fake bait and switch

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Saturday, January 31, 2009
I worked at my favorite branch today, which was nice but strange. Nice because I like it there; strange because it was a day with a lot of subs (like me), and not a lot of the regular staff. Many of the subs were ones I don't know well, either because we've not worked together that often, or because they are new hires. And by hires, I mean HIRED hires, not like me in my weird employed but not an employee limbo-state.

I always think I have a handle on my feelings about this, but am always surprised by how it disorients me every single time I'm confronted with it. Why them and not me? some little atavistic lump of brain always gets het up. Once I get over that primitive jolt (UNCHOSEN), I remember that I'm good at my job, I like my job, people like working with me, and that there are a million subjective factors built into the hiring process, even though they try to make it as fair as possible. My interview panel might have graded on a stricter scale than other panels, or I may have just screwed it up. I scored very high on the test, so it's likely the interview was what kept me from placing higher on the "to be hired" list. (the list I was on has since expired, so I have to wait for another general recruitment before I have a shot at a regular Employed With Benefits job. I'm free to keep doing what I'm doing, though.) The more I think about it, the more likely a botched interview seems. I was recovering from a giant face infection and I know I didn't answer one line of questioning as well as I could have.

None of that really matters, anyway. I don't know the situation for these new hires (maybe they were on the list for AGES), and I don't even know for sure what happened to me. It's so easy to get pulled down into these pockets of 'you think you know' quicksand. I don't know jack.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO HALL & OATES. (did I think when I woke up this morning that I would be typing these words by the end of the day? No, I did not.) As I was saying... there are five computer workstations in the back room of this branch. The woman working at the station next to mine asked the room if we minded if she put on some music. No, we don't mind. (3 people didn't answer, and I didn't mind.) I had no idea what she'd put in. Some people have really specific tastes, which is sometimes fun and fine (psychedelic tropicalia!) and is sometimes an exercise in keeping a neutral expression (lite jazz). This woman (whom I did not know, but she seemed nice enough) put down a Best of Hall & Oates CD on the edge of the desk and changed the CD from whatever movie soundtrack was in there. (whatever movie = when harry met sally. I have a long involved story about this soundtrack, but I will save it for another day.) OKAY. I thought. This will be interesting. I haven't listened to Hall & Oates in a long time. If I'm singing I Can't Go For That all day to myself... well, I will survive! But then it didn't sound like H & O. I thought "hmmm, this seems to have more marimba than I remember, I am totally kind of digging this!" The Music Picker was bopping around in her chair while she checked in bookdrop, singing along. La la la. More songs go by, and I am amazed at how little I seemed to recollect of Hall & Oates greatest hits. ... then I hear a song that I recognize from an alternate arrangement heard via one of my favorite music blogs. Hey. HEY! This isn't Hall & Oates at all! It's VAMPIRE WEEKEND. (ha ha ha!)

(I should note here that this was coming out of really crappy speakers at a semi-low volume.)

I'd never listened to their whole album because I'd heard a couple of songs that I liked only okay, and heard a couple that I liked pretty well, except the lyrics made me want to punch someone. (someone = preppy asshole.) Before I got to the logical "I shall listen to it all and make a fair assessment without emotional baggage of any kind because I am a rational robot and not a hysterical teenager" part of my listening agenda, I saw them on SNL and had a viscerally negative reaction, which wasn't really about the band so much as ancient high school drama. (so much for rational robot!!) (I WILL CHOKE YOU WITH THAT SCARF!!!)

Once again I think I know what's going on, but I really don't. The eye sees one thing, the ear hears another and tries to make it fit. Hall & Oates is Vampire Weekend is right now is ages ago. Private Eyes are watching your Oxford Commas. I don't know anything, and it's kind of a relief. (Hall & Oates: consider the marimba. I think you could rock it.)
3 comments on "fake bait and switch"
  1. I remember your reaction to VW on SNL. Seriously. I do. As far as the interview and list and all of that - these "new" hires could have been on a list FOR YEARS! The county can be a great entity to work for but it can literally take years to move "up". I should also say that, having been in many branches over the years, you would have needed to have some sort of spider/goat hybrid sitting on your head to not get hired hired! The process is slow, and I am HAPPY that you find the positive aspects easy to grasp. If not easy to grasp how about possible to grasp? Whatev's. Keep on rocking with H&O/VW!

  2. So are you telling me that I have a spider/goat hybrid sitting on my head?? Because as yet, I am not hired hired!!

    I know you're right about the "new" hires, except they all seem YOUNG to have been on a list for years. But, who knows. Maybe they are just remarkably well preserved or speak spanish or something. (I've got no beef with people who get hired on the spot to fill a language need.) I just have to remember that I don't know the situation and that it's most likely slow-moving government and PROBABLY not a giant conspiracy against me.

    I plan to keep myself busy making H&O/VW mashups and merchandise.

  3. No giant conspiracy I am sure. I am sure it isn't a small conspiracy either. No conspiracy. Although when I think people might be conspiring against me it somehow makes me feel better. I think that makes me sound a bit unhinged but I am okay with that.
    Maybe it makes me feel important? I need to get out more, I know.


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