Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Aug 10 2001

My interview went….I don’t know how it went, act…

My interview went….I don’t know how it went, actually. I got up, shaved, put on my wrinkled shirt and too-short tie, decided against argyle socks and went with plain black instead, stole a pair of dress shoes from one of the people who live in my apartment (they didn’t look like they were worn too often, so I figured I’d risk it), and went downstairs. When the old soldier guy who guards our building saw me in my monkey suit he smiled and clapped his hands, saying “You look marvelous!”

I crossed Hsinsheng South road on foot in the brilliant heat, and I was beginning to sweat before I finally hailed a cab. I felt a lot heavier in dress clothes than I usually do…I guess it’s because the clothes I usually wear are all really loose and baggy. I got to the place and strode up three flights of stairs while trying to adjust my shirt, which felt rather uncomfortable as I usually don’t tuck my shirts in. When I reached the office in question, they told me that the previous interview was still going on, and that I would have to wait. This was a bit worrying, as they were taking a lot more than the scheduled 20 minutes. At one point one of the interviewers actually rushed in and asked for another pot of water. What if they were really hitting it off with that candidate? There was nothing I could do but chat with some of the people in the office that I knew from working there before for a while before sitting down and watching the muted TV news. There was a story on about another school principle under investigation for conduct unbecoming of a school principle.

Finally the woman I would be working for came in and told me to follow her. I saw the previous candidate walk by the door as I left the room. As we went down the hall to the interview room, the woman commented “I’ve never seen you looking like this before.”

“I don’t think anyone has,” I replied.

There were three men sitting behind a table in the smallish interview room. “This is the one I told you about,” the woman explain to the men as I sat down. I greeted them in Chinese, and for the rest of the interview we all used Chinese, even though the position involves English editing. They asked me a few general questions about myself and what I thought of the job, how well I thought I could do it, how my previous experience could help me, etc.

Then they started to get political.

“What do you think of Chen Shui-bian? Is he better than previous presidents?” the head guy asked. “What strategy should Taiwan use this year to get back into the UN?”

I was a bit taken aback. I don’t like getting into politics with strangers, and this was a pretty sensitive situation. I dodged the questions a bit by recounting how much Taiwan had changed for the better in the last decade, and that I thought Taiwan should use a multi-faceted approach to gaining entry into the UN. I hoped they wouldn’t ask me who I voted for in the last election. Thankfully, they didn’t. I can’t gush very well about a candidate I didn’t vote for.

Was I getting the right message across? I had no idea. The interview ended promptly after the allotted 20 minutes, and I wondered why the last guy’s time had run over. What were they doing all that time? I asked the woman if she thought I should have spoken English, but she said that since I am fluent in both I might as well speak Chinese, as then the interviewers could ask me anything they wanted to. She also asked if I had left my current job. I said no, but I was thinking, why would I leave my current job before I’ve gotten something else?

As I passed the office door on my way out, I caught a glimpse of the next candidate, a young blond woman, sitting in the corner, as well as the previous candidate guy at the other end of the office. Both looked just a bit feral. I found the fact that the first guy was still there a bit strange…what was he doing there? I know, I’m paranoid; it’s worked for me so far.

So now all I can do is wait. They said they would let us know next week. In the meantime, I’m back here in my old office, using the soundtrack from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to cover the Ono Lisa crap someone in the office is playing.

posted by Poagao at 4:43 am  

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