Yesterday morning I found I was buttoning my shirt with sweaty fingers. I checked if the collar was sharp enough to cut a man, and if any of my foundation had accidentally rubbed off on the edge. It hadn’t, which meant I was ready to walk the long way to the office room.
Why, Meggie, why in the name of God were you doing all those things? You’re a film student, you have no place wearing costumes. Put a beanie on to compliment the khakis you got from Gap, the ones that make you look like you’re heading to an African safari vacation (is what I presume you’re thinking).
Two words, my friends: job interview (well, three, if you count the mock part). Led by the head of my university department, today’s feedback on my performance was to establish whether I would be “employable”, or in other words would anybody give this little kid a chance to sink or swim. And oh boy, would they…
Through my necessary dose of mocha and the inspirational playlist rocking my headphones, I attempted to calm myself down. It couldn’t be that bad, it was only pretend, nothing more. There was no outcome, no consequences that would influence my life post-interview. So why was my brain buzzing?
After the series of expected questions, I felt myself sinking. This is shit, I thought, why must we go through this horrible process of self-shaming, stumbling over words and names of qualifications, why must we lie to these people how certain we are of our future and how our greatest flaws are our most valuable qualities? They know it’s not true, and we know it’s made-up bullshit. So why play this game of lie-better-than-the-last-guy-please? Because that is what most interviews seem to rely on – your ability to fool people better than the rest of the actors applying for the job.
Turns out he wouldn’t hire me. My life experiences were insufficient, I was shallow, and God knows I was probably the worst, most egocentric writer he could have ever come across. On top of that crap cake, he assumed I was Canadian, which was a big no-no, as apparently to get a job in London one must be positively, undoubtedly English. The racist remarks were a good touch, however, as it made any other negative criticism this piglet of a man had to say – obsolete.
All in all, that was one twenty-year-old’s self-esteem demolished. That is the only thing my university taught me. Would any self-respectful, successful employer hire a bubbly dreamer, who is ready to rip themselves apart with hard work just to be the best writer they could possibly be? No?
Well, I guess I’ll be typing from my tiny hut in the forest soon enough.