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Desperation possessed me-for four months after graduation from university- I will still unemployed. Unbeknownst to me though, there was nothing wrong with my situation and it was perfectly normal, for there were many graduates and young people facing the same tortuous crisis. The woes of the recession and the bumbling ineptitude of our prime minister had left us destitute- struggling to survive in a world where the accent was placed solely on experience to the exclusion of everything else, even intuitiveness.
So it was grudgingly out of desperation, I went to my fourth interview of the year, dressed in a suit and tie looking relatively presentable. But beneath this professional exterior, held the pains and anguish of many rejections and failures; not only in terms of my undergraduate degree, but in the working world. And this being a telesales role, that didn’t require a modicum of intelligence to do, I wasn’t expecting much.
It was supposed to be an assessment day tailored for twelve people, but only two had shown up. In about thirty minutes of arriving there, I was about to discover why. Out into the foyer popped a spider-like woman, of reasonably tall height that wasn’t diminished by her bent posture. Yes she had a moderate hunchback. And with very gaunt features and hollow cheeks that framed the round eyes, she looked positively malnourished.
Her ill exterior didn’t affect her bitchiness for a fleeting smirk that she gave me in the foyer instantly made me realise that I couldn’t stand the woman. Although I wasn’t consciously aware of it at the time; momentary realism was sapped by my fervent desire to get back into work. I handed her my ID and forms to which she snatched out of my hands to go and photocopy them. She returned and sat down to ask me and the other participant a string of questions. She seemed more interested in him than me and with good reason to. He had more than thirty years experience, to which I obviously paled in comparison to.
She took the notes down but pulled an annoying face when I said I needed extra time with the tests because of my disability. She smirked relentlessly throughout the interview much to my disgust and distaste at her unsubtle and unwarranted dislike off me. After giving me a final form, she mentioned with a hint of laughter in her eyes that ‘If you unsuccessful we will destroy the forms’. She placed her intolerable enunciation on ‘unsuccessful’ part.
Later during the wretched day, she called me in for a role play with another colleague. Here her face became a permanent expression of Heath Ledger as the Joker as she found my difficulty in performing the exercise a hoot. She screamed out ‘He looks terrified…aww bless’. Presumably this was a joke to make me feel more at ease with her but it came across as fake as her nails that she would probably use in the climax of the interview to claw my eyes out.
For when I left the room I heard her scream to her colleague, ‘Do you honestly want to take him on?’ Evidently she had wanted me to hear her little outburst- why scream it the moment before I closed the glass door? – And no doubt get great satisfaction out of it to. It was clear at the exaggerated smug look that she gave me on return to the room. If there was anything positive in her behaviour it illuminated her gaunt features.
She was almost as luminescent as Emma Stone only without the warmth or perfect figure..
I shook her hand and left the interview room politely mustering whatever dignity I had left in me. A few hours later I got the expected rejection email and thus I succumbed to the dire truth, that I had indeed hit rock bottom.
In hindsight, I realised that I should have ignored the childish pretensions of a deluded middle-aged women. Her insatiable appetite for sadism was by no means the correct attitude for life and it showed in where she was now. She was indeed an unintelligent, mess of a middle-aged spread in a job that didn’t lend her any entertainment; to the extent that she had to humiliate the weak and unfortunate. I wish I had the courage to stand up to her but like most of these situations in my life, it’s all too little too late.
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