April 30, 2002
You're just going to have to get used to me beginning each column with an apology about the scarcity of my postings. My beloved Webmistress listens with infinite patience and every indication of sympathy to my sincere promises about the arrival of imminent columns and then ends every conversation with the phrase "Sounds brilliant. And I'll believe it when I see it." I've lied to her so many times that I may as well be dating her. At least that way, there's a chance I'd get some action. (Seems to work like a charm for most men.)
I've been slaving away at the Gulag to the tune of about 70 hours a week for the past seven weeks now: OPSEU is on strike so things are a bit insane at work.
That being said, I've still got my next job to worry about so despite the chaos I'm trying to be assiduous about going on interviews when I can get them.
Things are looking grim.
I did have one interview a while back and it was for a job I really wanted, which meant I was especially nervous. I gave myself three hours to get dressed (wearing a suit is akin to drag for me -- I work for the government after all). In a manner appropriate to the occasion, I actually even shaved my legs -- this was Bay Street -- and I was so nervous that I had spent hours laying out my clothes the night before. I had selected a gorgeous designer suit -- it manages to restrain the twins (need to establish that all important eye contact thing) and still look elegant and professional. I spent hours over my makeup and clothes -- I struggling for the perfect balance of attractive and "take me seriously". For most women this is second nature: for a Maritime girl itís a bit of a challenge. Despite the fact that I'd spent two hours on "grooming" (think of monkeys picking parasites off each other -- I always do), I found myself running around the Lair like a giddy debutante 45 minutes before the interview trying to decide which briefcase to take. As I dashed from my bedroom to the bathroom and back (pantyhose and bra on, toothbrush in mouth, cold coffee in hand, sweat pouring off me in sufficient amounts to render the hardwood dangerous), it hit me that I'd forgotten to take my medication.
As any physician will tell you, patients on blood thinner need to take their meds every day at the same time, lest their brain or heart explode. I dashed back into the bog, flung open the medicine cabinet, spilled two 2.5 mg tablets of coumadin into my hand and choked them down without water. I bolted back into the bedroom to do my hair.
As I grabbed my brush from the nightstand I knocked something to the floor, which naturally rolled under the bed. "FUCK!!" I screeched (at concert volume) as I bent to retrieve it.
Imagine my surprise to find that I'd just picked up a bottle of the medication I thought I'd just ingested.
For a moment I had the awful conviction that I'd just taken two nuclear powered laxatives prescribed for me centuries ago and that Iíd taken before - once. Amusingly (and somewhat deceptively) described as an "intestinal stimulant", it had turned the contents of my gastrointestinal tract into a grisly stucco while "stimulating" my body into doing a credible imitation of a combination rocket launcher/biological weapon. No carbon based life form not actually engaged in the process of decomposition should be able to produce fluids of this ilk.
This was shaping up to be the fastest interview I'd ever been on. I had a quasi-amusing vision of myself bolting through my resume like an auctioneer on speed with my sphincter muscle, teeth and knees clenched tighter than Fort Knox.
No such luck.
I ran back into the bathroom, flung the medicine cabinet open violently enough to dislodge a screw from the mirror only to discover to my horror that I'd just swallowed two 30 mg tablets of oxazepam -- an exceptionally powerful sleeping pill.
OK OK OK, I can suck this up. I was nervous enough to counteract it, I reasoned, and I thought if I drank enough coffee I could pull it off before I was rendered comatose. I grabbed my briefcase and dashed out the door, muttering frantic prayers to St. Jude all the while.
I was feeling OK until I got off the subway at King Street, when the world suddenly became a much mellower place. I stopped for a double espresso, which left me speedy enough to enjoy the sensation of actually feeling my hair grow but had no appreciable effect on the overwhelming fatigue that was swiftly melting my brain.
As luck would have it, my interviewer was tied up with a client and was 30 minutes late for the interview.
"So", he said, as we finally settled into the sumptuous chairs of the impressive boardroom, "tell me about yourself. What aspect of law do you enjoy the most?"
"Ummmm", I began (with a luxurious yawn), "I think the law in general is... (yawn) ...really kinda neat."
What followed was undoubtedly heinous and humiliating, but thankfully I donít remember the details. I was so stoned that I wound up telling him jokes for an hour and a half, while he fixed me with a look that made it clear that he was convinced that I got into law school on the quota for the mentally challenged. He even surreptitiously scratched the print on my law school transcript when he thought I wasnít looking to see if the grades on it had been forged. I made him laugh, I remember that much. In retrospect, Iím sure he wasnít laughing with me, if you get my drift.
At the conclusion of the interview, he stood up, shook my hand and said "Well, it certainly has been refreshing to meet a candidate like you. This profession needs more eccentrics."
I havenít heard from him since.
Until next time,