March 29, 2010

Job (and pumpkin) hunting

I am standing in the small meeting room, waiting for my interviewer to arrive. This is my first real job interview for a while, and I am trying not to feel too stressed out. 

After months of living in my running gear, pregnancy clothes, and since Malo's birth, (dirty) jeans and T-shirts, I have put on a suit, reminding me that, once, a long, long time ago, I used to play tough, from the little corner of my cubicle.

Then I see it. No. Them. Several, bright orange stains on my black sweater. PUMPKIN.

Oh, no.

It suddenly comes back to me that I was wearing that sweater yesterday already. Including at lunchtime. When feeding Malo. Feeding Malo with PUMPKIN. Which he loves, but has not yet completly mastered the art of eating without making a big, big, mess.

To make things worse, I am wearing black. Black is in my view the ideal business colour. You see, I am a petite, 5ft2 (on a good day) girl - well, old enough to be called a woman, but somehow, I struggle associating my image in the mirror with that word. And I used to work in the not very female friendly world of investment banking. In that world, playing tough saved my life. That, and wearing strict, black, business suits.

But somehow, now, in this room, in my pumkin-stained sweater, black, which seems to make the orange of the pumkin even brighter, does not seem the ideal business colour anymore.

Instead, it just seems to scream:
- "Hey, look, she is a MUM, who just fed her baby-boy. She is a MUM, and just in case you were not aware of it, she has just decided to wear black, so that you can notice the pumpkin straight away. Now, surely you do NOT want to hire a MUM for that big-dick position you need to fill".

It should be enough that it is reminding Mister Interviewer that surely, if he has two ounce of common sense, he may think twice before hiring a pumpkin-covered mum.  But in case it was not, the vegetable situation also reminds ME that I might not anymore be the tough professional I once pretended to be. Now that the whale-turned-mother hen has made her official coming out, have I still got it in me to play the shark?

I just have time to realise that, given my inflated breast-feeding boobs makes it impossible to  button up my jacket and hide the pumpkin stains, before Mister Interviewer walks in. Either he's blind, or he likes pumpkin, or he himself is not the shark he is supposed to be, because somehow the interview goes decently well, and  I  am told I will have to come back to see the boss.

I will, if only to see how long I can pull it off before they realise I am a mother hen. But not before I have amended my check list of things to do before a job interview:
- put on my I-am-smart-I-am-sharp-I-am-tough-you-know-you-want-to-hire-me mask face.
- bring print-out of my CV.
- Be ready to answer the oh-so-silly "what is your greatest achievement" and other "what would your friends say of you" questions.
- Check for any pumpkin stains on jumper, suit, oh, and socks, while I am at it. The little devil is never short of ideas of where to splash it.

1 comment:

PiccolaPineCone said...

Oh the inane job interview questions, they used to drive me crazy even when I was on the other side of the table asking them. "If you were an animal, which would you be?" Argh! Somewhere there must be a list compiled with the "correct" answers. Though I know the "correct" answer to that one is "An ant, a hard worker who can carry 100 X my own body weight." Anyway keep your game face on and best of luck!