June 17, 2011
Bird poop, MATH!, and a toilet

Here’s a lesson for me: Don’t apply to jobs I don’t really want.

When I ignore that rule I end up getting an interview. The more I don’t want a job the more likely that company will want me. It’s a lot like my experience with boys in high school… and college. But out of desperation I sometimes end up applying for something that I know I don’t want because applying makes me feel like I’m actually doing something. It makes me feel like I’m trying and really working hard to exit hobo-dom. But I regret it once I find myself at one of these interviews, much like I did this morning.

First, just let me thank the rain for raining down on me because otherwise I wouldn’t have had my umbrella open and some nice white goopy bird shit would have landed on my classy lady coat. I own about three nice things and this is one of them. Whenever I wear this jacket I do not get followed around department stores because I no longer look like a street vagrant (that’s how classy it is!).

At the company I was immediately given three tests. The first two tests were really similar. One was a numbers test and the other focused on words. For the numbers test, it went like this:

1) 7654 __ 7654

2) 182863 __ 182868

3) 09525 __ 09555

I had to put a check mark next to the series of numbers that matched so for the example above I would put a check in #1. The words test was set up the same way but it was like, Johnson & Johnson vs. Johnson Johnson (in which case this one would not get a check mark because they don’t match). Anyway, boring story short, these tests had nothing to do with the job I was applying for but apparently they make everyone take them because the receptionist told me she had to take them before. I could see if I was applying for an editor or a proofreader position why this would even matter but the job I was going for had noooothing to do with matching words and numbers.

Later I was told by the owner of this company that my test scores were “OK, not outstanding, I’ll be honest.” Then she said I was a lot faster on the words test than the numbers one and she asked if I was good at math. Lady, even if I was Winnie Cooper (who is now some awesome mathematician) that numbers test had no reflection of how well someone could DO math. It’s just looking at numbers and seeing if they match or not. If math was that easy I wouldn’t have gotten a 480 on the math section of the SATs (old scoring format because I am elderly (yes, I did score that low but that’s OK because everyone awesome/funny/cool/smart that I know also tested poorly so that must mean something)). I told her the truth, that math wasn’t my favorite. What I wanted to say was, Math makes me want to shit my pants. It truly does. I am breaking one stereotype (Asians & math) while reinforcing another (girls & math). I can’t do math for shit, I’m sorry. I had to Google for math help at my old job and when that didn’t work I IM’ed two friends. Then I wrote the formula on a Post-It and tacked it on my wall where I referred to it on a semi-regular basis for over two years. So yeah, math and me are no bueno.

The office was small and odd. There was a bottle of Cetaphil on a filing cabinet which made me feel… uncomfortable? Like, why would that be there? There was only one toilet, guys. ONE TOILET! For twenty people! I guess no one poops there because if you do, everyone would know. They’d definitely see you going in and notice how long you were in there. That alone gives me anxiety. Anyway, I’m hoping my lofty (not really) salary requirements prevent them from extending an offer because I really don’t want to work at a job I don’t really want, a job that judges you on your ability to match numbers and a job that doesn’t fully support the colon health of its employees.