Subido por Diego Trejo

How to get a job

Diego Trejo Bejarano
Writing class
How to get a job
Money, right? That is the deal; that is the reason why you ended up embodied in an
uncomfortable formal dress code; that is the reason why you used your polite vocabulary and
correct manners when you were being interviewed by the monolithic myth of the man/woman
behind a desk.
After fighting your way through the awkwardness of adolescence, high school and
college, you realize how hard it is to pay those little sheets of paper where numbers and letters
judge the economic remuneration you have to pay in order to eat hot food, listen to the radio,
take a shower and, probably the biggest difference between homelessness and the illusion of
domesticity, sleep under a roof with four walls.
For us, individuals with no artistic talent, intuition for business or simple luck, a job
interview is just a light of hope in the dark tunnel of inexperience, where a friend’s couch or,
worse, your parents’ house are the dusty steps we already left behind. Perhaps a sign of
maturity is when you learn to erase every single trace of your inner thoughts and aesthetic
inclinations that could be misinterpreted by your childishly stubborn choice of clothes. Like the
great German poet Max Dauthenday once said to Robert Walser in rural Würzburg: “There is no
sense in trying to look curious or smart, it is wrong and stupid. If you want to shine, you only
need to show your intelligence through your capacities.” And this is exactly what you want to
do when a stranger, a simple and common 9 to 5 man/woman, is judging whether you look
‘formal’ or ‘professional’ enough to work for whatever corporation, firm or institution he/she
Now, there are certain basic steps that every single man or woman should know before
even daring to think about getting a job. Of course, there are millions of exceptions to the rule,
but those are too particular, we are nailing the general.
First, learn how to talk. I wonder how many blank individuals sharply dressed and with a
good background, show every day to job interviews and are rejected because they cannot
elaborate more than five words in a row. Those people represent exactly what the early Russian
formalists were against: all form, no content. It has to be the whole package, form AND
Second, a sober and modest choice of clothes: formal dress code. Yes, we all know you
want to show the world how free, eccentric and open minded you are, but hey, you can do that
at parties, your house or in the street. There are certain moments when you have to follow
strict obnoxious rules, it is part of the lame process of growing up. I should add that formality
has its limits, you have to find the ideal tone between homelessness and royalty: the eternal
struggle of the opposites. That could be applied to every aspect of human life.
And lastly, the big combo: confidence, eye contact, firm hand shake, good posture, no
sudden movements, and control. This might be the most important of all, but without the first
two it seems quite irrelevant. Imagine an intellectual vagrant asking for a job in raged clothes
and all covered in unspeakable traces of deviant practices. The big combo is probably the secret
weapon that could lead you near the final goal: a job.
If all this seems too elaborate or too phony, you might as well go to a remote place, like
Big Sur or Chacahua, where there are no interviewers, no formal dress codes, no lunch rooms
and no jobs; a place whose only inhabitants are loneliness, freedom and you.
Writing Class
Diego Trejo Bejarano
Twenty tiny fingers
We got in. The place was packed, full of young people. The modern code of blankness was all
over the place; a sort of wave that blended clothes, attitudes, colors, faces and voices into the
same pattern of obliviousness.
We were barely inside the joint when, suddenly, a couple stood up right in front of us and left a
free table. I looked at her and waited politely for her first move. Nothing. I could hear bits and
pieces of conversations; I could smell the booze, the cigarette smoke and the fleshy scent of the
whole bar. Sensing no response, I automatically offered my hand and part of my arm as a gentle
gesture of courtesy, but she remained anchored in the same spot. Nervously, I smiled and
nodded towards the empty table. She laughed and finally sat down. I laughed too, as if
everything was funny and under control.
The light on top of us brightened her soft red lips and her brown eyes. My heart was as fast as a
fawn running away from a howling wolf. The silence that grew between us was the soundtrack
of my contemplative state of mind.
“…So, how is…everything?” She finally asked. My mouth began to speak before I could think
what I was saying.
“Oh, fine. Just fine. You know, a little bit here, a little bit there; this and that.” I instantly
blushed. I had read the exact same words in The Double a couple of days ago, and for some
reason they had been jingling on my mind ready to come out one way or another.
“…Okay, good,” she replied.
A foggy pause followed. Loud laughter and bad music were inside my ears, eyes, mouth and
soul. I could feel that her whole bored self was already scanning the people and furniture
around us, as if looking for somebody or something that could aid her in this pointless one on
one game.
The fact that we were actually in a bar hit me quite violently and sank deeply in the bottom of
my confusion. As the last resort of a desperate man, I stood up and went for something to
drink, uhm-beers, without saying a word to my companion. I sensed her puzzled eyes on my
neck and back trying to figure out my erratic behavior. At the bar counter I saw a man whose
arms were probably the size of my torso. His face showed clear signs of joy and enthusiasm; he
was obviously working there only to have a look at the girls. I envied his stupidity.
“Hey, can I have two beers?” I shouted.
His fake tan was shining grotesquely under the neon lights. I knew he knew I was there, but he
made no reply. I shouted again. Slowly, his eyes turned to my spot. I could almost see his little
brain trying to figure out my loathsome male presence. He probably had only two categories for
everything that was worthwhile in life: breasted and none breasted entities; nothing else. What
for? Reluctantly, he gave me the beers. My pockets were bleeding, but those were only a small
portion of the whole unintended transfusion that my life was suffering at that time. I gave him
my money and turned around trying to see if she was still there. I saw her staring inanely at her
cellphone, probably looking for another date or something more exciting to do.
The floor was sticky and slippery; the drunken voices echoed a thousand previous crowds were
youth was the only thing to talk about: the same thing all over again; the endless game. I felt
depressed and thought about the vacuity and deceptiveness of being young. I started to walk
towards our table when my left foot got stuck in a tacky spot and my right foot skated in a tiny
lagoon of a mixed liquid substance; I fell hard on my right elbow and crashed the two bottles of
beer. People around me laughed, nobody offered a hand. I saw the exact moment when she got
up, apparently ashamed and furious, and left the bar.
I remained there for a couple of seconds, tasting the flavor of the evening. I finally stood up on
my injured elbow and headed towards the exit. As soon as I was on the street it began to rain. I
had no money. I laughed and started walking home.