Short job interview, long train ride

I had today what might be the shortest job interview ever. Final determination from the Guinness World Record people is still pending; the Sarah Palin vetting committee may still have me beat. To give you a better sense of time elapsed, here are some things I did today that took longer…

  • Cleaned up cat barf. It was as if the cat exploded, moved to another spot in the apartment and exploded again.
  • Waited for the grocery store clerk to accept my money and give me change. In her defense, the cell phone conversation she was having did sound really interesting.
  • Took the train in a spiffy suit from Queens to downtown Manhattan.
  • Took the train in the same spiffy suit from downtown Manhattan to Queens.

The interview started and ended with a review of my experience. I gave a quick rundown of my last three jobs, highlighting the responsibilities that seemed applicable to this job. The interviewer asked in turn why I left the company. My answer was the same for each (I’ll give you a hint… the word has six letters and rhymes with smayoff).

Then he paused and concentrated on my application – probably the ‘salary requested’ line. Making eye contact with me again, he explained what the position payed, and asked if I were okay with that. I said something to the effect of…

We live in New York City, you cheap bastard! How can you possibly expect me to live off of that?

I slapped him with the back of my hand, sending him sprawling across the floor. Then I flipped the table on top of him and stormed out in a flurry of curses too vulgar for this site. Halfway to the elevator I remembered my pen, so I retrieved it.

Maybe I just said the job didn’t pay enough for me to pursue it, shook his hand, referenced the nice weather and left. Yeah, that’s probably what happened, now that I think about it.

I didn’t do anything wrong in the interview, except state on the application a salary commensurate with my education and experience. The job paid a lot less than that, even though my services come relatively cheap. The salary was not conveyed when I was invited in. To be fair, I didn’t ask either. My assumption was that a company would only invite a person to interview who appeared to be right for the job, both in skill set and pay range. Shame on me. And while it’s a buyer’s market, and I’m unemployed, I’m not desperate… yet.

Maybe it turned out for the best, as I was only lukewarm on the job. I was pretty jazzed about the paycheck part though… and the free bad coffee. Mmm, bitter.

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4 Comments

  1. Tina wrote:

    It could have been worse. The cat could have been fine and the interviewer could have projectile vomitted all over your spiffy suit!

    Chalk it up to lessons learned for your next “adventure”. I enjoy the chuckles I get reading your blog.

    Monday, February 2, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink
  2. Jordan wrote:

    My shortest interview ever was during my year-long unemployment of ’02-’03. In my desperation, I responded to a “group interview” posted in the Times. The only thing I can remember about the job is that it involved public speaking (not clear in the posting), which in turn reminds me of my considerable desperation. I figured, since it’s a group, what do I have to lose? I’ll sit in the back, listen to someone talk about the position and move on.

    The “group” turned out to be 25-year-old me in black shirt and black jeans and one eager professional woman in her 40s and pantsuit. After two minutes of a 1-on-2 interview allowing each of us to respond to the same questions, the stark contrast between our levels of experience became more than I could bear. For another couple of minutes I attempted to hide by concealing my face behind a thick curtain of sweat, but this only seemed to draw more attention. So, I excused myself with squishy hand-shake, walked outside and called my sister to tell her I would never go on another interview again for the rest of my life.

    As for the cat, it could indeed have been worse. You could have had to stick a thermometer in its butt, which I once have had the pleasure of doing.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink
  3. Jay wrote:

    i don’t know why, but that cat barf thing just makes me comfortable. you have a way with words norm. “exploding.” ugh.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Permalink
  4. Jay wrote:

    i mean UNcomfortable.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

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  1. Job interview routine, the morning of | Jobless and Less on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 10:40 pm

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