No-So-Lean, Green, Fighting Machine.

by Téa Smith
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I had an interview for a great position today. It was shit. And I am a complete loser. Let me tell you why.

I applied for a position with the WA Greens for the election. A part-time paid position, coordinating volunteers, coordinating how-to-votes, booth kits, etc. It is a great position, with flexibility and the chance to prove myself politically. I got to the top 3 candidates, and had my interview this afternoon.

I spent all morning preparing, reading my application over and over again, checking that I had the responses just right. I practised it in my head and even pictured the expression I should have on my face when I got there. I agonised over every little detail. I was prepared.

Then I got myself called into the interview. I had forgotten to turn my mobile phone off, so I asked them if I could. So I did. And, being a Motorola v600, it made a horrifically embarrassing noise when I turned it off. I then shook the hand of the panel members, smiled, did the usual la-di-da and sat down.

The chair squeaked underneath me. Not just a squeak but a scream of agony, saying “get your arse off here…I am used to vegans, not your fat meat eating arse!” A little embarrassed, I tried to shift into a position that didn’t feel like the chair was going to collapse underneath me. The more I moved, the louder it got.

From that moment on, everything I had rehearsed, accounted and prepared for was gone.

My body image being terrible at the best of times, assumed that it was my weight, and not just the problem of a simple squeaky chair. So I went bright red, got extremely nervous and stammered the whole way through the interview. Every time they asked me a question I stumbled, obsessing about the chair, and drifting off into “I wonder if…” land. Wondering, of course, what sort of impression I would make if the chair actually broke underneath me.

When asked to provide examples of how I would operate in a team environment, I was thinking about my massive arse collapsing to the ground and everyone getting a look at my knickers. When asked about my experience in political parties, I was wondering if the chair broke, whether I would land on chards of wood and have my ovaries stabbed out and whether the chairperson knew First Aid. When they asked me if I had any questions, I had to restrain from “Do I look fat in this?”

Tragic. With my copious body mass at the forefront of my mind, I forgot all of my strengths. I forgot how good I am at everything else. I couldn’t string one good sentence together for the whole interview.

I couldn’t bring myself to say one positive thing about myself because I had the thoughts of complete self hatred brought on by a squeaking chair. Which makes me wonder: do skinny people worry about squeaking chairs as much as bigger folks do? FOr us, it is the kiss of death. That self doubt about whether you, in all your heiffer-like glory, are the only person to make the chair squeak.

Anyway, because of the damn chair I am now unemployed again. I just know it.

EDIT: Quick update. Despite the above, I was ranked 2nd. Apparently it was a difficult decision to make as I was equally as good as the chosen candidate. Just different. Ah well. Maybe I should be a member more than 2 months and try again 😉

Hey there, I'm Téa

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