How Do I Do What? – Part 2

March 2020

After a few pleasantries Gary gets into the interview. The standard questions, “tell me about yourself,” “what qualifies you for this position,” “tell me about a time when you and a co-worker full on hated each other and wished for the slow, painful, untimely demise of each other and how you resolved the conflict without axes.”

Snore.

But then he surprises me. I’ll give him that: Gary surprises me.

He asks, “How do you stay young?”

Did he really just ask me that? How do I stay young?

“Well, let’s see,” I say, “after I’ve taken your company for everything that you’re worth, because of the age discrimination lawsuit I’m about to file, I’mma buy the black Louboutin pumps, a yacht, a fabulous home on Nantucket, a villa in Mykonos, contribute to the Humane Society, Best Friends Animal Society, ASPCA, and Alzheimer’s research, and never have to work for age discriminating fucks like you ever again!”

That’s how I stay young.

Chill out! I don’t say that. I can actually control myself.

Instead I say, “Well, I guess I could get a boob lift, a tummy tuck, liposuction, botox, and a Cabana Boy, but looking young has nothing to do with staying young, now does it?”

Unfortunately, I don’t say that either. I wish I could say that. I wish I could say all of that, but I need a job, damnit.

“Well, um, I’m not really sure what you’re looking for here, but I love Post Malone, does that count? Fleabag is one of my favorite shows. I love to read…”

“Read??” he interrupts and is incredulous. “Read?? Reading isn’t young. Reading is old! Nobody reads anymore! Our CEO is in his 50s and he’s the first one to get on the water skis and try new jumps! He’s the best snowboarder in our whole company – always the first down the mountain. He jumps out of airplanes, he…”

Oh, so you mean adventurous. Taking risks. You equate risk taking with staying young.

Hmm. That’s interesting, because isn’t risk taking different for everyone? For example: for some people, taking a risk is public speaking. For some people, taking a risk is auditioning for community theater. For some people, taking a risk is voicing a concern to a hostile boss. For some people, taking a risk is leaving an abusive relationship and having the courage to be alone rather than to be belittled, mocked, criticized, bullied, and slapped every day. For some people.

Other people can afford the boat and the water skis. Other people are healthy enough to snowboard. Other people actually have the desire to jump out of a plane.

Since when does staying young mean putting your life at risk?

And since when does “reading” make you old?? No one reads anymore? Reading is no longer taught in schools? Instead we teach snowboarding, because in the future snowboarding will make you a more viable job candidate?

Well, not that it matters, since I’m never going to see you again in my life, you age discriminating fuck, but does traveling through Hong Kong all by my little old self count as taking a risk? How about Warsaw, Poland – all alone? What about shark diving in South Africa? Bungee jumping? Hiking Angel’s Landing? Zip lining? Surely, zip lining counts as taking a risk. People die doing that every day.

As soon as the interview ends, I practically run to my car and crank Ministry. Yes, Ministry is a band that was big in the 90s, so I imagine fuckhead in there would consider it old, but Ministry is my mood right now.

Ministry is loud, angry, rebellious, and black steel-toed boots. I love it.

Hey wait. Don’t the words loud, angry, rebellious, and black steel-toed boots epitomize teenagers? Epitomize youth?

So who’s staying young now, bitch? Ha.

Actually, I guess I don’t want to sound like a teenager, because that’s not a compliment, and it’s a little embarrassing. So, never mind.

But I’m still cranking Ministry.

You’re not the boss of me, Gary.

How Do I Do What? – Part 1

March 2020

I have a job interview today. A real live job interview. It’s not over the phone or Zoom or that insidious HireVue piece of crap interview thing. Nope. This is a face to face, one on one, shake your hand, look you in the eyes interview.

Finally.

If only I actually wanted this job. It’s a corporate training position at a tech company—total bro culture. Actually, it’s worse than that. It’s a tech company in Utah County—Mormon bro culture. I’d rather date a guy with a mustache.

I so don’t want this job, but beggars can’t be choosers and I need one. A job.

The front desk of this office is manned by—wait for it—a mannequin. A mannequin that probably came from a Lerner’s store back in the 80s. The mannequin is wearing jeans, a baseball cap, and a t-shirt emblazoned with the corporate logo. I’m guessing the mannequin is male, based on the lack of boobage. I can’t decide if it makes more sense that a bro culture would have a male mannequin or if they’d have a female mannequin with huge boobs and a v-neck t-shirt revealing fake, plastic cleavage.

Discuss.

Beyond the front desk is a blur of cubicles. I hear murmurs of male voices. Either no one has noticed that I’ve come through the door, or no one cares. I walk around a little bit, hoping someone will see me from his peripheral vision. I’m hoping that Gary, my interviewer, will have been paying attention to the clock and listening for my arrival.

Five minutes. Just the mannequin and me hangin’ out in the lobby of the latest cutting-edge, trail-blazing, innovative, revolutionary, Utah County tech company. Woot.

Should I clear my throat? Cough? Walk back to the cubicles and ask which one of these 22 year olds is Gary?

22 year olds are always on their phones. If I send Gary an email, he’ll get the notice that he has an e-mail, he won’t be able to resist checking it—despite the fact that he’s in a very important meeting—he’ll discover that I’m here, and he’ll come out to greet me and begin the interview for this job that I don’t really even want.

And that’s exactly what happens.

A bro in his 30s walks out to the lobby. Not surprisingly, his jeans, t-shirt, and baseball cap match the mannequin’s.

Gary is all smiles, friendly. Shakes my hand. Gary is impressive. Gary seems like a really cool guy.

Maybe I judged this company and the mannequin too harshly. Maybe this would be an awesome place to work. The right heels look fabulous with the right jeans and the right t-shirt; I think I could totally do this!

Aaaaaaand then Gary starts the interview.

And that’s when I know. I know that even if I wanted this job, I totally cannot do this.

I totally can’t even.

Mustache Guy – Part 7

2008

I’m having a hard time getting over the whole “Kotex” thing. I’m pretty creeped-out about it, to be perfectly honest, but I have to be here for 15 more minutes and maybe idle conversation will make the time go faster.

“Are you much of a reader?” I ask.

“Well, I like to read. But not books. I read periodicals.”

Periodicals? You mean magazines?

“And mostly,” he continues, “hunting magazines.”

As Mustache Guy proceeds to describe in excruciating detail the content of said hunting magazines – guns, ammo, gutting a poor, defenseless deer – Hot Guy is approaching our table. Hot Guy sits down at the table right behind us. Hot Guy takes a book out of his bag and starts reading.

Hot Guy is only sitting about 6 inches away from Mustache Guy which means that he’s close enough to hear Mustache Guy’s inane babbling. This is so embarrassing. Thank God he didn’t hear the whole “Kotex” debacle.

Hopefully, Hot Guy will get so engrossed in his Tom Perrotta book (Tom Perrotta? Hot Guy is reading Tom Perrotta. What am I doing wrong? Why have I not met a Hot Guy who reads Tom Perrotta? Do hot, Tom Perrotta reading guys not join matchmaking services? Of course, they don’t, Beatrice. Hot, Tom Perrotta reading guys don’t need a matchmaking service, because hot, Tom Perrotta reading guys are in high demand. Stupid hot, Tom Perrotta reading guys.) that he’ll completely tune Mustache Guy out. He’ll definitely tune Mustache Guy out. I’ve tuned Mustache Guy out and I’m not even reading.

Wow, Beatrice. You’re being a bitch. Get over yourself.

This poor guy. He’s probably just nervous. He’s perfectly nice, and I’m not being fair. I knew I should not have come on this date, because I’m wasting his time and mine.

I look at my watch, then I look at Mustache Guy, who has stopped talking long enough to take breath and before he can start talking again, I stand up.

“Well, thank you again for meeting me here. It was nice to meet you.”

Mustache Guy looks, justifiably, surprised that I’m now standing. He stands and walks with me out the door.

“Can I walk you to your car?” he asks.

“Absolutely,” I say. He really is a nice guy.

“I’m a gentleman and I’m pretty affectionate, so I take care of my lady.”

Did he just say that he’s affectionate? He’s not planning on kissing me, is he? No. No, absolutely not. That’s ridiculous, we just met. And he said “Kotex.” But just in case, when we arrive at my car, I hold out my hand for him to shake.

“Thanks again,” I say.

“So, can we get together again some time?” he asks.

“Well,” I say. “I’m just going to be completely honest.” Partly honest. “That whole hunting thing is really an issue for me. I’ll have to think about it and let you know.”

“Ok,” he says.

“Drive safely,” I say as I climb into my car.

Wow. I cannot believe how bad that was. I’m honestly stunned at how completely clueless that guy was, and I kinda feel bad for him. Not bad enough to go out with him again, but…still he was a really nice guy.

Dude. It can’t just be me: “really nice guy” is a euphemism for “boring and not that smart.” I like nice guys. I do. I just don’t like boring, dense, nice guys. If the only adjective you can find for a guy is “really nice,” then please don’t set me up with him.

Don’t set anyone up with him. Unless, of course, your friend is “really nice” too. That might work.

Mustache Guy – Part 6

2008

Now that I’ve patiently listened to the titillating story about the bus, his boss, and lost vacation time, how much longer do you think I have to sit here? I mean, I don’t want to be rude, but…come on!

Open mind.

“So where have you been traveling lately?” I ask.

“Kansas, Arkansas, and South Dakota.”

Aaaaaaannnnnd now I’m done. Seriously. When someone starts talking about exciting travels to Arkansas? Yeah, I’m done.

I don’t regret coming, though, because an extremely Hot Guy just walked in, and oh my gosh. Next to Starbucks Guy, this guy is the most perfect man in America. Tall, gorgeous, well-dressed…wait a minute. Something’s different. What’s different?

Oh. Mustache Guy has quit talking.

Awkward lull in conversation. Super fun times.

“So, tell me about your family. Any siblings?” I ask.

Look, as long as I have to be here, I’d rather attempt conversation than sit and stare at this guy’s ugly mustache.

“Eight brothers and sisters,” he says. “How about you?”

“I have five sisters and no brothers,” I say.

He pulls the same face that everyone pulls when I tell that. But then:

“Six girls?” he laughs. “That’s a lot of Kotex!”

Ew. Eeeeewww! Did he really just…? Kotex?

Forget the fact that that is an absolutely creepy thing to say to someone – especially on a first date – but who says “Kotex” anymore? Who says that??

Ew. Ugh. Gross.

Has this traumatic event really only been happening for 15 minutes?

At least give it 15 more, Beatrice. You can do anything for 15 minutes.

Right?

Mistake number 3,772,599.

Mustache Guy – Part 5

2008

Mustache Guy is ordering his coffee, and I’m looking for a place to sit. A place far away from everybody else in the coffee shop, because I don’t want them to hear us having a “first date” conversation. I find a table in the corner.

He sits down and asks me how I’m doing and what I’ve been up to this morning.

When I tell him that I went jogging, he launches into a long story about how he likes to run and snowshoe and he used to get to snowshoe a lot for his job as a State Park Water Manager, but now that he’s taken an office job, he doesn’t get out as much as he would like.

I told you that story in five seconds. Did he really need to take ten minutes to tell it to me? It’s not that interesting of a story. Seriously.

I thank him for driving 30 miles to meet me in Salt Lake. He tells me that it was no problem and that actually he’s used to coming into Salt Lake now because his new job is in an office in Salt Lake City, but rather than waste gas and put wear and tear on his truck, he rides the bus every day, because the government provides him with a free bus pass, and it turns out that it’s good he rides the bus, because his new boss rides the same bus and they talk the whole time about work and how they can improve things and he really likes his new boss but just found out that his boss has 8 kids and no 401K or Roth or IRA, and how crazy is that that a man his age with that many kids doesn’t have any kind of retirement plan, and not only that, but his boss never takes vacation time and he has a lot coming, because he’s a Level Three Director and that means that he’s pretty high up and has earned 3 weeks of vacation a year and he can carry some of that time over into the next year, but not all of it and his boss is going to lose so much vacation time and he can’t believe that someone wouldn’t take vacation time and he always takes his, because he loves to travel and he’s been traveling a lot with his new job.

Seriously.

Longest. Coffee. Date. Of. My. Life.

Mustache Guy – Part 4

2008

Maybe Mustache Guy was nervous when we talked the other night and that’s why he rambled on and on. Maybe he’s beyond hot and maybe he doesn’t have a mustache after all.

Maybe I’m losing my mind.

Of course I’m losing my mind. What other explanation is there for joining a matchmaking service?

Desperation.

I’d rather be losing my mind than desperate. Wouldn’t I?

I pull into Beans and Brews and realize that I don’t even know what Mustache Guy looks like. So I call him.

“Hey lady!” he answers. Cringe, shudder. Open mind.

“I’m just wondering what you’re wearing so that I’ll know who you are,” I say.

He laughs a nervous, twittery laugh. “I’m wearing blue jeans and kind of a blue checkered shirt.” You mean like gingham? Like “Sadie Hawkins?” Like you just walked off the farm? “And I’ve got a cheesy mustache.”

AAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! I knew it! I knew he had a mustache! He has a big ugly, handlebar mustache and a blue gingham shirt, and I have to sit by him!

I’m being stupid about this. Maybe he’s smart, amazing, charismatic, charming, and funny. Maybe I can talk him into shaving his mustache.

Once I’m inside, I glance around surreptitiously for a blue checkered shirt. I figure that a blue checked shirt will be pretty easy to spot and since I don’t see one, I don’t think he’s here. So I order myself a latte.

As I’m waiting for my coffee, a tall man sporting a mustache and a light blue plaid shirt walks in. We look right at each other.

“Beatrice?” he asks.

“Mustache Guy?”

“Hi,” we both sort of laugh with embarrassment.

OK so the shirt isn’t blue gingham and the mustache isn’t a handlebar and he’s not ugly at all.

I can do this.

Ha. Mistake number 3,923,620.

Mustache Guy – Part 3

2008

A few seconds later my phone rings. Well, I did tell him to call me….

“Hello?” I answer.

“Hey, lady!” he starts laughing. He definitely has a mustache and just thinking about it gives me the creeps.

So Mustache Guy starts talking. At first he’s very polite; he asks me a couple of questions about myself, which is kinda cool. But I soon realize that Mustache Guy is not afraid to talk. And talk and talk. He’s rambling and he’s boring, but maybe he’s just nervous, so I’ll cut him some slack.

When he finally stops long enough to take a breath, I interrupt with “Do you like animals?”

“Oh yeah. I love elk and duck,” he says. “I don’t really like venison, though.”

Elk and duck? I knew it. Stupid mustache, rambling, dorky man. I’m talking about animals that you love and snuggle and don’t murder. Within just a matter of seconds, he says the two words that turn me off faster than any others: avid hunter.

Actually the two words that would turn me off faster than any others would probably be “child molester,” but who’s gonna to tell you that during the first phone call?

“I must admit,” I say. “I’m not a big fan of hunting. I mean, if people want to hunt, that’s fine, it’s their business. But I don’t think I could ever be with a hunter.”

“Why not?” he asks

“Because I love animals.”

“I say that I’m a hunter, but it’s really just an excuse to get out on my snowshoes and enjoy the mountains in the winter,” he backpedals.

Then why don’t you just get out on your snowshoes and enjoy the mountains in the winter? Why the mass shooting?

I’ve now been listening to him ramble for 45 minutes, and I’m done. “Well, it’s been nice talking to you, but I’ve got to go,” I say during one of his “breath breaks.”

“I’ve loved talking to you too,” he says.

Did I say “loved?” I don’t think I said, “loved.”

“Could I take you to dinner sometime?” he says.

Abso-fuckin’-lutely not!

Open mind, Beatrice.

Damn that open minded thing! Why did I ever agree to that?

“What about Sunday morning coffee?” I ask. Coffee is easy. Coffee gets me out of a boring, 2-hour dinner. Coffee is independent, because I can leave whenever I want – I don’t have to be polite and wait around for the check to arrive. And Sunday morning coffee is especially important, because it tells me if he’s active Mormon or not.

“That works,” he says. Well, at least he’s not active Mormon. He definitely gets a point for that one. He has so many points already working against him, though: mustache, avid hunter, text dork. The only way he could redeem himself at this point is if he shows up for coffee and he actually IS Tom Selleck.

We arrange to meet at the Beans and Brews on 5th East at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Why am I doing this? I don’t want to meet this guy.

I am going to meet him, though, because I know that if I call that Kris guy at the stupid matchmaking place in protest, he’ll remind me that when I joined the waste-of-money matchmaking service, I made a commitment to meet everyone they match me up with.

Commitments are the worst.

Mustache Guy – Part 2

2008

I call Mustache Guy on Wednesday afternoon and leave a message, “Hi, this is Beatrice from the matchmaking place returning your call. Call me when you get a chance and let’s talk. I look forward to meeting you.”

I look forward to meeting you? No I don’t…you have a mustache. (Insert long sigh here.) But I’m keeping an open mind. I’m also keeping my commitment to that stupid matchmaking place by agreeing to at least meet the guys they match me up with.

It’s Friday night and I’m cleaning out my closet. No, I really am cleaning out my closet and color-coordinating it, and getting rid of stuff that I can send to D.I.

You don’t have to tell me how sad and pathetic that is! I already know how sad and pathetic that is! If Starbucks Guy hadn’t left me at the altar, I would be with him at dinner and a movie right now. But Starbucks Guy DID leave me at the altar, so I’m hangin’ with my dogs organizing my closet. At least I’m not just sitting here watching TV, eating chocolate, and feeling sorry for myself. Like I did last week.

My phone dings or chirps or whatever it’s called and alerts me to the fact that I have just received a text message.

“hey lady,” it reads. “sorry I missed UR call.”

One thing you should know about me: I hate text messages. No, I don’t think you understand. I ABSOLUTELY FUCKING HATE TEXT MESSAGES!

See, guys, here’s the deal: I’m 40. I actually like to talk to men. Men who use real words, not made up words like UR or gr8t. If you’re remotely interested in getting to know me, please pick up the fuckin’ phone and call me. Talk to me like I’m an intelligent, educated, classy woman who knows how to talk in complete, coherent sentences (although my mother would tell me right here that I’m not classy, because I just used the “F-word” and “beautiful young ladies do not swear”).

Ok, in my defense, it was 2008 and texting was new, and I thought it was kind of stupid, because I thought that it was a cop-out. A coward’s method of communicating. Lame, teenage “correspondence” for people who didn’t have the brain capacity to actually have a human conversation.

But now I LOVE texting, because I don’t have to waste my time making small talk. Plus, talking on the phone makes me antsy. I got shit to do, people.

Back to Mustache Guy.

I text him back a full sentence, spelled correctly: “What are you doing tonight?”

“Nuttn.”

So this is how it’s going to be. This is the kind of non-sensical conversation he intends on having. I feel like I’m talking to a 14-year-old.

“Impressive,” I text. Why doesn’t he just call me? He has my phone number; I’m obviously available to talk.

“bad answer,” he replies. “ru mad? pls don’t b.”

Am I mad? Holy shit. What if I really AM talking to a 14-year-old boy? Wait a minute. It’s all making sense: the matchmaking place isn’t real. It’s a set up. This is actually an episode of To Catch a Predator on Dateline! I’m going to go to jail.

Calm down, Beatrice. You heard his voice on the message he left you. He clearly is not a 14-year-old boy. But just to be sure, I text “I’m not a big fan of texting. Why don’t you call me?”

Mistake #4,286,145.

Mustache Guy – Part 1

2008

Is it just me, or is “really nice guy” a euphemism for “boring and not that smart”? If the only adjective you can find for a guy is “really nice,” then please don’t set me up with him. I like nice guys. I do. I just don’t like boring, dense, nice guys.

I step off the flight from Cleveland and realize that while my phone has been turned off so that it wouldn’t interfere with flight equipment and/or the space-time continuum, I got a voice message! This so rarely happens that – sadly enough – it really is exciting.

Until I hear the voice. The hick, Utah-accent voice.

“Hi, my name is MG, and you were referred to me through the matchmaking service. I’m sorry that I missed you, but I’ll be available tonight if you’d like to call me back. If I don’t hear from you, I’ll call you tomorrow. But I hope that whatever you’re doing tonight you’re enjoying yourself and having a wonderful day. And I hope that you have a wonderful day tomorrow. I’m looking forward to talking to you and meeting you and I hope you have a wonderful evening, and I’ll talk to you later. Good-bye.”

Oh, no. He has a mustache.

Open mind, Beatrice. Keep an open mind. You promised.

I know I promised, but he has a mustache!!

You don’t know for sure that he has a mustache.

Of COURSE he has a mustache! Did you hear his voice? Did you hear that message? This guy’s a total dork, and only dorks are dorky enough to think that they actually look good in a mustache.

Tom Selleck has a mustache, and he is not a dork and he’s totally hot.

Umm…yeah…because Tom Selleck is that extremely rare, one-in-a-trillion creature who can grow a mustache and not repulse women. Tom Selleck is the guy who is going to get struck by lightning and not only survive, but walk away somehow looking better than he did before and feeling fabulous and suddenly no longer needing glasses or hearing aids or crutches, because he now has super powers, which means he wisely goes out and buys a cape so that he’ll be ready to save the world and, guess what, the very next day the world needs saving. So of COURSE Tom Selleck can rock a mustache!

None of that makes any sense. Call Mustache Guy back.

No.

Open mind. Call him back.

I don’t like Mustache Guy.

You don’t know Mustache Guy. Call him back.

I don’t wanna waste my time.

You’d rather waste your money? Mustache Guy represents your trip to Greece or France or something and you’re going to let him get away with ruining your trip by not at least making him buy you dinner?

Shut up, bitch. Give me my phone.

Job Hunting During Covid -Job Interview Cancellation

October 2020

I’m so irritated, I can’t believe this. Another interview just got cancelled – 40 minutes before the interview. 40 minutes. This is a job I actually want, so I’ve spent hours researching this company, talking to employees, mentally psyching myself up. I put on make-up for fuck’s sake!

I’m numbing with a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie. What? I already went to the gym and walked my dogs. The other option is alcohol and it’s not even 1PM yet, so pumpkin chocolate chip cookie it is. That’s how I’m handling the emotional cluster fuck of the day.

Interviewing is tough. It’s stressful and emotionally draining; all of the preparation and practice beforehand is the most stressful part. And now it’s not happening.

I’ve never gotten the job when a hiring manager “reschedules” the interview. This is not a good sign.

Or is it? It could be a sign that I dodged a bullet. Clearly, this hiring manager is either unprepared, disorganized, disrespectful, or doesn’t really care about filling the role.

If the hiring manager is unprepared or disorganized, I don’t wanna work for her. Working for that kind of boss is exhausting. You’re constantly changing the way you do things to accommodate for her lack of preparation; you’re cleaning up her messes, making excuses for her, and sometimes taking the blame.

Been there, done that. Never again.

If the hiring manager is disrespectful towards his employees or doesn’t really care about filling the position, it means that he considers this a throwaway role. He doesn’t care if it’s filled or not. Which means if you do get hired, you’ll be treated like shit. You’ll become the assistant, not the valued employee with experience, talent, and value—you’ll be the person running his data analyses, filling out his spreadsheets, balancing his expense reports.

Been there, done that. Never again.

This last-minute job interview cancellation has really fucked with my head for some reason. I’ve been here before, so you’d think it wouldn’t bother me. But for some reason, I feel like I’m getting treated worse and worse by potential employers the longer this job-hunting catastrophe goes on, so each slight feels like a deeper and deeper stab.

Last-minute job interview cancellations are the epitome of disrespect. The emotional let down of this one has immobilized me.

I’m so tired. Exhausted, really. It’s like you prepare and psych yourself up for something like giving a presentation or meeting the in-laws or asking for the raise or running your first 5K or accomplishing a major “thing.” Once it’s over, you’re emotionally exhausted. Well, that’s how I feel right now. Except that I didn’t even get to accomplish my thing.

Gabby Bernstein says, “use these setbacks as opportunities!”

Normally I like you, Gabby, but this time – and I say this with love: “Fuck you, bitch.”

I’m eating a fucking pumpkin chocolate chip cookie and having a fucking pity party and that’s how I’m using this fucking setback as a fucking opportunity!

Fuck it. Do I have any whiskey left?