i like that he dressed up.

on monday, we interviewed the first girl. she was nice enough. she wore a suit to her interview. we sat down with her in the conference room, and we let her know what the deal was. we were program assistants, and she, too, would be a program assistant, if chosen. i don't know what it takes to get the job. i don't know how i got my job. my guess is it had everything to do with timing. i certainly didn't wow anyone, but i didn't really blow it, either. i think the main thing is to smile a lot, and comes across as a normal, decent human being.

it reminds me of my old job interviews. my first job was at sav-on cleaners, and i remember the interview. there wasn't much to it. the manager didn't ask a whole lot, and i didn't have a whole lot to say. later, my friend who already worked there told me that the manager said he liked it that i had "dressed up" for the interview. i had no previous experience, so i wrote down some volunteer stuff, and that i had helped my dad with his care home business. i never helped my dad with his care home business.

i quit that job, just like i had quit all the others. come christmas time, i was broke again, and i needed work. my friend told me that i should apply to suncoast video at the arden fair mall. he used to work there, and he knew some girl from loretto that still worked there. her name was miranda or melanie or mandy, and she was smoking hot. it would've been a hell of a job. i applied, and i got an interview. i was told it was a group interview, though, and this immediately discouraged me.

i went to the group interview - what else was i gonna do? - and it sucked. the only other applicants were attractive teenage girls, and the manager looked like a big pedo bear. for the entire duration of the group interview, he asked me one question. one. "what did you not like about your last job?" i didn't even stop to think about it. "there was no air-conditioning," i deadpanned. he snorted, and a few girls giggled. they hardly looked at me. i pretty much daydreamed after that, knowing i wouldn't get it. i didn't get it. and goddamn it, too. all i wanted was to look at mandy or melanie or whatever her name was all day.

on a whim, thinking it might help my chances of getting laid, i applied to wet seal. they never called me back.

the interview after that happened at big 5. all the men were wearing ties, and they all looked like office drones, or else i.t. nerds. i didn't quite understand why a shoesalesman should have to wear a tie, but i went along with it, anyway. they asked me why i wanted the job, and i said i needed some extra money for christmas. they might've also asked if i had any experience with sporting goods. i probably told them that i used to play basketball and soccer. apparently, that was good enough. that winter, i sold shoes. "you're like al bundy all of a sudden," my cousin said.

i hated big 5. this one kid, this nice enough redheaded kid, asked me if i would cover his shift. i said i would, and then i didn't show up. he asked me again another time. again, i said i would, and then i didn't show up. i still remember that day, and driving to the store, being at that intersection on watt ave. and arden way, thinking, ahh, i don't wanna do it. i made a u-turn. i couldn't go in. dong, who also worked at big 5, put it best: "everyday i have to work, i just feel like something bad's gonna happen." and he was right. i'd be in class with five minutes remaining, and i'd just dread it.

i had applied for other jobs, even though i told the manager at big 5 that work was interfering with my studies. he cut my hours to one day a week, and that was still too much. i interviewed at tower records. paul brown asked if i had ever worked a register. i explained that i had done so much more than just "work a register," and that i had provided excellent customer service, answered phones, priced items... "yeah, but you're saying you've worked a register?" he asked again. i assured him i had. "can you name the four beatles?" he asked. "john, paul, george, and...ringo." i had almost forgotten ringo, but it didn't matter. i was hired within a week.

there were more interviews after that, and i'm sure there will be more in the future. it's a terrible thing to interview. everything rides on that first impression, and you can be really good and still not get it. all the decisions are made so arbitrarily. the woman we interviewed today put it nicely: "when you're working, the grass is always greener," and then she reminded us that "it's tough out there."

and for a moment, i appreciated having this mind-numbing thing i'm forced to wake up for, this thing that has and will devour all my days.

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