An asshole walks into a union building….

There were two guys next to me shooting the shit while they waited for their number to come up for interviews. I could tell one was a nervous talker. I recognized him from the test in October, and I remember now speaking to him on the way out of the building. He was kind of a dick, but I didn’t take it personally. He still sounded like a dick. I watched the rain pissing down the windows and hoped neither of them would talk to me, since I was reviewing my answers. People were filing in and out in about 10 minutes.

He was talking to a guy who was in PCC–pointer/caulker/cleaner. SHIT I AM SITTING NEXT TO A POINTER CAULKER CLEANER my brain went, unhelpfully. The jackassy guy said he was a working as a line cook.

When the PCC dude got called in, the other guy turned to me.

“You here for inside wireman?” he asked.

“Yup.” I decided to head him off at any and all passes. “Did I see you here for the test in October? You look familiar.”

“I was here, how did you score?” Oh, okay. This is what we’re doing.

“I passed,” I said, and shrugged. My first instinct is to be super close-mouthed. I always hear my paranoid stepfather’s voice in my head at times like these: Don’t Tell Them Anything They Don’t Need to Know. I didn’t get a perfect score, but I scored respectably, well above the bar required for the position I want. “The person at the bottom of the class in law school can still be a lawyer, right?”

“Cs still means degrees,” he bantered back. These kind of guys bring out the smarmy in me. I was quiet.

Fortunately a sleepy-looking guy in scrubby clothes came in and slotted himself between us. He had just gotten off work. First a PCCer, now a graveyard shift worker! This was not looking good.

Mr. Smarmy was called in. I chit chatted with the new guy and he told me he hadn’t made it through the algebra section of the testing, which surprised me. He was nice and I liked him immediately, and I told him about some other opportunities I was pursuing, like sheet metal. Now I am kicking myself for not asking him what he’s doing to see if I might want to get a foot in there.

He told me he’d looked into ferry work, which tops out around 100K as captain, if you make it that far. I was looking into that a couple of months ago. We talked about how working nights makes you feel like you’re in a weird bubble and that dates have no meaning. I hope they take him.

I’m not supposed to talk about the actual interview content, but I will say I think I was as prepared as I could be and didn’t really stumble over any of the questions. I sat before seven people, one of whom was a woman. I feel good about it but also argh at the same time. I get to call on Tuesday to see if I made the cut or if I need to make a backup plan. I am tired of backup plans, but I will march on.

2 thoughts on “An asshole walks into a union building….

  1. I’ve got my fingers crossed and thumbs pressed (as the Germans do) for you.
    I have thought about changing careers into something more technical, too (currently a translator), but you need three years of training here to even become a waiter or work behind the counter in a bakery, so…

  2. Thanks Nee! I didn’t know that about Germany. That sounds super frustrating. I thought about more school/training, but I really want to be doing.

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