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The unbearable lightness of being in Monsieur’s unemployables class

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Indefatigable mature-age job seeker Carmen Neutral is still scoffing baguettes and listening intently to the delectable Monsieur’s employment advice as she struggles with errant scarves, The Great Gatsby, and hypoglycaemic interviewers.

My unemployables class yesterday had more revelations about myself, Monsieur  —  and Cuba!

That said, as I write this — in the back of my mind — I’m starting to worry: What if Monsieur (like ReservoirDad, who recently found my blog because he was googling himself!) googles-himself and discovers he’s the central character!  of my current “blog-story” and disposition?

However, thinking rationally, there must be other Frenchmen employed by DEEWR (our Australian Employment department) across this big brown land worth writing about?

Surely the federal government’s issuing of 457 visas (like Frequent Flyer points) would be a catalyst to Australia being the destination of choice for many a savvy French citizen needing to escape their weird tax system (and overly rich sauces). And I’m going with that thought. Also, Monsieur would NEVER “google-himself” as he’s too busy and it would be so “un-him”.

Poor Monsieur continues to report to us unemployables his continuing problems with Madame Absconder. For a Ms Absconder recap follow this link.

We all, in unison, told him that we could see — by the glare in her eyes at their initial meeting — she had it in for him.

So quite appropriately in yesterday’s class, we focused on the Body Language module. But being a little “over it already” by mid-afternoon (post-baguette) my concentration went south, and I started to focus just on Monsieur’s body language and his buns (oops, I mean the baguettes of course!) . Excusez mon français.

In our discussions, the newsy topic of Eddie and King Kong naturally crossed our thoughts. In Australia, Monsieur said, he dealt with racism every day. But I quickly cheered Monsieur up by reporting on my Monday afternoon job interview. And I asked him: How could une femme intelligente et expérimentée d’un certain âge – stuff-up so many interviews?

I told him how I went along to the interview, paying particular attention to his “non horse scaring” methods. That I went against convention, shelved the suit and wore a black shift dress, chic scarf and boots. I felt this took 500 years off my “employment age” — and that the sturdy footwear would reflect horse handling abilities.

Perhaps at the interview I played with that gorgeous scarf too much — at one point nearly choking myself. But it was midway through the questioning that I could see a positive, gleeful recognition in the interviewers’ eyes. They just loved one or two of my answers — almost responding like Tom Cruise in that famous couch-jumping scene on the Oprah Winfrey show.

And (as an unemployed libarianista) in response to their query about my knowledge of teenage fiction, I was able mention The Great Gatsby novel (so timely), and what I thought about it being on the syllabus for 12/13 year olds (when I was a wee lass at school).

It was downhill from there really. And I knew by the end of the interview that the interviewers’ sugar levels had dropped and they’d ticked the mad-woman box.


Who knows?

Who cares?!

But Monsieur cares. And he emphasized a focus on the positive (even faking positive).

I told him I remained positive on my way out through reception — when I saw the next interviewee sitting there primly (sorry to say) like Whistler’s Mother — I thought: She should get the job.

There she was dressed like a tram conductor: looking experienced, sensible, and horse whisperer-like. Such is life.

What’s good about Monsieur’s class is that it’s bringing out my previously dormant, socio-pathetic heckler tendencies. Past therapists would applaud this. And while others may view it as a negative, I, too, see it as a positive pour moi.

Plus, it’s keeping Monsieur on his toes and takes his mind off Ms Absconder.

But maybe he secretly wishes I would abscond. And as he scans our group, looking for answers,  there I am, hand-shooting up again, thinking: Pick me, please pick me Monsieur? I so love each and every question! (A big contrast to when I was at high school and was too scared to even breathe in class).

Moving forward to next week, and Monsieur said le sujet du jour will be: Resume Writing. Oh yawn yawn yawn.

And I honestly and directly asked Monsieur: “Since I already have a damn fine resume, can I abscond next week?”

His eyes met mine with a shudder and glint of recognition! And I thought: Monsieur, have you been googling yourself after all?

Regardez cet espace!

As for Cuba – more on that next time – mes amis.

This article originally appeared on Carmen’s highly amusing 50 Shades of Unemployment blog and it appears on Midlifexpress with her kind permission.

Author: Carmen Neutral

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