Grumpy is freelance writer Lee Bemrose (firstname.lastname@example.org). He's not so good with job interviews.
Why do I do this? I wonder as I bumble through the panic of waking up feeling rough after a big night out, knowing that I am late and that this is typical behaviour and where are my pants and wouldn't it have been better to have laid all my clothes out the night before and in fact shouldn't I have stayed in for a quiet night instead of going out and getting wrecked? Wouldn't all of that have been the sensible thing to do? I mean, after all, this is A Very Important Job Interview.
I am not very happy with the sock situation. How is it that so many single socks have gone through the wash while their partners took the day off. Odd socks for A Very Important Job Interview is a well known bad omen. But I can I really pair one clean sock with an unclean matching one? More to the point – should I be spending so much time thinking about socks when I have to be at the place in a very short time? Stop being so superstitious and do something about the sock situation.
I move like The Flash. My mind sharpens and I prioritise. I grab stuff on the way past that I think I will need – phone, keys, wallet, stapler, it all goes into my (very fashionable) shoulder bag. I stop at the door because something doesn't feel right. I think at the speed of light. I turn around and run back to take the stapler out of my bag and stuff my resume into it. Oh I'm good.
I catch sight of myself in the hall mirror on the way past... fuckity fuck – haven't shaved. Seriously no time now so the electric shaver goes into the bag. I move fast because not only do I need this job, I want it so very badly because it's a very cool job.
I run for the bus. I'm one of those people you smirk at (from the comfort of your bus seat) who has lost all dignity, such is their desperation to make it to the bus before it pulls away. You smirk in justified superiority at me because YOU had a quiet night in and YOU laid your clothes out the night before and YOU have clean matching socks and... oh why don't you just fuck off.
Bus. Sorted. No seats. Standing room only. Still, all cool. So long as the traffic isn't broken and we don't get taken away by aliens, should be fine.
I fix myself up. I cool down by the end of the bus ride. I tell myself to stop asking me why I do this. I clear my mind. I think of the interview. This is a cool job. I must be cool. My outfit, it is very cool... so long as they don't look at my socks. My things, they are all very cool. My diary, my pen, my watch, my lovely lovely things will make an impression. Be calm. Relax, I tell myself, you have the questions you know they will want you to ask even though you know the answers... because you are a professional. A cool, professional cool person and their future employee.
I keep soothing myself like this all the way through the city streets, through the huge revolving door to this huge skyscraper. I whistle a little tune to myself as I look at the huge building directory, taking longer than I need to now because I even have a little time up my sleeve.
Elevator dings open. I step inside and press 34. I turn for one last look and – FUCK! Didn't shave. Right. Too late now. Just have to go for that so-cool-I-can-get-away-with-three-day-growth look. But can I? No, I cannot. I just don't have that kind of facial hair. I have gaps.
I also have my shaver. Because I plan ahead.
I lunge for the elevator buttons and press every one of them between current 7th floor and the 34th floor, my fingers tickling those buttons like I'm Mozart playing a very weird piano. The other occupants of the lift do not look overly impressed. I don't get the feeling that I'm very popular in that elevator, but if they knew the full story I'm sure they'd understand.
I rip into my fuzz with a satisfying buzz and we dawdle upward.
27th floor and I am totally going to make it. Feeling good? Hell Yeah.
We leave the 33rd floor and... the shaver dies with one half of my moustache to go.
Silence. Ding. 34th floor.