Yesterday was the big day. As I buttoned up my white blouse and fixed my hair into a slick ponytail, I felt prepared. Even upon realising I had just two minutes to run across the platform, over the tiresome wheelchair ramp and onto the other side, I remained poised. Gracefully yanking off my flats, I scurried past Mildred-with-the-walking-cane and managed to scrape between the train’s doors, praying not to ladder my sockets.
I was off to my first job interview. Well, the first job interview I’d liked to recall. I tried to forget the one where I told a leading fashion company that I mostly bought from thrift shops, incidentally adding, “Oh! And of course your store!” With my stylish turquoise folder in hand, I navigated my way through the city until I saw it: the grand Matisse Tower. Was I intimidated? A little.
The elevator had mirrors that tiled its interior. Luckily for me, I had 3 floors worth of time to devour my sandwich and take off my now-holey sockets – provided the elevator happened to be malfunctioning. It wasn’t, so I settled for the few moments I had. Surprisingly, I scrubbed up well. I gave myself a reassuring nod and stared at the floor location indicator. *Ding*
My thoughts as the doors opened were as follows:
I am so rea-
You see, whilst I had read “corporate attire” in the interview requirements, I didn’t quite realise that meant dowdy black suits, hair buns and heels. Although my blouse was plausible, I’d paired it with tight aqua pants and a loose-fitting, navy blazer. Mind you, I’m not sure what gave me the idea that aqua and navy were compatible. I stood out like a smurf at a goth convention. Was I intimidated now? F*ck yes.
The interview questions ranged from “Why should we hire you?” to “Would you be prepared to purchase corporate outfits?” I was being judged. Whilst I squirmed in my seat awkwardly, my palms were producing so much sweat that my main concern was how to politely decline a handshake if the situation arose. It reminded me of that one English class in year 11 when I attempted to discreetly eat chocolate on a hot day. Lo and behold, it melted in my hand and my teacher assumed I had a severe case of diarrhoea.
As I walked away from the interview, I realised that life is all about judgement, and determining the accuracy and value of those judgements is a constant process. It dawned on me that both the interviewer and I are someone very special to many people. But to me, she was the next Miranda Priestly (sans-style), and to her, I was that smurf who didn’t fit in.