Wednesday, December 2, 2009

In Which Our Anti-Heroine Gets Douched By The Corporate System

You'll have to forgive me for flaking. No, seriously, you have to. Because between the holidays and passing my resume around like it was a Green party pamphlet, I haven't had time for redeeming myself. Or crafting half-decent apologies, for that matter. Mea culpa, punks.

Last week I interviewed for a job testing video games. I figured, if anything, a BA proved I would be capable of two things; tedious, arbitrary busywork, and bitching about shit doesn't work. A background in tech support couldn't hurt either, I thought. If it did, it'd be one of those "good hurts" you get from exercising or giving yourself a black eye to give you an excuse for being late to a meeting.

I arrived at 9:30am to some corporate casual hellhole with unlabeled art on the walls and a clock on a desk that was purely decorative. I hope one day I am important enough to have a lobby full of timepieces that don't work.

I was given a five page "aptitude" test and told to sit with the rest of the nerds who had shown up dressed in the best clothes they could borrow.

"Identify, circle, and correct any grammar mistakes you see in the sentences below."
"What's different between these two pictures?"
"Which of these games is a 'Real Time Strategy?"

I completed the test in ten minutes, and after checking it over once, handed it in to be graded. I was the last of seven interviewees to arrive, and I managed to turn in my test first. I was so sure I was going to nail this job that I almost reminded myself that Christmas was around the corner. Almost.

I was taken outside to a picnic table to be interviewed by a woman who neglected to introduced herself. If I walked around with as amateur a manicure as that, I wouldn't want people to know who I was either.

"Your grammar is perfect, your spelling is perfect, I don't know how you did on the video game part, I don't know the answers myself..."

She flips my test over.

"Okay, so how many chairs were in the lobby?"
"When? They kept bringing more as people showed up."
"When you showed up?"
"On one side of the lobby, there was a desk. Can you name me three objects on that desk?"
"A clock, a calendar..."
"Don't guess."
"Did you notice the art behind the receptionist's desk?"
"The one that's unlabeled and probably commissioned rather than purchased at a gallery?"
"How do you spell my last name?"
"I'm not sure, but if you tell me your name I can fake it."
"You should know that already."
"Why? You didn't introduce yourself to me. Are you the name that came up on the e-mail I got?"
"Okay. B-r-i-o-r-e-s."
"Actually, that's an 'n' but close enough."
Yeah. That's what I thought.
"In the receptionist's penholder, one pen was not like the others. Did you notice why?"
It was gay?
"Well, I'm going to be honest, this was the most important part of the interview, and you failed it. We want detail-oriented people, and you've shown me that you aren't detail oriented enough for this job. You might, at best, be hired in a secretarial, clerical capacity."
"Well, what about the test? I scored perfect on that. Doesn't that mean anything?"
"The test was a test."
"Is my reaction to the test of the test a part of the test?"
Twitch. Twitch.
", your resume says you're originally from Arizona. Why'd you move here?"
"To take advantage of the LGBT resources more readily available in the Bay Area than in Phoenix."
"Okay, great. I think we're done here. I'll let you know if we can find a way to squeeze you in."
"Okay. Thanks. Happy Holidays."

And that is how I did not get a job in time for Christmas.

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