Monday, December 12, 2005

All About the Love

I wrote this post last night, lost it when my browser crashed, then gave up and went to bed.

Thinking this weekend about the interview on Friday (see previous post), I am convinced that she won't seriously consider me for the admin assistant positions. Although my experience is heavily weighted that way, my qualifications beg for something better. The more she looked at my CV, and the more she heard the passion in my voice, the more assured she became that I should be a junior specialist.

Hopefully that's not her way out, but it can't be - as she said it more than once. She said I would not be happy out of contact with the objects.

One deciding factor was when the question of favourite types of art came up. I mentioned Asian art. She asked why, and I talked about the quality of materials used, the intricacy of workmanship and the highly finished result...

In my mind's eye as I spoke, I was seeing inro and netsuke, pierced ivory, inlaid mother of pearl, lacquered finishes, etc.

*sigh*

**********

Speaking of Asia, I read an article today about a woman who was
Too Tall for Tokyo

I would have fit right in...well, almost. I like the way things are done just so in Japan. After a while I think it would get to me, though, especially the social protocols and the lack of individualism. As much as I appreciate Asian culture, my mindset is undeniably Western, further compounded by the fact that I spent my teenage years in the USA. It is indeed the land of the free, of liberty, of opportunity. They are brought up to exalt the abilities of the individual - and the capacity of that individual to pursue whatever path he chooses. Moreover, as I matured there I became all too aware of the power of the woman, realising that I didn't have to be a teacher, a dancer, an actress, or a nurse. Most of my friends here went down one of those paths. Once in America, I was encouraged to explore all possibilities to their fullest potential! Doctor, lawyer, military officer, scientist, government agent, translator, intelligence specialist, air traffic controller...These are all things I considered at one time or another.

So although I am British first, I am also *gasp* an American.

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A question: is it common practice over here to send a thank you note after an interview? Faced with the innate restraint of manner in the UK, it just seems like such a strategical American move.

**********

I end with a quote about the unparalleled Cole Porter:

Cole's treasury will live as long as anyone wants to listen to songs bearing a witty, sophisticated touch. Or songs that have a raucous joy. Or a haunting and voluptuous surrender. Cole Porter without question is an acquired taste, but then so are caviar and champagne.

-- David Grafton

25 comments:

MattJ said...

I think if you feel you want to send a thankyou note, you should do it after you found out about the job. Then it won't be construed as a strategic move. Ifm, on the off chance, you don't get the role you want, she will remmeber the pleasant and pleasing young lady who sent her a nice note despite not getting the role she wanted.

That's what i think anyway.

Jia Li said...

I'm crossing fingers for u libbs!

Steliano Ponticos said...

Me too jia li. Olive, you are still lucky to be in england and not france. Maybe in the states people are open and in england they are reserved but in france they are just mean.

Steliano Ponticos said...

poor me.. :(

Olivia said...

Matt - Thanks, I was sort of considering doing that. Make an impression, be remembered later.

Jia Li - keep it up, you'll have purple fingers. I will hear from her this week.

Steli - pauvre petit! Have you had any interviews since Renault?

Steliano Ponticos said...

no not really. But renault was just last thursday. I am waitting for the answer..but as I said I am thinking of studying some more too..tu ne sais pas comment c'est dur ici

Steliano Ponticos said...

:P

Olivia said...

Steli, c'est aussi dur ici...

M. said...

Et dur ici... It can be particularly difficult to be a racial minority if I'm not in the biggest or the most liberal cities/states. It permeates socially and in the job market, too. It's not so bad as being a blond haired, blued eyed, 6 foot 5 person in Japan (which was the case with the guy with whom I spent a summer in Japan on exchange - talk about knocking yourself out many times because you forget to duck), but it's no cake walk.

And then sometimes being part of an over-achieving minority does more harm than good.

There are some very nice things about Japan, but in the workplace aspect there are still certain things expected of women but not of men. I was lucky to have worked there for a summer, but until the attitude changes, I'd never consider working there long-term.

Anyway, I'd write that thank you note, Olivia. It can never hurt.

-merserene

Anonymous said...

what do you have to lose if you wrote the thank you note??? I say, do it!!!

steli--I wouldn't say that people in france are mean!!!! maybe I am biased

V.

Rebecca said...

Definitely write a thank you note.

And I am with Steli on this, I was just talking about this recently with a copine francaise, it's much the same in Italy. In either of those countries, never would I - with an Arts and Classics background - be getting interviews for things like web-publishing and Development. There just isn't that openness of mentality when it comes to the work place. Not even close. I see my friends' working situations in Italy and it is just depressing.

There is nowhere I would rather be on the job market.

Rebecca said...

Well, we could probably get jobs easily in the U.S. But I've payed my dues there for now and am in no way ready to go back and live there. If I ever will be.

Olivia said...

Merserene - I understand what you mean.

Ha, and your comment about Japan sounds just like the article.

Vanessa - of course I will write the note, but only *after* I've heard from her. In the States they tell you to write it after the interview but that doesn't feel right here.

Also, at this point, Steli has lived many more years in France than you have.

Rebecca - Vanessa is in the US and not having the easiest time getting a job. Also, Mr B says there are girls from his first year on the course who are in NYC and still looking!

I agree, I could not go back there either, and you probably remember I was nearly called back last month!

Anonymous said...

I suggest that you don't send the note. It's not the done thing. It would come over to me as being really strained - a poor attempt to get name recognition for next time. I would make a quick phone call after the decision is made to say thanks either way and to request some feedback on where you went wrong or right. That's a positive step, rather than a self-ingratiating one.

Good luck girl.

PS Never seen any classical music types on the track, normally just sweaty men and women...

Olivia said...

Thanks for the input J. I had the right feeling, and yes a phone call sounds good because feedback - as you know - is very important, whereas a card is one-sided and sort of strategic as I was saying before.

Oh and please don't call me "girl" - it sounds funny :-/

Well, how do you know what a classical music type looks like? You don't look like an indie type!

Olivia said...

P.S. If you couldn't fit into the bar at Detroit, surely you must have gone crazy in Japan. Did you ever hit your head?

Anonymous said...

not when I was sober ;-)

Anonymous said...

you can tell classical music types as they have six fingers on each hand and a small tail.

Or is that a troll? :-)

Olivia said...

Oh you cheeky laddie!!!

*checking to see if I've grown a tail*
Six fingers would be useful for playing the piano.

Anonymous said...

hmmm, might be useful for playing guitar as well, but not the most socially acceptable mutation I can think of.....

Olivia said...

LOL, is there such a thing as a socially acceptable mutation?

Anonymous said...

examples of socially acceptable mutations:

A barman with three arms - serves drinks faster

Very dextrous fingers that can fold back on themselves

Eyes in the back of your head

I'm sure everyone can think of a few sexually based mutations....

Olivia said...

Hey, my fingers fold back on themselves (depending on how far you mean; your eyes would have watered if I'd shown you) - and why is this a useful feature?

Dare I ask...?

Anonymous said...

probably best to think it through before asking....

Olivia said...

*mind goes blank*

Today you broke your record for an entire month's comments. This is fantastic! ... Quiet day at work?