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  • #1

    A friend of a friend, sometime in the past when nothing seemed impossible, had been offered an interview with a top law firm. We all met up one night in the spontaneous way you did before mobile phones, and the discussion quickly shifted to her forthcoming interview. My expertise on solicitors was solely based on what I had gleaned from This Life (a rather delightful 90s BBC2 drama) and therefore I found I had little to contribute on the minutia of law as a profession. I sat watching the world walk past, as the other two fell into a frenzy discussing the bookish realities of a solicitor's life.

    It sounded a tad dull too be honest. All serfdom and shit wages. Whilst they chatted I kept catching the eye of this cute blonde stood at the bar.

    Finally I ran out of patience and had to go ask her to stop throwing it.

    When I came back the conversation had moved on towards the best way to conduct yourself within an interview.

    I felt confident here, based on my own mediocre performances in interviews, to offer up some tips. Of course the classic triadic (firm handshake/eye contact/smile) was quickly discussed, but then the question of whether she should wear a skirt or trousers was raised.

    'I really want too wear a skirt, y'know, accentuate the feminine, but delivering that real corporate bitch, don't fuck me, I'll butt rape you vibe.'

    'Yeah, yeah ... like I ain't your jizz monkey.'

    ' Precisely '

    'One thing ... the whole seating thing ... y'know panty seepage.'

    'So true! So legs crossed then you reckon?'

    'Without question, one gusset glimpse and your either that chick from Basic Instinct or a wanton femme fatale.

    'Aren't they the same thing?

    'Er ...?'

    Some weeks past and I bumped into her at the same bar. We got chatting and she explained that the interview itself had gone pretty well. She had sat in a way we had discussed, cross legged but open armed, to convey a powerful and confident manner alongside openness. She batted away with confidence those trickier moments of inquisition, and had asked pertinent questions in return.

    Things had looked promising. All reaffirming nods and smiles.

    Then when the interview ended, her interviewers stood to thank her and assure her she would hear from them very soon. She began to get out of the chair, and discovered that her crossed leg was not going to co-operate. Apparently sitting crossed legged for the duration of a ninety minute interview, has some side effects.

    She departed, trying to ignore the stares of the interview panel, as she dragged her lifeless limb behind her.


    They probably thought I was masturbating, cracking out a quick one, spanking the monkey.

    Honestly I wasn't. I was just trying to not pretend to be married. That's all.

    I should go back to the start. I found myself in a board room, all pristine white. One of those cool kid workplaces, all open plan and beards. I was 19 and out of my depth.

    The job was my dream job at the time, to work on a television show about video gaming as a researcher. Playing games all day professionally, what post-adolescent would turn up such an opportunity?

    The board room was pristine white. A white table accentuated by white chairs and white ornaments. I was sat at one end, opposite me at the other end of this slab of nothing were two chairs that would soon be occupied. Bored whilst waiting, I played with a silver ring that I habitually had worn on my right hand for as long as I could remember. For some reason, one that I am still unsure why, I slid the ring off of its normal residence and forced, I mean literally rammed, it onto a digit located on my left hand.

    The one that demarcates you as married.

    Now for some reason, this really bothered me. One, because the blood was now literally not flowing into the finger, and two, I had entered into this hub of media inspiration single, and now somehow between the lift and the door I had got married. My mind started whirling, these people would obviously spot such detail. Christ they worked in the media . If I didn't sort this out pronto, well I could bid farewell to professional slackerdom.

    In desperation I began to wrestle with my self imposed burden under the desk.

    At precisely this point my two interviewers, both female, both incredibly young and Soho, walked in.

    I assume all they saw was a young man, sat with both hands under the edge of the table, tugging away at something.

    I might not have helped the situation by looking up guiltily.

    The worst thing is that I didn't stop. I just carried on, pulling at my ring.

    A gel quiffed Gollum obsessed with his precious.

    Needless to say the interview was brief, short, an unmitigated disaster. The sad thing is the ring thing wasn't the low point. Big Dave the night before had recommended that I should spout something aspirational.

    'What you need to do is say something off the wall ...'


    'No question, they love that sort of shit, just go full philosophical mojo on their ass, you'll nail it man.'

    So when they asked me what I offered, I went for it.

    Full philosophical mojo.

    I looked these two modern day women in the eyes, me, all cheap suit from Concept Man and wanking simulation and told them the following:

    'I'm a blank canvas you can paint me.'

    Sometimes I despise myself.
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