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Disaster Interviews

  Wed 3rd May 2017

Kendal.

I feel like I've been tricked into making the first episode of a new Channel 4 series called Disaster Interviews.

"So, you live in Lancaster, but you've applied for the job [in a bookie's] in Kendal..."

"Right. I was under the impression that the job was in Lancaster, but Kendal's OK." It was in Lancaster -- it's their cock-up. We then went into a diversion where we talked about the practicality of getting back from Kendal at 10pm at night. It's possible, if I walk two miles to Oxenholme station, outside of which is the phone box in which I flirted with hypothermia the other night.

She asked me "so" -- everyone's started prefacing sentences with "so" all of a sudden -- "tell me a bit about yourself." I must have looked a bit startled as I sat open-mouthed for a second or two, before guessing that the question really was "what is your work experience and how is it relevant to this job?"

The cv I sent them contains slivers of truth dotted about a larding of out-and-out invention. I was about to tell them about the one legitimate element of the current stage in my brilliant career when she interrupted me to say "so then you went to work for Sorrento Cafe in Ormskirk?"

Sorrento Cafe in Ormskirk doesn't exist, but on one of the many versions of my cv, it's my current employer, but I had forgotten I'd said so. During one of our spells of cordiality, Trina agreed to pretend to have been its owner, and to forward to me any letters from prospective employers, so that I could do the vetting process on myself. What a good robot he was. Charming, honest.

"So, you were living in Lancaster but working in Ormskirk?" "Well, at the beginning, yes, but I started going out with the café’s owner. I was commuting there every day but I started staying at her house and then got a room in Ormskirk to be nearer her."

I blundered my way through the rest of the nail-picking hour, my nervousness a catalyst for my loquacity. I demonstrated a talent in which I truly excel -- talking at inordinate length whilst saying nothing at all.

At last it was over -- the one moment of togetherness with my interviewers being our shared relief at this state. I went to the chip shop, then to Wetherspoons.

I bought two pints of ale and one of soda water. I teetered up the steps and set them down on a vacant table. I looked up and noticed my interviewers sitting at the next table. They were fiddling with their phones. Just as I thought I had escaped their fields of vision, one of them looked up and said "hiya."

"Ha ha, great minds!" I said, continuing the nervous, improvisatory mood I had forced on them. Fucking hell. Even in our dinner hour, we can't get rid of him. The interviewee as stalker. The interviewee as leech.

4 comments

Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Cue up It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career by Belle and Sebastian, and it’s a right shame we can’t list drug dealer on our resumes/cv’s, that job provides you with more business, people and negotiating skills than any legit gig ever will… if you get the gig you’re gonna need to steal a bicycle, just saying…

Wed 3rd May 2017 @ 19:51
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Date: Wed, 03 May 2017 22:28:53 +0000
From: The bookie’s
To: looby
Subject: Application Update

“Hi looby,

Thank you for recently attending your first interview with us and the time you have invested in us. Unfortunately we regret to inform you that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion. Thank you for the interest you have shown in The Bookie’s Careers and good luck with your future career developments.

Kind Regards, The Bookie’s Careers Recruitment Team”

Thu 4th May 2017 @ 05:12
Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

That “So…” thing drives me mad. It makes most radio interviews unlistenable.

Thu 4th May 2017 @ 10:27
Comment from: [Member]

It’s infected the Today programme – that low-rent rag of The Interrupting School of Journalism – like a spoken form of AIDS. No-one quite knows where it came from, but it’s spreading through careless interviewing.

Even intelligent people are doing it now. There was a female scientist talking about something about memory or something – I can’t remember – and even she was doing that little halting, lecturing, superior “so".

Fri 5th May 2017 @ 00:51


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