Desert Sand Mica

Whatever, just crash it Bob...


Bah. Meh. Feh. chA.

I just called the limo place one last time. I hate to start applying for other part-time jobs, when this is the one I really want, and I haven't really been told one way or the other that I should either hold on, or move on.

I've already called them once, so I had to tread lightly, so as not to look like either a pest or a stalker. The key is to leave something with them in the interview that you can request back. Something out of your portfolio, a certain letter of recommendation, whatever. Something you "suddenly realized" you don't have another copy of. In this case, it's my driving record. I have to pay every time I get a copy of my driving record, so it's completely on board that if/since I'm not going to be working there, that I might want to submit an application to other agencies, and would need a copy of my driving record. I don't want to keep paying for it over and over - and if they're not using it...I can request it returned.

So I made my one standard follow up call about a week ago, (paper message through the generic phone answerer - not ideal) and then called back today to ask if I could come by and pick up my driving record. By leaving something behind, you have the opportunity to call a second time and to ask for whatever it is you want back, and then after making those arrangements, say something like "ok great. Thanks again for taking the time to talk to me. I'm disappointed that we won't have a chance to work together, will you keep me in mind in the future?"

Then.. the conversation can go one of two ways. You'll either find out that you are still in the running, and a decision hasn't actually been made, or that you're dead in the water.

Today, I found out numerous things from this conversation. (Actually the person that answered the phone this morning happens to own the company - which was a bonus.)

I found out that:

1)The owner already knew of me (that's good, you want your name bantered around - especially with the higher ups)
2)My contact inside the company has been in New York since New Year's
3)The owner was willing to fax me a copy of my driving record, but would like to retain the original, because he doesn't think my paperwork has actually been looked at yet.
4)He is going to look at my application himself. Today. Yay.

I'm still planning on attending the Job Fair on Monday, but hopefully this will still pan out too. At least I know they're just slow processing, and haven't actually ditched me. So far anyway.

It sucks to have to ride people like this, but people on the inside don't realize how the folks on the outside are waiting on and counting on an answer. Feedback. Anything. A 'yes', a 'no', a 'go to hell'. Just gimme something!

And don't give me the standard bullshit response when the answer is no, either. Don't tell me you had several qualified candidates and the decision was difficult. I want to know what swayed your decision. I ask people point blank "Could you tell me exactly what it was that confirmed your decision? I'd lilke to pursue other avenues in this field, and if you could tell me what the deciding factor was, it might help me to have an edge in the future." I've found that most people are more than willing to be blunt when they know you want them to be. You need more experience, you need a haircut, you need a better resume, you smell funny.

Not too long ago I made a follow up call and had an interviewer tell me "We were looking for someone that lives closer to the office."

What the hell does that mean, and why does it matter? The only thing I could glean from that response is that "we might be calling you in outside of work hours on a moment's notice, and we want you to be able to get here in a hurry." Screw that noise.

About 15 years ago I interviewed for a PR type position, and fuck-all if I didn't have a huge zit right on my nose on the day of. The follow up call told me that they choose someone with a more polished appearance. Bottom line, they didn't want someone speaking for their company who had sebaceous glandular eruptions on a frequent basis. Unfair, but understandable. You can't be out in front of a company (even as a receptionist) when you aren't at the top of your game, looks wise. It sucks, but it's true. When it's between me and blondie-barbie-perfect-teeth who eats a forkful of watercress for lunch, it'll be me going back to the classifieds. It's all about image.

Oh, speaking of that. Is anyone watching Starting Over yet? C'mon people! It's on every damn day! Anyway, yesterday they had an image consultant come in and wasn't she just the cutest thing you've ever seen? She had it to-ge-ther, that's for sure. She made some great suggestions and backed them up with examples of what your image is projecting. First the ladies had to sit in the park, or stand on the corner one at a time and then the other ladies would ask passers-by to give them a few words description of the one standing there - just by looking at her from a distance. Amazing how accurate some people were. "She's unemployed, she's lazy, this one is unorganized, that one's cultural, she's married..." Little nuances of their posture, dress and appearance gave people an instant opinion.

So then afterwards this little spitfire image consultant came in and went through Brenda's closet and made her throw away everything that made her look frumpy. Then they went shopping and it was amazing to see how just a few pieces of wardrobe and accessories changed her whole look. My favorite quote in the show was when she was looking at Brenda's clothes, found a shirt that had strings at the collar that you tie together, and said "Do you really need to have a bow this close to your head?"

Ok, I've rambled enough and taken up entirely too much of your time. Hope everyone has a good weekend planned. I'll be scratching out a presentable upgrade of my resume and hoping Mr. Limo Company Owner calls me back.

Edit - in reading over this it occured to me that possibly it could appear that I am trying to portray myself as a quintessential expert on interviewing and getting a job, and maybe being unemployed for 18 months would squelch my credibility. But after reading through, I decided that it's apparent that I'm not trying to tell you how to get a job, I'm just telling you how to find out that you didn't get a job. And not getting a job is something I am well qualified to write about.


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