By 8.31 we were all crammed into a small interview room and given the agenda for the day. Someone arrived late, we all moved up a seat. Someone else arrived late, again we shuffled. The last latecomer arrived and a very nice man gave her his seat. Surely they won't get the job if they can't arrive on time? I think. Does everyone else think the same I wonder?
We have an introduction and a look around. We do a 'task' and spend an hour in the classroom. This is senior school. The behaviour is challenging. For some, I discover later, this is a shock.
We meet together again at 11.15. There are 11 of us now to interview. Time ticks on.
One by one we are called through. The ones that are left make small talk which gradually, I discover, becomes more specific. Life stories unfold. Life styles become uncovered. Personal values surface. We are united in our quest for work. We all agree jobs are few and far between. I discover that most of us are applying for anything that is out there. United in our quest for work yet with a need to out perform each other in the room beyond. Time ticks on.
We eye each other up. He won't get it, he looks far too miserable I think as I listen to another woman talking about the fact that she has other work on her plate. She doesn't 'need' the work, I think, why is she here?! Don't be greedy I want to shout!! Some of us actually need these hours! Time ticks on.
"I'm going to sound rude now" One candidate says to me after the 4th person is called in, "I mean" she says in a stage whisper "What criteria did they apply when they asked her for interview?"! The situation was bringing out the worst. The wait was making us edgy. It was a Dog Eat Dog situation! I had a fleeting thought for a second, that I had been transported to the Big Brother House!
I'm second last to be interviewed. I have waited in the same dull room for 2 and 1/2 hours. By the time they ask me the questions I had previously felt prepared for, my mind is blank. I forget that I have to sell myself, I can't seem to bring the right words to mind, I can't say what I want to say. Nerves take hold. It is like taking an exam, I feel like I'm trawling through deep mud for the words I need, the ones I know they want to hear. I try my best but I know I am not reaching anywhere near that point.
Before I arrived I wasn't that keen on the job. Once there I fell in love with the place.
Needless to say I didn't get it. I am still berating myself