Going into that last interview, I felt like I was on my way to the guillotine. Quite frankly, it had less to do with the possibility of me losing the job offer and more with the idea of facing The HR Man again. I’m no expert in reading people’s thoughts but I can more or less sense if a person likes me or not – and my senses were screaming that this man was not at all amused by my subdued sparkly personality. I wasn’t even praying for the job anymore, I was praying for my dignity – that I won’t be ripped to bits and pieces.
Now would be a good time to point out that this man is gay. Before I go further though, let me just say that I have no problem whatsoever with gays. I have a couple of gay friends and I think they’re wonderful people. The HR Man is probably a wonderful person too. It’s just that he terrifies me. He reminds me so much of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada – which, for the record, is what my sisters say will be my life story with this whole experience (if it isn’t obvious enough, I’m Anne Hathaway, not Meryl Streep). But really, how can anyone not feel the least bit intimidated when you’re face to face with the gay version of Meryl Streep?
Anyway, The Interview. It already sounds terrifying, doesn’t it? A lot of things were said. I’m not sure if most of the comments could be considered bad because, personally, they weren’t. It’s common for people to remember the bad in a situation more than the good. I remember the awkward ones the most, and The Interview had more awkward moments than anything else – like my very painstakingly thought out attempt at lightening the mood with a witty remark… which ended with him staring at me as if thinking, “You are one sad, sad creature.”
The most significant moment of the interview, however, was when he said he had two major concerns about me.
- “You’re too sheltered.” I could understand where he was coming from with this one. I’ve accepted the fact that there’s something about how I act or talk when I meet people for the first time, especially the ones who terrify me, that just gives them the impression that I’m a quiet lost girl with no friends and no life and no future. And knowing that I was raised in a strong Christian household would understandably make him think that I’m overprotected and inexperienced with “life” (because he actually told me to “go live life and go wild and crazy in Bangkok”). Overprotected? Yeah, maybe. Not denying that. Inexperienced with “life”? Well, if you define life as going out to parties on a daily basis, getting drunk/high/laid every now and then, and basically doing anything and everything that a lot of young people nowadays brag about to their friends but hide from their parents, then I am definitely inexperienced, and proud of it. I’m also unsure how that’s a bad thing.
- “If I look at you and how you dress, and I get bored, what more can I expect from your work?” When I heard him say this, I seriously couldn’t stop myself from smiling. I mean, I was very much aware that it was an insult and that being told up front that he was bored with me simply because of how I dressed was a really bad sign – BUT I genuinely found that comment so hilarious because I’ve been teased about how I dress by my sisters, friends and even my ex-boyfriend. They said I sometimes dress like a pregnant lady because I like loose tops and bootleg jeans. I’m obviously not the type of girl who loves shopping and fashion, so I don’t dress as fashionably as other girls do. To be honest, I actually thought I looked pretty good in my mint green loose (not pregnant loose) blouse tucked in my flared jeans and nude heels. I even made the extra effort to wear accessories. I felt more fashionable than comfortable, that’s for certain. It makes me wonder what outfit I should have worn that would be deemed pleasing to him – evening gown, maybe? But it’s still amusing to hear someone criticize my sense of fashion… or lack thereof apparently, which really doesn’t bother me at all because I do prioritize feeling comfortable with what I’m wearing than looking like I’m always dressed to please somebody.
I know hearing these thing should have shook my already barely there confidence, but it kind of did the opposite. With the first one, I found his comment more interesting than anything else and the second one just really made me laugh inside. I came to this interview feeling awfully nervous because I was afraid he’d say I wasn’t good enough. It turned out to be that his reservations were personal aspects of me – aspects that I happen to like about myself – rather than my writing capabilities. That’s when I felt that if ever I didn’t land this job, it wouldn’t hurt me as much as it would before going to this interview.
But it turns out I wouldn’t hurt at all because he ended The Interview by telling me that his gut feeling was saying that I have potential and that, should I accept the position, he looks forward to what I can offer the Agency. So here I am, two weeks in the job and feeling pretty good about myself and my work.
I end this crazy long story of how I got the job by saying two things:
- It doesn’t hurt to pray. This doesn’t just apply to finding jobs, and this isn’t just exclusive for Christians only. If you believe in God, then prayer should be a vital part of your life. Trust me, it helps. And if you don’t believe in God, then what have you got to lose by doing it? If nothing happens, then nothing happens and you can go on feeling right about your belief. If something happens, then it’s up to you to choose what to make of it. It’s a win-win situation, really.
- Never compromise the characteristics that make you you, especially the ones that make you a good person. But at the same time, respect the fact that not everybody will be completely pleased with that. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be open to the idea of change. What I’m saying is if we’re going to change, let’s make sure we’re changing for the better and not for people’s approval. These people only get to be with us for a certain amount of time, we’re going to have to live with ourselves for the rest of our lives. And that would be impossible to do if we don’t like ourselves.