Holy crackers, I think I’m going to puke. I’m in bed, trying to sleep, to no avail, and decide to check my email. I’ve been invited to interview with MacMillan Publishing as an editor and proofreader. Like, right then. Chop-chop, we’re waiting for ya!
Commence extreme anxiety. Ice courses through my vein, which feels a lot like when my blood sugar is too low. It must be a video interview because they mention Google Hangouts and Skype. I look like crap and try to tame my hair. Whoops, too tame. Now I look like Danielle Steele. Maybe I could tuck it in the bags under my eyes?
I’m freezing. Why haven’t I finished crocheting my cardigan sleeves yet? No, wait. I’m burning up. Cardigan on; cardigan off. My heart lets me know it’s working just fine, thank you very much, by pounding in my ears.
WTH have I done? Why did I apply for jobs? I’m not good at anything; mediocre at best, disabled at worst. No, I can’t think that way. I’ve been editing and proofreading since I was old enough to read and write. I’m a word nerd. I’m one of those people. It’s you’re, not your, complete stranger on the Internet.
I sign into Google Hangouts, no clue what I’m doing. I haven’t used it in years. Where do I enter the code? How do I get the damn thing started? Why are my mic and camera disabled? Where’s the hiring manager I was told to add? Why won’t my heart move back down to my chest? I’m pretty sure that’s where it belongs.
Bless Google, a quick search gets me up and running. I wait…and wait…and wait. It’s too late. They’ve moved on because I couldn’t figure out how to use stinking technology that I’ve used before. I really wanted this job. I needed this job. I can’t continue eating two Tums for dinner. Well, not sustainably, anyway.
I shoot a message to the interviewer and tell him I’m available and ready for the interview. That’s too bold! No answer. I should apologize profusely. The seconds seem like minutes. They hired someone else; I just know it. I’m wasting my time. I wouldn’t be a good fit, anyway.
No, wait. He answers! He’s ready to get started, text-to-text. No video. Woo hoo! Am I ready? You bet your bippy I am. Let’s go!
My stomach is roiling. I need to puke. You’d think my Tums diet would have prevented that. I can’t leave the computer. Why didn’t I grab my phone? Why’s my mouth so dry? Why does my husband keep waving at me from five feet away? Oh, right; he doesn’t know I’m being interviewed. No need to get his hopes up. I kept it to myself. I keep most things to myself. Fewer people to disappoint.
The interview starts, and I’m a different person. I’m an asset to this company. I always give my best to those with whom I contract. Was it too cocky? It was too cocky. No, you’re supposed to sell yourself. It’s fine. Or was it? He says okay. Okay? What the heck does that mean? It was too cocky; I knew it. The interview continues.
My responses need to be swift, pow-pow-pow, just like Taylor. Answer the questions and type “DONE” when I’m finished. I do. Ten questions, clickety, clickety, clickety. DONE. Seven more questions, clickety, clickety, clickety. Enter. Oh, shit, I forgot to type “done.” DONE.
I blew it. I screwed up by forgetting to type “DONE” and adding it as a new message. Of course. Someone else will get the job. I shouldn’t have even checked my email. The interview continues!
The nausea continues. Can he hear me? I bet he can hear me. He can hear me because I have the video call up, even though I’m the only one in there and we’re on chat. Somehow, he can hear me. My mic is off and my camera is off, but he can hear me. He’s going to tell me he can hear me. He heard me say that he didn’t type very quickly. He heard me cuss when I forgot to type “DONE.” The interview continues.
He wants to know my hourly rate. WHAT? I don’t know. Don’t they tell me that? I wouldn’t pay me anything for me to work for me. I’m not good enough. I’m not worth whatever I tell him.
I tell him. It’s low; like, really low, 60 percent less than the going rate. He knows I don’t value my work. Now he’ll know I’m a schmuck and have no idea what I’m doing. I’m a fraud. I’m playing dress-up.
He says okay. Again. What’s up with that? He likes what he has read and really wants me on his team. Say what? I must have misread. He thinks he’s talking to someone else. Crap. I should tell him.
He tells me to be on Hangouts at 9 a.m. Central for the interview results. Central? I’m Eastern. It takes me a minute. My autistic, right-is-left, left-is-right, can’t tell time on an analog clock brain can’t think of the difference. The Golden Girls is on at 9, 8 Central; the TV guy always said that. Okay, I’m an hour ahead. Should I sit here and wait until 10 a.m. (9 Central)? I haven’t slept, but that’s okay. Can’t be late. Kindly be on time, he said. I can wait. I’ll be fine.
He tells me the interview is over. I thank him for his time and kindness. No response. I should stay here until he answers. He said we were through, but it might be a test. If I leave first, I am no longer a candidate. I bet that’s it. I wait. Ten minutes, twenty minutes. I passed the test; I didn’t leave.
I go puke.