My boss has been interviewing people for my job. Currently there’s a girl in the last cubicle on the row, doing a computer test. I haven’t seen her face, but from behind she looks like one of those hot items a man would hire just because she’s a hot item. You heard me right. I’m saying she’d be hired on looks alone, even if her writing skills were basic at best and her experience was comprised entirely of recycling aluminum cans and selling used jeans to one of those obnoxious businesses with outdoor signs reading, “We buy back used 501’s!!!!!!”
Okay, so I’m being a jerk. It’s very easy to be a jerk when you have a chip on your shoulder about the workforce. Anyway, I’m a hot item myself, what have I got to complain about? (FYI – I was hired by a woman.)
But it’s true. I remember when I was 19 and the manager of an independent music store hired me based solely on my looks. I don’t necessarily think I’m a hot item (yes, that was a joke earlier, what I said about being a hot item myself), and so it surprised me to find out that was part of his criteria (he told me, later, after we became friends. FYI – we’re not friends anymore).
My last job was at an independent music store and my manager, Bryan, joked that the only reason he hired me was because I was the token hot chick. Hot is not a term I would apply to myself because I’m my harshest critic. Who thinks of themself as hot, even if they secretly think they’re attractive? And anyway, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that up ‘til now, I’ve seemed like the type who would beat the hell out of a man who talked to me or about me in this manner. And you’re right, I am that type. Why I didn’t punch Bryan in the nose when he said stuff like that is a mystery to me. Stoker is also perplexed by this glaring incongruence in my personality. I could explain it, but what good would that do? Perhaps it was because Bryan was (and still is) my friend and I found it funny that he’d say it.
There was a time in my life, during my naïve high school years, when I tried to change the world. My girl friends spent a lot of time with stupid guys who had little respect for girls. I chose not to hang out with them because usually, what happened was that I’d tell the guys to shut up and stop talking like that around me and to show some respect for women. So the guys hated me. No loss.
Years later, I figured out that you can only change yourself. It was, and still is, exhausting to get riled up over everything. I’m not saying it’s okay to just give in and lower your standards. I’m just saying that instead of beating the crap out of Bryan or other guys, I either don’t spend time around them, or I laugh it off and try to discern the intent behind the remarks. I guess I’ve always figured that Bryan’s intent wasn’t to hurt me. In fact, during the dark years (the period after Keith, the bastard, broke up with me), Bryan was one of my bodyguards. Not that I needed a bodyguard because I was never in danger of being attacked. But had the need arisen, Bryan would have been there to beat stupid Keith into a bloody mess. (It turns out Bryan is a large guy, with mitts for hands. But he’s kind and loveable.) It’s good to have a bodyguard or two. During those damn dark years, I had three. Bryan, Scotty, and Matt.
So, I feel this moral quandary about the people trying to get my job, to take it all back to “the hot item in the cubicle.” I feel this obligation to tell them how awful the job turns out to be. Or maybe it’s just that I’m useless here and always have been and that’s why I feel awful, but it won't be like that for one of them. Last night on my way out of the office, I passed my boss and in my head I asked him, “Why the hell are you still paying me?”
He didn’t answer, of course, but I’m sure I have the answer. The answer is that he doesn’t want to fire me. If he fires me, I can collect unemployment. Might as well just pay her to sit in her cubicle, doing nothing. Better to have her here in case of an emergency, you know, rather than pay her to sit at home, playing Xbox. Or something.
Not that I’d play Xbox, given the opportunity to sit at home. I’m sure I’d do something more constructive, or go do something active outside, like walk my aunt’s Chihuahua (“Chihuahua? What are you talking about?” Click here.)
Yesterday I bumped into one of my old roommates, who, it just so happens, is interviewing for my job. She was a good roommate and it was excellent to see her. But the whole affair reeked of the Twilight Zone. How many coincidences can one week hold? I mean, what with the whole Robert Goulet incident and buying the Sufjan Stevens album from Shawn Brackbill and all. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Click here.)
I’m going to say it, regardless of the risk. I hope they don’t hire the hot item. I hope they hire my old roommate, even if she might eventually end up wanting to commit hari kari. Call me shallow, but I can’t have a hotter (or even comparable) hot item replace me. It just wouldn’t be fair.
Not that I’m necessarily hot.