Note from 2022: Why didn’t I publish this back in 2020? I have no idea!! In my current state of sobering up, I am not writing as much as restoring my sanity, dawn after dawn. So, here’s a woolly old tale, kids!!
There seems to be no bounds to my limbo. I have applied to scores of jobs, had dozens of phone interviews, a handful of video interviews, and now two in person interviews. One woman bashfully used the word “overqualified,” even though she knows that I know that’s code for “old.” One place offered me a job in a temporary hospital, but since training they have not actually needed my temporary self in a paying capacity. Now I’m neither employed nor strictly unemployed.
Yesterday I got an immediate and enthusiastic response to my application to work at the Dundalk Dildo Factory. Is that real? No. I’ve just always wanted to claim that I worked at the Dundalk Dildo Factory, so this is the next best thing. For the purposes of this story, we’ll stick to the partial fiction that I had a same-day interview with Captain Dildo, himself.
Since one of my beloved pals loaned me a car, I assured the Captain that I would meet him that very afternoon in his shop. I googled furiously to convince myself this was not a scam or a kidnapping. He has been in business in that location since 1997, importing the worlds finest dildos. My job would entail wholesale customer service and sales, with the strictest attention to detail and punctuality.
There was no whisper of compensation. I pulled out my worn napkin to re-calculate my living wage one more time. Hmmm. What did I have to lose? At the very least, more rejection practice was afoot.
The Captain’s website is rather hostile for such a cuddly product. There is lots of shouting about return policies and shipping charges. I mused about persuading him to be more gentle and patient with his customers, and I experienced an irrational burst of confidence that I can make a big difference in this little business. Pro tip: manic energy always overpowers panic energy in the job search.
I left early to allow for time to get lost, and that is an excellent method for being on time. Following the navigation precisely, I ended up in the back of a building that was clearly both not in use and haunted. When I worked on the docks, there were a lot of such old buildings. Some were still in use for warehousing because they were great-grandfathered past a couple of centuries of building code and demolishing brickwork is probably too expensive, unless you are rebuilding with crappy faux brickwork for townhouses.
I reasoned that the destination must be mis-marked, as they so often are, and went across the street to a nondescript and newer building that looked far less haunted. The door was locked, so I knocked and prepared to give up within three minutes. At least the dildos were kept safe, assuming they were in there.
A tired looking woman with bright green hair let me in, and as an afterthought she asked who I was. Good, I thought. I don’t look like a threat this time. I explained that I had come to see the captain and she laughed. “You had better put your mask on.”
Interviewing during a pandemic causes a host of new questions. You can seem paranoid or overcautious to some if you wear PPE, and careless to others if you don’t. If you truly don’t care about perceptions, it’s hard to adjust. Do you want to project prudent future employee or rascally rebel who will keep the team on its toes?
In this case, prudence was clearly the lane. I fumble thumbed my mask on and staggered into a chair. The captain, who was approximately twelve, peaked out of his office. I smiled hugely, hoping that my best attribute could somehow shine through the dinosaurs on my face. He never looked at me. The woman who had let me in vanished into a quiet, dark space.
He mumbled questions that contained a great many complimentary words while sounding mostly like lilting accusations. “So you have a great variety of experience?”
He struck me as some sort of baby scoundrel. Are there sweat shop dildo factories? Perhaps this was one. My enthusiasm drained away as he droned on. He explained to me what commissions can mean. I did not say that I am overqualified to experience an explanation of commissions, instead I smiled on.
The Captain wants someone who will stay and stay for many years. He said that all the cleaning is tiresome. Despite his mask and gloves and disposable clothing I was certain that the woman I saw would have to sanitize the entire room after I left. Definitely a scoundrel who liked to delegate such things.
Like the last interview, I have no idea what to hope for. Getting a job might be worse than continuing to look. I have a suspicion that Captain Dildo will select a younger candidate to persuade on the point of commissions.
I salute you, Future Dildo Worker! May the batteries ever be in your drawer.
We all know how this one turned out, now. I went on to be indoctrinated by a much more cleverly disguised scam operation and then on to a real job with real people. All’s well that ends better, I guess.
Somebody let me know if you can see the kindle version of UHOOB, will ya? I feel like they are only hiding it from me. So paranoid!! I set it up for free copies for the weekend, but they may be imaginary free copies if this keeps up.
Cats Who Clean House, LLC
I am training Boo to follow simple directions and with the right sort of persistence I think I can get her to clean up after herself, just a bit more. Right now, all she does is eat spider webs and accidentally dust with her tail, but it’s not nothing. Your donations really make a difference in mad catting!!