The Job Search: Day XX

A ByJane post

I like the way the news people give us the daily countdown: “It’s Day xx of the BP Oil Spill, and oil is still spilling at alarming rates into the here-to-fore pristine Gulf waters.”  Actually, they prefer the word spew because it enables the razzledazzle of onomatoepia to attach to the pronouncement.  I have no such razzledazzle accompanying my daily countdown.  It has been 90-odd days since I first looked at my bank balance and said “Holy expletive-deleted! I’m almost out of money.”

The first job I went for was one near and dear to my over-educated little heart: a Clinique representative at Ulta, the cosmetics superstore.  You didn’t know that about me, did you, that I’m a makeup hussy?  This was a part-time position that seemed perfect for me–and them, I thought, as well.  It was close by, I could indulge my lust for all things skin care, and as a bonus, I could impart to other women the secrets that I have accrued over a life lived in cosmetics.  I had the first interview, a sit down face-to-face in a tiny back office at the store.  It went well.  I liked them.  They liked me.  We liked each other.  Now it was up to Clinique.  Evidently the cosmetics company keeps a firm grip on who represents them.  They have an image to uphold, a brand to foster and they have devised ways to determine who fits the mold and who doesn’t.

It’s called the the Talent Plus interview, conducted on the phone with a warmly welcoming voice from somewhere in Clinique’s America.  I was prepped by the women at Ulta to expect anything and everything and be specific. But I’m good on the phone, particularly if I’m hooked up with my iPhone and can wave my hands a lot as I talk. I was told the interview would take anywhere from 15-45 minutes; I think it went an hour.  Here’s a sample question: “tell us something that you feel so strongly about that you could stand up and talk about it.”  Well, that’s a no-brainer: if I feel strongly–which I do often about a myriad of topics–I can stand up and talk.  And probably will.  If you let me.  The interviewer and I had a nice time together; in fact, she said it was the first time she had done a Talent Plus interview when she had laughed.  Yeah, I’m good that way.  Funny.  She told me I would be hearing from Clinique soon.  And from Ulta, as well.

That was in March, and I’m still waiting.

I really wanted that job.  I really thought I had it.  That I didn’t–it’s confusing.  Everything that was said to me in both interviews led me to believe I should be ready to start work immediately.  After a month or so of waiting by the phone, I called Ulta.  The manager was very nice, very warm and said she hadn’t heard anything from Clinique yet, and the whole matter was still in process.  After another several weeks of waiting by the phone, I called Clinique.  Same story: matter was still in process; decisions hadn’t been made.  By the end of May, I decided it was a dead horse, and aside from the fact that I didn’t get a job that (1) I need! and (2) I wanted–I’m more than mildly annoyed at the silence that followed the interview process.  In my book, it’s rude to spend several hours interviewing a person and then not even send her a xeroxed Thanks, but no thanks letter.

I finally went into Ulta the other day; it used to be a favorite place to wander and decompress.  I sidestepped the Clinique area, but I saw the salesperson they had there: a messy, post-adolescent boy with bad skin and a light-in-the-loafers air.  Oh well, their loss.


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