Being a political idiot while interviewing those who make politics their job may well be one of the more embarrassing, albeit ironic, things that I have had the privilege of experiencing in my lifetime.
And recently, I was privileged enough to have an interview with a big wig who lived in a cave.
No, really. The maze of corridors it took to get to his underground lair office lair was spectacular. Once I found said office lair, I checked in at the desk to find that he was in a meeting. The secretary gave me a cup of water, then went back fend off a rather angry man in a suit who was waving around a piece of paper that “just needed to be signed, I’ve been back twice today!”
Poor girl. Secretaries always get the brunt of the angry visitors. Poor guy. He just wanted his paper signed.
The wig got out of his meeting and we dove straight into our interview. Except, when we got to his hidden office, nothing happened. I got to admire the many filing cabinets attached to the cement walls, notice the three mugs of what I presumed were coffee scattered on his desk and bookshelf, and take in the wrinkled jacket that hung on the back of his door while he busied himself on the computer.
Our interview had started late. Then I sat in the office. Five minutes. Okay, not bad, I’ll look over my questions. Ten minutes. Really? Fifteen. Alright buddy, you don’t wanna talk, don’t talk.
I set my cup down, and the suspected coffee addiction was confirmed by the many little brown rings staining the coaster. Workaholic. Aren’t we all?
And then, the condescension began. Normally I would say “the interview began,” but this had reached a whole new level. Now, I know that people always say you can’t assume or prove condescension, it’s too subjective, all that. I’m here to say that THAT statement is a load of crap. We all know when we’re being spoken to as if we are indentured servants with hearing impairments.
Unfortunately, I probably deserved it.
The secretary, when she came in with an angry signature-soliciting visitor still at her desk? She didn’t deserve it. Nor did the visitor, who was asking a fairly reasonable request.
But I did. I definitely did.
This journey might take more than I thought. How many topics do I have to be an expert on in order not to be a giant dummy? It seems like a lifetimes occupation in and of itself. I should quit school and glue myself to internet news for the rest of my existence.
In the meantime, though, I can at least make an ass out of myself at each subsequent interview I handle.
Huzzah for the uninformed.