Monday, September 12, 2011

Looking like a wet rat at an interview; how I related to the rodent who won't leave my apartment (and other fun adventures!)

I've disappeared for two weeks, and I am well aware of it. I apologize. I went to Rhode Island for Labor Day weekend, and then unexpectedly got a call for a follow-up interview in Baltimore and needed to high-tail it back to the DC region the moment I landed in Roanoke. It's nice to finally be back in Roanoke with my taco bed, my tea kettle and, apparently, my mouse still. Let me try to break the past two weeks down into something manageable...

Rhode Island
My dear childhood friend's parents live in Rhode Island. We both decided back in July that a vacation was necessary for both of us and opted to spend a few days there over Labor Day weekend. It was a lovely escape from the tedium and stress of job hunting (not that I needed a break from all my laboring of sitting on the sofa looking at job listservs). Time was spent at the beach, perusing a small town with a lighthouse, cooking, drinking wine and just relaxing. It was wonderful. Enjoy some photos courtesy of Senor iPhone.

Flying out of Roanoke was interesting, since I'm accustomed to the wonders of Dulles and National airports. My flight was delayed, I was rerouted, and a five hour trip morphed into a 10ish hour ordeal. Bonus, though! I got to sit on a plane with nine rows. Nine. That's eighteen seats. The seats didn't recline. There were propellers. I felt like I was on the Fisher Price plane from my childhood. Check out the sweet steps up to the plane, because you also are allowed the opportunity to (forced to?) get up close and personal with the tarmac.

The Mouse
I thought he was gone. I deep-cleaned the apartment in week one of Funemployment and OfficeMate went to town on the kitchen while I was in Rhode Island. When I returned to Apartment Sweet Apartment yesterday afternoon, I noticed some more mouse droppings around the trashcan and told myself not to think about it. I took a nap, watched the women's finals for the US Open and made dinner (read as: mac and cheese). I went to throw out my Annie's White Cheddar box and heard shuffling in the trashcan. I assumed, wrongly, that it was, I don't know, like trash resettling or something. So imagine my surprise when my hand is essentially IN the trashcan and a mouse comes out, looks INTO MY EYES, and then uses my hand as a springboard to jump down.

You know how eye contact is a sign of aggressive driving? My mouse is an aggressive mouse. He's made eye contact. No more running around at night in the corners, hiding in the shadows and pooping in other apartments. No, now he's getting ballsy. He's pooping in plain sight, coming out when he pleases and walking. on. my. hand. AND PLAYING IN MY TRASHCAN.

Right now any interaction with the kitchen is very limited. I'm glad my lease ends soon so he can be someone else's problem. What kind of super mouse is he that he can eat that much poison and not die? And don't tell me it's another mouse, because then I would have to come to terms with the idea that there are multiple mice living in this apartment, and that skeeves me out more than holding paws with the one yesterday. Gross.

I've been trying to stay vague on job hunt details, because it sucks when you think you really have a good chance at a job, tell a bunch of people you're confident and then get shot down. However, this last interview was too ridiculous not to share.

I've had three interviews with these folks up in Baltimore: a phone interview, a two panel interview, and then last week, a meeting with their CEO. Last week, it also bears mentioning, is when the entirety of the East Coast was beat down with rain (it made for a BLAST driving up I81 at 30 mph with my flashers on).

In the 200 feet from the parking garage to the front door of the office, I got SOAKED. My little umbrella did not save me from the torrential rains and I had left my dorky LLBean raincoat in the car for fear of looking unprofessional. You know what's more professional than a dorky raincoat? Coming in soaking wet with half of your hair unstyled and poofing, a small pond in your shoes and looking like such a mess that when the receptionist sees you all she can say is, "Oh... honey. I wish I had a hairdryer to offer you." That's when you know you've nailed professionalism.

I went to the restroom, used a million paper towels to dry my legs, emptied my shoes into the sink and did some impressive yoga-like move to get paper towels between my back and the wall to absorb some moisture. When the CEO came out to meet me, he apologized for being five minutes late and I apologized for being damp. Other than my ridiculous appearance, I think I nailed it though. We'll find out soon enough.

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