A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away I was interviewed for a new job. I didn’t realise I was in a different time zone and galaxy until after the interview concluded and I was spat back out into a normal Wednesday afternoon in Sydney. It was then that it hit me, something really fucked had just happened.
After shaking my hand and sitting me down she launched into the first of many stupendous and terrifying rants. She told me she hated my resume, all of it, from the font to the layout. She ranted for ten full minutes while I sat and wondered just why in fuck was interviewing me if she hated my resume so much.
The interviewer interspersed her ranting with comments about how great I was, how smart I was, how many qualifications I had. I was entering an advanced state of confusion when she kicked it up another gear and started to really go for it. She hated my hair, said she’d never seen hair so unprofessional before. I was going to mention that we had almost identical haircuts it was just that my hair is wavy and hers is straight when she started on my shoes.
I was wearing the wrong kind of shoes, apparently only an idiot goes to a job interview wearing flat shoes. She stood up to demonstrate how she was wearing high heels, pulled up the leg of her trousers so I could properly view her shoes. After the ‘one must always wear high heels’ rant she started on the rest of me. Fortunately she decided that my face would have to do because she didn’t suppose anything could be done about that, apart from more make up. The horrifying conclusion of this job interview is that she thinks I would be fantastic for the job but I have to be interviewed again first, just to make sure. She said she’d give me a couple of days to ‘do something’ about my hair, my shoes and my wardrobe.
I have to confess I’ve been obsessed with watching Mad Men. I came a little late to this party, most people I know started and finished their own Mad Men obsessions some time ago. What everyone failed to mention about Mad Men is how horrifying it is. Everyone talked about the fashion, the cigarettes, the stupid men with their suits and slicked down hair but not the horrifying slow reveal of repression and oppression. How the women were judged more on their legs than their ability to do the job well.
In the first episode of Mad Men the new girl gets a proper going over, everything is commented on from her hair to her shoes. I remember thinking how glad I was that that kind of shit was over years ago, nothing like that could possibly happen to me, not now in 2011 when the most important thing is having the skill, aptitude and qualifications to perform well in a job. As usual it turns out I was wrong.