The air-conditioning was too cold, and I was still sweating. My knees couldn’t be still; if it wasn’t the left then it was the right, bouncing up and down to the point where the person next to me shifted away out of fear of being hit. I forced my eyes onto the cover letter I held in my hand, reviewing and revising and committing it all to memory. I was as prepared as I could be. Now it just needed to be over.
The bloke next to me rose and I was the only person left in the waiting room. Even the receptionist had gone home. Why was this taking so long? My interview was for four-thirty, and it was a quarter past five.
Again, I bowed my head and read over my letter, my recommendations, and my resume. The printed sheets were just words now, no longer making any sense to me. I was too wound-up. I’d been so sure these words were the best they could be, and now I wasn’t sure of anything.
Finally, Thomas Lane walked out of the interview room, ignored me, and pressed the button for the lift. I waited. The lift came and carried Thomas Lane away. I waited some more. When a man in a suit walked out I raised my head expectantly, but he gave a start when he saw me.
“Oh shit, we’ve got another one!” He waved his hand over his mouth as if he hadn’t meant to speak so loudly, or perhaps at all. He suddenly turned tail and reclosed the interview room door behind him. I waited.
After another minute, he re-entered the waiting room and gave an apologetic grimace.
“Look, I’m sorry about this but it seems we’ve run well over time and, well, I think we’ve already made our decision.”
Who decided that this insecure person should be conducting the interviews? I’d caught the informal ‘look’ the hesitant ‘well’ and the jarring ‘I think we’ve’.
“Excuse me,” I said clearly. “How can you think you’ve made a decision? You’ve either made it or you haven’t. If you are hesitant about it, then you have not made a decision.”
He blinked, but quickly recovered. I wondered if the insecurity was an act. “No, we have made a decision. Thank you for coming in.”
“No.” I walked up to him, shaking with rage, and he thankfully backed away into the interview room, where another person was placing files in their bag.
“I came here on time for an interview. I deserve a fair go.”
I handed him and the remaindering person copies of my documents, and sat down at the small conference table.
He sighed as he flicked through my resume. “Alright, let’s make this quick.”
I smiled. “You won’t be disappointed.”