In a continued attempt to find on-foot/by-bus employment in Los Angeles, I recently went in for a retail job at a company that I probably shouldn't name just yet, in this blogosworld of Google Alerts, should they still consider hiring me. I can refer to them as Anonymous Attire for now.
Thursday was the big group interview for hiring at the AA Factory in shadeless downtown Los Angeles. The open call held opportunities for retail employment as well as modeling for their ads and website. However, it is common knowledge that the company's clothing models are their retail employees, so it was clear to me, and unbeknownst to a cafeteria full of hopefuls, that the modeling call was a big, fucking joke.
Sometimes it was easy to differentiate the aspiring models from the aspiring clerks. The first one I saw was a tall, lanky girl wearing something stupid and complimenting it with big, red knee-highs. Two girls who had come together wanted to be models, and weren't horribly off-base by virtue of being attractive women but were obviously 25. They both came with sprayed-crispy pompadour hairstyles, which is obviously better suited for a BCBG ad than the comedic, sensuous, and natural AA ads.
For others, it was harder to tell. The girl sitting across from me at the cafeteria table was homely, with corny facial piercings and had brought along her mother. Her resume, as I could see on the table in front of her, had her headshot printed on it. Her mother and she would whisper about people, about who would probably, "get it," about which they were always wrong because they obviously hadn't properly interpreted the company or its advertising. When the mother-daughter team started bickering about driving directions, I tried to visibly make it clear that I wasn't with them. Girls with Monroes and reverse-Monroes and septum piercings and choppy, MySpace haircuts and perfectly even bangs and lower-back fat and Converses and military fabric messenger bags all were undeserving of AA retail positions and were aiming to be shown in a bra on a billboard or the back cover of Mice Vagazine. One girl, who looked like her intestines had problems absorbing nutrients, had a [fake?] sun tattoo on the skin that covers her larynx and someone [youth counselor?] had accompanied her to the open model call, too.
From my seat I was actually mouthing, "What the fuck," because I was surrounded by freaks and had no one to actually talk to. The only people socializing with fellow interviewees whom they didn't previously know were the people whose resumes were wrinkled from palm sweat.
The actual interview portion was limited only to those interested in selling clothes. We were put into groups of three and made to stand on the side while the interviewer pretended to organize something. Standing there, pretending I couldn't see where I was and what I was resorting to, I was asked for the directions to the model sign-in sheet by a bulky, platinum blond, orange-skinned dude, who would clearly be better fit for a Ford commercial.
The two people who interviewed with me were very embarrassing. The boy seated to my right was surly but fat and had worked at American Eagle for two years; the girl to my left had braces and a backpack in the shape of a bat and didn't have a chin. When the interviewer asked where she had heard about the open call, she blurted, "I've wanted to work here, at this downtown location for 2 years! I have actually interviewed here before, and I called and over the phone they told me about the open call," which all sounded a bit crazier than me saying, "on the website," and "I worked at music shows."
The reason I'm hard-pressed to get a job, as an international playboy now living at home, is in part because I'd like to make some friends. People in Los Angeles are friendly, and they seem even friendlier once I've had a few, but most of the people I've met here have been loony or have not recognized when I'm joking or don't like any of the intricate things I like. The other reason, which is far more important, is because I'm moving to Paris in January. If I raise the funds to afford $700/mo, I can live with a 45 year old woman whose girlfriend is out of town for 6 mo. If I can make 900/mo, I can get a walk in closet with kitchen and fold out couch, which sounds and looks cramped but it's near the Eiffel Tower! Plus if I live alone I could have sex at night.
Tiny Tim -- I Got You Babe [cover]