I recently watched the first season of Orange is the New Black (very, very funny) and am reading the memoir by Piper Kerman on which the show is based (quite the eye opener). Between the two, I’ve been thinking about prisons, rampant drug use, the legal system, and everything related; all areas in which I have limited knowledge. Adding to this was another blogger’s post on her job interview which reminded me of an old memory.
A long while ago I interviewed for a support position with a judge. The position required a degree but not necessarily a legal background (which I lack). My go-between was another woman under his employ. She set up the interview with the judge and met me when I arrived at the court house. Although quite different from me, she was friendly and professional enough, someone I’d describe as somewhat hard but polished.
The judge… it was dislike on sight. I mean on my part, but I doubt he was so crazy for me either. He had a smug demeanor and came across more like a suspicious interrogator, which seemed odd for the circumstance; I wasn’t before him for a trial or sentencing. He talked about the woman who worked for him in what I thought was a demeaning way. He implied she’d done well enough for herself to have risen to the position she was in, given her background/lack of education, saying condescendingly that not everyone had the advantages that he or I had. I wasn’t going to roll over for that; I pointed out I’d put myself through college (and thought how could he suggest he – in a prestigious, degreed, moneyed position – and I, not any of that, came from similar circumstances??). What really got me, though, was how quickly and easily he talked smack about her behind her back, to a stranger no less. Where was his loyalty?
I knew I’d never work for this man, yet sort of to kill time I asked what he wanted in an employee. His answer, although a bit fuzzy now, did not describe me.
There was a spot on my resume where I’d left vague the year after the completion of my degree, when I worked part-time in decidedly unimpressive patchwork jobs, including house and apartment cleaning. No one ever paid that small omission any mind. But the judge did. He noticed the “gap” immediately and asked about it in a pointed, suspicious manner. I brightly responded, “
That was the year I was in prison.” Oh all right, I just desperately wanted to say that. After all, why not give the man what he was looking for?