Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Job Interview and Aftermath

I had my job interview today. I think it went well. They sort of acted like they'd already hired me and just started telling me about how to do the job, without asking me any questions. Well, except for the one question they asked me first thing: What do you know about our company? I had prepared for that one by wading through the massive amounts of jargon on the website as best I could and extracting what little information from it that I could, so I think I answered the question reasonably well. I named two of their main products and said I understood that one was a web-based application and the other was Windows-based, and then asked them how the two products work together.

I found out that the department I would be working in will have only three people in it, including whoever they hire to fill this position. There are no advancement opportunities at all, unless the boss leaves (she's in her 40s, probably not leaving anytime soon) or unless I transfer laterally to a different department (which would mean my job would involve less writing or editing, and more software testing). I'm a bit put off by the lack of advancement opportunities. The boss used to work for my former employer's major competitor, and the other person in the department used to work for my former employer itself. That was extremely unexpected.

I tried to make my own opportunities to sell them on my skills, since they weren't asking me any more questions. I think I did okay at this, but not quite as well as I had expected to when I was preparing for the interview and anticipating that they would ask me a lot of questions.

After the interview, I wanted to celebrate by taking photographs of the scenery on the way home. Unfortunately, this plan went badly wrong when I locked my keys in the car at the very first place I stopped to photograph. I realized what I had done mere seconds after I closed the door, but it was too late. It was the first time in my life that I've ever locked my keys in the car.

I couldn't call Susan, because I had also locked my cell phone in the car, and I haven't ever memorized her phone number - I always had it available in my cell phone when I needed it. I couldn't call anyone at all. I decided to break the window, but after hitting the window with my camera about fifteen times, I didn't seem to be making any progress on that. Then it occurred to me that Susan would eventually come looking for me, and if she did, I would be easy to find - I was right on one of the only two main highways I could possibly have taken to and from the interview. However, I had told Susan that I wasn't going to come directly home after the interview, so it seemed unlikely that she would start to worry about me until quite late. I had locked my keys in the car at 11:00 a.m., and I figured Susan wasn't likely to come looking for me until about 9:00 p.m. - which meant she wouldn't actually reach me until 10:00 p.m. It was raining slightly for a while, but it stopped before I got very wet. (My umbrella was also locked in the car.) I decided that as long as it didn't start pouring rain, I would rather wait eleven hours by the side of the road than ask a passing driver to call an expensive locksmith for me. So I sat down on the hood of my car to wait.

Within 45 minutes, a couple with a small dog pulled over and asked me if I needed help. I asked whether they could look up Susan's name in the phone book and call her for me. They called information to get Susan's number and then handed me the phone. I could barely hear a thing over the noise of the traffic, so I had to guess at when might be the right time to record a message. I explained to the couple that I wasn't sure whether the message recorded correctly, and asked them to call and leave a message for me when they got home.

After they left, a man pulled over and asked me if I needed help. I told him no, I had already called for help, so he left. But after he left, I realized that the number in the phone book was most likely the number of Susan's house phone, not her cell phone. Her house phone rings incessantly, but she absolutely never answers it, and absolutely never checks the messages. So calling the house phone was no better than not calling at all. Furthermore, even if I did have her cell phone number, her cell phone charger for the house hasn't worked since Boston chewed it up, and Susan only intermittently recharges her cell phone with the charger in her truck. So there was a high likelihood that the cell phone was currently without power, making it impossible for Susan to check any messages there either. (As it turned out, the cell phone was indeed without power today.)

Then a woman named Kim pulled over and asked if I needed help. She said she had AAA. I said I don't have AAA. She said that was okay, she'd just wait with me until AAA showed up and I could use her card. I thanked her profusely. She said she was on her way back from a site analysis for her job, so I asked about her job and found out she works for a program called "Harvest of the Month" that sends various healthy plant foods into schools each month, especially for low-income students. I had previously heard of this program through Susan, who is involved with it at her school.

While we were waiting for AAA to show up, a California Highway Patrol officer stopped. He had a device with him that can be used to pick locks. He said he wasn't supposed to use it because of "liability issues," but he was bored so he was going to go ahead and try it. It was a flat sheet of metal that he slid down next to the window and into the lock mechanism. He tried and tried to unlock the mechanism, for at least half an hour, before the locksmith called by AAA finally arrived. The locksmith used a completely different method of opening the car; he wedged open the top of the door and shoved a long wire through the space to push on the handle.

Unfortunately, we discovered at this point that the California Highway Patrol officer had damaged my lock. The driver's side door no longer unlocked in response to the inside handle being moved to the "unlock" position. The power door locks did successfully unlock the other three doors, so I was able to get into my car - but the driver's side door no longer unlocks in response to my key or my remote or anything else. I have to get in through the passenger side door. Apparently these are the "liability issues" that the officer had vaguely referred to earlier. He now hopped back in his car and drove away, not offering to pay for the damage, of course.

I did make a note of his name on his uniform. But I'm not sure I want to try to do anything about it. I called the nearest Nissan dealer and made an appointment for Tuesday morning to have them fix my lock then. Maybe if the price is unexpectedly high, I'll think again about trying to contact the officer and asking him to pay for it.
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