I am really jobless. It's a great feeling. A feeling so rare. So I am listening to The Corrs and feeling on top of the world. I tried to bug colleague AD into playing chess, but he's also very jobless. He's at present trying to fix up a nice ring tone on his mobile. So I decided to write about what all has been going on in my life.
A few days back I got a call from R, the former Lufthansa air hostess I had met. She asked me to forward my resume to a girl for recruitment in an international airlines. The girl I forwarded it to told me to be at the venue the very next day. I got real worked up when I heard that you have to be dressed in formal gear - close fitting shirt, short skirt, stockings, closed shoes and hair in a bun- cos this particular airline is very strict about a well groomed appearance.
The day was supposed to start at 8.15 am there. I woke up at 6.30 am and gave myself ten reasons why I shouldn't be going for the interview. This, after I bought two shirts the day before. I didn't go.
While at work the same day, I got a call from a girl from that airline. She asked me why I was not there for the interview. So I told her that I couldn't make it because some work had cropped up. "No problem, come in tomorrow," she said. Now that they actually bothered to call me a second time made me think twice. So the next day, I got up early and went for it. I was dressed in a half-sleeve formal shirt and a long black formal shirt. With my hair clipped at the back. There's a reason why I am describing what I wore that day. Because the moment I stepped into the room there where the candidates were waiting, I froze. They were dressed to a T. In smart short skirts, stockings and the works. I wanted to disappear. Next I had to submit a full length photograph of myself along with my resume. I had a very casual pic that my father had taken some time back when I was vacationing in Calcutta. First of all, I was wearing huge shades and a T-shirt that said, "Therapist for crazy guys". And secondly, I had no passport size photographs of mine. So I had to give in that casual pic to my utter embarrassment.
Anyway, the entire thing go underway. We were shown a video presentation on the airline, its staff and the country where the hired cabin crew would be based. It was feel-good to say the least. I think it was after watching it that I actually felt inclined to go for it. Soon the 50 of us in the room were split up into four groups. I was in the third group.
The first two groups went first. So the other two groups had to wait in an adjoining room. During which I watched this know-all guy speak a lot on airlines and his experience in general. It was amusing. Most of the candidates were already working as cabin crew with some airline or the other. Some who had trained at aviation academies and others like me who were from another profession altogether. It was a cocktail really.
My group was finally called in at 12.30 pm. I was so hungry and sleepy that I wanted to run back home with my tail (imaginary) between my legs.It started with an ice breaking kind of thing where we had to introduce ourselves and tell the others two interesting things about ourselves which the resume didn't mention. Next we proceeded on to the group discussion. Each round was an elimination round. So there we were, eight of us -- five girls and three guys -- who were asked to stay behind through chits of paper after some three group discussions and a written test. We had to then sit down for a psychometric test. Following which we were asked to return two days later for another interview.
As the lady conducting the interview told us that we were lucky to make it there, what with their having received 17,000 applications, she also emphasised that we had to come properly groomed the next day. And I don't know whether I imagined it, but I could swear she kept looking at me while stating what all we needed to do. We had to get photographs clicked as well by the next day.
So the day before the interview, there I was doing a last minute recce of the market for a short pencil skirt, close fitting formal shirt, skin coloured stockings, pumps and hair net. In short, a complete makeover. I was quite close to tears while at it. It was frustrating as hell trying to put all of it together. Needless to say, that after I had bought myself a short black skirt from Mango, I saw this neat skirt at Benetton. But having spent a fortune already, I curbed my enthusiasm.
By the way my parents don't know about anything. On the Sunday I was busy getting ready, my mother kept asking me if I was going for a party while my father insisted on knowing where I was headed to. I shouted. Then I shut myself in the next room and came out all decked up. But I just couldn't let the cat out of the bag even though I was feeling guilty. I have to get my passport from them. It's gone for renewal.
As I looked into the mirror before stepping out, I must confess I felt like I was staring at a stranger. I looked, well, so different with the make-up and all. But it was fun. After the photo session, I hurried for the interview. It was a personal interview round. And I must say it was fun talking to them.
At the end of it, the pretty woman who was asking the questions told me,"A, you have done very well for yourself." And she handed me a folded letter but warned me, "But this is not an offer of appointment. We will be getting in touch with you later."