I submitted my resume to a local insurance agent who had advertised for an Office/Contact Manager.

The day before I left for my long weekend in Vermont, I received an e-mail asking if I was available to interview on Friday. No.

Of course, I did not respond in that manner. I replied that I was leaving town for a long weekend, but I would be available upon my return. The interview was set for 1 p.m. Monday.

My planned attire was my black dress pants with a green-striped Oxford-cloth shirt topped by a black suit jacket that seemed to match the pants. My cordovan loafers still have a shine, so a pair of knee-high nylons or black sox and I would be presentable.

I found a pair of black opaque knee-highs balled up in my drawer. After traipsing through airports wearing sox which developed a fatal case of the creeps (heel ends up on top if not dropping to the toes), I was thrilled to find something that should stay in place. I sat on the bed, unrolled the footwear and in the bright daylight observed the top sock was black but the other was navy.

A pair of white opaque  knee-highs were substituted.

I buttoned all the sleeve buttons on the blouse before I put it on, remembered to add a belt to the pants, added pens, tissues and wallet to pants, and donned the blazer. I double-checked the name of the insurance agent and his address and left.

Less than 5 minutes later, I walked into the store front establishment. I told the woman I saw in a back room that I was there to interview. And then I mispronounced the agent’s name. I noticed his nameplate over his door and knew I dropped an “R” and apologized and pronounced a second time, correctly. He took me into his office where he picked up his computer mouse and said he needed to check his e-mail.

O.K. this is an auspicious beginning.

After a minute or two he finished, pushed back in his chair and said my least favorite words, “Tell me about yourself.”

“Ah, an open-ended question. That’s what kept me off Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

But, I’ve learned since then, so I spouted the Reader’s Digest condensed version of the past 20 years (even though I have 40 years of work experience).

He seemed satisfied and told me the job was Office Manager but that I would also be expected to turn some leads into new customers. Oh, fun!

He started to wind-up the interview after I had been there about 10 minutes. Hmmm. I asked about pay. “Oh, yeah, I skipped this whole section,” pointing to his cheat sheet.

Pay was partially contingent on bonuses earned from turning leads into clients.

I confessed, “When someone starts talking to me about insurance, my eyes glaze over.”

Before I left, I asked him if he was a reader (of books). No, he was not. Good.

I explained that it was World Book Night in the U.S. and that I was to pass out books to people who were non- or reluctant readers. I pitched the plot of Zeitoun (a man who went through Katrina in New Orleans). I had left the books in the van, so I said I ‘d bring one in.

Walking into the sunlight, I noticed that I was wearing my navy blazer not my black one. (Maybe I should have worn the mismatched socks.)

I returned with the book, he was on the phone, and left.

When I returned home, Husband pointed out that I had some food spilled just under my collar. (Darn that Wendy’s chili).

I don’t think I’ll be getting a follow-up call. What do you think?

 

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