Thursday, February 17, 2005

Congratulate Me

i gots a new job, like a real full-time, permanent position. my sexy freelance lifestyle will soon end, and i will join the ranks of other corporate schlubs who work in downtown Los Angeles high-rises not meant to exist in earthquake-landia. but what can i say -- they made me an offer i couldn't refuse. i interviewed there three times with a whooping 9 people for a total of 12 hours under the microscope. i also took a bunch of tests. i would come home exhausted after these interviews, especially since they usually began at 8 am, an hour this freelancer hadn't seen in many months. and it took a couple months to even get here, with all the checking references, faxing over transcripts and evaluating everything. i'm just happy to be done with the process. corporate whoredom officially begins march 14.

oh, yes. what is the job about, you ask? good question. well, i don't want to say the name of the company here, so if you're deathly curious, email me and i'll tell you. let's just say it's in the financial sector (i know, it's so me) doing editing (which is so me). it's mostly web work. i've been very impressed with the company and its employees, truly. everyone i've spoken with has been so genuinely nice that it feels like twilight zone over there, despite it being a corporate place with business attire and finance on the brain. and i can keep the stud in my nose intact. (though it's so '90s, perhaps i should finally take it out?)

anyhow, after so many interviews at new company and at other companies for jobs i didn't get/take, i've learned quite a bit about the finer points of the crazy interviewing process, and this information is just too valuable to sit on so i wanted to share with y'all:

-- look as asexual as possible, especially if you're a woman. this meant turtlenecks and oversized blazers for me. i also put my hair up and wore neutral makeup. slightly tight sweaters that highlight jiggling tits are bad. they will make the women hate you and the men not listen to anything you have to say.

-- use fancy terms like "career trajectory" and "job mastery." use them repeatedly with each new person who interviews you.

-- when they ask you if you have any questions, always ask the interviewer about his or her own background and experience with employment and with the company. they eat it up. people just love talking about themselves, so keep it going by asking follow-up questions about their lives. watch your stock rise.

-- mention you have a dog. mention it to each new person you interview with. i once took a screenwriting class where the professor said that a trick to making a character more likable was to give him a dog. most people love dogs and want to have one themselves but can't because their place is too small/they're never home/don't have a yard/yadda yadda. discuss it with them, and then mention that your dog's name is juice. people love the name.

-- when asked about where you see yourself in five years, say that you're very ambitious but open to how that's going to play out in the future. that shows employers how flexible you are, and how you're there to fill the needs of the company instead of your own needs. adapt = adept.

-- practice your firm handshake with friends; and consult the mirror for perfecting these common interview faces: the captivating look, the nod of approval, the puzzled-ready-to-ask-you-a-question face, the pleased-with-your-answer face, the smile that accompanies your firm handshake, the nice-to-meet-you smile, and the smile and little wave you give before you leave someone's office.

-- don't ever yawn during an interview, even though it's 8 in the morning and you drank too much wine the night before just to be able to fall asleep at 10 pm, but still couldn't fall asleep at 10 pm because that's way too early for you to be sleeping, so you tossed around in bed for hours before finally falling asleep at 1 am only to get up at 6 am so you could begin pumping yourself full of coffee that's made you kinda jittery and has upset your stomach because there's too much wine in there left over from the night before. also, don't put your hands in your mouth, nose or pants during an interview.

-- this last one is really tricky and very situation-specific: don't seem too smart, nor too dumb. how to play this one depends largely on the interviewer, so one must feel out the vibe first. i hate to admit it, but it also depends on gender. more men than women have hired me in my career, and that's not because there are more men in management. it's about perceived threat, and this, sadly, is where my ladies fail me. i love strong women, but not all other strong women do, so i've learned to tone it down a bit during interviews with women and seem more like a faithful disciple than a worthy competitor. with men, it's the opposite -- i bring it up to keep the focus on the brain, not on the breasts, which is why oversized blazers are essential. and anything that could be misconstrued as flirting (with men or women) is absolutely verboten.

look at all these pearls i'm giving you. i should write a column. oh wait, this is my column and, at this point, my only creative outlet. i'll keep that in mind as i slave away downtown crunching numbers (i hate that term) and editing the praises of various mutual funds.

but no, really, i'm pleased with this new turn. i'm craving the stability this will bring. i'm looking forward to getting to know my co-workers and learning about a new industry. i need those medical, dental and vision benefits and those steady paychecks. i'm more ready now than i was a year ago for something so permanent, and i'm glad i waited for the right time and the right opportunity. this news is very terrific. it's more than a job; it's the start of my career, and i'm ready to kick ass.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

There Goes the Nunnery

i had a date the other night. so i escaped the nunnery to go join the circus. nothing like a good jailbreak to keep things interesting. but i know that this blog can get relatively boring without the boy element, and i must take care of my public, so i'm really taking one for the team and doing it for you guys, my beloved readers. otherwise, i really didn't want to go on a date; i was happy with the new single me and didn't feel compelled to embark on any new adventures with headaches, heartaches, heartthrobs and hellraisers. but men are like my mafia -- whenever i think i'm out, they pull me back in.

i alternate between hating and loving them. i don't trust them for shit, have no faith in them, but find them undeniably irresistable. i hate that they get all the breaks, make more money than us and don't have to endure menstruation once a month. i can't stand their egos, sense of entitlement and how they strut around, thinking they own everything they touch. they're like peacocks (pun intended) that chase potential mates around flashing their brilliant feathers for some attention before moving on to the next one. am i jealous? maybe. perhaps i have penis envy. it's been said before. it's also been said that i might be a man trapped in a woman's body -- and a gay man at that. maybe that frustrates me -- having this man's mind in my head while stuck with all the limitations inherent in being a woman, including their drippy, messy hearts.

i've never been good at reconciling the two, because despite knowing better, they still suck me in. they can be so damn sexy. especially when they have strong, purposeful walks and gravelly voices. i dig that commanding presence and disarming charm. their smells, those long arms, broad shoulders and, of course, soccer thighs. i like them strong and manly, yet evolved, and infused with gentility. they can really drive me bananas. maybe it's an addiction for which i should seek help.

certainly, a smart woman can get anything she wants out of a man by using her womanhood, but a smart man can do the same. we've all been at the mercy of love, lust and infatuation before. nature isn't an idiot, and the differences between the sexes should be celebrated. and as much as i complain/exclaim about men and all their assorted, sordid proclivities, i know that i couldn't sustain my life without them.

but yes, the date. a date!! it seems like forever since i went on one. yogaman only took me to sharkeys twice before moving in and the others before him were all internet dudes, so it was nice to do it the conventional way: i met a nice guy one night at a party, gave him my phone number, he calls to ask me out, picks me up at my house, takes me to dinner and then drops me off. it felt so 'happy days.' and i was all girlie, like "what do i wear? should i leave my hair down or put it up?"

the date: thumbers-uppers, way uppers. it was very pleasant, comfortable, enjoyable. good vibes the whole night through. we began the night at a karoake bar in the valley, which seemed an unlikely choice, but it turned out quite fun. some of the singers had some major pipes on them, and the food was terrific. we had some wine, and did the getting-to-know-you chitchat. then we proceeded to the standard in downtown LA for more drinks with a few friends, one of whom was the mutual friend we met through. (thanks, juancho.) then he took me home, and we said goodnight and goodbye.

the guy: i don't get opposites attracting; my opposite would repel me so far across the room. i'm a narcissist when it comes to dating, so it's a good thing he and i were so similar. we had mucho in common, which made the conversation effortless. he's a creative cool-kid type who's well-read, worldly and stylish -- just like me! he's got a great smile, and his dark slacks outlined what may very well be soccer thighs, though i'm not positive (and yes, that's the only reason i was looking there). but the best part is that he's some five-star chef with a degree in culinary arts and a propensity for cooking for others.

the girl: i did feel girlie and it felt good. i think being single, working from home and skipping showers inhibited my femininity in recent weeks, so this provided a great reason to start using moisterizer again. and i genuinely like the guy, though i'm not entirely swept away or head-up-my-ass smitten. i am nothing if not cautious about whom i give my affection to. i am intruiged, however, as i like it when men comment on my "cute dimples" instead of my large breasts.

so yes, twas a pleasant first date, but it was only that, though i believe there's a great likelihood i'll see him again. and if i never see him again, it's just good to know that i can have a terrific first date and feel like a girl.