Interviews – the gloss and the dross

I hate interviews. They’re nature’s laxatives for a kick off and then a roller coaster of mental anguish for having your hopes raised and dashed again.

Being unemployed means there’s no reason to be up before 11AM. Firstly its warm in bed, so there’s no need to put the fire on in the living room. Secondly the postman hasn’t been and the Jobcentre plus website hasn’t been fully updated. Pragmatism.

So the night before I’m ironing my one white blouse, pressing my sensible black shirt and removing cat/dog hair from my suit jacket. Then I don’t get any sleep with overthinking things. Running scenario questions through your noggin and checking that the bedside alarm/mobile phone alarms are still set or run out of battery juice.

Then its all systems go – or set the alarm for three snoozes.
The shower that takes too long.
Clothes -the sudden hole in the foot of your tights, the watermark on your shoes, the band on your skirt feeling too tight.
Make-up -the covering of spots that appeared overnight and wonky eyeliner, that runs parallel with your wonky, home trimmed fringe as you can’t afford to go to the hairdressers.
Food – Time for breakfast? or will your cereals end on your clothes or in your teeth. No morning coffee- as you don’t know when you’ll see a loo next.

Then the adrenalin rush as you get to your interview by public transport. Have I got the right money,(or enough money if plan need to alter). The self doubt creeping in – am I on the right bus or should I have gone for a taxi? The feeling of dread as the place doesn’t match up to your virtual trip the day before on Google Street map, as you can’t afford to do a dry run.

Finally you reach your destination. You’ve found the right room and booked in at Reception…. Time now for the rituals you’ve practised – the firm handshake, the eye contact, the smile, using the cup of water as thinking time.
The nodding at everything the panel says (and yet forget instantly the last think that they said). The humiliating ingratiations and the desperate need to be accepted into this group. The loss of self and the resentment of joining the hive, all for the sake of paying bills… there must be better ways than this….

Then it dawns on you that you don’t want the job. The glossy website hasn’t matched up to your impressions of the people who run the show and the money’s crap anyway,the journey awkward, and there is no pension and you can just scrape by your credit card payment … the need to continue with this dance until you can break out, back on to the street once again and run..and run to the safety of your own front door and then finally slam out the fake, cruel world.

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