The Interview…

Jim and I paused in front of the door…it was wooden with the kind of frosted glass you can’t see through.

“Do I look okay?” I asked.

“Fine,” he assured me.  I wished he’d worn something other than the pants with the bleach spot on them…I’d have to get the black marker out and fix that later…

I turned the knob and opened the door.  The office was rather dark…I wondered if we’d come to the wrong place.  I introduced us to the ancient receptionist behind the wooden desk, twice (she needed a repeat after adjusting her hearing aid)…she waved us towards another door to her right.  We knocked, and went in.

A thin man sat behind another desk, identical to the one in the outer office.  He was wearing a rumpled black suit which was set off by a jaunty red bow tie.  He did not smile or get up, but motioned us to sit in two hard-looking chairs in front of his desk.  Our nervousness growing, we did as we were “told.”  The desk was piled with papers, and thick, dusty-looking books with leather bindings.

The man cleared his throat before speaking. “Glad you could join me…I was expecting you at one,” he said, checking his watch (which I noticed had a rotary dial – how quaint).

Jim rose to the occasion, “I’m sorry we’re late, but I misplaced my keys, and once I’d found them, we hit that construction on the highway.”

I jumped in, anxious to get this show on the road.  “We sent the application…I trust that you received it?”

“Of course, Ms. M.!,” the man replied.  “That is the reason for this meeting…to review your application.  We do…” (he paused to blow his nose) “have a few questions.”

“What would you like to know?” I asked.

“Your degree is in Broadcast Journalism, Ms. M.  Is that correct?” he began, as he looked at our completed application.

“Well, um, I didn’t graduate.  I dropped out to move to Newfoundland.”

“Newfoundland?” he repeated disbelievingly.

“Yes,” I replied.  “I was young and stupid, and I was in love.” 

Shaking his head, he continued: “It says here, Ms. M., that you own a bookstore, and yet you have no income.  How is that possible?”

“Well, sir,” I replied.  “My dad and I own the store together…he uses his pension to finance it, and I’ve been putting in sweat equity for the past ten years.” 

The man gave me a quizzical look.  “Ten years?” 

“Yes,” I mumbled.  “Ten years, but I’ve almost always had another job, until I got laid off last year.”

“Well, at least Mr. V. is gainfully employed,” he replied condescendingly. 

“I’ve been looking for another job,” I protested.  “I just haven’t found the right fit yet!  And I do a blog.”

He went on, as if he hadn’t heard me.  “What kind of books does the bookstore sell?” he asked. 

“Old hardcovers,” I said.

“Very good,” he murmured, as he made a note on the page.  “Now, Mr. V.  You have a degree in computer science, but apparently you have some difficulty spelling.  How do you handle that?” the man asked, staring expectantly at Jim.

Jim blushed.  “I Google words I’m not sure how to spell, and I have Spell Check on my Blackberry.”

The man added to his notes.  “Why do you want to do this?” he asked.

“Because I think it’s important!” I answered enthusiastically.  “Almost nobody else wants them…they’re throwaways!  Jim and I are excellent parents!”

“All right,” the man said, as he picked up a thick packet of paper from his desk.  He passed it over.  “Sign here, Ms. M.  Initial here.”  Jim added his signature and initials in the appropriate places.

Jim and I beamed as we looked at each other…after all the months of anticipation, this was finally going to happen!

The man stood up, and opened a safe in the wall, checking over his shoulder as he dialed the combination to make sure we weren’t able to see the numbers.  He retrieved a manila envelope from the safe and brought it over, laying it on the desk in front of me.

Jim let me open it…there it was!  Our obsolete word: veteratorian, an adjective meaning subtle.  I hugged the paper to my chest.  We had promised to use veteratorian at every possible opportunity to prevent its extinction. 

You too can adopt an obsolete word…just go to savethewords.org .  Take two if you can handle it!  Thanks to my friend, Lin, at The Absence of Alternatives  for turning me on to this site!

P.S. I just made all that stuff about the application form up…had you going though, didn’t I?

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26 Comments

Filed under satire

26 responses to “The Interview…

  1. You totally had me going! hahaha! Loved this, Wendy! And what a random word you chose … I bet you can’t wait to use it in a sentence. Coming soon to a blog near you!

    Sunshine xx

  2. LOL! Brilliant!!!

    I am mingent (the word I adopted) from laughing too hard. 😉

  3. nancy

    Ok – you guys! How do I know if I’m being mingent? No fair spouting an almost obsolete word and not defining it. I doubt if it’ll every be said of me that I am veteratorian.

  4. nancy

    Don’t answer that question. I figured it out and am pudified that I asked.

  5. nancy

    Pudified because I’m puddlified!

  6. Yes, you had me going! I was sitting here mortified that some pencil pusher was criticizing your husband’s spelling abilities!

  7. Hahahaha…I kept thinking, “What on earth? They’re asking Jim what he does to spell words correctly?”

    What a great idea. I, too, would like to save a word.

  8. Clever stuff, Wendy. Several old and antiquated details now that I think back about the piece.

    My wife and I will lay claim to “peace” and “quiet.” Those are certainly obslolete at our house.

    Chase

  9. Fabulous job, Wendy! You should write fiction more often.

  10. Found you through Maura @ 36 x 37. LOL…am still keeled over and mingent from laughing 😀

    Went over to the site and saved myself a word instantly…pregnatress, which I think is pretty cool! I’m going to be the pregnatress of my life 🙂

    Loved this post, your blog title and your blog in general 🙂 You have a new subscriber 🙂

    • Thanks, crazygoangirl, for stopping by…glad you liked my blog! Maura is one of my biggest fans these days (much-appreciated!)!

      I had to Google pregnatress…good choice!

      I’ll be over to check out your site a little later…

      Wendy

  11. This was fun–I was reading thinking what in the world–when I should have been thinking what in the word. I was annoyed with the interviewer for being so condescending…yes it was a gotcha…now I am off to adopt my word. Thank you very much!

  12. That was a great post… had me in anticipation of what was going to happen from the first line! Not sure if you know or not, I am in the book business also, textbooks. My family has a bookstore on a college campus. The internet and the electronic world has wreaked havoc on the textbook business. I’m afraid to look at the adopt a word site. Might find the word “book” on there if not today, in the near future!

    • Thanks, Steve…I appreciate your kind words! No, I didn’t know you sold books too! We sell old (rare) hardcovers, and depend on the Internet for our survival, since we are located in a city with an extremely low literacy rate! I don’t think books will become obsolete any time soon…there are still too many people who like the feel of a book in their hands! This is our website…we have some very old textbooks! http://daveshootsbookseller.com There are other posts on my blog about books and the bookstore…type “books” into the Search, and they’ll come up… Wendy

  13. Love it! I just went to that site and found “odynometer” – an instrument for measuring pain. I think I’ll be taking that one live very soon 🙂

    I totally got suckered in by the fake interview, too. I thought it was going to be for adopting an animal or something. Those shelter folks take it very seriously! And then I finally started to get squinty-eyed suspicious at the spelling question 🙂

  14. Pingback: A slimikin offering for your reading pleasure | As a Linguist…

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