Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Interview (An Autobiographic Tale of Fiction)

He hated wearing a tie and jacket. If there was one aspect of being his own boss that he took the most pleasure in, it was not having to get 'dressed up' to go to work. He owned only one suit. Now, he fussed with the tie to make sure it was properly centered. The gray suit looked its age. So did he.

He had never really been on an official job interview. He had gotten his first job through connections. Later, he had worked at two firms, but he had known the bosses at each stop and had been hired over lunch and a handshake. He had spent the last 25 years answering to no one but himself.

Like so many others, what he had taken for granted no longer existed. The feeling of forever was now gone. It had been replaced with a new reality. He adjusted his tie once more. He thought that maybe his neck had gotten bigger. With time, gravity had begun pulling everything downward, and jowls were now a distinct possibility.

Commuting in traffic was a nightmare he had chosen to avoid long ago. He had seen what the daily journey to and from the city had done to his father. Now, the horns were honking in unison as if they had some power to move the line forward. He and his car were at a standstill. There were 45 minutes until the interview was scheduled to begin.

If he got this job, his life would be forever altered in ways unwanted. The freedom of choice he cherished would be replaced by 3 weeks off a year. The ability to decide it was too nice to go into the office would be but a memory. He had always said that life did not go in a straight line but he never was talking about his own life.

The congestion eased as he crossed the bridge. He was able to weave between cars and rush through rush hour. He got to the building with 5 minutes to spare. He registered at the lobby desk and joined many others in a too crowded elevator.

As he entered through the doors of the office, he walked up to the receptionist and announced his name and his intentions. He took a seat, a magazine and a deep breath. He was about to enter his own Twilight Zone. He was just glad for the opportunity. He waited to hear his name and made believe he was reading an article. He was too distracted to concentrate on the words before him.

20 minutes later, it was his turn. He nodded at the receptionist, stood up and began the journey down the hall. He shifted his tie one more time, hand pressed his suit, and stood as straight as was possible given the limitations of the constant ache in his back. He entered his interviewer's office, stuck out his hand, gave his broadest smile, and his biggest hello. He sat down, wondering where life would take him in the next 30 minutes. And the next 30 years. He had no answer to either of those questions.


Anonymous said...

Stay who you are--that's what everyone loves about you.

Robert said...

I try my best

Robert said...

PS - the story I told is fiction- any resemblance to characters you may know is purely coincidental, if not entirely unintentional

David B said...

Wait a moment. I figured that the guy didn't get or want this job, so he became an independent lawyer, with a beautiful family, with a great lifestyle.

Robert said...

Thank you. I do feel fortunate for everything I have been given.

I do think the post could resonate with many people who are in the middle of what must be a somewhat bewildering time in their lives.