I haven’t had much to say here in years. God knows if I will now. Times were, three or four people checked in on me here during the week, but I guess I’ve long since let them down. But it occurs to me just to fire something off into the darkness.

So right now I’m working contract for a government ministry. I’m coming up on five weeks left, with no extension or other job prospect in sight… though believe me, I’m trying. I’m a little scared. I’ve been here before and I don’t like it, and I’d give a lot to just find something solid again and settle into it for several years. It almost seems like those jobs aren’t available anymore. At least not to me.

But, like I said, I’m trying. I actually got a face-to-face interview about three weeks ago (spoiler alert: they’ve since gone with another candidate). It wasn’t a bad commute; one twenty-minute bus ride to about six minutes and two stops of subway time. I’ve certainly had worse commutes. And the work sounded interesting and rewarding.

So an interview was booked for 4 in the afternoon. Strictly speaking, I work till 5, but within w hours or so, you can book off for “appointments” and make up the time later. So I did.

So now comes the fun part. Just before leaving, like an hour or two before, I review the email one last time to make sure I’ve got my names and everything straight. And I see this one, tiny, tucked-away line I missed in the five or six other times I read the email. To wit: “This is a formal interview so please wear a suit.”

Ohhhhh fffffuuuuuuuudddddggge. Only I didn’t say “fudge”.

So I’m already at work. And even if I had read that and understood that earlier, that’s still rather a tall order. I mean, I’m at work. If I show up in a suit, they’re going to kind of know I’m buggering off early to try to get another job. So in my opinion, it’s kind of a prick move in the first place. Unless the office environment is absolutely like working in a bank headquarters, why the hell would this be an interview requirement?

Anyway, so now I’m scrambling to salvage this. I went on the net to see if there was anyplace near the interview site were I could at least snag a tie. There was. Winners. Yeah, Winners. So I get onto the subway, take that six minute ride, get off, spend ten minutes trying to find the entrance to the bloody Winners, then try to find the ties, and then try to decide what looks best with the dress shirt I have on. I bought a tie for twenty bucks.

Okay… I don’t know how to tie a tie. I used to, like, 25, 30 years ago, when I was frequently going to friends’ weddings and stuff, but those days are long past. So I make my way to the food court and find the men’s room. I lock myself in a stall and fire up the internet on my phone, praying I’ll get enough bars to look up HOW TO TIE A WINDSOR KNOT and get this party started. And I do. I pick this graphic, set the phone on my shoulder bag, and then start looping and flipping and knotting.

Time’s a-wastin’. Twenty minutes to go till the interview.

The first two times I try it, the knot comes out wrong and too far down the tie on try number one, and then just too far down the tie on try number two… so at least there’s measurably improvement. Finally I pull the tie way out to the wide side and do it again, and success. I have achieved full Windsor plausibility. So I dash out of the men’s room and back up onto the street, where, of course, a simple one-street crossing now becomes a three-street diversion because of construction. But I did finally make the interview with a decent-looking ten minutes to spare. Not that that got me the job, but hey, at least I managed to pull all that off. I’m sorry it didn’t work out, but I’ll always have that amusing, and faintly satisfying, little story to tell in a nod to my own resourcefulness.

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