Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta cancel. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta cancel. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, 3 de noviembre de 2016

He was a friend

   The problem with having people over was that Tom’s place was always a mess. He tried to keep it clean; to make it look like someone responsible lived there, but it was impossible for him to keep that façade up. He had to confront the fact that he was not the most organized person in the world and that he shouldn’t have said “Yes” when asked if he could have his friends over for their weekly gathering. They had that tradition since they started having their own places. It was an excuse for seeing each other more often because if it weren’t for that dinner, they wouldn’t know anything.

 Marina had almost always hosted the dinner. She had the most beautiful apartment of the group and her husband was very relaxed about them meeting up so often. Sometimes they only met every two weeks because she had something else to do or her husband needed his space so they just didn’t get together. If it wasn’t her house, they sometimes used Greg’s place but the problem with his house was the fact that it was too far away from anyone else’s and that he had a baby so they had to keep it silent and very short.

 So Tom had a lot to do before his friends came over. By his request, the dinner was changed fro mthe usual Friday to Saturday. He knew that if he needed time to plan the whole thing and it was going to be an important meeting because the New Year holidays had just ended and it hadn’t seen each other in weeks. They would normally call for a pizza or something like that but he really wanted to impress them as he had always been the loser of the group, the one that never did anything too impressive, the one that was still single and working a menial job.

 Yes, Tom wanted them to see another side of him, a side that he would hopefully actually have. As he started planning, he realized he was really as dull and simple as anyone would think. His job was really not interesting so they never spoke about that but he always got so tired from it that he had almost no time to actually read or hear about other things in the world. He didn’t have any real knowledge about the interesting things of life. He only knew about the boring corner he occupied in the world and that was it. So he really had to make an effort.

 The first thing was actually planning the dinner. Even in the New Year’s Eve dinner with his family, he had his old timey notepad and a pencil with which he would write ideas for things to eat. His brother insisted he should just order a pizza and garlic bread but they always did that and he wanted to impress them with something they couldn’t see coming. The garlic bread was a nice idea, so he wrote it down and his mother told him a good salad is always welcome so he wrote that down too. The idea was to have many simple things around.

 The days before the meeting, he decided to buy most of the things he needed for his dinner in order to do them first and see if he could do it all by himself or if it really was a better idea to just ask for a pizza. He used the oven and borrowed a bunch of kitchen equipment from his mother, as he didn’t have anything to do proper things at his place. He didn’t even have a blender, just a couple of pans, a cooking pot and the microwave. Tom had to borrow his father’s car too to be able to take all of that back to his place. They thought he was going crazy.

 The first thing he decided to do was the salad, which he thought was the simplest of the dishes he had wrote down. He decided to do one mixing vegetables and fruits. It was supposed to be something refreshing and filled with flavors. He did everything the recipe called for but at the end, he doubted the result was the same as in the recipe. Apparently, the fruits and veggies he had chosen weren’t in their best moment. Some of them were too “green” and others were too ripe. It wasn’t to be surprised, as he had never picked up so many things from the supermarket.

 He put the salad on the side and decided it would be nice if he kept it on the refrigerator. Then, Tom decided to make the garlic bread. It was a rather simple thing to do. His trial test was going to be with cheap bread he had found in the supermarket. Again, he had made the wrong choice, as the bread was much too hard, like a rock. It was almost impossible to cut it. But once he did, he smeared some garlic paste on it and put it in the oven. The thing was he forgot about it when doing another recipe, so the bread got burned and his second attempt another disaster.

 What he was doing in the meantime was mixing the ingredients to make nice thick waffles. He had found a website that advised against the mix they sold in a box and encouraged people to do the mix themselves. The whole kitchen got covered in flour and a couple of eggshells ended up in the mix. He let it harden a bit when he got the garlic bread out of the oven so when he mixed it again, it had a very rough texture, not very similar to the one in the pictures of the website. When he tried it in the pan, it just got stuck there and burned like the bread.

 And all of that happened in a single day, the Monday previous to his gathering with friends. He wasn’t ready at all and he was even more of a disaster than he had thought. Tom had never cooked anything for himself and had no idea about entertaining people. He was a shy person, the kind that would always be asked last about a subject, if asked at all. He knew they had put that burden on him because no one else could do it and that thought made him realized he didn’t want to be that person.

 So early Tuesday, he grabbed the phone and called every single was one of his so-called friends and told them that he had decided against organizing their little event. He didn’t explain why or anything like that. He thought it was best not to say anything that they could use against him, although he knew they were going to talk anyway. After making all the appropriate calls, he decided to go to bed and rest because he hadn’t been able to sleep properly just because of that stupid meeting being in his brain for weeks and weeks.

 A surprise came in Wednesday, after having been able to sleep for ten straight hours. A girl from college called Alicia had come to his door to visit, out of the blue. When he buzzed her in, he didn’t really realize what he had done. But then he did and he started picking up the trash from the floor but then stopped and realized that didn’t make any sense. If Alicia was there, it was because the others had told her about the cancelled reunion. She wanted to know more and he shouldn’t just fake that everything was perfect when it wasn’t.

At the end of the day, that mess in his house was what made him Tom. He was that mess and it was the most original version of his own self. Nothing more could be as perfect to describe him as that pile of things all around, ranging from papers and notebooks to all the ingredients that he hadn’t used and wasn’t going to use for anything, never again. He even had some clothes on the floor, mainly the ones he would pick up and put in bag to take to washing machines in the basement of the building. It was one of those places.

 When Alicia arrived, he greeted her on the door and didn’t ask her to come in. He just wanted to know what she was doing there. She said that a bunch of people, including her, were worried about him because he had cancelled out of the blue. She reminded him that he was always so worried about arriving on time to their other meetings and often gave money for more pizza, so it was weird that he would just cancel the gathering that he was in charge of. So Alicia was just there to receive an explanation and she really got one.

 Tom said he was tired of being the last person they always thought of, except when they needed money or some idiot to do shit for them. He told Alicia to told every other person in their so-called “friend group” that he wasn’t going to be the same idiot that he had been since college. Maybe he wasn’t brilliant or successful or anything, but he still deserved some respect. He closed the door on her face and decided it was a nice time to order a pizza, all for himself.

domingo, 12 de abril de 2015

Job interviews

   Anna prepared herself for days. She had to get a job once and for all because she didn’t want to live with her parents anymore. They were all right, it wasn’t that they weren’t a bother or anything but she wanted more than life than her eternal bedroom with a window towards the mountains. There was never sun or warmth in her room and she had always thought this affected many of the things she did. Besides, she needed change urgently. Anna didn’t want to turn thirty and still be the girl that hadn’t accomplish much. She felt everyone she knew was doing something and she wanted to do something too.

 She tried skirts and pants, blouses and sweaters, heels and flat shoes. All that in front of a mirror the day before her job interviews. She had been scheduled to be in at least five: three of them were in a ten-block radius so she could get to any of them on time by just walking. The other two were in other areas and she was going to have to take the bus. It was possible they called Anna from two more places to go there and just pop up for an interview but they would only call her if they had the time to do it that day.

 The girl woke up early, spent exactly seven minutes in the shower and got dressed pretty fast having prepared her outfit the day before. She put on some make up, verified that she was bringing everyday in a briefcase her dad had lend her and then she went out the house. But the moment she was about to hop in the elevator, she realized she had left her cellphone in the kitchen, after having a fast breakfast. She had to go back, grab it and then run out faster than before. She had thought of taking a taxi to the first interview in order not to be late and she did arrive just in time.

 The job was in a cleaning product factory. It was one of the ones that were in a distant location, more exactly in a large industrial area. She arrived just in time, as a bald man said her name. She smiled and got in an office with him. The interview was very normal at the beginning but then the man asked about her job background and her studies. Anna had gone to college to be an architect and she had the degree but that had nothing to do with the job they were offering there. She said that, as it was an assistant post, she could learn fast but the man wasn’t convinced and told her, kindly but with decision, that maybe the factory wasn’t the best place for her. She thanked him for his time and left the building shortly after.

 A bit bummed out by the outcome of her first interview, she took a bus straight towards the financial area. There. She would have three interviews and she tried to convince herself they were going to be much better than the first one. In the bus, something funny happened: a very cute guy, one of those that might not even realize he was cute, was standing by the middle of the bus and danced softly but as the bus reaches its destination, the guy started dancing more and more. Maybe it was that he didn’t realize that people were watching, because he had big headphones, but many of the passengers of the bus were looking and a kid was even recording a video of him. This very particular event made Anna think that some people are just who they are. Maybe she was too desperate and that too was noticeable.

 So when she entered the building were the second interview was going to take place, she made a mental note to be a little more lose, more natural and compelling, instead of being lost and nervous. Maybe if they saw a cheerful and very committed Anna, they would hire her. The interview was in a fashion magazine and she would also assist on several duties. The ad didn’t really specify what was that she would be doing but that was ok. She entered after ten minutes of waiting and it was a woman this time that did the interview. They chatted amicably and even laughed to some jokes and characteristics of the job such as helping the very full-of-themselves photographers or just stock pictures in the archive.

 Anna went out of the building walking on air. She hadn’t secured the post but she was sure she had made the right impression. So that was the key, just to be playful and funny and go along with must of what they said. Everyone wants to hire someone who isn’t going to be a problem and that can be deduced if the person has very strong feelings against something or is not very eager to be in there.

 The next one was in a import-export company. That appointment had been gotten for her by one of her aunts that happen to work there. She was ready to be the nice and likeable Anna but they man that interviewed her was the most sparing person she had ever met. He only said the necessary words and avoided to make eye contact with her so it was very hard to be cheerful and smile when people weren’t even paying attention. And even when she saw the chance of being funny and original, the man didn’t seem to care for it at all. The longest part of the interview was about her aunt and Anna knew the job wasn’t hers when the guy said nothing at the end of the interview.

 Annoyed by this last one. She decided to have lunch and then go on her next appointment jus six blocks away. She bought a sandwich and a bottle of water on a supermarket and went to a small park to eat. Some other people were doing the same but others just passed by talking with co-workers or friends. There were many college people too and that made her think of her friends and how college was so much easier than parading around the city begging for a job. Because after all, she thought, that was exactly what job interviews were. Most of the times, they didn’t chose people that were the best at anything. They just went for who had family there or whom they just liked, which was sad.

 Anna decided to be early for the next one so she walked very fast to the building was the interview for a secretary post in a talent agency was being held. This time it was different as she was asked to enter the interview room with three other girls. They all sat in front of two people and were asked random questions, each one answering them in just less than half a minute. It was like being on a marathon because when they all went out, they discuss how tired they were from the bombardment of questions. None of the two interviewers said anything to the girls before asking them to leave, only that they would call if they find them to be a fit for the agency.

 The girl was ready to take the long bus ride to the last appointment but then she got a phone call from one of the places she was waiting word from. They asked her to their offices right there in the financial district. She said she was only a few blocks away and thanked them for the opportunity. As he go in the next building, she received a message from the factory she was going to go later telling her the post had been filled and that she wasn’t require to go. It was a little bit sad because it was a clothing factory but she didn’t have much time to think as they made her enter an office as soon as she arrived.

 The place was beautiful because of the glass walls all over. It was a bit scary at first but then she stood up and went straight for the window. The view was breathtaking as she was standing on a 46th floor. She almost fainted when she heard a voice behind her. She hadn’t noticed someone had come in and was about to excuse herself when she realized her interviewer was one of her former college teachers. Mrs. Flores was her 3D modeling teacher back in her architecture days so the conversation they had was very nice, mostly about college but also about Anna’s abilities in the computer.

 Mrs. Flores was actually the head of the department in a video game company and somehow Anna had forgot all about the job she had come for but her former teacher told her she would be a perfect fit because it was a small job but one were she might learn more about her trade and also from the world of video games, which was expanding every single day. Anna got very interested in the subject during the interview that was substantially longer than the other ones. When it was finished, she hugged Mrs. Flores and told her than, even if she didn’t get the job, she was very happy to see her again. The teacher told her she had always been very perceptive and agile with her work and that many people did not own her same skills.

 After going out from the building, she decided to call a friend and meet for ice cream. Anna thought she deserved a prize, as the day ended, for having confronted so many types of people at the same time. One appointment had been cancelled, she never received word for a potential seventh interview and some of them weren’t great. But some were and, talking with her friend, Anna realized that, in any case, she had her future in front of her so she shouldn’t worry more than necessary. She realized she had things to offer so, hopefully, someone would notice, even if the work world wasn't the fairest of them all.