Surreal Job Interview
Like many americans, I am looking for a job. To be honest, a paid internship would also pretty much rock my world, 'cause even if the pay is kind of crappy, at least you are garnering experience and more stuff to put on the resume.
So I responded to a posting on Craigslist for a gig at a children's theater. Very VERY small - only about 9 hours worth of work - and very VERY small pay - only about $50. But having 'experience with kids theater' on the resume would look good, an there's always the whole making-new-contacts angle, so sure, I applied. Got a call back, can I come in for an interview? Sure, I said, and hung up slightly puzzled. Really, I was going to have to interview for a 9 hour, $50 gig? But nevertheless, I went.
I arrived at the address that had been given to me. My heart sank a little. Because 'children's theater' had just become 'local daycare'. Dammit. That was NOT what had been exactly advertised in the CL posting, although I GUESS you could interpret it that way. But I had hope.
Maybe this was her day job. Maybe the theater was off-site and we were just meeting here.
I came inside, and while waiting for the other applicant to finish, I walked around looking at finger paint art and sleeping mats. Then I was invited to come on up and have a seat. I looked down at the chair and table built for someone 30 years younger than me and barely suppressed a snort. I folded awkwardly down.
The woman interviewing me was probably 10 years younger than me. Braids with daisies at the tips poked out from beneath a 1970's macrame beret. "Did you bring your resume and references?" she asked me.
Immediately I was on the defensive, because of course I hadn't. And then even I - who admittedly is prone to feeling guilty about everything - realized this was kind of ridiculous. Resume and references?! For 9 hours and 50 bucks? For a gig that was going to be slapping costumes on preschoolers?! Sorry, Pippi Longstocking, but no.
But I was able to show her my portfolio, which was fine, and we talked (plus she *did* have my resume in her email inbox, which she hadn't bothered to print out.) Eventually I kind of bluntly asked her to tell me more about the job, as I was getting the feeling that this was nothing like I was expecting. And it wasn't. Basically it was the school's end of session program for the parents of the 4-5 year old's held there at the school. And that's it. It all sounded very cute, I will admit, and part of me was still kind of willing to do it, because a) preschoolers are pretty fucking cute, b) for looking like a kid herself, the woman was very into what she was doing and it was kind of addictive, and c) hey, $50 is still $50. That's at least...two family dinners I wouldn't have to cook at home.
But then we got down to one last teeeensy detail. The 9 hours didn't include making the 15 costumes they needed. Nor the shopping for the materials. I did the quick math, and suddenly there was at least, say, an extra 15 hours tacked on. 25 hours. $50.
I sat there in my midget chair, with my knees up by my ears, holding my ridiculously expensive leather portfolio, crazy overdressed and wearing makeup, and I realized, you know, this is not the job for me. Hell, even my inner id looked up at me and said, she's fucking kidding, right? So I closed up the portfolio, politely shook hands, and headed out. I passed the next applicant on the way and I tried to channel "Its not what you think! Turn around and just leave!", but I don't think he heard me.
I'm not sure there has ever been a point in my life where I have desperately hoped NOT to get a job. But I guess there's a first time for everything. Best part is, eight people applied for this job. EIGHT! Just more proof of how crappy the job market really is right now...