Over the last few weeks, you might have noticed a bunch of people scurrying around campus in suits and ties, their eyes bright and their tails bushy. What were these people scurrying after? Interviews! Specifically, second-round interviews with prestigious New York firms that pay people lots and lots of monies to do lots and lots of works.
Even a blind pig may find an acorn, and I myself got a second-round interview with one of those prestigious New York firms — let’s call it Silverwoman Balls. Imagine my surprise and delight! Imagine my parents’ pride! Imagine the gentle inflation of my ego to an irritating tumescence!
Now, there are things you don’t want to have happen in these interviews. At the bottom of the list (i.e., those things that aren’t so bad), there’s maybe burping quietly or having your shoe come untied. In the middle, there’s forgetting what you meant to say about your Reach Out trip to Tanzania. Finally, at the top of the list are things like vomiting on the interviewer, disemboweling a kitten on the interviewer’s desk, and being an hour late to a two-hour interview. Guess which one of those happened to me (Hint: My stomach is a thing of steel and I LOVE KITTENS).
On the day of the interview, I woke up extra early in giddy anticipation, groomed my tail to new heights of bushiness, and gave my fine-looking reflection a little peck on the lips before scampering out to Park Street to wait for my cab. I had called a different cab service because Metro Taxi always takes so long. Maybe you’ve heard of it, (203)-NOC-AB4U? This cab service is special because you don’t have to pay for it because they don’t send you a cab. I recommend it if you are on a tight budget and have nowhere to go.
Alas, I did have somewhere to go (up up up the corporate ladder) and after fifteen minutes I got the joke and called Metro Taxi, hat in hand. A tense ride to the train station (did you know there are nine possible red lights between there and Pierson College?) and a frantic sprint to Track 10 meant that my fingers were just able to brush up against what I believe is called the “caboose” of my departing train.
Seated in the caboose was a different Steven, a calm, collected Steven reading the Wall Street Journal and adjusting his tie, a Steven who would go on to become a star businessman, live on Central Park West and slather his tycoon’s body in Prada bath oils every morning before setting out to conquer the markets. He saw me through the caboose’s back window, waved and disappeared around the bend.
Ha ha, I thought, I’ll not let Fate snatch my prize from me! Like any good Summer Analyst candidate, I understood the idea of uncertainty and had factored in an extra half an hour just in case something like this happened. The next train was not an express, but with my buffer period it didn’t matter.
The train was driven by someone named Fred and conducted by someone named Bob. Each time we stopped at a station they would have an exchange over the announcement thingy that sounded like this:
Bob: Yep, the door light’s still lit up.
Fred: Don’t worry, we’ll take it slow.
Bob: I just wonder what it’s doing.
Fred: Me too.
Steven: Fred, Bob, listen. I will pay each of you a thousand dollars in cash out of my snazzy I-banker’s salary if you forget about the door light, make no more stops until Grand Central, and show me what this iron horse can do!
Fred: Holy shit, who’s on the announcement thingy?
Steven: Now is not the time for fear, Fred. Now is the time for action!!
You might be asking yourself, why would Fred slow down the train for a door light? What is a door light? Other than a hellish device that crushes dreams, I do not know.
Hope springs eternal in the breast of the ignorant, and upon detraining at Grand Central with ten minutes to get from the station to the bottom tip of Manhattan, I firmly believed everything would be fine. You see, I was going to take a taxi! A taxi with wings! A teleporting taxi piloted by Nightcrawler from the X-Men! A time-traveling taxi that would actually deliver me to my destination before now!
After I shut the door of my wonder ride, the cab moved forward maybe five or six feet and then stopped. There was a pause.
“Are we going to go?” I said to the driver.
“We are going,” he answered.
I looked outside. We did not look like we were going. We looked like we were still here. With tender slowness, the reality of my situation set in. To my credit, I did not cry. Much.
The cab ride only took fifty-two minutes. And during that time, I got to watch the “Taxi Network” on a little TV screen that had been installed in the back of the driver’s seat. Three commercials play on loop on the “Taxi Network.” First is a commercial for New York, advertising its wonders and delights and the efficiency of its cabs. The second is a commercial for the “Taxi Network” itself, tempting viewers to tune in after they have left the taxi. Finally, there is a commercial for “Lipstick Jungle,” a new series on NBC. It is about sexy, powerful women and their problems. Brooke Shields plays Wendy on the show, and the neat thing about the commercial on the “Taxi Network” is that it tells you how to put on makeup like her. After watching it no less than sixteen times, I now know exactly how to look like Brooke Shields. If you see Brooke Shields walking around campus, don’t be fooled, it’s actually just me. Or maybe not, because after twelve commercial cycles, I was compelled to tear off my own face because it wasn’t working to hang myself with my tie from the little handle on the taxi’s ceiling.
Once I actually got in the building, things weren’t so bad. Just kidding! The interviewers were nice and considerate, but I think that was because I made their difficult task of choosing who to hire a little easier. Do you hire the kid who showed up an hour late with a bloody stump for a face? If you answered yes to that question, you don’t have what it takes to work at Silverwoman Balls.
Steven Kochevar seeks a new means of selling his soul to The Man.