So Mashreq called Monday afternoon and I went ballistic!


I got an interview from Mashreq? The Mashreq Bank? The oldest privately owned bank and one of the biggest companies in UAE. A corporate giant wants me in his office? Are you kidding? I got chills all over my spine when the Relationship Manager confirmed my time slot. I know you’re rolling your eyes with all your classy fancy eyelashes and first class abayas. It’s probably not a big deal to you people. But for someone who submits a minimum of thirty applications a week in seven or eight different job portals and gets the same number of rejection emails in return, it is a big deal.

So Tuesday afternoon I sat there along with a local girl who was busy fumbling on her mobile and waited for a good few minutes. Out of curiosity and fear that this local girl obviously must have more edge than me- language wise, I asked.  “What position are you applying for?”

And I wouldn’t say flabbergasted is the right reaction that came out of me but it was something close to it. She replied. “I don’t know what position. I will decide if I like their offer.”

I don’t know if I will ever get used this blistering reality that some people gets to decide their post in the company. They get to decide what time they have to come to work and what time they have to leave. They get to choose which company is deserving of their royalty and they get to choose the benefits they should receive. Wow. I’m just. Okay I don’t have a better word for it at the moment. Flabbergasted.

By the time the officer realized she has an appointment with me it was already running 5 PM.  She was forty five minutes late. I sat there in her office with all hopes in the world combined (world peace, global warming and world hunger put together). Like I could really nail this thing! But when she started talking and flipping the pages of my resume, that’s when it hit me. Having been involved with Recruitment for the past few months, I can now tell how this screening of applicants work. I know that even before she could throw some questions at me, she already have placed me at the bottom of the ranking. People have biases and they have the right to. And I have no right to question her judgment. She was paid to do that.

In the middle of that shortened interview I wanted to interrupt her and ask, “Are you in a hurry? Cause if you have some more important things to do I can totally understand.”  She was feeding words in my mouth which was totally a cue for me to shut up and let her finish. It’s faster that way. Just pull off the band aid and get over it as John Green would put it.

For a brief moment after that interview I thought maybe I have contributed something to my own catastrophy. She didn’t like the way I dress. I was not articulate enough. I said something stupid that turned her off. I might have sounded so desperate about the job. I am a Filipino. I can formulate more reasons why she was only doing it for formality.

She doesn’t like me. I’m just trying to put some logic behind my bitterness. It doesn’t matter how brilliant you are or how presentable you are. They need to like you based on their own standards. And standards are bias. This is why Miranda Priestly hired Andrea. She likes her. With all her external remorse on this outrageous looking girl, there was something she liked about her and that is enough to reward her the title she’s been so desperate to snag.

“People get hired because, somehow, they get hired. In my case I did something which these days would be easy to check, and would get me into trouble, and when I started out, in those pre-internet days, seemed like a sensible career strategy: when I was asked by editors who I’d worked for, I lied. I listed a handful of magazines that sounded likely, and I sounded confident, and I got jobs. I then made it a point of honour to have written something for each of the magazines I’d listed to get that first job, so that I hadn’t actually lied, I’d just been chronologically challenged… You get work however you get work.”Neil Gaiman on his Keynote Speech

Photo Credit: Vestiaire Collective, Daily Mail, Moonandtrees

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