|So there I was, sulking about Santa Cruz California. Lambasting anyone and everyone I met about what a hellhole the place was and how horrible it was working for some crappy retail chain as a wageslave. I had had about all I could take of servicing customers. Critical Mass was reached. So I gathered my meager resources of self-respect, wrote a shriveled little resume, and started spamming the local places of employ.|
This was not exactly an endeavor I persisted at. I'm one of those people that'll complain about everything no matter how great I have it. So not having a decent place of work gave me that much more ammunition as a disenchanted youth of america. Eventually despite my best efforts I was granted an interview by the kind souls working in the Registrar's Office at UC- Santa Cruz. "Great!" said everyone I knew. But the surface of the problem had barely been scratched at this point. An interview was not something I was mentally prepared to face under the best of circumstances. A formal demonstration of my lack of poise, a judged forum for my fumbling dialog, oh the horrors!
Somehow I gathered the courage to put a tie on in a more than half-assed fashion and dragged my battered self-esteem up the hill to the campus. I wasn't exactly nervous in the minutes before the ordeal. It was more of a low-level dread hovering just below conscious thought. My state of mind was not helped any by the fact that my addled brain had misunderstood the directions to the exact office I was to report to. "Across from the vending machines" was all I remembered. It was all I COULD remember by the time I got in the building. And so like a good soldier I followed my orders to the best of my ability. I found the nearest vending machines and planted myself directly across from them. The ominous corporate logos of half-a-dozen beverage and candy companies staring down at me.
At this point it should help the reader to note that even in the best of conditions I am not a striking figure. I do not impose by any stretch of the imagination. Making impressions is not my strong suit. And so there I was left, 21 years old, fully grown and left the nest, standing in what amounts to the principal's office of a college campus, meekly resisting the strain of the fluorescent lighting. People passed me up and down the hall, barely registering the fact that the guy standing in front of the coke machine had been there about 10 minutes now. I'd make a great suicide bomber. I could just wander through the enemy command bunker, no one would notice.
The tension built up inside me as each second ticked by. Several people who looked as though they were likely candidates to judge my candidacy moved through my general area during this interminably long period. Little did I know that one of them would later betray me in a soulless manner, crushing the one bright spot in my life on the west coast. (pssst! Foreshadowing!)
As I slowly passed the time trying to keep the nightmares of spelling bees past out of my over-stressed mind I grew dimly aware of muttering noises from a door about a yard to my left. One small spark in the back of my head went off, should I knock on that door? Could that be the door I'm looking for? The urge to remain anonymous runs strong in my blood and I resisted this foolish idea. I was torn between the knowledge that initiative and standing out in the crowd are GOOD things in an interview environment, and the long-standing habits of a life dedicated to avoiding the notice of authority.
I was rudely torn from this titanic struggle by a head suddenly impinged on my field of vision. A grinning Death's Head. Beckoning me to my doom. The Head seemed to be saying something. I couldn't quite make it out during the split second of terror I experienced before the Head resolved itself as the head of a young woman. "Are you here for the interview?" the woman was saying. It was not asked unpleasantly, the woman seemed kind enough outwardly. I decided to take a chance. "Yes." I said, or something to that effect. She explained that the interview was to take place in the room she had emerged from, just to my left, and asked if I had been waiting long. I made some sheepish attempt to explain myself and was quickly entangled in a short conversation.
The brief skirmish ended with me at a table in a nearby room that was labeled as LOUNGE but was only marginally capable of living up to it's title. A problem I feared I would very soon share. In front of me on the table was a packet of documents. These ranged from the type of things that are normally thrown at interviewees like rice at a wedding, job descriptions and short surveys, to an altogether dreadful tome. A TEST! They were going to test me! I knew this was coming. I had been briefed well beforehand, but it didn't begin to mount on my already thread-thin nerves until the moment was at hand. I was given an allotment of time to look over everything and then even worse tortures would no doubt be devised for my suffering.
Last modified 04/16/98
So obviously I did one too many of my "special" wheelies on my big wheel as a kid and all those cracks in my noggin are starting to get to me. I've completely forgotten where I was going with this story. I have not forgotten the experience however. Nor have I recovered from the pain and suffering that the woman who tested me, the administrator of my painful trials, my onetime overseer and captain of one small part of my life's destiny, caused me when she GOT MARRIED AND DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO INVITE ME. How could I have been so blind?! She only wanted to borrow books and disease stories.... I guess I should've seen it coming. It's just another sign of the slow decline of western civilization. I wish her luck anyway. Maybe I'll make friends with her twin in South Dakota and go to HER wedding. Damn. I have to go slide slowly into a life of depression and eventual alcoholism that will end tragically with a pauper's grave...