I knew the location was in a "far away" suburb, in that vague I've-only-been-here-a-month-so-maybe-it-i
I had an idea of how to get there. Kind of. I also had a sneaking suspicion that it would take me rather longer than Mapquest suggested. Since I had nothing better to do and wanted to make a good impression, I decided to leave super-early (three hours) to make sure I arrived early/on time (wound up arriving an hour and a half early). I successfully transferred buses and found myself on the Express out to the airport, a location that I felt would serve well as an anchor to go from. It was in "that" direction, and I felt fairly certain that should I become completely lost, someone at an airport would know how to get somewhere.
The ride was pretty exciting at first, because I loved seeing the city from the other side of "the river." I know that there are three rivers here, but coming from an area with one major river (St. Joseph) and one damn big lake (Lake Michigan), I tend to lump the poor trio together in one singular watery mass. I felt a little more anxious when we took to the busway and the city began to drop away behind us ... without all the people, without all the strange, decrepit, and wonderful buildings, it was more like driving through Indiana. (Thanks to the hills, Southern Indiana ... but Indiana nonetheless.) Then we passed through a retail area where I spotted a JoAnn's and a Media Play, and this made me feel much better. But beyond that, it seemed mostly large businesses, highways, and a few houses, which were scattered here and there in the hilly woods.
Then, we got to the airport. Seeing it was pretty exciting too, though I did not go very far into it. It occurred to me that though getting from Point A to Point B had been easy, I really had no clue how I was going to get from Point B to Point C. I thought it was probably a better (though more expensive) idea to call for a taxi, and rely on the knowledge of the driver. It had to be more than mine, right?
It cost practically three dollars just to get out of the airport! I groaned to myself as his little meter ticked away, but this had the best chance of getting me to where I needed to go. As fate would have it, he didn't really know that much more about the place than I did, but we somehow managed to get to the Institute, a modern building and parking lots, perched on the very top of a hill.
I was there early. I was there sooooo early, but since I was out there and there was nothing else to do on that hill, I plucked up my nerve and went in anyway. The secretary greeted me, handed me an application to fill out (geh ... did I not submit a satisfactory resume?), and directed me to an empty conference room. As I dutifully copied my resume onto the app, a gentleman came in, greeted me, and started speaking about the Institute, its goals, the position I was applying for, etc. The interview did not formally get underway until a lady joined us. Though I had come so very early and was not on the schedule yet for another hour and a half, they went ahead right then and there. I shall hereafter refer to them as Mr. Carpenter and Mrs. Green.
I thought Mr. Carpenter liked me. We saw eye to eye on Frontpage (agreeing that it is evil and adds messy unnecessary junk into your HTML), programs of choice (using WordPad for coding, feeling that WYSIWYG editors do too much for you and sometimes fail you), and being PC/Mac compatible. It was harder to read Mrs. Green. She seemed friendly, but she is in Marketing ... and though stereotypes are not always true, I do have to wonder ... we marketing folks all seem friendly at first. Maybe she didn't like me at all? Oh well, nothing to do but look her in the eye and keep on trying to make it seem like I do actually know what I am doing.
I explained how I preferred cooperative environments over competitive ones, how the position sounded much like what I did for the Alumni and Development Department before I graduated, how I appreciated honesty, agreed that the webpage could use some improvements, how I would go about that process, how I could connect with the folks they recruit, etc. It was going smoothly, I thought! But THEN! A test of HTML knowhow! I was taken by surprise!
I took the paper, talked through it out loud as encouraged to, though I did keep several thoughts to myself, such as "Geh!! Forms!? On paper, unable to test and test again 'til the code functions true? Oh noes. Where is the error?" I circled things I did not immediately understand/remember to come back to later, though I don't know if that's what they saw in that. Though I rightly recognized that the example was not compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act-thinger, my favored solutions for the problem were cosmetic, rather than structural. I felt very embarrassed about that.
Hobbies, why did you choose your university, what is a "blog," how do you think we can involve this in our outreach, etc., I did my best to answer the questions truthfully, but with a positive cast. We parted with smiles and handshakes, and I went outside to go sit in the sun. I realized that I have mixed feelings ... there's no guarantee that I will get the job, of course. If I am fortunate enough to defy my luck and obtain this position, I'll either have to be making hellaciously long/lucky commutes, or move. Moving would probably be the easiest solution, but it's strange ... while I am not yet emotionally bound to this old house, I really don't want to move that far out of the city. I don't like thinking of it. I have long dreamed of a yellow house on a hill, and though the area of the Institute is indeed full of hills ... it just somehow did not match. I didn't like looking out and seeing farmland. That's not what I'm here for.
I concluded today by spilling pickle juice on myself and reeking of salty dill.