I flew into London the morning of my interview, only to find that my luggage was on the next flight. Normally not too much of a problem, except that a) I had to start a final round of interviews for a banking position in two hours and b) as it was a 12 hour trip, I was wearing sandals and shorts.The original plan had been to hit a shower at the airport, shave, put on a clean shirt and spend the train ride in, plus an hour, polishing answers for the coming barrage of questions over the next 4-6 interviews.
Instead, I spend half an hour waiting in line to be told that the airline will pay for ancillaries, and to fill out a form to have my bag shipped to me.
Forms completed, I hustle to the Heathrow express and cram two hours of polish into a 20 minute ride. Hit a Boots in the Tube and get to the station near my final target, I see a mall two blocks in the other direction. Avoiding the ‘clubby’ shops, I find a TM Lewin, walk up to the guy on the floor and say “are you on commission?, cause I’m going to make your morning”.
I pick a suit, shirt, belt, and the cheap silk cuff links, always thinking back to the idea that you really shouldn’t wear cuff links until you earn more per hour than a McDonalds shift manager. Then I find out they don’t sell shoes. Ok, I get them to steam the shirt and put a temporary hem in the pants so I can get moving. Downstairs, first shoe store I walk into, decent shoes, fine, get the girl’s attention, can I see these please. Oh, you don’t have socks, s—. Next store, do you sell socks? s—. Next store, do you sell stocks? s—, who sells socks. Try the Banana Republic upstairs.
Now we’re down to 30- 45 minutes and I still haven’t shaved. Run to Banana republic, people looking at the funny guy in sandals and shorts running. Boom, got socks, back down stairs, boom, shoes, back to the main floor to get my suit.
“That’ll just be another 10 minutes”, great, I’ve got 15-20. Outside, looking for a bathroom, f— it, shave on the street by a fire exit. More people looking at me funny. Not worried everyone I’m interviewing with should be working anyway.
Go in to grab my suit, in the change room I look in the mirror and see I’ve made a bloody massacre of my face. Bleeding heavily from at least eight spots. Oh F—. Use the shirt I’m wearing to wipe up the blood. Pants, socks, shoes on. Wipe the blood again. Get all my other stuff put away nicely so it’ll fit in in my carry on bag in the interview room. Wipe the blood again.
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