my 3 o'clock was peculiar and i can only relate it to you in the following scenario.
(Shaking hands rather limply)
Have a seat.
It's a pleasure to meet you, thanks for taking the time.
(Turns to his computer, works on the design of his business card)
What the hell is going on with this font?
Interviewer proceeds to damn his computer and Mircrosoft Word as he can't find the right design template or get his spacing just right on the outlay. He then proceeds to email said design to several coworkers, in silence.
During this time I tried to help, making little suggestions here and there. I basically spoke up only after several moments of wondering if this complete dismissal of my presence in his quite small office was hostile or nonchalant. Was this a test? Is his assistant suppossed to take the initiative and offer computer advice or am I to sit there quietly and test my patience and endurance for awkward social situations? If there's one thing I know it's awkward social graces, so I stayed quiet with only intermittent offerings of color and border advice. It was a good 20 minutes of this before he turned to me and the interview began in earnest. We spoke of the evolving job description, and it would basically be a liason position among the different departments at the company. Nothing glamorous nor bold, but then i've never been either of those. He was constantly distracted by incoming emails and employees asking for his signature. A small gnat had found its way into the office and chose to spend 30 minutes of it's short lifetime buzzing in my face, which made me all the more attractive with my constant light blowing of air and subtely waving my hand in front of my head.
The subject of news viability on television and media in general was broached, and the interviewer proceeded to lambast the very industry in which he has worked for 20 years; he denounced journalism in general; noted I have no experience in news or media per se; called NPR a "bunch of communists;" and took the last ten minutes of our time to show me what he'd been working on for the online promotion of his network, which for technical and karmic reasons beyond my comprehension took forever to upload and display; and we seemed to have come full circle with our awkwardness, just waiting there in silence. his legs and left hand shook the entire time, leading me to ponder about his medical condition, and if i should ask him about his obvious palsey. i stood up and offered and thank-you, he showed me to the stairs and thanked me for time as well. i left him and wondered if he could recall my name if i asked him, or if he even remembered what position i was interviewing for in the first place.
my 4 o'clock was by all measures a better interview, on both parts. the interviewer looked to be a Kennedy descendant, with admirable hair and skin tone. it was obvious to me that i was out of my league when, having been seated on one of his leather couches, my mouth went dry and fumbled for proper diction and clarity of voice. he was ever so polite and made me feel better about the interview process as a whole and i left wondering what life could be like at Court TV.
Tuesday I had yet another interview at an advertising firm. they are looking for proofreaders for all the copy they handle, and this was the mother of all interviews. the interviewer made me feel at ease, we talked earnestly and thoroughly about writing and work, the city and the industry. i took a proofing test and she was impressed, and since there is plenty of room for growth there, this is the job i am hoping will come through.
i am also waiting to hear from a major cell phone company about a newly created position in their newly created editorial department. i also have an interview on monday with Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, as a student advisor. this job would entail lots of fun things, none of them in the scope of my career as space cowboy. so with all these things on my plate and really great feelings about the aforementioned interviews/jobs, it behooved me to actually TURN DOWN a job offer as a proofreader for WebMD. the pay was livable, but not as much as these other jobs, and i would have had to start Wednesday...which for a myriad of reasons didn't work. one reason: i didn't want to start a job only to have to quit it after a week, should i get accepted as a proofer elsewhere. another reason: i am attending the wedding of one Bryan O'Connor this Friday, and leaving Thursday for it, in Massachusettes.
A funny thing about this wedding weekend extravaganza, i had planned to stay away from New York for an obviously extended weekend cavorting with various friends. but then i got the following email...
Dear Mr. McDowell:
We attempted to contact you by phone, but the number we have listed for you is incorrect (917.583.2680). We have you listed as our first alternate for the April 29 taping of the BBC Book Club with Kurt Vonnegut. One of our confirmed participants has canceled and we would like to offer you the chance to attend the taping, details are below:
BBC’s World Book Club with Kurt Vonnegut on Saturday, April 29, 2006.
World Book Club Taping with Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughterhouse 5
Your hosts: Leonard Lopate and the BBC’s Harriet Gilbert
Location: WNYC New York Public Radio
1 Centre Street, 25th Fl. (directions and building security information are below)
You should arrive at: 4:00 p.m.
Taping begins: approximately 4:30 p.m.
You must arrive with a question in mind about Slaughterhouse 5 for author Kurt Vonnegut
If you can attend this taping, please reply to this email no later than 4pm on Wednesday, April 26. If we do not hear from you by then, we will have to offer the reservation to another listener.
Thanks for listening to WNYC Radio.
WNYC Listener ServicesNeedless to say, as Vonnegut has been my hero for sometime now, i immediately answered in the affirmative. this means, though, that saturday morning i'll have to high-tail it back to New York instead of hanging with friends. but it's more or less a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and if i didn't go, i'd just die.
so it goes.