Monday, 7 September 2015

Story Time: The Job Interview that Wasn't Meant to Be

This is going to be another short story/diary entry-esque epiphany which have been quite absent from my blog in the past couple of months. Some of you might think I'm downright immature and stupid at the end of this post, some of you may even think I'm shitting out of my mouth and trying to cook up something that would give Sophie Kinsella a run for her money, but I'm hoping that some of you will understand where I'm coming from and maybe even find a way to relate. Whatever your reasons are for diving head first into my fucked up soup of thoughts, I hope you get what you're looking for. If not, I hope it makes you laugh and forget your worries for a bit.

So, kids, get comfy, because this post may be a bit unsettling.

I'll try to tell it best so that the young ones can relate because in this post I'm pretending to have over 40 years of life experience. I refuse to picture myself any older than 40. 40 itself is cringe worthy!

So, kids, a time comes in everyone's life when they must move out of their comfort zone and get a job and earn their keep in this world. Some do it willingly and are quite eager to start saving some green for all their materialistic goals (no judgement). I, on the other hand, took my time trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life and when I decided to finally start looking for a job, I was 23. Some say that's late, I say it was the right time for me.

I knew art would always be a vital part of my existence. My need to question everything and form my own opinion of every aspect of life is a clear depiction of that. The trouble I've had with expressing myself in the past is erased with a blank sheet of paper and a pencil, whether I use it for pictures or words is irreverent. After delving into the world of academics for a while and realizing that it wasn't for me, I opted for some art therapy and decided to apply for jobs in the field of designing at the end of last month.

I finally got a job offer, but I will not disclose the specifications of the job because they don't make a difference to the story whatsoever. See, kids, I was looking for a job that would help me grow and improve and I thought this would be it.

The company was located in a quiet residential part of Bangalore, but the office itself was stuffy with minimal natural light and people on computers all day. Opting into this field, I knew I'd be spending quite a lot of my time on a computer so that didn't phase me much. What did affect me the most was that the job was more mechanical and mundane than what they had originally told me. There was no room for learning or growth at this job, and judging from all the gigantic pairs of headphones, no room to make new friends either.

Another thing they had failed to tell me earlier was that I had to audition for the job. Yes, kids, they used the word "audition" and I will not lie, for a minute there I felt like a sought after Hollywood starlet. As I sat down to finish the task assigned to me, my interviewer let slip in passing that this would take me all day to complete. Thus began my 24 hour panic attack.

The first thing that popped into my head at this point was whether that was exactly how every day of work would be if I took the job. I stared at the computer screen for a while, contemplating whether I was willing to sacrifice all my free time and energy on this brainless job when I could spend it by learning something new. And then I pictured it: me, in an enclosed space with false lighting, sitting in a corner on a computer without interacting with anyone all day, with no hope of going anywhere for ten minutes in this too quiet residential area. It didn't seem right. I wanted something more.

Here's a valuable lesson, kids, so pay close attention. When you're in a situation where you feel like you can't get out but you really want to, the best thing to do is to fake a phone call. And that's exactly what I did. No joke.

I faked a phone call. I pretended it was my dad. I pretended that he was whispering on the other end. I pretended that he said that my grandmother had been taken to the hospital. (Sorry, Grandma!) And then I pretended like he said he needed me to meet them at the hospital right away. And then I walked over to the guy interviewing me, looking like I was about to burst into tears at any moment, relied the information to him and asked if I could take the test some other time. I also apologized profusely when he said it was okay and that I should be with my family.

And then I left and never contacted them again.

I know you're thinking that I'm a horrible person. Possibly spoilt.  And maybe you're right.

I didn't want to sacrifice my happiness and my sanity to do something that wouldn't help me grow. Is a job opportunity really worth the trouble if it only makes you miserable?

What followed was an emotional break down in heavy traffic (thank God for large sunglasses!) and hours and hours crying by my lonesome in my room. I didn't eat anything for two whole days. I questioned every decision I'd ever made in my life, I doubted myself more than I ever have before, and I even doubted my plans for the future that I had formulated.

Right now when I'm sitting down and writing this while listening to some blues, I feel like I have no real achievements to speak of and I desperately want to change that. The only problem is, I don't know where to start.

In a whirlwind of epiphanies that followed once I calmed down, I decided that I needed to revisit my roots and remind myself once again about my love for art and design and the calmness it brings.

And, kids, that's how I decided that the best thing for me to do at this point is to volunteer at an NGO that teaches art to slum children in hopes of encouraging them to dream of achieving something in life, because right now, I'm in the exact same mental block that they're in.

I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

Thanks for reading!

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