Friday, December 02, 2005
I had my interview at Carter's place of employment on Thursday. I'm pretty certain that I convinced them of my ability to do the job, although they'd have liked for there to be more actual useful references. I suppose the bursting of the dot-com bubble works in my favor; a lot of the companies I remember working for as Martin are no longer in existence, either through going belly-up or being eaten by some other company, which by now have not merely swallowed them but digested them and either distributed the component pieces throughout the larger corporate body or expelled them as waste.
(Note to self: Gastroenterological metaphors are gross)
At any rate, my co-workers from a previous life are difficult to track down, so they had me building SQL, talking about my experience, asking what my dream job is and where I wanted to be in five years. I hate those question, because giving truly honest answers would sound just awful:
HR Person: So, Marti, if you could have any job in the world, what would that be? And don't worry if it's not the one you're interviewing for!
Me: I'd like to be the Red Sox' bullpen catcher.
HR: Excuse me?
Me: Bullpen catcher. You travel with the team, get to watch every game from the field, and even get a uniform, but you don't have to deal with the press or huge pressure. It's playing catch for money.
HR: Hrmmm... Okay. I have to say, there are times at the end of an eighteen hour day that something so relaxing seems pretty appealing, but, hey, I thrive on pressure, if you know what I mean.
Me: Not really.
HR: So, putting the fantasy stuff aside, where do you see yourself in five years?
Me: Taking a year off after having won The Amazing Race, working on my writing. I'd like to publish my memoirs, but getting them into readable shape will be a pain. Oh, but you said no fantasy.
Me: Well, honestly, with my life, I don't even know if I'll be a man or a woman in five years. I could go through two or three more of these switcheroo things and wind up a 16-year-old black male.
Me: Or, you know, I could have diversified my skills a little more, worked on some challenging projects and moved into a nicer apartment.
And don't think I wouldn't say that. I'm stupidly honest when asked such questions that are open to interpretation.
In this case, though, I went with "doing IT work for a biological research center, because I'd really like to be of some assistance solving medical mysteries" and "working on bigger, more challenging projects, probably still here, because once I find a job I want to stick with it. I'd much rather concentrate on the job I have than looking for work." Which is sincere enough.
I went for a bit of a different look on this interview than the last one. Nat actually suggested that I went about it in almost the opposite way as I should have last time, so this time I spent a little more than I probably should on a new pantsuit. It's a dark charcoal grey - almost black - with pinstripes, and looks sleek and professional, and looks good while sort of toning down the sex appeal a little. I actually got the jacket a little too large to de-emphasize the breasts a little. I put most of my "looking attractive" effort into above the neck, being careful with the make-up and breaking out the curlers in the first time in I don't know how long. I actually like that look; it's more effort than I want to put into my hair on a daily basis, but since my face is kind of plain, I think it adds a little interest.
I also went out and bought a couple pairs of magnetic earrings; I don't much like jewelry and I'm not getting myself puncture wounds just to look pretty (the ones Michelle had have long since sealed up), but they're expected and I guess I look a bit more confident in my femininity with something dangling from my ear lobes. Suckers came off as soon as the interview was over, though.
That seemed to work; the senior HR guy I talked to said Carter had mentioned some of my history and he'd talked with some people he knew to find out how credible it was, and he said he was amazed that such things were even possible, but he'd deliberately kept that back from the more technical people who were talking to me because my personal life wasn't any of their concern. The first guy had a couple times early on where he stopped and seemed to be trying to reconcile what he was seeing, but none of the other people seemed to think I was stiff or uncomfortable. Or at least, that's what they told Carter.
Hope it works out. This sitting at a front desk, answering phones and having people come in stare at my chest? Getting REALLY old.
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