Friday, June 25, 2004

prestigious school in mexico city is looking for. . .

I just got home from my job interview. And I have to say it was a strange one. My worries about arriving late were completely unjustified, the commute was only about 25 minutes door to door. So, to avoid appearing way too eager, I made a quick stop at the mall across the street from the school for a pee break and a chocolate croissant.

That taken care of, I walked over to the school, told security that I had an appointment with the principal and was pointed in the direction of her office. I found it easily and introduced myself to her secretary. I even made small talk with her in Spanish, no small feat! She gave me a form to fill out which among other things asked me if I was married, how long I had been married, and how many times I had been married. I was also required to answer whether or not I had any children. If I was blessed with children at this stage of the game, I would have had to name each of them, give their age, tell where they were going to school, and what they were studying. I did, however, have to give my husband's age, his title, the address of his job, the length of time he's been there, his salary, and the number of people he supervises. Ummm, excuse me, but I thought I was the one applying for this job?

Form finally filled out, I was ushered into the principal's office. We did the kiss hello thing (very big here- I kiss my doctor hello when I have an appointment). And she asked me to talk a little bit about myself. Since the ad I had responded to only mentioned that they wanted someone who spoke English, had teaching experience, and was willing to travel frequently, I spoke about my teaching experience. And I went on to mention my administrative experiences in the afterschool program I directed in my former life. I was eloquent. I accentuated the positive, but acknowledged the challenges. I was direct, honest, but polite and tactful. I felt like I was doing very well.

Sounds normal, right? Well, it was to the extent that I was talking about what I thought was my relevant experience. And it wasn't to the extent that the principal kept interrupting what I was saying to put her own twist on things. When I was finished she explained the philosophy of the school and told me that they're opening up another school in Queretaro (a few hours north) and that they need someone who will visit the new school frequently to ensure that the original mission of the school is being addressed. (I'm sorry, but how does this qualify as an English teacher/coordinator position?) Then she looks right at me and says: "We're still not sure what this position is going to entail. We haven't decided yet whether we want an internal candidate who understands the philosphy of the school or an external candidate who will be trained."

That's all fine and good, but perhaps you should have thought of that before you put an ad in the paper and before you start calling people and asking them to come in for an interview.

She asked if perhaps I might want to teach for awhile to get to know the school. And then she proceeded to call, not one, but TWO Directors in the English department who both informed her that all of their positions had been filled. Hmmmm...

And so, she gave me her card and told me that she would get in touch with me next week. She likes my background, she says, and would like to find a position for me, but they just don't know exactly what this position is going to be.

Umm, yeah, I got that.

So, it would have been an utterly frustrating morning for me had not the woman from the DC clinic called us this morning. We have an appointment! We're going to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist who speaks English, who has brought many babies into this world with the help of injectable hormones, a petri dish, and a special little syringe! And we're going to meet him! In a month!

The ball is rolling. . .


Blogger Monique said...

Uh huh... yeah... that was beyond bizarre.

After living in the US all these years and being told that merely having a potential employer ask me if I am married is illegal, I would have been at a loss with that form.

Good luck on getting a postion :)

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I just found your blog today. I lived in DF for awhile back when I was younger, so I completely understand what you're up against. There are so many wonderful, crazy, amazing things about the city, but so many frustrating things also. Do you ever go to Creperie de la Pais is La Condesa? I love that whole little area in La Condesa with all the cute little restaurants.

I would kill for a mango on a stick with limon, sal, y chile.

Hey, do you love getting to call yourself "La Licenciada" when you call anywhere on the phone? I loved how much receptionists respected me when I'd call myself La Licenciada when I called someone.

And all the bizarre job-hunting things there, like the code words for "must look white" and things like that.


1:25 PM  
Blogger spiller said...

Yay on the appointment!

And pooh on the interview...if thy've got no clue, you certainly have better things to do with your time than try to supply them with one.

10:41 PM  
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4:56 PM  

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