Wednesday, February 08, 2006

refeducation

The first three days of this week:

Day 1) Job interview. Sit across from very nice young woman, roughly my age, who looks me over and seems to approve. We bond about the importance of your office being "a good fit." (Perhaps she too was "let go" right before the pre-Christmas office party while carrying a huge black garbage bag in each hand.) We chat some more, and we are nicely situated on the same wavelength.

Then she drops the bomb: salary $20K/year. I fantasize about all the things I'd like to do with $20K/year and I realize the most important thing I'd like to do with it is PUT IT IN THE BANK while I live on the other $10K/year that I earn. Sheesh!

With as much dignity as I can muster, I get to my feet and say, "If you wanted to insult me, why didn't you just draw a cartoon of Anne Frank in bed with Hitler?"


Day 2) Job interview. Sit across from a very nice young woman, roughly my age, who approves eagerly of everything. We bond over movies, particularly Junebug. Again, we seem to be sharing space on the same wavelength.

Then a mouse runs across the floor in front of us. "Oh, a mouse," I say. "Oh, yeah!" she says, looking embarrassed. "He sort of lives here. I don't mind him so much." We debate climbing onto chairs to shriek and hop from one foot to the other and decide we don't have the energy.


Day 3) Reemployment Orientation. Sit in a crowded room the color of mucus. I am the only white girl present, and one of only 3 girls total, but everyone is too depressed by unemployment and the mucus-colored room to stare. The Labor employee who leads our session is being punished by the fashion gods for unknown reasons.

One by one, the Labor employee calls us to his desk and gives us a packet of paper, repeating the instructions to everyone and then telling us to sit back down and fill out a form. Then he takes us on a tour of a computer lab and brings us back to the mucus-colored room, where he shows us what he calls "a movie" and which is actually an elementary power point presentation projected onto a mucus-colored wall and accompanied by a recording that reads aloud every word we see.

Then, one by one, the Labor employee calls us back to his desk, takes our completed form and hands us a slip of paper. We take this slip of paper back to the computer lab, hand it to another employee and sign his register, and we are free to go. The process takes just over two hours.

Nobody makes a single Holocaust joke. I feel betrayed.

3 comments:

Nate said...

Well that was anticlimactic.
But still funny. I guess.

**hands in pockets. kicks can with toe**

sarah said...

don't knock $20K a year! IT CAN BE DONE. in fact i just did it. although you are in new york. wheeee.

Anonymous said...

i think we should compile stories about interviewers-- my favorite was last week, when this thirtysomething lawyer informed me that she thought a new type of feminism was going to emerge in the next 10 years, and it would be based on women breaking through the glass ceiling. she then asked me to comment.

in crosscoastal job-search solidarity,
s.kelly