Can’t Safely Pin That Job

, , , , , , , | Working | December 21, 2017

This happened back in the mid 90s. I had recently graduated, and was now applying everywhere I could to get a job with my engineering degree. One such place was a government research establishment, and I was delighted to be granted an interview. It was on the other side of the country, and I was reliant on public transport, as I didn’t have a car. Also, as I was a poor ex-student, I couldn’t afford a new wardrobe. However, the suit I wore for my university interviews was still in good enough condition, so I wore that.

I had researched my connections thoroughly, and arrived in the area in plenty of time. After a pleasant stroll nearby, I arrived at the reception and security block about 15 minutes early. I signed in, and was told to take a seat as someone would be with me shortly.

As I went to sit down, I felt something give. I reached behind me, and could feel a tear in my trousers. I shot off to the toilet to inspect the damage, and was horrified to see that the tear started between my legs and went about half way up my backside!

I decided I needed help. I explained the problem to the receptionist, and asked her if she had any safety pins. She didn’t, but she was able to offer me some paper clips. I retrospect I should have asked to borrow a stapler, but my brain was in full panic mode. I gratefully accepted the paper clips and headed back to the toilet.

Whilst I couldn’t just clip my trousers together, I found that by unwinding the clips I could use them to wire my trousers closed. This now presented me with another problem – sitting down. Fortunately, when I did come to sit down, I found that the metal ended up in my, um, natural crevasse. It wasn’t too uncomfortable, but I was very much aware that I was being jabbed, and as a result my mind wasn’t fully on the interview.

During the tour of the facility, I was glad that the place wasn’t teeming with people, as I wasn’t entirely confident that the back panel of my jacket was covering everything I needed it to. So, I made sure that I was always walking by the side of, or just behind my guide, and I certainly never went up the stairs in front!

After the interview, my ordeal was far from over. Being a poor graduate, I had spent most of my money on the travel costs, and I did not have anything to spare for buying new trousers. So, it was a walk to the bus stop, followed by a bumpy bus ride — not ideal when having metal pressed in places that could lead to a stainless steel enema if the potholes got any worse — and then a lengthy train journey. After that, it was a trip on a very crowded underground ride through London. It was rush hour, which meant that I was stood up for the duration, much to my backside’s relief, but it did mean that my rear was now potentially at the eye-line of the seated passengers. I hope they got therapy afterwards.

Then it was one more train journey back to my hometown, and then a half-mile walk home. There, I received the love and sympathy one would expect from my parents, once they had finally stopped laughing.

I never did hear back about the job. I expect that the interviewers were either puzzled by how someone with an upper second-class honours degree could appear to be so vacant, or they were too traumatised by the visions they received. Whilst I don’t think I did give anyone a full moon, as my boxer shorts did remain intact, I suspect that some people received a partial lunar eclipse.

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