Thank You, Donna Karan
There’s a scene in Kramer v. Kramer where Dustin Hoffman’s character is told by his attorney that he doesn’t stand a chance of getting child custody since he’s unemployed. Hoffman assuredly tells his attorney that he’ll get a job in 24 hours and hangs up the phone. It’s Christmas Eve. Hoffman’s character, a copywriter, walks in un-invited to an office party at a New York City ad agency with only his portfolio and a shitload of gravitas. He gets a job.
I’m getting dressed for the second interview and that scene is playing on repeat in my head. If only it were that easy these days. Hell, maybe it is, I don’t know. But it’s a marked contrast to all the little events that have brought me to this day.
All the online job applications and resumes sent to a central resume bank, the form rejection e-mails, no rejection e-mails, countless user names and passwords for countless job sites, career fairs, phone calls in the D building stairwell where the echo carried my discussions with recruiters and receptionists up and down six floors, the Youtube videos about breathing through the diaphragm for better speaking and voice projection during interviews…I want that all behind me now and forever.
It’s why I spent about two paychecks on this DKNY suit for this second and final interview. I liked the suit because on the mannequin it fit exactly like Jimmy Fallon’s suits fit him. And it looks the same way on me. I look like I know what I’m doing and where I’m going in this suit. I could take Taylor Swift to dinner in this suit and end up taking her to breakfast the next day.
For luck, I’m wearing the same belt as I did last time. I’m standing on Hennepin and the #6 is approaching. It’s the same bus driver as last time…a good sign. Something I’ve done my whole life in nervous times is read a book that I’ve read at least once in my life. Today’s selection for the bus ride is Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. The familiar words relax me and being relaxed adds to my confidence.
One of my TR friends (I have few) told me yesterday that she’s happy for me and it’s admirable what I’m doing. She made it sound like I was joining the Peace Corps. She began at TR in 2005 and told herself she would be there no more than two years tops. But this is no time to be thinking about her…I’m wearing a DKNY suit for Christ’s sake.
I step off the bus and walk towards the building entrance like I’m late. I’m far from late, but pretending I’m late makes me walk with a purpose. The guy at the security desk says, “Welcome back,” and gives me my “visitor” badge. There’s no waiting for him to verify why I’m there like last time. He buzzes me right through the door. The same twenty-something brunette wearing the telephone headset smiles at me when I enter the office.
“Heeey, great suit. Coffee?”