So the question is… what the blazes does any of this have to do with being unemployed and cancelling job interviews?
Well… the day after I lost my job I went a bit mental and decided that, come hell or high water, I needed to find myself a job, any job, by the end of the day. It wasn’t the most realistic of expectations to set myself, but that’s what happens when you go a bit mental. I didn’t find Hell, or any high water to speak of, and the only jobs going in my local area were – you guessed it – in a jewellery shop. Nothing could possibly have tested my resolve more comprehensively than three little words: “please enquire within”.
This is the part of the story where my behaviour goes from being eccentric and delightfully quirky to completely unhinged. It’s a fine line, and I have been known to play jump rope with it.
A normal 33 year old man might front up and casually enquire within like the sign said to. Not this one. I’d been sneered at, ignored and looked down on by too many JSLs before for that malarkey. I went home, printed out an application letter, updated my résumé, shaved and put on a suit. Not my wedding suit, because well… that one was bright red and ridiculous and awesome. But it was the suit I wore to my sister’s wedding, complete with shiny silver tie. I looked seriously hot and totes professional.
You should have seen me striding confidently through Indooroopilly Shopping Centre like I owned the place. I strode straight up to that jewellery store, panicked, kept walking and went around the block for a second run at it.
This happened three more times.
Eventually I managed to get inside to await the dreaded and spine chilling “Is there something I can help you with?” It was not forthcoming. The shop attendant, obviously not impressed by the suit (Maybe I should have gone with the red one), blithely ignored me. It had taken everything I had just to get in the door, so approaching her and speaking to her were obviously out of the question. Fortunately, despite being manically unhinged, I am still reasonably intelligent and knew there was one sure way to get her attention. Well… two ways, but taking my clothes off and singing the national anthem didn’t seem like it would help my cause at all, so I went with the other plan and casually strode over to the wall to examine something that looked expensive, with a pensive look on my face (Damn, I was going for thoughtful).
“Is there something I can help you with?”
Works every time. I had my résumé in the hand of that severely disappointed JSL faster than she could say “Wait, there’s been some terrible mistake,” and was out the door and headed for the food court before she had a chance to set my tie on fire with the burning glare of her disapproving gaze.
I really thought that would be the end of it. But I hadn’t even made it as far as Woolworths before the phone rang. Without a word of exaggeration (if you can believe that), this is the conversation that took place:
Boss Jewellery Shop Lady: Hello? Is this Garry?
Gw2Rs: Speaking. Is there something I can help you with?
BJSL: Are you the young man who just applied for a job in my shop?
Gw2Rs: That’s right.
BJSL: I’ve got your resume here. I’m a bit confused. Why on Earth would you want to work in a jewellery shop?
Gw2Rs: I’m taking the opportunities that are in front of me.
BJSL: So what you’re saying is, this is just a job you take while you wait for the job you want to come along.
Gw2Rs: No. What I’m saying is I’m taking the opportunities that are in front of me.
BJSL: Well I suppose we’d better have an interview then. I’m just a bit confused. Have you ever worked in a shop before?
Gw2Rs: I've got plenty of retail experience and cash handling skills. An interview would be fine.
BJSL: How would ten o’clock tomorrow be?
Gw2Rs: I can do th…
BJSL: I mean why do you even want to work in a jewellery store? Why do you love diamonds?
Gw2Rs: I can come in tomorrow at 10…
BJSL: How many hours do you want?
Gw2Rs: As many as are available.
BJSL: It says here you have two degrees.
Gw2Rs: That’s right.
BJSL: And you want to work in a jewellery shop?
BJSL: I’ll give you a call tomorrow morning to confirm. I might have to cancel it. I just don't know why someone like you would want to do this. Are you sure you can come in tomorrow at 10?
BJSL: Have you ever worked in a shop before. Not just "retail experience". Have you ever worked in a shop?
BJSL: Well okay then.
And she hung up on me.
The following morning, after talking it over with Kim, I called to cancel. The only possible reason to take a job with a person like that would be if I were super desperate for the money. And we’re not at that point yet.
I understand her confusion. I’m not exactly sure what came over me either. I don’t want to work in a jewellery shop. I've just had it with being told I’m not ready for the jobs I’m qualified for because I haven’t had six years’ experience (I have). I've had it with having the rug pulled out from under me. This is the fourth job in a row that has ceased to exist less than 12 months after I’ve started.
So maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m really not cut out for this full-time office work thing. Maybe a part-time job in a shop is the best I can hope for. Except that idea is apparently confusing and offensive to shop owners. Never mind the fact that I could sell diamonds to anybody, and I’d be the perfect person to sell diamonds to scared fiancés-to-be who wouldn’t go near Boss Jewellery Shop Lady without a hazmat suit.
I’ve just had it.
Is there something I can help you with?
Garry with 2 Rs