. How would later that day work for me? ‘Just peachy, ma’am.’

(Okay, I didn’t say that. I’m not Andy Damned Griffith over here. Nor am I Opie, or Barney, or anyone else on that frickin’ show. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. I’m sure that qualifies as ‘classic television’ in many backwards Southern areas. And there was some value in the show, I guess. Seriously, what man out there hasn’t lusted after Aunt Bea’s pie now and then?

Um, yeah. That may have come out wrong. I think I should probably get back to whatever I was talkin’ about. Let’s never speak of this again, all right?)

Back to the phone interview. After putting me on hold for a few seconds, the lady asked whether I could make it in by noon. That same day. ‘Well, okay, I suppose I can sponge off and put some pants on. I don’t know if I’ll get to shave, though. That’s usually an afternoon thing.

But I went, and I even found time to shave beforehand. And — from my perspective, anyway — the interview went well. I spent most of the time talking to a guy in the group, and then to the lady I’d talked to on the phone, who was in charge of the operation. They were both cool, and down-to-earth, and I think they’d be easy to work with. Which sucks for the blog, of course, if I get the job and have no snippy office snarkiness to report. But that’s okay — I can certainly make some up to entertain you with. Or create some by being surly and unreasonable for a couple of days a week. You know, just for the material. That’s just how dedicated I am.

So, I chatted with the recruiter guy afterwards, and he said he’d get back to me today with feedback, which he hasn’t done yet. I’m hoping he’s as good as his word again. The longer I wait for the call, the more I wonder whether I said the wrong thing yesterday, or accidentally insulted someone’s mother, or did that weird thing where I zip my fly up and down when I get nervous, without realizing what I’m doing.

(Oh, if only they’d make button-fly dress pants, my interviews would go ever so much more smoothly.)

Anyway, that’s just about it, although there’s a chance that a company #4 is in the mix now. A friend of mine sent me an email with a job description that I might be able to fill. But he’s not gonna be able to fill me in on the details until next week — who knows how many multinational megalithic corporations will be clamoring to hire me by then?

Well, it’s hard to say, really, but I imagine somehow that it will still be four. Or less, depending on who I manage to alienate and offend between now and next week.

(Do what you’re best at, I always say.)

Still, it’s nice to finally be getting a little action. Maybe soon I’ll be gainfully employed again, after all. That’s probably a good thing, no matter how much I was looking forward to becoming a starving freelance writer or a struggling stand-up comic. Those things can wait just a bit longer. I figure I should work for another few years before I ask my wife to support me full-time in my frivolous endeavors. Another three or four ought to just about do it. No sense in putting off my true callings too long, right?

Permalink  |  3 Comments

3 Responses to “Is It Mandatory to Shower Before an Interview?”

  1. Andy says:

    Actually, Jove is another name for Jupiter, the chief god in Roman mythology and the equivalent of the Greek Zeus.

    (Nerd Alert!)

    Oh, and I loved the “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

  2. shelley says:

    Mmmmm. Pie. We will never speak of this again. But good luck and keep your pants zipped! (Well, on the interviews, I mean. Not in the men’s room, or at home, unless you have company, in which case zip away.)

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