One afternoon last September, a co-worker walked me to an interview, while a ton of people sent good vibes my way, hoping very much that I'd be successful. Some had even murmured that, while the process was, as always, scrupulously fair, this was, in a way, a formality. One person outright asked, saying they'd heard I was returning to the job I loved.
It was, you see, an interview for a job that I'd done before, and at which I'd been relatively good, and that I'd loved to pieces. It broke my heart when my secondment was up and I had to return to my regular job.
I kept myself numbed out, feeling quiet, trying not to think about the interview and testing, knowing that if there was any hope of getting in front of the interview panel, let alone through the competition, it would mean not preparing. Preparation would lead to overt self-hatred and feelings of uselessness, and jeopardise my health and well-being. Instead of feeling ready to take on all comers, I'd be doing other candidates the favour of psyching myself out and withdrawing.
In the end, it didn't matter. Despite trying to breathe, rationalise, talk myself down from the tides of panic and self-flagellation, I dissolved during the pre-interview test, and fled.
The day was sparkling, and I was resplendent in my interview finery, whimpering, devastated, hating myself and my weakness as the streetcar carried me home.
I was just managing to keep it together, breathing raggedly, tomato-faced, and refraining from sub-vocal cries of despair.
The poor, poor, slimy man approaching me made the mistake of slimily saying, "Hello, beautiful lady."
The floodgates opened. I bawled like a baby right in his face. Loudly. I bawled my way home, all the way down the last block.
I'm pretty sure he was too terrified to indulge his lecherous tendencies for at least a week.
Poor slimy man.