Competition is fierce in New York’s not-for-profit job market. It has been months since I was last offered an interview, despite hundreds of email blasts sent to ads that often were simply a scam, and I was asked to complete a credit score prior to my application being processed.
The last face-to-face interview was with a temp agency called BC Staffing. (The BC stands for Best Choice), but obviously, I am more of the AD type of worker personality. I was so sick of the game, ready to say fuck it, like so many others have done.
Soon I may fall into the category of those who have simply ‘stopped looking for work’. The interview process has become so insulting and degrading, but at least yesterday, I made my interviewers laugh— and laugh they did—so hard that I think I may just get the job.
I’m always prepared for the question “Why did you leave your last job and why did you leave the job before that one?”
Yesterday, I was asked why I left the Army if I had considered it such a “good experience.”
I looked the executive director of the non-profit in the eye and replied in a cold jaded tone, “Because I could not be openly gay in the Army, and besides, the fellow soldier who I was dating got out of the Army, came to New York and insisted that I leave the service too, otherwise, he threatened to tell them I was gay.”
My interviewers were shocked. The look in their eyes was worth a million dollars, or at least the $6 in subway fare it cost me to go all the way uptown to the Columbia University Campus.
The men laughed. They laughed hard in a way that only gay men laugh when they are alone together, making fun of the rest of the world.
I had to say something to stick out of a crowd of thousands. I’ve always said the right thing in interviews, never making potential employers smile. Yesterday, I believe the truth may have set me free and perhaps all those years I spent in the Army may not have been a waste of this gay man’s time.