Sunday, February 17, 2008

Debacle or Disaster?

A month later - whenever I give myself a deadline for a new blog post I ignore it. I'm realizing that posting on a blog is like building a shrine to Slobodan Milosevic or writing a love letter to Sam just has to come naturally. I left y'all with a cliffhanger last post - my job interviews. They didn't work out the way I hoped, but it wasn't all bad. One of the offices didn't hire me, but they sent me a letter explaining why and telling me how much they enjoyed interviewing with me. The second office told me they were interested, told me to think about it and get back to them, and then didn't return my phone calls for a week. Needless to say, that was also a rejection. The third office told me they really liked me, and that they needed to finish up interviews but that the position was likely mine. They were very straightforward and told me that 95% of the position would be answering phones and giving guided tours of the Capitol to Scout troops, nursing homes, etc. After thinking about it, I decided that my sanity was more important than my resume, thanked them for their time, and politely declined. The upside to the whole process was the fact that all three interviewers made the same point to me. They each asked me to consider the responsibilities of the job I would have, and told me that I seemed "overqualified", "a little too charismatic", and "like this position wouldn't challenge you enough". At the time, all I could think was "just give me the damned job", but after further reflection I imagine that I should be flattered by their remarks. Each interviewer told me that I seemed like a better match for campaign work, or for actually being a politician, and one told me that I should be in front of the political process instead of working in an office. I suppose I should consider the very real possibility that their comments were interviewers' euphemisms for "you're full of yourself, a little too loud, and I don't want to deal with you demanding more autonomy and responsibility", but for my ego's sake I prefer to take them at face value.

Winston Churchill said that as bad as fighting the Nazis was, waiting for his LSAT scores was even worse. It might have been Thoreau who said that...whatever. My point is that I was hoping that a sense of relief\accomplishment would accompany my completion of the LSAT, marred only slightly by the fact that I was in for a three week wait to get my scores back. My taking of the test, however, achieved debacle status - and that's not a status that I concede readily. The LSAT consists of 5 sections, four of which count towards your score, and a writing section. The sections that count towards your score are 2 logical reasoning sections, one reading comprehension section, and one analytical section (the infamous "games" section). The games section was the only section that I ever rushed to finish, and was the only section that I was worried about. I finished my first section with about fifteen minutes to spare and so went over the questions again and erased any stray marks. I was finishing up erasing, when I realized that my eraser had ink on it and had made a smudge on the test. I put the pencil down, picked up another one, and started erasing the smudge. Time was called, I dropped the pencil, and waited for the next section to start. When it did, I finished erasing the smudge and started on the section - which was the games section. The proctor of the test came over and informed me in a loud voice that I was being "written up for an irregularity" and that my test scores might be invalidated. Of course I wanted some clarification and I offered a muted protest at the fact that I obviously wasn't cheating, that I didn't know it wasn't allowed, etc. I then realized that the clock was ticking and that I was falling behind on the games section. I picked up my pencil and started trying to work on the games, but quickly found it impossible. For a good five minutes all I could do was stare blankly into space and think about my future spent waiting tables because I couldn't get into law school. When I finally started working, I was so flustered that I worked an entire problem set according to the wrong rules and had to redo it. I calmed down for the next sections, but I'm still convinced that I bombed the games section. I've spent the last two weeks in a funk and I'm sure that when I get my scores I'll be even more depressed thinking about what I could have gotten were it not for that incident. This is assuming that I even get my scores. I am yet to hear anything from the LSAC (the administrators of the test), which assuages my worries somewhat, but not entirely. The worst part of it was that after the test I had to go up to the women proctoring the exam and apologize for the inconvenience I had caused them and stress that the entire situation was unfortunate...blah blah blah. I realized that they have input on what goes into the report and so I had to stifle my urge to tell them how much this test meant to me and how they may have ruined my chances to get into any of the schools because of their insistence on following some bureaucratic BS rules and writing me up for something I didn't know was an issue. It was good practice for my diplomatic skills, but didn't provide the catharsis that I wanted. So here it is on my blog...I feel marginally better. There are more positive developments in my life, as well as a fairly important decision, a gay, homeless pimp sighting, and video of a bunch of non-English speaking Asians picking up trash in front of the abandoned crack houses on my block. I also have a book that all of you need to read. I think that the pessimism of the first part of my post would jaundice anything else I posted. I promise though that the pessimism won't last for long. I'll get another post up much quicker than the last one. And for my readers in Utah - see you in 2 weeks!


Amy said...

A good vent is always permissible once and a while. Anyone who knows you would feel something missing when reading a blog written by "Austin Baird" that contained no tirades about bureaucratic BS. It made me think of walking in the side door to the loud thunder of one of your diatribes.

on another note... try not to be so stressed out. AUSTIN YOU ARE OUTSTANDING. You and i both know it and... let's be honest, thats all that matters. ;-)

So maybe take their advise and just do it... go into the front lines of politics.. i think you might be cut out for it. Well if you could curb your outbursts. But hey if McCain gets away with it who knows; maybe in the future we'll let our rulers duke it out, like celeberity death match style or ultimate fighting.

Now if you make it far or do try to become the President in 28' i will happily be your Jaquline kennedy; Barring you don't begrudge me a wing of camp David for a print studio.

in case you wondered yes this is a thinly veiled love note. Miss you tons.. 2 weeks can't come fast enough.

Paul Louthan said...

Despite your self prescribed 'pessimism' I can't help but feel an underlying sense of good ol' whatever-happens-I'll-still-dominate-in-the-end classic Austin attitude. After our comparably brief association over the past few years, I know better than to fall under the belief that you are in a rut of self pity and despair, especially when I'm chuckling to myself each time I slowly peruse one of your well written posts.

Besides, I'm liking this idea of starting up an adventure outfitter down in South America. Keep me in the know regarding such a venture, because I'll most certainly come down to work for you when (not if) that finally becomes a reality. ...Not that I'd discourage you from going to law school... Ha! That'd be futile on my part, as well a disservice to society. See you soon.

a.k.a. Pepe said...

you're coming into town? Sweet dude. I thought the LSAT was like one of Cooper's exams where you get points just for putting your name on the test; that right? If so, you shouldn't worry so much. Besides, why are you eating someone else's fries? Don't you know you can fly!?

jess said...

1) you are fabulous, everyone knows it, and you will get to the point, down the line from now, where everyone in the world will acknowledge your fabulousity. (To borrow the trademarked "word" from Miss Fabulousity herself, Kimora Lee Simmons) At the moment, don't stress the not being hired thing-- its their loss not yours. And really, in all of the stressful events EVER--- eraser marks got your panties in a twist? Relax already.

2) At least you have a degree in a field where people must pay you immediately. I work for free right now, building my body of work, so that eventually, someone will hire me and pay me. Kid you not-- for the last film I just did FOR FREAKING FREE-- if it was a professional shoot, I would have made around $3000 for around, oh a solid week's worth of work. But I am not a professional, I must pay my dues, because that is the way it works in the film industry. Just shoot me.

3) You're coming into town? Really? That makes my heart sing. I may be too poor to eat at that point, but if I get to sit around with a rumbling stomach and get to hang with you, that's good enough for me. Call me when you get here.

Kristina said...

Oh Austin, my love. This post is actually quite devoid of comma-happiness. My comma-stingy self is very proud.

I am taking the GMAT in a few months and just felt your stress loud and clear. Did you know the GMAT gives you a printout of your relative score before you even leave the testing facility? LSAT should get on that.

And I understand everyone telling you to stop with the panty-twisting over eraser marks, but I'm pretty sure I would have yelled at the proctor had I been in your situation. I mean come on. You are Austin Baird, hero of the world, and she is a stinky old proctor for the LSAT? There is no way she's making more then 8 bucks an hour to sit and yell at people erasing pen marks. I think getting steamed is a perfectly understandable response to such a situation and I congratulate you on not hitting her in the face.

That is all.

Oh, and I love you. And I love the randomly-placed quote by Churchill, I mean Thoreau, I mean... Yoda?