Entry Level Oxymoron

Her smile is devoid of warmth and humanity.

“So in the online job description we specifically requested candidates with one to three years experience. I’m not really seeing that on your resume. Is there any other experience that would be relevant to working in social media?”

My face twitches at her emphasis. I had no real experience to speak of– but then the posting clearly said “entry-level.” How can you simultaneously request relevant experience and call a position entry-level? It’s both tragically funny and an unfortunate oxymoron.

“I, er, use social media everyday. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, my blog.” I say.

The fake smiling persists. “I’m talking about business use. We reach a large audiences and use SEO– do you know what that stands for?”

I laugh. Not because I find her funny, but to cut the tension and condescension now hanging in the room like a dark cloud.  “Yes. Search engine optimization. I’m familiar with the term. In regards to your other question, my personal posts reach a good-sized audience though not the scale that I’m sure you’re talking about.”

She frowns and sticks out her bottom lip a touch. “Oh, okay then. Let’s move on.” She says, picking up my resume and cover letter. “What would you say your greatest strength is?”

I would say that my greatest strength is my patience, but that would be a lie because it was running out on you, wretched bitch. I wonder where she had even gotten her questions, she sounds like an intern who they had just happen to shovel shit on today. “Hmm,” I begin. ‘Avoid cliche’s’ pops into my head. “I would say that my biggest strength is working with others effectively. I’ve been in a lot of group situations where one or two people don’t want to carry their own weight and I try to find ways to inspire them or help them succeed.” I laugh. “It’s in all of our best interests, right?” I chuckle nervously.

“Right.” She chuckles back.  Her eyes fall back onto my paper. She’s produced a red pen and is taking notes on my resume.

And, the fake smile is back. Put that shit away, bitch I think. The thought nearly materializes itself on my lips.

“And what would you say,” She begins.

I swear to christ if this cunt says ‘ is your greatest weakness’ I might explode.  

“… is your greatest weakness?”

“Excuse me,” I say before coughing violently into my elbow, drawing it out. “Uh, my greatest weakness,” I say. Is my lack of willpower. If I had any, I’d follow through and rip your fucking lips off so you could never smile at me like that ever again you goddamn robot. “Is my ability to concentrate. With so much technology and,” I laugh, “social media, there’s so many things that demand your attention.”

This makes her nod thoughtfully, perhaps the only real emotion that I’ve seen from her.

“I’ve recently taken up meditation as a way to improve my ability to be in the moment and focus though.” I continue.

She looks up from scribbling nonsense on my resume. “Huh, meditation, really? I’ve always wanted to try that.” She says, brushing back a strand of renegade hair.

A warm spark touches my cooling heart. Maybe I won’t end up strangling this idiot.

“Unfortunately,” She says, sighing. “Your resume is a little light for this position.”

A block of ice sinks in my chest.

“As I mentioned we’re looking for candidates that have one or more years of experience. We’ll still give your resume a thorough review. But,” She shrugs. “I just wanted to tell you ahead of time that this may not be the position for you.”

The smile drops from my lips. My face feels all the better for it. “Okay. Thanks for the heads up, I suppose. But why did you contact me for the position if you had my resume and knew that I wasn’t qualified?” The annoyance is thick in my voice.

“Well,” she says brightening up. “We do have other positions we’re looking to fill here. One is a six month temp to perm sales position. And the other is a digital media internship.”

I cock an eyebrow looking to salvage something from this train wreck. “Is this internship…paid?”

She frowns. “No. It’s unpaid, but we offer college credit.”

At which point I push off my chair and up onto the table. I unleash a whirlwind of profanities: stupid cunt this and stunted pig-fucker that. That fake smile is back taunting me. It’s swallowed her nose and eyes, to take up her entire face. I deliver a swift kick and knock out two teeth. And again. And again. It’s fun– the most I’ve had since starting the job hunt.

“College credit?” I say, standing and shouldering my tattered book bag. “I’m 26, and have a degree.”

“Oh,” she says dumb stricken. “I saw the backpack and assumed.”

“I’m also broke.” I say, offering a limp handshake before walking out of the room.

She follows me out, probably to make sure I don’t steal anything. I take all the pens at the sign out book just to spite her. Fucking entry-level job my ass.

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