Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Adventures In Job Hunting, Part 1 Of a Hopefully Short Series

I had an interview-- no, wait: "audition"-- with Kaplan tonight, for a job teaching LSAT prep courses. I had very high LSAT scores (and GRE, too, which is relevant because I'm hoping to get more hours by teaching GRE as well), so I made it past the first hurdle with no problem. Tonight's fun and games involved presenting a five minute speech on how to do something.

I hate this speech. I've had to give them before, both in high school and in college, in several different classes, for times ranging from 4 minutes to 15. These speeches are idiotic for several reasons, including the difficulty of picking a topic that will hold your classmates' attention, the often-required props, and the time limits. What, exactly, can you teach someone in only five minutes? Not much, I can tell you that. For this go-round, I chose "How to Throw a Cheese and Wine Party", a.k.a. "Parties for Grownups: Beyond the Kegger". It seemed like a good topic: just involved enough to justify talking about it for five minutes, but not so complicated that you can't do it justice in five minutes.

There were about 10 other people there, all applying (oops, auditioning for different test prep jobs. Before I left, I commented to Ash that I'd probably be the oldest person in the room, including the interviewers. I was almost right: I was almost certainly older than both of the interviewers, but there were two other people who looked older than I. Of course, in one case, I may just be projecting based on her prissy little old lady attitude. There was a wide range of skill exhibited in the presentations, and for the most part, I thought everyone did very well both in picking a topic and in giving the actual presentation.

However. The prissy old lady woman? First of all, her speech was terrible. By far the worst of the evening, although again, I may be projecting because of what I am about to tell you. She was "explaining" to us how to solve a Sudoku. I was actually quite interested, because I know several people who looooove them a good Sudoku, and I just don't seem to get it. I can honestly say that I know no more now than I did prior to her speech, which went something like "First, I solve part of the puzzle. Then I use that part to solve the rest. Sudoku is fun." and lasted less than two minutes.

I didn't go directly after her; there was one other presentation in between. My speech went, I thought, quite well, except that it was too long. They actually cut you off at five minutes, so I didn't quite finish. I think that, had I been permitted to keep talking, I would have finished at about 6 1/2 minutes, so it wasn't too bad. Anyway, I went back to my seat and she leaned over to me and whispered in the fakest "sincere" voice, "Well, at least you didn't totally freeze up."

I wanted to punch her right in her soppy little prissy old lady face.

However, the last laugh was mine because one of the interviewers asked me to stay and talk when everyone was leaving. Nothing is official yet, but he said that they really liked my audition and wanted to talk to me about teaching an upcoming course. I'll talk to him some more later this week and hopefully that will work out for me. It's not a "real" job in the sense of something full time that will pay my bills, but it's certainly something, and I think I'll be good at it.


I'm also keeping my eye open for other short term or temporary work to tide me over while I try to find a "real" job, and I saw a posting on craigslist that required the applicant to supply the following:

- Must own a digital camera, computer with high-speed internet access and reliable transportation
- Ability to work outdoors in various weather conditions
- Basic knowledge of computer and digital photography
- Automotive experience is preferred
- eBay experience is preffered
- Excellent communication skills
- Must own cellular phone and willing to use for business calls
- Reliable transportation, willing to drive to dealerships and valid drivers license with insurance

In other words, the employee supplies everything and the employer pays for nothing. Spare me!


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