In particular, you should apparently treat it like the most mind-numbing full-time job you’ve ever had. Consider, for example, some of my duties as a professional job-searcher, as well as some of the skills I’ve had to develop in this work: the other day I realized that although I’m enjoying my summer off, I should really try very hard to find work sometime within the next two months, because OH MY GOD, I don’t have a suitable pair of shoes to wear at a job interview once the weather turns cooler and wetter. And this realization, though distressing, was not nearly as much so as the one that immediately followed, which was OH MY GOD, I’VE BECOME SOMEONE WHO BASES SERIOUS LIFE DECISIONS ON SHOES.
The $20 pair of sandals I bought at Payless a few years ago can pass for formal in summer weather, but I’ll need something better for when it starts raining nonstop. Heeding the advice of “plan for the future”, I consulted the literature to see if the people working in HR know anything about shoes, because I sure as hell don’t. And, what do you know, they know all about shoes, and they advise us at length on the subject, right there under the heading Dress For Success. I’m paraphrasing here, because I don’t remember the title of the book that offered this advice, because I tossed it right back on the shelf as soon as I read this part:
Should I wear high heels?
Many professional women, if not most, wear high heels in the workplace. High heels tell your coworkers that you are a poised, dynamic and self-confident woman who can get the job done. Certainly this is an image you want to project at a job interview! But if you are a tall woman, be careful, as short men may be intimidated by your stature as it is!
The book, by the way, helpfully provides a numerical range for “tall”, and lo, I am right there on the boundary. Which means that while this job-seeking tome makes clear that I have to strive to accommodate some set of sexist shitheads with my attire, it leaves it up to me to figure out exactly which set of sexist shitheads I should strive to accommodate: do I defer to the fragile egos of short men, or do I instead try to dazzle the sadistic executives who equate distributing the entirety of my weight over three square inches of area with being dynamic? Decisions, decisions!
Nothing I’m going to spend much time fretting over, mind you: since I have bad knees that are aggravated by strain, I’m basically forced to go with the asshole short men who are intimidated enough by the fact that sometimes I stand up instead of crouch. In order to deflect crticism from the asshole executives who’d otherwise conclude that I lack one or more of poise, self-confidence, or – what’s the noun corresponding to dynamic? – I can bring my cane, which I’ve been known to use when my knee condition flared up particularly badly. This seems like the best option, because I have done my homework and I know full well that it’s illegal in BC to discriminate on the basis of physical disability, whereas the law is completely silent on the legality of discriminating on the basis of shoes.
This is the sort of crap I am thinking about these days.