A vacancy catches your eye.
Something about it glistens amongst the other job listings. Or perhaps it’s the only vacancy available and you’re not really that picky anyway. You imagine your life if you got the job. You design the apartment you would live in with that job. It has big windows and a couch where you’ll curl up after a long day at work. You picture yourself in the cafe you would go to for your lunch break. You would order the soup and sip green tea with lemon. It would be romantic. The job would pay the bill.
You get a call inviting you to an interview. You stress all week about what to wear and you repeatedly go over the interview scenario in your head. Over and over and over. You wonder what questions you will be asked and how to answer them in order to make yourself sound amazing but not cocky. You worry about tripping over your words. You worry about tripping, in general. Maybe you won’t wear heels.
You arrive at the interview, wearing the carefully crafted outfit you’ve obsessed over all week. It is professional, but also quirky. You want to show your personality. You wore the heels. You pray you don’t trip but you don’t want to appear as short as you actually are. You need to appear like a force to be reckoned with! The interviewer invites you into their office. You retch a little in your mouth and regret the garlic you ate at lunch.
The interview goes better than you imagined. There is lots of smiling and you manage to talk about yourself without sounding like a dick. The interviewer likes you. You remember the apartment you designed and the cafe you will eat lunch in. You are pleased with the life this job and you will share.
Days pass. You check your phone every twelve seconds. Sometimes you turn off your phone and turn it back on, in case the signal dropped and that’s why you’ve not heard something by now. Every time your phone rings, your heart jumps and you grab it faster than you would drop a hot coal.
It’s your dad.
You are rude to him because he is not the job interviewer and also, he is asking you if you’ve had “any news”, which really means, “did they offer you the job yet?”
Should you contact them? Maybe they lost your details? What if you invite them to connect on LinkedIn? You look at yourself. You listen to your own thoughts. You are the desperate stalker, obsessing over every second that passes that you don’t hear anything. You are That Applicant.
They finally call. They tell you how great you were, how much they liked you, but…
Your hearing blurs. Everything fogs out when you hear that “but.”
You’re dumped. You didn’t even have a second interview. You didn’t even get the chance to show them how great you are! You didn’t even get to show them how good you are at coffee runs and making copies and answering phones, should they suddenly be short a receptionist. You tried to tell them how proud you’d make them, what a stellar employee you’d be, but now, it’s too late.
They hang up.
Your dad says they don’t know what they’re missing. It wasn’t meant to be. You remember the apartment and the cafe. You liked the idea of that job. But you know you are destined for something special and you look forward to the next time a vacancy glistens amongst the rest. You will maybe not eat garlic for lunch next time. It was probably the garlic.
Definitely, the garlic.