Rain On My Parade

Today, I had two scheduled interviews for other part-time jobs. To the first, I showed up 10 minutes early and waited around for 45. The office was edgy, but too many horror movies could have been shot there with the designer’s shadows dancing behind the 15’ high translucent glazing-walls. The woman conducting the interview had not a clue as to what I was there for, and later informed me that the position I was applying for had already been given away. Thanks for the quick courtesy phone call… NOT. How is it that, when applying for a job, you’re expected to be dressed to the nines, be professional, and be in integrity when the people RUNNING the show don’t have to do you the same favor? I just don’t get it.

On the way out the door to my second appointment, it started p-o-u-r-i-n-g. Great. The ONE thing I forgot to pack was an umbrella. Luckily, at the last minute, Wanda (the doorwoman at my apartment) came out of hiding. She let me borrow her child-size umbrella for the day. As umbrellas went up in NYC, the smiles on people’s faces seemingly turned down. My mom told me that it’s normal to see women dressed in business skirts wearing sneakers. She said “everyone” in New York does it, so I marched out of my apartment building in a red peplum pencil skirt, a white lacy top, a black leather blazer that has leather detailing around the collar, and my running shoes. I felt like a ‘nade, but at least I wasn’t limping like many of the women who were slipping around in puddles with their platform heels… dumb. 

With everyone walking/running around the streets of Fifth Avenue with their somewhat shanty umbrellas, I swear I almost got my eye jabbed out more than seven times. Also, at crosswalks, small men would pop up inside my umbrella to ask me whether I wanted to purchase/take something from them. Oh, hi? They weren’t dwarfs (let’s be politically correct here), just much smaller than the average 5’4” person. The first time this happened (yes, it happened more than once), I jumped back and was rather frightened. We sort of stared at each other for a few seconds before I told him I wasn’t interested in his stack of coupons. 

I walked over 20 blocks to my second interview, for the sole reason that I’m terrified of the subway. As I showed up, so did four other girls. We were all questioned in a row by a panel. It was a strange way of conducting an interview. I tried to answer every question first because I didn’t want to be that awkward second, third, forth, and fifth person chiming in, “Yeah, I totally agree with her.” I felt confidant because I looked like I actually cared. Every other girl was wearing blue jeans. Maybe I’m a naïve Idahoan, but I have never thought of jeans as being interview appropriate…

I kept my suede heels on for about 10 blocks on the way home and grabbed at least eight other retail applications. I dipped into a Starbucks to swap my heels for my sneakers. As if I were in a gym locker-room, I awkwardly changed in a corner.  Those poor (new) shoes now look like patent leather because they’re so drenched. I’m home now and soaked to the bone. My hair is frizzy, and my blisters have blisters. The silver lining of today, however, was that I purchased a cute clear-plastic-bubble umbrella. I’m now prepared for whatever the weather may bring. 


Alena Horowitz

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