Here I am, quietly home alone. OK, not so quiet, considering the Rolling Stones are playing. And, I haven’t quite nailed Virginia Wolff’s:
A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
The last few weeks of my employment have brought me closer to the employment of others, or their aspirations thereof. Yeah, less pretentiously, I’ve been interviewing eager hopefuls for a job. Not all that eager in truth. Here are some minimum requirements to keep the conversation not the potentially fruitful side:
- Know the name of the company that is on the phone or inside of which you sit
- Know the name of the department, as above
- Have some kind of vague notion of what it is we do and, therefore, what might be asked of you
- Don’t make me cry with boredom.
The last one is actually much simpler than you might think, even if I am a bitch. I love stories. I love imagining myself in other shoes. I love picking up tidbits of humanity as I chug along.
I only pretend to hate people. But I just might be the one who smiles at you and shares conspiratorial chatter in a long grocery line or unruly crowd.
In a job interview, I really, really, really want to like you. I’m incentivized out the ass — there’re piles of work of both the shit and not shit variety that I’m meant to be covering, because we haven’t met you yet. I already have a full-time job, so doing yours alongside my own is just the reason I want to hug you and squeeze you and bask in the salvation and glory that your hire will be.
I need you for my very sanity.
It’s a pretty minimal bargain this boredom thing. A low bar, in fact.
But, I’m not going to write about my experiences. The universe knows that the gods of Google have not always smiled warmly upon my face and shoulders, so I will leave the above as guidelines only. As they say in movie land, any resemblance to real people and real anything really is coincidental. My thoughts from my head.
However, I will mention an experience told to me. In comparing notes with another person doing an entirely different job search, she mentioned a phrase that has stuck with me for weeks.
In response to the worn, tattered, clichéd intro question “why are you looking to leave your current position?” the person’s response was just the kind of philosophical conundrum that rolls inside my echoing skull for hours of navel-contemplation fun. The reply about her current gig, and despite the quotes, I wasn’t there, so I’m either paraphrasing or making it up:
It’s OK, but some days it’s like it’s just an insult to my intelligence.
Let’s leave aside that this statement was uttered in a job interview. While I tend to do well enough I suppose in a conference room full of interrogators (well enough to get jobs, it would seem), I’ve said enough monumentally stupid things in the workplace to not feel like casting the obvious stone.
Instead, what’s killing me, the riddle I can’t fucking solve or information I ain’t parsing — What the fuck really is an insult to one’s intelligence?
OK, OK, reader thus far, there is my prose. I’ll give you that. Although, it’s less of an insult to your intelligence and more a cry that you could have done so much better with your synapses and your time than to have read this far.
Earlier today, I put spoons and knives and toast plates and coffee mugs into the dishwasher. It did not challenge me. The thoughts inside my head were dull and plodding not glimmering and profound. Was filling the dishwasher an “insult to my intelligence.”
At work some days I tick little boxes. I collate. I answer phones. I do things for other people that I don’t feel like doing for myself. I remember things like telling my boss that we should have cookies for a festive little reason. I buy plane tickets. I cancel plane tickets. I spent ungodly amounts of time in Outlook calendar moving squares around in infinite patterns.
Some days I ab-so-fucking-lute-ly hate it. I have to remind myself that the first world joy of office work is M&Ms and sodas, mini-cupcakes and the internet. Dear, sweet, timewastingly infinite internet.
And, there are assholes. Insulted I have been. But my intelligence, she is still there even when the assholes try to shake my convictions.
So, if you got this far, do me a favor. Give me an example of what might in the glare of fluorescent lighting and computer screens be an actual insult to your intelligence.
I cannot rest until I know.