Thursday, October 20, 2005
I know, I can’t believe it either. Although I should be able to believe it given all the interviews and internal strife. Of course ultimately it wasn’t that many interviews. I had five with one company—which includes two follow ups and one with my current company for a job back at the Mother Ship. And then the one in downtown DC where I wore some stupid 1980’s cologne and nearly asphyxiated everyone.
So, on Tuesday I went in for my 800th interview with this one company and things were different on the way in. The traffic was better, the weather was beautiful. I got to lovely downtown Bethesda and it all looked so promising all of a sudden. I met the owner and president of the company and…I liked her. I was impressed with her. She was sharp and genuinely professional. I mean, like, the real deal. Not one of these absurd poseurs or strident megalomaniacs who dress too young for their age and talk in shrill monosyllabic directives.
No, she was wearing probably the most tasteful jacket I have ever seen in my life. The kind of religiously classic “piece” that has undoubtedly been a functional part of her perfect wardrobe forever. The subtle pattern, the sinuous fabric, the elegant cut, the utter timelessness of it all. Ode to a Jacket, by Lisa. And I don’t even like jackets.
Then I met with the project director and then the vice president. During all these interviews the women asked me real and substantive questions that had relevance. Not “what kind of fucking tree would you be..” lameass questions. Don’t laugh, that’s the kind of crap I have been getting.
But the part that was dawning on me, as I was led from office to office to meet with these women was, they were excited about...me. And the whole time I kept thinking about my mother, saying through gritted teeth, “I just want you to work somewhere where they appreciate you!” That sort of thing. And you know, that’s “mother talk” and that’s how I partially dismissed it. Just like I used to dismiss it when she would assure me that I would find a wonderful man to share my life with. YEAH RIGHT. But she was right.
I have this thing about not living up to my potential and I realize that I, of course, am the biggest impediment in that process. I needed to believe that I was better than this—am I sounding like Stuart Smalley yet?—before something would happen.
The project director offered me the job on the spot and told the vice president and the president that she was offering it to me even though she hadn’t gone through all the correct channels with HR. And this made me happy. They were excited about my experience and what I could do and what I could bring to them. It wasn’t just the old soft shoe.
I left the building and walked out into the sun and my heart felt so light. I walked to the car and I smiled. I called MZA on my cell phone but he wasn’t there. I got to work and I sat in the car, holding onto the steering wheel with my head down, so happy, just letting it sink in. Because I don’t think you can really appreciate just exactly how miserable you have been until someone lifts the burden from your shoulders. Psychologically it is so difficult to make yourself realize that the situation you are in is THAT BAD. You protect yourself with a web of veiny little lies that keep you afloat—little false affirmations like, “Well, I’ll be fully vested in March!” “The commute sure isn’t too bad!” “There’s free hot chocolate! And popcorn!”
In the car, I turned on the radio because I am a big believer in Radio Symbolism. And, I kid you not, the lyrics just started:
Oh, this is the start of something good
How do you like THAT?
I was supposed to get The Phone Call with The Official Offer that day and I sat at my desk trying to be nonchalant, you know how that goes. Like when you are waiting for a boy to call and every other person in the entire universe calls instead. That’s what happened. My colleagues, who normally come to my office, all of a sudden started calling me saying, “I was too lazy to walk down, I decided to call..” Yeah, THANKS. No call. I left for the day and I wasn’t worried, per se, but when I looked in the rear view mirror, my eyebrows were all furrowed. So I turned on the radio again for a little guidance. Seriously, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Stones was on. It’s always been a good anthemic barometer for me. BECAUSE IF YOU TRY SOMETIMES YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED.
Oh, let’s hope so, shall we?
I got The Call that night during dinner. I’m not going to lie to you, I was giddy. Nick gave me a high five, MZA smiled and kissed me. The bambini were all excited and didn’t know why. Oh, look, Mommy seems to be happy! Yay! |
Cynicism is another word for reality