Saturday interview

I leave the apartment at 10am, and head down the stairs to the “Business Center” next to the Leasing office. It is four Macs, one Dell and a HP printer on a single counter that stretches around the small room. There are five basic office chairs and no mousepads.

I open my e-mail, find my resume and hit “print.” A few seconds later a grossly off-centered copy of my resume pops out of the machine with the entire right side cut off. I try again, and the same thing happens. Finally after wasting half a ream worth of paper, I decide to download it to their computer and print it from Microsoft Word.

The result was one perfectly printed resume so I decided to print off four more just to be safe… but when I went to delete the file, it was already gone. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to worry about this. I headed over to the trolley stop across the street to get my interview, hoping I didn’t need a cover letter too.

I arrived at Orlando Eye at 11:03am. There were approximately fifty seats set up outside the main building occupied by exactly six people filling out applications. That’s right, six people other than myself showed up, I was expecting a LOT more people than that for a Saturday (when I asked one of the seven people milling around outside the entrance, they told me the large open plaza was “standing room only” yesterday).

I finished my application and took it up to one of the four men with clipboards standing in front of the building. He hands me a “sign-in” sheet and leads me inside the building where workers were still painting the entrance to the SeaLife portion of the attraction. The empty kiosks for the future food court were constructed (reminded me of Harborplace, but with more people).

The man leads me to a desk where he hands my application to a smiling human woman named Mary who leads me off to a narrow hallway in what was clearly going to be Madame Tussauds (as we walked past a smiling wax figure of a blonde woman in a bright red dress that I didn’t immediately recognize). She stops in front of a small desk surrounded by thin black curtains.

Okay, first question – this is it, the moment that will make or break my future at this company. In other words: no pressure, just stay calm, relax and force myself look her in the eyes even if it kills me.

You will hire me; you want to hire me. Oh god, how can movie villains stand doing that?

“What are some attributes that you feel would be a good fit for our company?”

Fair enough, standard ice breaker question, and the perfect time for my mind to go completely 100% blank. That’s right, I couldn’t say anything remotely intelligent for several whole seconds, and I knew darned well how that looks on her end as the same thing happened to me at Disney (…and we all know how well that went).

I look up at and see that she’s only half paying attention as she shuffles through the papers on the clipboard copying down everything from my application onto a separate “interviewer” form. I suggest she might try copying said information directly from the resume in her left hand as it was probably easier to read (a point she didn’t argue with).

She seems happier now, maybe I can salvage this interview after all. She moves onto quizzing me about how my previous experience relates to aquariums and amusement parks. I mentioned how I managed to be the only student in my school to NOT work at Knoebels (which she’d “never heard of” despite claiming to be from Pa) and how I failed to secure a job three different times at the National Aquarium and once at Disney.

It’s kind of sad how my “experience” boils down to a series of awesome and/or impressive jobs I “almost” had. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure she was still only half paying attention. If I keep this up, I might say enough vaguely “right” things to make a good impression on that little form of hers…unless they find this post, than I’m definitely out of the running.

I walked out of the interview at 11:39am, satisfied that I hadn’t completely embarrassed myself. I may be hearing from their real PR department in the coming weeks or the interviewer was just being friendly. As you’ve probably figured out from this blog, I am nothing if not an optimist. To paraphrase Jim Carey’s character in Dumb & Dumber: A one in a million chance is still a chance!

Update: I have just received an e-mail from “Orlando Cluster” thanking me for my interview. There was no text other than a contact name, the address of the building I went to on Saturday as well as a lengthy legal disclaimer about this being just an e-mail and not a contract of any kind.

There was no information about whether a second interview had been scheduled… or if this was merely a polite way of saying I failed to make the final cut. (3/18/15)

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Categories: florida, job hunting, Orlando | Leave a comment

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