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The Interview

February 4, 2010

First of all I arrived 15 minutes early and the interviewer "Steve" was 20 minutes late.  Finally he pulled up in a Hummer, got out and dang if he didn’t bear a striking resemblance to Jesse Ventura, Mr. Clean, or the SNL characters, Hans and Franz. Enormous, bald, tattoos (I know about these as he was wearing a wife-beater t-shirt and spandex gym shorts) and carrying his high-protein, low-fat lunch in a see-through Tupperware container. 

I was interviewed by Mr. Hans-Franz

There was another woman who came in about 5 minutes prior to Steve, my interview was to have been at 11, hers at 11:30.  She looked to be 30 something, was about 5′ 9", 95 lbs, wearing tight black pants, a rather faded vest over what looked like a black t-shirt, and Doc Martin looking shoes.

I was wearing a conservative (grandma) dress with a slip under it, pantyhose, and heels.  I’d done my hair, makeup, nails and homework.  I’d brought examples of my work, had done research on the company, had my pen and paper ready to take notes – I was prepared. 

She had a skimpy resume on thin, all purpose white paper.  Did I mention she was blonde? 

As he breezed past, Steve said "follow me", to both of us.  Yep, that’s right. He sat us down side-by-side, and looked at us like the lab-rats we were and said he wanted to see "how we interacted with each other". 


He then briefly described the company, which I’d read about on the internet, told us about the job (it actually could be interesting to me) and asked why we were here. 

"Heh hee" twittered the blonde, "I’m getting old, I need this job."  Her voice and air was that of a pack and a half a day smoker.  I think anorexia and blondness cancel this detriment out. 

I told him the truth, "this sounds like a position I would do well in and be a good match for, I am new here, and I need to find a job".  What I didn’t think I needed was to point out the obvious other truth about my age, as she so glibly and strategically had. 

Steve continued, all the while addressing my co-interviewee; when occasionally his eyes would briefly fall on me, I watched them dart back to her where they very obviously preferred to stay. 

At one excruciatingly uncomfortable point he asked how much an hour we wanted to make.  I wanted to say, "I don’t know, I’ve always been salaried. Plus, I don’t want to discuss this in front of anyone, it’s PERSONAL", but I just dodged the question instead. 

My interview partner said quickly "$12 an hour." 

‘Groan.  $12 an hour???  Again I thought, “Really?”

Steve didn’t let me off, he came back to it but not until after she’d prattled on and on about being from Michigan, how much she needed a job she wouldn’t get laid off from, blah-blah-blah.  It appeared to be an effective blend of blabbing, begging and bowing she employed to appeal to him with.  I refused to follow her lead or lower myself to the same unprofessional standard and kept my mouth shut.

This per hour question was a tough one that I wasn’t prepared for.  My pat answer on compensation is always, "I know you’ll make me a fair offer".  It didn’t work here.  I thought about what she said, my desperate financial state (and age), and regretfully said "at least $14 an hour, I believe I have a lot to offer."

Then Mr. Universe went on to tell us that the 22-year old out at the front reception desk would be our supervisor/boss.  "She’s been here years and years…" he said.  Hmmmm.  “Since puberty”, I wondered? 

Then he asked on a scale from 1-10 where we stood with Excel.  She said "8", I said "7", and explained I am very comfortable working in it, but do not know all of the tricks.  Why oh why can’t I LIE???

He told us the next step was that this 22-year old supervisor/boss would be administering an Excel test that would last 1/2 hour.  After that there was one more interview to discuss terms, then a decision would be made. 

Finally he said, "If you don’t hear from us, we’re not interested.  Any questions?"


After this experience (tell me who wouldn’t be touched and inspired by it???) I spent yesterday in the doldrums pondering my existence, ruminating over the interview and analyzing how I’d handled it, eating and not exercising.  In fact, I never showered or got dressed.  I went in to do that – but as I looked at my increasingly jowly face, with my permanently etched worry crease between my brows, my baggy neck, I walked out of the bathroom and sat back down at the computer, took a few on-line Excel tests and thought dark thoughts. 

Not good, I know.  But hey, I’m only human. 

I really wonder, how do they expect us to keep working into our 70’s, when I can’t even get a job at my age?  How?  Ah well.  I’ve thrown it all out to the universe, and am as always, expecting great things.  This, apparently, was not one of them.




Know someone who could use a bit of inspiration?  How about this Succeed Night Light, from MaidenShade:


  • Here is Succeed, a night light that through positive words, edification, and inspiration, encourages and reminds us that like the little engine that could, "I KNOW I CAN!" What a great gift idea for oneself (I now have one in my bathroom), or ones friend who could use a bit of bolstering about now. Say, why not give the gift of light?
  • Colors: blue, white
  • Theme: Edification, Inspiration, Words, Written, Succeed, Nigh
    t Light, Gift, Encouragement
2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2010 11:09 am

    You made me laugh. HOWEVER, that does not diminish the indignity of the situation WHICH had NOTHING to do with YOUR professionalism. So, now that it is down on paper, can you laugh at the absurdity of that company?

    Take aways:

    1)If this woman is your competition at the temporary agencies, I think you have an excellent chance of being hired by them. Temp agencies have their reputation at stake and want to make sure they send in a professional person. Personally, IF I were in a city that had one, I would apply at a temp agency after reading this post.

    2)More than likely, I would have been out the door the second that dude showed up and most likely would have sniped something about how I take consulting with companies who have their life savings on the line and are willing to hire us (the company you applied to) to ensure their success very seriously. “I can tell by your tardiness and attire that you do NOT share that level of concern! Thank you very much for the opportunity.” Bye, buh bye, bye bye…

    3) Age discrimination is a reality and makes getting a position
    that much more difficult when you are in a new city. Possibly joining the Chamber of Commerce or a Christian women’s group or …all to increase your chances of forming relationships so you will be known (and recommendations will come your way). Again, temping is a good fill in until a personal contact helps.

    4) We know two people who should be embarrassed here and you are not in that group.

    Cute night light!!!

  2. Emily Sweeney permalink
    February 5, 2010 8:15 am

    He wants young things to think he is Mr It, you wouldn’t be happy stroking his ego or anything else.

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