Thursday, September 3

Time shift

My phone rang as I neared the office in a town I had never visited. I let it ring because I was busy looking for the building I was sure I had passed at least once. The phone beeped to indicate the caller had left a message on the voicemail, and then I found the building and parked the car in front, happy in the knowledge that I had arrived 40 minutes early and would have time to look at the newspaper and review interview answers before the meeting. I played the message as I gathered my notes:

"Hi, this is David." My stomach tightens. Is he telling me now, when I'm parked 5 feet from the front door, that he can no longer meet me today?

"I hope this is your cell phone number and not a home number. I wanted to make sure you were still OK to meet me at 2." Whew. Sure!

"I wanted to check because it's now 2:17." I check the clock on my dashboard. It's five minutes fast, not 55 minutes slow. It's 1:23. He's confused.

" ... there's an hour's time difference. I guess I should have mentioned that yesterday when I spoke with you." I had a brief moment of fumbling panic and page-shaking finger trembling, but I got over it. I looked myself over one more time in the rearview mirror and got out of the car.

Studying the questions would have been pointless, beyond the great benefit of gaining self-knowledge, because he asked me one question in the "interview."

What are your career goals?

Easy. Make money, buy things and die.

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