How To Get A Job
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How To Get A Job

A fair taste of reality that high school graduates should keep in mind, based on my recent job searching experience.

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How To Get A Job
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Board C-Tran route #37 and prepare yourself for your fourth interview of the week. By now, your neighbors will begin to believe that you copped some corporate job, based on your constant wear of business attire. Look over your interview notes, and hope that you finally memorize a list of questions that will actually be asked this go-round. You had listed over fifty interview questions and your personal answers to them, for you to peruse over, so get moving.

Ignore the village drunkard attempting to spark a conversation with you. You cannot afford anymore distractions, especially after already being turned down by two companies earlier this week.

Suddenly the phone rings, and you answer it with spastic hands. It is a call from the Grocery Department manager at New Seasons, who like all the others tell you that they hired somebody else. That makes three companies that turned you down so far. It all comes down to your interview with Lowe’s today. Don’t allow your introverted personality or social awkwardness to fuck this up. This is your last chance. Otherwise, it’s back to filling out job applications again, and the worry that comes with it. Your rapidly dropping funds will make you contemplate suicide if this application process goes on any longer.

Stop thinking like that! Get a grip of yourself man! This is the struggle of the common man, and you are certainly not the only one going through this. Don’t allow the phone call you received from New Seasons to anchor you down to the melancholic depths.

You try your best to stay positive, but the bus suddenly decides to malfunction and break down. And…that’s it, your moral codes have completely disintegrated. Where’s the nearest gun shop? You wonder. Just end it before your grim fate can toy with your mind any longer.

No, no, no, calm down. You planned on taking the early bus for a reason. So, you could show up before the interview is scheduled, and appear as an overachiever. Unfortunately, that is out the window now, but at least there is still a chance you’ll make it to the interview on time, as long as the following Bus Route #37 is running on time. Just keep cool and study your notes once the bus picks you up.

Head over to the library once you arrive in downtown Vancouver. Route #60 will be due in fifteen minutes, so you’ll have time. Barricade yourself inside the stall of the public restroom. You never intended on doing this before the interview, but your nerves are too frazzled to go on without receiving some form of relief before you’re put to the test.

The neighboring gents will likely wonder if you’re some sort of drug fiend, when they hear the rattle of capsules from your pill bottle. But never mind them. Kratom is a perfectly legal and natural supplement, that will help you relax after all the preceding disasters you had encountered. This is undoubtedly necessary. If you don’t have something to help you relax before the interview, you’ll blow it and you know it.

Try not to feel guilty about what you’re doing, there is nothing wrong about it. Your social anxiety is your biggest enemy at the moment, and you must do what is necessary to slay it. You’ll likely still feel remorse, and will wonder what your interviewer will think of your pin-point pupils. However, once the Kratom kicks in, your worry and guilt will recede. If they believe you are taking illegal drugs, the drug test they conduct on you will prove them wrong. So, never mind your appearance. The truth will reveal itself in the end.

Your brief moment of phlegmatic clarity will deteriorate however, after you realize Bus Route #60 is already five minutes late. Don’t panic. Just continue studying your interview notes. If you end up running late, just call your interviewer and tell her you’re late due to the bus breaking down.

However, this will jeopardize your chances of getting hired and you know it. If public transit is your reason for being late, then who’s to say it won’t be a constant issue should they hire you? That will be the question your interviewer will ponder, before deciding to forego you for an Oregon local. No…there has to be another way.

You get your phone out, prepared to call a taxi. But just then, Bus #60 arrives. You take your chances and board. With a bit of luck, there’s still a chance you’ll make your interview if you run. Traffic appears to be running smoothly on I-5 South, contrary to the northern direction. No wonder job availability is scarce in Vancouver, you’ll realize. All the damn Oregonians commuting north have already stolen them all from Washington locals like you, leaving you to pay their income taxes…the rat bastards. ENOUGH! Stop allowing yourself to get distracted by such things. Keep studying your notes.

Bus #60 is moving glacially, due to all the clueless tourists hackling and asking the bus driver directions to all the ‘hip’ spots of Portland. As time singes away, so does your patience. “Just ask someone at the shopping center! Some people on here have to get to work man! Fuck!” a local snaps at a tourist, finally shifting the bus driver back to reality.

With that, you arrive at your bus stop at last. Navigate around the spilled beer puddle on the floor, before making your way out of the bus. The last thing you need is to arrive at your interview, reeking of stale Budweiser. From here, it is about a fifteen-minute walk from the Lowe’s store. However, only eight minutes remain until your scheduled interview. RUN.

Juke and dodge your way through the stalled traffic, piled up at the I-5 North exit. The stalled traffic is your first taste of luck, and will probably be your last. Bolt past the homeless man holding up a cardboard sign. Don’t hesitate no matter what he says or does. If you allow any obstacle to slow you down, he’ll likely be your neighbor soon enough. If you get the job, you’ll be able to offer him help the next time you see him. But for now, you can only do what’s necessary to survive.

You arrive at the store, face flushed with cortisol and adrenaline, with two minutes to spare. Make your presence adamantly known to the associates at the customer service desk. They get word that your interviewer is currently interviewing someone else at the moment, so scurry to the restroom and straighten yourself up. After that, the customer service associates escort you to a bench where you’ll wait…

“So what position are you interviewing for?” one of the customer service associates ask you.

“The overnight freight associate position.” You reply.

“Ah. I did that for a couple years. It’ll be mind-numbingly repetitive pretty fast.” He tells you, then departs to help a customer with their returns.”

Never mind their opinion. You have to make a living somehow.

***

It has been hour now, and when your interviewer finally emerges, you’ll realize that the anti-anxiety effects of the kratom have withered away, due to all the time that has passed. Don’t panic. When she introduces herself, you offer a handshake. But she quickly turns away, and leads you into the training room.

What did you do wrong? Why didn’t she offer you a handshake? That is the very foundation that most interviews are built on. With that, you’re comfort zone has been breached. What other psychological tricks does she have in store for you? This is your fourth interview of the week, and the mind games have eroded your limited social stamina.

Your body will begin to tremble with fear, like a withdrawing heroin addict, but you must power through this introvert nightmare. You have nothing to fear. You have two years of experience working an overnight shift at The Home Depot in California, and also have experience operating an Order Picker as well. So, you should be a candidate that they are willing to bargain on. Show them that you are ready to embrace the power of the dark side, and inflict revenge upon The Home Depot for foregoing your transfer to Washington State from California.

The interviewer will have you take a seat on the end of a rectangular table, while she sits on the other side. What sorcery is this? You’ll wonder. Why put so much space between you both? First the avoided handshake, and now this. What is this distance from her supposed to represent? Is it intended to be a representation of how distant the corporate management are from their associates at this store? Perhaps a non-verbal warning that she is attempting to convey to you before moving forward with the interview?

You’ll have no time to contemplate this, when she shoves a packet of paper across the table, and asks you to read through it. Only, as you begin to read through the packet, she immediately gets down to brass tacks, by reciting an exam’s-worth of scenario-based questions. Her psychological tactic here is obvious. How will you react when expected to multitask? Like a scatter-brained nutter of course.

Out of the fifty interview questions you had studied at home, only two were asked. The rest, are questions you do not recall being asked in previous interviews. How many scenarios will these interview gods come up with? There is no way of keeping track. For each interview you’ve had, at least a dozen new questions had been invented.

However, by this time, on your fourth interview, you’ll realize that the most important part of this ghastly puzzle, is how you choose to conclude it. When she asks if you have any questions for her, come up with as many relevant ones as possible. Try to sneak in a positive attribute about yourself here and there, as you do so, to cover any ground that you might have missed. Make it clear to her that you are no longer attending college at the moment, and that you can dedicate all of your time to them.

When she advises you that a full-time overnight position can wreak havoc on your family and social life, make it clear to her that you are prepared to do whatever it takes to succeed with them as a company. If you want this job, they’ll need to be absolutely convinced that you are prepared to sell them your soul. Even if this is not true, fake it. It’s not like you have a social life anyway. Just a poor and deluded dream, that this writing gig will pay off some day.

When she expresses her concern about whether it will be possible for you to commute from Vancouver to Portland by public transit every night, be sure to list her the bus times in order to prove that public transit will work according to your schedule, should you get the job. With that, she'll conclude the interview, and the sluggish waiting period shall commence, as she interviews seven other candidates (a fact she informed you about after you asked her how long it will be until you receive a verdict) over the next two weeks.

As the days pass, your anxiousness will torture you. Auditory hallucinations will toy with your mind, and make you believe you heard the phone ring, and you'll check it for the twentieth time, only to realize your hearing has betrayed you once again. This will be a daily occurrence, and you'll begin to wonder whether you'll end up in a psychiatric ward after a sudden onset of schizophrenia, before hearing back from the hiring manager.

Go for a hike in the wilderness. Don't allow your impatience to get the better of you. Continue this for the next two weeks, hike for 2-3 hours a day, or do whatever it is you gotta do to keep your mind off of it.

***

Today is the deadline the hiring manager told you she would make a decision by. In the late afternoon you won't be able to wait any longer, so make the call yourself.

"I'm sorry, she's in a meeting at the moment. You can call back in thirty minutes or so, or I can take a message to her from you."

Opt to call back. Who knows how long you'll wait for her to reply should you choose the second option. Thirty minutes passes, and you call again.

"I'm sorry, we've run behind on the hiring process. I still have four other candidates to interview." she'll tell you.

***

Back to the same confined walls you've been staring at, as sleep continues to elude you. Go for another hike, and never mind the Pacific Northwest rain. It's only a minor obstacle until the frigid temperatures arrive in the winter solstice. These hikes are the only reason you're getting any sleep at all, so you must continue them as your daily routine.

This restless charade will last for another week and a half, until you finally receive a call from the HR manager. You'll agree to take a mouth swab drug test, scheduled for tomorrow morning. This should not be an issue for you, since you discontinued your medical cannabis use since attending a Mac Demarco concert last month in the Oregon Zoo, a scene that could be easily referred to as a modern day Woodstock.

After you arrive at the store and the deed is done, you'll ask the associate conducting the drug test how long it will take for the results to come in.

"Three business days." he tells you.

And, today is Friday, so you won't know what the results are until some point between next Wednesday through Friday. Just great. Here you are again in the same vortex of limbo. Now you'll overly obsess about whether an accidental false positive will anchor you back down to the suffocating depths of unemployment. Read, write, hike. Keep your mind occupied.

***

Your phone finally rings the following Wednesday, as you're on your way to a nearby hiking trail.

"Yes, it's me..." you say, the anticipation flooding your heart with arrhythmic cortisol.

"The results came through, and everything is clear..."

At last! It's all over now. You have finally broken through the chains of unemployment.

"...that's if you're still interested in the position?"

"Yes! Of course!" You shout a bit louder than you would've liked, but ensuring you're absolute certainty on the matter.

You're scheduled for an orientation in two days, then...the overnight grind begins. Enjoy these last two days of sunshine. It might be the last taste you'll have of natural Vitamin D until late Spring. But nevertheless, this frantic job search is finally over. Sure, the first few nights might make you absolutely goddamned miserable, and sleep may elude you for the first week. But, it's a job, and it'll pay the bills. Never shall you ever...take that for granted again.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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