Before I landed my current job a few years back, ending my 6 month long search for legitimate employment that didn’t involve working two dead end jobs in a local mall, I went on a series of terribly awkward and ridiculously uneventful job interviews. Most of them, not surprisingly, were relatively tame and boring and carried the same standard questions – “John, what do you believe your strongest qualities are?”, “Do you consider yourself to be a team player?”, “Mr. Black, have you been drinking?”, etc – but one interview in particular proved to be one of the funniest experiences of my life to date.
At the time, a friend of mine had been working in over-the-phone computer tech support for a company in Elmsford, NY and was pulling a pretty decent wage for a 20 year old guy who was still in school. He recommended that I send him a copy of my resume and he’d make sure it got into the hands of the right people. About two weeks later I got a voice mail from a company in Elmsford requesting an interview. Excited, and assuming it was the same company Bob was working for, I immediately called them back to set something up. Desperate to land a real gig and get out of my parents’ house, I got all dressed up in a suit and tie, put on my best bullshit face, and hopped in the car, eager to screw up yet another opportunity.
After getting lost on the way down (yes, I have the directional skills of a 72 year old blind man, with poor directional skills), I finally found the building and went inside, only to be greeted by about 10 or so other potential applicants, all of whom were between the ages of 17 and 25 and all of whom were simply wearing jeans and t-shirts. Banner start, John. Banner start.
Immediately embarrassed by how overdressed I was for this, my presence summoned the attention of one of the company’s staff members, who I was also better dressed than, who proceeded to walk straight up to me, shake my hand, break my tendons, pull my arms out of their sockets by force, and enthusiastically say, “Hey, dude! Are you here for the interview!?”
“Uh, yes. I’m John Black.” I sluggishly replied.
“Super! Asbolutely excellent to meet you John! I’m Pat!” he practically shouted back as he found me a seat and handed me the official application to be filled out and attached to my resume.
If there had ever been a need to find a poster boy for the douchebags of America, Pat would’ve been my nomination for the leading candidate, and would have my full support. Mind you, this was several years before the debut of “Jersey Shore” and the mass population of Ed Hardy clothing, so my opinion on that subject has since changed.
The simplest function of Pat’s job was to keep the potential applicants entertained as they waited and he provided them with mindless small talk in a “cool” and “hip” tone that could pass as what he viewed to be relatable to the teens and twenty-somethings they were expecting to respond to their calls, all the while masking the fact that he was actually an unimaginative and shallow 30-something moron who’d more than likely run his life into the ground and was using this job as his last resort to make money for his Bud Light and whore habit. As I filled out my application and listened to him strike up conversation, it became very evident to all of us in the room that Pat was extremely good at what he did, something that was overly apparent as he wove a complex tapestry of bullshit, an art he’d not only mastered, but had gotten a professional grant to pursue.
Pat informed me that there were so many of us because there were actually going to be two interviews. First, we’d individually go in and have a one-on-one interview and then, after the weak were pulled from the herd, three or four survivors would then stay to part take in a 90 minute group interview and demonstration of the company’s primary product.
I quickly thought to myself, “Wait, product? What product? I thought this was a computer tech support job.” This all sounded very strange to me and, in between trying to out-bullshit Pat, suddenly I began to realize that maybe this was not the same company that I had thought it was, but was in fact…
“John?” I heard, as a female voice interrupted my thought process. I quickly turned around to meet the voice and resp… holy shit!
Standing in the doorway, there stood one of the most perfect female specimens I’ve ever seen up close. This girl was stunning. She had the full package: absolutely gorgeous hazel eyes, full pouting lips, tan skin, a mini skirt that barely covered her athletic thighs that rested just below her low cut blouse that was just barely containing her D cup bust and, being that she appeared to be in her early 20’s, gravity had not yet become her enemy.
“Yuh… Hi… I’m John.” I stuttered in reply as I stood up, and shook her hand.
“Hi, I’m Gianna. Thanks for coming! I’d like to bring you in for your one-on-one now.” she said as she giggled, oblivious to the fact that I had just been caught off guard.
I went into her office as she closed the door behind me and instructed me to take a seat, and the only thing I could think about was how much I wanted to have hers.
Now, keep in mind, below any shred of confidence I may present as a human being, I am one of the most socially awkward people I know, and was especially so at age 20. When I get overly embarrassed, my face turns the shade of an apple and my sweat glands open up like niagra falls. So, needless to say, by this point, my face was beginning to get red and I was starting to break a sweat.
As Gianna sat down to review my resume and application, she took off the jacket she was wearing, leaving only her incredibly low cut blouse and leaned over the desk to read. I did everything in my power at this point to look at her eyes and not end up pitching a tent. I must’ve thought about more baseball in the 10 minutes I spent in that office than I have in my entire life.
The next part got a little weird. When we started to talk, she actually seemed to be flirting with me! I couldn’t believe it. Between everything the two of us would say, she’d giggle at me, over-emphasize her “m’s” which I found to be so sexy, and at one point I even thought I caught her looking at my crotch. I had to continually stop myself and say, “Brain, stop fooling yourself. This girl is far out of your league. You don’t have that kind of game. You are not that suave. Abort.”
I continued to try and remain as professional and calm as possible, answering all of her questions to the best of my ability, peppering every response with the corny and horribly bad humor that I seem to have trademarked up to this point. Yet still, every single time I say something, she giggles and seems to be flirty. At this point, I’m confused, but I’m also terrified because this is not someone who I’m able to act on flirtation with, especially if I’m in desperate need of a job.
It was around this time that she informed me that I was actually sitting in the office of a company that hires people to sell knives door to door. This was not the company I thought it was at all. Distracted, I wondered for a second how the hell these people had gotten my phone number, but didn’t care, because I was currently entranced by the situation.
At some point during the conversation, guy logic kicked in and my brain decided, “Fuck it. You’re not going to take a job as a door-to-door salesman. You might as well milk this for all it’s worth, get this girl’s number, and maybe something will come of it.” So, rather than cut her off and politely say I wasn’t interested, I decided to let her talk me into staying for the 90-minute group interview. What the hell was I doing? I didn’t want to do this at all. I mean, knives? Really?
The one-on-one “interview” concluded by her saying, “Well, congratulations! Let’s go out there and meet some of your potential new crew!”
As we got up to walk toward the door, she stopped me before opening it and got kind of awkward for a moment and looked at me. She then proceeded to utter the most horrifying words a guy can hear: “Oh, um… there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you. I didn’t want to say anything in front of everyone before, but um… Your fly is open.”
Shit. That was it. That was why she kept giggling, that was why she kept looking at my crotch and that’s why she kept doing whatever my dumb ass interpreted as flirting. Guy logic, damn you!
Normally, that would be enough embarrassment and blow to my ego for one solid week, but what happened next couldn’t have been more perfectly timed, and it was due to the very comical placement of several different factors…
Now remember, I get red and sweaty easily when I feel humiliated, so at this point you should realize that any shred of confidence I had was immediately tossed away and I was quickly becoming more red and sweaty than Rob Reiner trying to walk a flight of steps.
Just before she decided to open the door, Gianna sneazed. It was a pretty rough sneeze and it caused her to tear up a bit. Naturally, this prompted her to grab a tissue. At this point, she opened the door, and neither of us really could’ve predicted how it looked.
As the door opened, I immediately locked eyes with the teenager sitting directly across from it who saw me zip up my fly as we both came into his view, who then proceeded to look at Gianna wiping off her face with a tissue, and then looked back at me, saw how red and sweaty I was, jumped up and screamed, “OH! DUDE! YOU GOT THE JOB! YOU GOT THE JOB! OH MY GOD! YOU ARE THE MAN! CAN I HAVE MY INTERVIEW NEXT!?”
In retrospect, it looked really bad, as did the nervous explaination from the both of us to the rest of the people sitting out in the lobby that she was not, in fact, just doing what it looked like.
Needless to say, I didn’t stay for the 90 minute group interview. I also didn’t get Gianna’s number, or the hour and a half of my life that this process took back.