Sunday, August 20, 2006


So. Interview.

Well, I got to wear my suit for the... 3rd, I think, time ever. That was a highlight. As was the building. Tall and shiny in a nice little corporate type parky place. I like shiny. And tall.

So, I walked in like I was Ms. Professional (actress, did I mention I'm an actress?), signed in, put the retarded little sticker that I knew was gonna get in my frizzy iron-straightened hair and walked into the elevator, where I tried to keep the anxiety from sabotaging me.

I don't usually get anxious. I am a very well balanced person, but I really didn't feel super great that day. I could feel it in the back of my neck, a little twinge to remind me that I might not have prepared enough. (I talked to a couple people in the field, but it was just a start).

At the top floor, I found myself in a little glass and elevator walled box. There were doors on either side, and the ones I tried didn't open. Well, silly me, of course I had to be buzzed in! There was a little phone on the wall, so I picked it up, hit 0 like the sign said, and the very nice receptionist waved her hand so I'd know which set of doors to walk through (they were identical, each with a receptionist hidden behind a very tall desk).

So I made it in! Filled out the application (apparently the online things, while the only way to start, aren't enough). Everything was great until the professional references section. I don't have professional references!!! So I put down my supervisor from my externship, left her a quick voicemail reminding her about me and saying I hoped it was okay to list her, and went with that.

Oh, and the nice receptionist lady said I could take off my stupid sticker and made a comment about how it makes you feel like you're back in school, huh? I just nodded with relief and handed it over. No weird sticky hair distractions, phew!

Then I waited. Not too long.

Tried to read the Wall Street Journal. Couldn't focus. Decided to focus on positive things, like how I wasn't trying to talk my way out of the guillotine, or anything. I wasn't deciding my whole life. It was just a job interview and I could totally do it. Totally. Breathe, I reminded myself. By the time HR lady appeared, I had gotten pretty good at that.


Let's not talk about how I stuttered. Or how I couldn't manage to keep eye contact while I was talking. (She had this HUGE window! I couldn't NOT look out it! It was SHINY with TREES! So were the pictures of her family - minus the trees - and they were strategically placed right in front of the window that spread the entire width of the office!)

Let's talk about how I somehow managed to get sentences out that were really positive and not too rambly. I was really kind of coherent! It was great! The HR lady even smiled a nice kind of smile at some things I said, so yay. She even said, "Sounds like you've done your research" after I told her what I knew about the firm. AWESOME. Worried for nothing. And I was all about eye contact, or at least face contact (it's easier to look at people's noses, I've found), when she was speaking. I didn't even twitch or anything weird. Not that I would have. ^_^ Just... I didn't.

So then I was going to meet a few other people, which I did, and had a little bit of a wait in between each, which was good to let my brain rest and regroup. The second lady was really obviously testing me with each question, giving me that "I'm nice and outgoing and friendly and TOTALLY JUDGING YOU" thing. It was fine, though. I didn't flip out or anything.

The third lady had rhinestone zippered pockets on her pink jacket. By this time, I was feeling like, should I say the exact same thing to each? (Person, not rhinestone). What if I leave something out? Will the one person I remembered to say something really important to remember it and tell the others later when they discuss? But I still succeeded in not flipping out. Go me! (I'm not really a flippyout kinda person, but this was getting to me, and that was not cool. It was just an interview, for crying out loud; I wasn't getting shot at in Iraq or Camden or something like that, sheesh). Each lady, when they came to meet me in the reception area, chatted as we walked to her office. I am a chatty kind of person, so I managed a few nods and "uh huhs" and even a coherent thought or two. "We're running out of space around here, they're talking about making the offices smaller." *Ariah looks around* "Well, it looks like they could do that although-" "I don't know, I don't know anything about architecture." That was the second lady, Ms. Intimidation. She liked to cut me off. And damnit, I was about to be sympathetic. But really, if they were in Japan... those offices be smaller and fit more. Not that I prefer little boxy workspaces, just saying. But we never got to have that conversation. I just held on for dear life and tried not to say too much without being a mute.

I felt most comfortable with the last lady, who was still in her 20s and treated me like a peer. Such a relief, I could throw in a few "likes" without feeling like some shopping-is-what-I-do-best valley girl who never learned any English beyond "he's totally hot but kind of married" and "sale at Neiman Marcus." Obviously, this was the "go ahead, let your guard down, bwahahaha!" test. I passed. She was really genuinely nice and I felt like a normal person again. Well, everyone was nice. Random people smiled at me. The receptionist made me feel like not a loser for not knowing how to work the doors. But HR lady had this very formal distant thing that people in her position need. She could smile and send the "I'm a human being who appreciates that you're one, too" and then go "click" right back into "So, -insert really to the point question here-". But without any audible click. Very good at her job, it was just new to me. And lady 3 was someone I'd probably pick to be my mom, if I needed another. She projected that mom comforting thing. She was professional but very real. She explained the firm, how paralegals sometimes delegate assignments to lawyers, because "sometimes we have these lawyers just out of law school, and they had maybe one class in the relevant field..." *pause to smile/chuckle* *Ariah joins in the smile/chuckle, 'cause yeah, power to the paralegals* "...and meanwhile the paralegals have 20 years experience" That's right, this firm sounds LOGICAL. I was very into that.

Before I wrap it up, I'll just mention that two of them gave me their cards (good sign, I hope), and the 4th lady/girl (she gave me her card) said she hoped I came to work for them. ^__^

If I don't hear back in a week, 4th girl said to call, and if I didn't get a response to email her and she'd find out. They're hiring a lot of people and she said they see so many, so you know. She said persistence pays off around there. Well, good, now I know what to do, none of that scouring the Internet reading articles on what to do if I don't get a call! See? Nice people. So. She also wasn't sure if there was anyone else I should meet with (this is standard procedure if the HR lady doesn't think you're a chainsaw murderer, by the way) so she left a message with HR lady and said I should wait in the reception area. After 10-15, the new receptionist, also nice, asked why I was waiting. I explained and said, " I might be waiting for nothing." She called HR lady and it turned out I was right. She said the hearing back in 1 or 2 weeks thing and I could go.

Did I mention I got out exactly 2 hours on the dot after the scheduled appt time, to which I was either a little early or on time?

My brain was dead.

I'm sure I'll be competent in a new job, but when there's new stuff thrown at you and you're worried about impressing people without being like, "I'm IMPRESSIVE!" it takes a lot of focus and it takes a lot outta ya.

So my mommy and daddy took me out to eat and I stuffed my face with taco salad.


The End.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Progress? It's possible!

Okay. So.


Like two weeks ago. I couldn't come in the week they wanted because of family vacation thing. I'm s'posed to call on Monday to schedule. I really hope the job is still there! It's an assistant paralegal job and the commute would be really quite convenient. W00t!

In the meantime, I met with a lawyer my dad kinda knows through work. He was very helpful. He met with me for an hour (I think he was like, this is more fun than doing work. Let's look up law firms on the Internet!) And he gave me a list of around ten firms where he knows people (not in HR, but how awesome is that?). And, he CALLED THEM to let them know I would be submitting my resume. Hopefully he told them I am very spiffy and will be a good little worker bee. He told my dad he was very impressed with my ability to be a human being (he didn't say it like that, but he told me that some people come in for interviews, the interviewer says hello, and the interviewee doesn't know what to say. WOW. I have a chance just because I can talk!). And he revised my resume, gave me some ideas for reorganizing it.

Did I mention editorial positions suck? Only because I haven't been called about one. Being a paralegal sounds more interesting right now, and maybe it will help me decide about LAW SCHOOL OMG.

So, much to do on Monday. Yay!

Oh yeah, part time job at the cafe. Because I am broke. Going in on Monday. Used to work there, so no big whatsoever, maybe learning a new sandwich. I heart sandwiches!