31 October 2009

Scary monsters from the past

Ooooh. I don't know why, this has nothing to do with Hallowe'en, but this morning, standing in my kitchen, minding my own business, I remembered one of the all-time biggest boogeymen from my (admittedly short) legal career. This one, at least, I did not work for -- more about that one another time perhaps. No, this one I had an interview with, one of those 10-minute mini-view jobbies that law schools set up every year for their students with, usually, top name firms. Indeed, this guy was from one of the so-called big Detroit law firms, although I cannot remember which one except it might have been one to do with tax or accounting. So why were they interviewing me, Ms Warm&FuzzyKitten? I'd like to say I have no idea except that I do have an idea. I think they chose me purely for self-entertaining purposes.

The interviewer had short dark hair, a short dark moustache, and a short dark manner. There was something vaguely rattish about his face. Here's the Voice of Hindsight talking to me, the young Jeannette: Leave. He has kept you waiting. Just blow him off. Do not look back. You don't even want to work for a law firm anyway. You hate those places. Leave as soon as you see his twitchy face. Leave as soon as you shake his swarthy hand. Definitely leave as soon as he delivers (rudely) this sentence of greeting: "So, Ms Cook. Do you think this is a game?"

A game. A game. But he was the one who was playing. He had kept me waiting, and now was winding me up. How in the world was I meant to respond? "Yes, and we are merely players" ? "No; do you think you are an asshole" ?

If I'd left I could have saved myself 10 painful minutes and a permanent dislike of swarthy men in conservative suits.

Instead I stayed, didn't quit law school like I should have, and continue to recall his ratty words too many years later.

Perhaps writing this will prove to be the equivalent of burning his effigy.

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