I doubted the Oracle, and I have learnt a bitter lesson. A few weeks ago I applied for a job in London, and on discovering I had been selected for an interview I consulted the oracle.
“What will happen if I go to the appointed meeting?”
the answer –
“First pleasure, then grief”
Ignoring this damning prediction I blithely flew to London and interviewed for the very serious role of Parliamentary Affairs Assistant. My interviewer was an attractive, lobbyist who (like me) enjoys politics, running and training for marathons. My friend had lent me a lucky hippo which no doubt aided the flowing conversation of the interview – my interview wardrobe had been picked up on sale at a fraction of the cost it was worth and as I skipped up Pall Mall in the sunshine everything looked rosy. We live in such an amazing world. I even experienced a warm glow of compassion for the flock of slow walking tourists following an umbrella, a sensation not yet encountered. It was a good day, one might even describe it as pleasurable.
On the tube I gave my seat up to a man who was at least three hundred years old, and even his lecherous looks and mutterings of ‘you can sit on my lap’ could not dampen my mood. Soon I would be living in London – the most exciting city in the world, I would be working with a political visionary and be influential in changing the world. So very West Wing. Back at my friend’s apartment, I relaxed onto the sofa and crossed my legs – ready relay the details of my brilliant day – she gasped in horror. My heavily discounted trousers were ripped from seam-to-seam “I can see your va-jay-jay” she announced. It dawned on me why they had been so cheap. I had definitely crossed and un-crossed my legs during the interview, had the attractive lobbyist seen my yoohoo?
(Conundrum: As my mother very kindly pointed out if I didn’t get called back for a second interview it was because the interviewer thought I was a hoe-bag, and if I did get asked back it would be with the expressed intention to employ me as an office sex slave.)
I got a phone call at the end of the week, I had a second interview. All my mother said was ‘hmm hmm’ knowingly. I was pleased, but the pleasure had undercurrents of despair.
The night before the second interview could not have gone any worse. I arrived the afternoon before and was staying with the same friend. She’s engulfed in exam revision and between testing her on her gobbets, and her testing me on the 25 strangest interview questions ever asked (how do you get an elephant into a refrigerator?) we finally went to sleep at midnight. At 2am she woke me up to tell me there were mice in the room. At 4am she woke me up because there was an intruder in the house. We called the police, the police arrived, there was no intruder, they thought we were mad, they were right. At 5am I woke up because I knew I only had another hour in bed. At 6am I woke up because I had to. Needless to say the interview was indeed a grievous one. I distinctly remember talking about climate change and garden gnomes, all I can hope is that those subjects were not in conjunction.My addled brain remembers very little else.
So the Oracle was right, the meeting did bring me pleasure – followed by grief.
I didn’t get the job, and for the past few days have tried to commit suicide by way of carbs – bagels, pasta, crisps, everything the devil planted on this earth to give us poor self-esteem and cellulite have formed my staple diet. But slowly I’ve realised that I did gain a lot from the experience, and I can only benefit from this. Perseverance is necessary, not just in times of fiscal austerity where no interesting jobs exist – but at any time. If I don’t keep trying how will I know what it is that i’m suited to. And so I will persevere… but this time keeping the Oracle’s advice in mind. The third prophecy has taught me well.