Getting a Jawb
This morning I had an interview. It wasn’t at an unreasonable hour (11:15) and last night I planned my bus route ahead. I sorted it out so that I’d show up fifteen minutes early in case I couldn’t find where I needed to be, or if there was bad traffic. Standing at the bus stop—also early—this morning at 10:18 I waited…and waited. 10:30 rolls around and I decide to try another bus, any bus going west, so i cross a couple streets and lo and behold the bus I was waiting to arrive at 10:24 at the other stop shows up at 10:3x. Now on the bus I frantically survey my new options on Google Maps. (How did I survive before?) Ah, the other bus I was going to take, just the later one should have me there at 11:12! Basically my only option at this point before the other suggestion it cobbles together transfers at another faraway stop and requires a hell of a lot more walking, which is bad because I’m not supposed to arrive at an interview looking windblown. I’ll have a perfect three minutes between my bus and the transfer bus. Brilliant. The bus I’m on waits at the intersection to do a left and I see my transfer bus ambling forward from the opposite direction taking a right. I nearly piss myself, muttering aloud “c’mon, c’mon”. Yeah I’m that guy on the bus now. It’s fucking early! My bus was late as hell and this one has the gall to be early. I edge from my seat to the front door as we round the turn and I watch hopelessly as my connecting bus lets one person on. The driver sees my desperation, as I bolt out the doors, he rams the horn to alert the other driver, who has at this point shuts the doors and begins inching forward. I jump on and thank the driver for waiting and take a seat. After this, the ride is absurdly leisurely. At one point we stay at the same stop for about five minutes for no reason, which makes my running for the bus all the more stupid, except that this stop is a twelve minute walk from where I caught the bus.
Arriving for the interview which itself was a fucking breeze compared to getting there puctually, I find out my interviewer is at home with a busted appliance and this girl who looks my age or a touch younger tells me she’ll be conducting the interview, but assures me it’ll be relaxed because she hasn’t much experience giving interviews. Excellent, I think, I love lax interviews that are more about finding a common connection with a person than your actual skills. I ask about the company a little, talk about my experiences and after fifteen minutes I notice we mostly just talked about how shitty the buses are and playing in bands. Aces. I think she thought I was a girl though, because at one point she mentions playing in a band in the Downtown Eastside and how she would’ve felt intimidated by some of the people there if it weren’t for the four other blokes in her band hanging around. I got the feeling I was supposed to comiserate, but I just avoided it adding that I knew some female friends who had been propositioned in that area before. Another candidate arrives early and I say goodbye after she smiles saying that she’ll definitely suggest me for hire. Fingers crossed. Here’s the thing: I have not figured out a good way to emphasize my maleness to other people, in the sense that I don’t want to go to an interview and say, “I’m a guy,” or “I’m transgender”, especially if it’s a one-on-one conversation and nobody is fucking up pronouns, they’re just saying “you”. The concept of outing myself pre-emptively is uncomfortable to me, in part because I get the feeling that I could be giving a person who happens to be an asshole a reason to hire somebody else and I’m in no financial position to get that picky.
The way back home is less stressful because I’m not on a schedule, however, if I had been, I would’ve been late because while my first bus was timely, my connecting bus was like five minutes early and I watched it drive past me a block away and waited for ten minutes between two stops I could use and then a bus that wasn’t even supposed to show up arrives, instead of one of two I’m waiting for. How does that make sense? Hopefully, if they hire me I can work at the closer location which is twelve minutes away, even if it’s in a shittier part of town with much more ‘colourful’ characters.