The next interview was good only because the woman interviewing looked at me and my portfolio with big eyes and said, "You are highly qualified." Finally! Nice stroke to the old ego- but no job. Here's what happened:
I got a call for a Marketing Communications Manager for a local health care system. Cool, I've done a lot of health care publications. I do a short phone interview with a man who wasn't very bright. He sets me up with a face to face interview and tells me to park in visitor parking, go into the hospital main entrance and axe the receptionist for Human Resources... yes, a professional man said, axe the receptionist... once again I put on the suit. Take a 40 minute drive to the middle of a town so scary the trees are all shriveled. Graffiti is on the light posts. Why are hospitals in bad neighborhoods? Do they need them more there?
I park-and go into the hospital-passing two security guys-big men with guns- and a cop car. I enter the lobby it echoes with the smell of antiseptic and the sounds of coughs, moans and low whispers. I ask the gray haired woman behind the massive desk for directions to Human Resources. She point the way to a bank of elevators and tells me to go to the basement take a right and a left. I find the elevators-get on with two orderlies. The basement has that distinct underground feel and I wonder if I'm being sent to the morgue. I find HR. I'm on time-but again I wait. Ten minutes go by. A couple of people who look homeless come in to fill out applications. Finally a small man in a neon tangerine dress shirt comes out to see me. He smiles, shakes my hand and brings me back to his office where he thanks me for e-mailing him...I didn't...I smile back. He then asks me how freelancing is going....I never spoke to him about freelancing and say awkwardly that I'm here for the Mar/Comm position-not freelance... right? Oh, Right! He says and smiles as he sifts through papers. Right. Silly him. He asks me some questions. I show him my stuff. He tells me to show it to the woman I'm to interview with. Then he gives me a benefits package and tells me all about the insurance and bennies you get should you get the job. He asks me my salary requirements I give them to him. He pauses-blinks- moves on.
We go upstairs-thank goodness- to a hall full of offices for the second interview of the day. The person is not in her office-the door is shut and locked. He glances at his watch. He finds another office and asks for the woman. She is in a meeting with the CEO-so I'm shown to an office across the hall where tangerine shirt man abandons me. I wait 15 minutes before the woman rushes in- all apologies. I smile. Shake her hand. We sit and talk. I show her my work. Her eyes get bigger and bigger the more we talk. She says, "You are highly qualified." More than once and I get the distinct impression I am more qualified than she is...and she would be my boss... it was a bit of a high. She ends the interview with the now standard..."Well, we just started looking. So it will be quite a while before we get back to you. Don't worry." (translation: Don't call us. We'll call you.)
She walks me to the elevator. I get on. Halfway down the elevator stopped and another man went to get on-stopped as soon as he saw me and apologized-then asked if this was the doctors only elevator. I said no. I'm not a doctor. Just a Communications Director looking for work...we both hit the lobby-go passed the security and out into the dirty parking lot. I go home-happy to finally have impressed someone-but had to take a shower to get clean, all the while knowing they wouldn't be calling back.