Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Another Day, Another Interview


bottle tree
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
I had another job interview today. This one is notable for the fact that it is actually for a job that I really want, as opposed to an interview for a job that I don't really want but think would possibly be bearable oh god. And by bearable I mean perhaps I could stand it for six months before starting to think about Dorothy Parker couplets involving pills and razor blades. So this is a rarity and it meant a lot to me. And even after the interview I still want the job, which is even more of a rarity.

It is damn lucky that I even made it to this interview, because as of yesterday I was still in the throes of believing that it was happening Thursday, which is to say, tomorrow. I was so convinced that it was happening on Thursday, actually, that I ignored all evidence to the contrary, including the correct date written on the kitchen calendar, the email with the correct date in the subject line and my own memory of the phone conversation setting the interview date and time. I was so convinced of this that I went ahead and scheduled a hair appointment for today at noon so that I would look excellent and professional for the interview tomorrow. This was a serious hair appointment at a real salon, too, not just my usual haphazard wander, hoping for the best, into the salon where it is cheap and they give away free beer . That strategy sometimes works - and sometimes it does not. Yeah, and like the little girl with the little curl, when it is bad it is horrid.

The reason I was so convinced was that I knew it was going to happen on my old friend Ray's birthday. As it turns out, yes, it did: today is his birthday and we can all wish him a happy birthday and point out that after his two months of being two years younger than me he is again now only one year younger than me, so there. How I managed to convince myself that August 4 was on a Thursday, I don't know, but I did it and if Ray had not called me yesterday to taunt me with his youth I probably would have been sitting in a hairdresser's chair this afternoon instead of in the throes of academia talking seriously to a search committee. This would have been bad.

Men, I suspect, can go off to interviews without much preparation. They put on a suit - their good suit, the interview suit that they bought in 1988 that still is in fashion and still fits and maybe pay $20 to get a trim (or, for my peer group, a head wax - I kid because I love) and then there they are, ready to interview. It is maddening. For those of us with the double x chromosomes, it is different. I had to go shopping - three hours at the Dillard's clearance center, oh lord - and buy interview clothes and then make an expensive hair appointment . I had to plan, actually, to spend my entire weekly unemployment stipend on a chance to get a job. Oh well. LIfe is unfair and gender inequities are beyond the scope of this blog. Besides, it is rough to be a guy. I would not trade even for the twenty year old suit and the ability to write my name in the snow. And now I have a couple of pairs of interview pants - neither of which, naturally, I wore today. Although I did wear the shell and jacket.

However. After straightening my calendar out and canceling the hair appointment and indulging in the obligatory freak out, I decided that something had to be done about my hair anyway. Therefore, I talked my daughter into accompanying me to Sally Beauty Supply, a comforting shop of which I am fond. They have styrofoam heads there for $4.99, after all, and black rubber gloves and mysterious hair products and the whole place smells nicely of aesthetic chemicals. Audrey and I debated colors and finally settled on one that we thought might be too edgy but was not insanely boring and yet was close enough to what remained of my last color job so that it would not require complete bleaching of my much abused follicles first. We got the developer - at Sally Beauty you do not get the convenient little box like you do at the drugstore; oh no, you have to buy each bit separate and they assume that you know what you are doing - and the gloves and a couple teeny bottles of nail polish just because and then I came on home to do my hair.

It is not really a good idea to dye your hair a complete new color with a brand new product the night before a job interview.

Particularly when the color your hair turns is purple.

I woke up this morning and went to the mirror and LO! I was rocking me some purple hair. Now, I love purple hair. I often have purple hair. Purple hair is the shizz and it is most excellent and rather becoming if I do say so myself but it is not, perchance, exactly appropriate for interviews unless it is 1989 and you are applying to work at CBGBs or an extremely poor yet intellectual gallery on the Lower East Side. You can get away with purple hair on the job after you've worked somewhere for six months or more, usually, but at an interview? It is kind of the kiss of death. I hied myself back to the shower and shampooed it vigorously and while this did eliminate the fuchsia scalp side effect - unsettling at the part! - it only muted the hair a little bit.

Oh well. When there is nothing you can do there is nothing you can do. I put my purple hair in a ponytail and I put on my Dillard's clearance conservative, classy yet slightly edgy shell and swingy jacket and my favorite striped linen pants for luck and I went off and, oh man, I hope, I dream, I think that I may have aced the hell out of that interview. Purple hair and all.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jesus, woman. Why don't you write for the Times. You're the funniest thing since Adam mistook an apple for nutrition.

Anonymous said...

I think you oghta write for the New Yorker and wake that mag up..

David said...

So, when will you know?

mygothlaundry said...

I'll know next week sometime I hope. Thanks, anonymous! If the Times and/or the New Yorker calls, I will be more than happy to do what I can for them in their hour of need. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Git off your ass and send some of your best material around. No-one's comin' begging.

jaltcoh said...

Men, I suspect, can go off to interviews without much preparation. They put on a suit - their good suit, the interview suit that they bought in 1988 that still is in fashion and still fits and maybe pay $20 to get a trim (or, for my peer group, a head wax - I kid because I love) and then there they are, ready to interview. It is maddening. For those of us with the double x chromosomes, it is different. I had to go shopping - three hours at the Dillard's clearance center, oh lord - and buy interview clothes and then make an expensive hair appointment . I had to plan, actually, to spend my entire weekly unemployment stipend on a chance to get a job. Oh well. Life is unfair...

I'm not seeing it. As a man, I spend money all the time on clothing, cleaning, and accessories for interviews. I'm constantly trying to find a better tie, just the right suit, etc. Men might have to do more dry cleaning than women, and that adds up fast. And the amount of preparation time? I doubt I have to spend any less time than you do. Oh, I'm sure there are some things you have to spend longer on, but there are some things I have to spend longer on (just shaving my face alone is an ordeal on multiple levels). Men and women alike are required to look good and professional for a job interview.

Observations about gender inequity are so often not based on any actual evidence. It's like how everyone thinks they always get stuck in the long traffic lane or the long line at the supermarket. Everyone's more focused on their own struggle, so they think they have it harder. In actuality, everyone has their struggles, and these things tend to even out.

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