Notes on a Job Hunting Night

8:30 PM:

Ronald, the unhealthiest clown of all, is waving eternally to the indifferent road in front of me. Chemae and I are sitting, contemplating nothing outside the thousandth yellow and red all-American fast food we’ve dined in. At 10:30, Chemae will go to another final interview — she’s already had two in barely two weeks of “job hunting.” This time, she’s facing a more frightening adversary: a Caucasian client. It sounds racist but this feeling of fear IS racist. Final interviews with people of a different race than ours are just scarier — at least for us. In my case for example, the last time I talked with an American was ages ago. I watch Americans on TV and on the big screen all the time but when it’s actually time to face one — their big, white face looking at you with that big, bony nose in front — the feeling is really different. It’s racist fear but it’s real and natural. And Chemae, clearly preparing herself psychologically now, is about to face one of them scary beings in just a few minutes.

11:00 PM, probably

At last, his heart wrenched by pity, one of the cashiers instructed another to change my money. It’s a Php 20 bill. I need Php 5 coins to charge my phone or else I won’t know if Chemae’s final interview had already become a Wild West shootfest or some other crazy all-nighter. It’s probably 11:00 PM — not sure because my phone is inside the charging vending machine or charger vending machine. I didn’t even know such economically well-adapted contraptions of profit exist. A charging vending machine. Wow. You throw in a golden Php 5 coin and the thing powers up your cell phone for 10 minutes. It looks like it has all the plugs for all types of cell phones. Amazing. Now I’m saved — not sure if from an all-nighter but definitely from a news blackout.

I need to know what’s going on in the building next to this MiniStop or else I’ll go insane. If a Wild West shootfest is indeed going on there, then that’s sad because that would take too long and I’m already very sleepy. Still, knowing soothes the soul. In exactly 10 minutes, I’ll know what’s up with Chemae, whether the final interview went well or stank horribly. Either way, I’ll know.

Meanwhile, my heart is just grateful for that wild-eyed MiniStop cashier. It took him about 15 minutes, but he eventually gave in to his guilt. He couldn’t handle my weak, helpless expression about to cry. He gave me the Php 5 coins even though they needed them, too.

9:33 AM

My throat sticky with a pail of mucus and half my head still in hibernation, I’m reporting that Chemae thought the interview horribly stank. The Caucasian guy was supposedly strikingly handsome, a Dino Guevarra look-alike, if I remember her story correctly. He wore a tight-fitting blue polo shirt and he was divinely fresh, completely our opposite last night as we were more spoiled than the hefty serving of home-made spaghetti which has been inside Chemae’s room for two days now. The American asked her the usual final interview questions but her answers were short and verging on annoyed because she said she couldn’t stand talking with foreigners. Admittedly not an advantageous attitude if you want to suck out blood and nourishment from this huge BPO animal grazing in our land. It also didn’t help that it was an interview for a job at her previous company’s sister company — which looked almost completely the same in terms of appearance, except it was more orange than blue. She had a feeling she failed the interview but she didn’t care because all she wanted was to sleep.

All I need is sleep. I want to sleep. Our company clinic is directly behind me and I want to run inside there now and collapse on the nearest soft, white bed. Dream of Chemae landing her dream job. Dream of us swiping our ATM cards and our jaws dropping because of the many digits on the screen. Dream of us going to Boracay again. Dream of us.

Tomorrow, job hunting continues.

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