Work Stuff

Rash Moments Always Bite Me in the Butt

So last Wednesday, I got this burr up my butt and I applied for a job.

A technical writing job. *breaks out in a sweat just typing that out*

First of all, I was surprised to see there was even a technical writing job advertised … and especially for this area. I think I had convinced myself that there wasn’t a technical writing job in the whole Midwest region. I think I got that idea from school – when I graduated with a technical writing degree ten years ago.

And I don’t know, maybe there wasn’t any technical writing jobs in my area ten years ago … but there are today.

Kevin has been keeping an eye out for me on the job front. And he’s sent me two technical writing job listings so far. And the companies specialize in areas that I happen to have experience in: banking and healthcare.

But I dragged my feet (I.E. – life happened and I was simply too busy to think about it, quite frankly), and the opportunities passed me by.

I don’t know why I went ahead and applied. The position’s deadline had long passed but I thought, why not. What’s it going to hurt? What’s the least that could happened … nothing.

So. I applied on Wednesday. And to my utter surprise, I got a call back Thursday … at 9:20 a.m.

What the …

I spent the rest of the day in shock. And digesting how this would change my life. Even though I hadn’t gotten the job, I could get the job and … then what? Part of the job requirement included about 20% travel time. Did I really want to travel? Would I have to dress up every day? I mean, wearing scrubs every day is a pretty sweet gig, ya’ll. I’m comfy and don’t have to think about clothing combinations, you know?

I called the gal back Friday morning, first thing. And she wanted to call me back later in the day to have a phone interview.

At 2:30, she called me back and we talked. She told me a bit about the job and asked me a few questions about myself and my “experience” (I.E. none in the technical writing world) and said she would let me know if she wanted me to come in for a face-to-face interview.

I was on pins and needles all day Monday. I checked my cell phone all day hoping, and yet dreading, a call back. I mean, how cool would it be to actually work in the field I went to school for?? And yet … I like my healthcare job (except for the stupid flu vaccine REQUIREMENT) and I love the girls I work with so …

At 4:45 p.m., I got the call. She wanted me to come in Friday morning for a face-to-face. I agreed, of course, and then spent the rest of the week with a giant black cloud of nervous energy above my head.

I went out and bought a business blazer for way too much money at Dillards. However, I can wear this blazer to everything (it’s charcoal gray) and I’ll likely have it for the rest of my life.

Friday morning came and instead of dressing in scrubs, I donned business attire. I wore black slacks, a white button down oxford shirt, my blazer and heels. I looked sharp.

And way over dressed. Because when I arrived at the company, the people going into the building were all wearing jeans.


I walked into the reception area and I signed in. The receptionist gave me a visitor badge to wear and I sat down to wait for my interviewer to come get me. This was the type of organization where you couldn’t go into any of the doors, or use the elevator, unless you had a pass key.

My interviewer greeted me and took me up one floor to a room where another woman was waiting. I sat in the “hot seat” with a woman on either side of me and spent AN HOUR answering the toughest questions I could possibly be asked. I gave believable, GENERIC answers, but that wasn’t good enough. They wanted SPECIFIC instances of the scenarios they were asking me about. Most of the time, I gave them specific situations, later, when I had been there for a while and sweat was dripping down my torso and THANK GOD I had a blazer on because by the end of the interview, my blouse was soaking wet (literally, I had to hang it up to dry when I got home), I started making shit up because OMG, I was so sick of being asked questions and being pounded that I honestly didn’t care if I got the job or not. A few times, I just flat out said, “I’m sorry. I honestly can’t think of a specific incidence at this time.”

And at one point, I even laughed, rubbed my brow and said, “Ladies. You’re killing me with the questions.”

Luckily, they laughed. But I’m pretty sure that wasn’t exactly “approved” interview behavior. But honestly? I didn’t care at that point – I just wanted the hell out of there.

Kevin seems to think that since they kept me for an entire hour, they were interested in me. He said, often times, he would interview someone and if he could tell, right off the bat, that he didn’t like the person for the job, he would cut the interview short because what was the point? He wasn’t going to hire him/her.

Which is a good point and encouraging, I suppose, but honestly? I think I sucked. I left feeling equal parts annoyed (with myself), disappointed (with myself), relieved that it was over, and sad because I’m convinced I wouldn’t get the job.

It’s a strange place to be, I assure you.

But then I got to thinking (always a dangerous past time) – did I really want the job? In addition to the travel (which honestly, I’m okay with), I would be working in teams. ALL THE TIME. In fact, everything they do is through teams. GAH. Teams. I just remember what that was like in college and I usually ended up doing all the work because no one else would take the imitative and do the work. And the work itself? Sounds boring as hell.

There. I said it.

But it sounded like they had some SWEET benefits. For instance, they work in jeans and often times, you could make arrangements and work from home. Which, I’ve blogged about before, is not necessarily a good thing for ME, per say. I lack discipline. And motivation. But if I was working FOR someone and was receiving a steady income, I’m pretty sure I could get over those self-imposed hurdles.

They asked for writing samples. I didn’t have any technical writing samples to give them. I haven’t done any technical writing since college (save for the school websites – which they are aware of, I might add. And by technical I mean, the schools dumped piles of information on me and I was responsible for organizing it and then putting it into a coherent, cohesive website).

So I ended up giving them an essay-type style of writing and a piece of fiction. And if you’re sitting there with wide eyes and open mouth because GAH, that has absolutely nothing to do with technical writing, wait … it gets better. I handed over my writing samples, laughed and actually said, out loud, not just in my head, “Now don’t laugh.”


It was like I was handing my writing over to a critique group, not a prospective employer!!!

Geez. I’m so stupid sometimes. But I was nervous and I always do, and say, stupid things when I’m nervous.

Anyway. It’s over (thank the good Lord above) and honestly? I don’t expect a call back. The gal said she would let me know either way and I’m pretty sure the one-sided conversation will go something like this:

“Hello, Karen? Thank you for coming in and speaking with us, but I’m afraid we’ve decided to hire someone else.”


I’m not the world’s best interviewee … can you tell?

Live and learn.