The Blackest Ink

"Night And Day", by Robert Weigand.
“Night And Day”, by Robert Weigand.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 is one day I won’t soon forget. No, I didn’t land a full time job, but I did go to an interview for one…at 11:15 in the evening. I never had an interview that late in the evening before, but because this was a night cleaner’s job at the mall just up the street from where I live, it’s when my appointment was scheduled.

I’ve been in that mall too many times to count since I moved into my neighbourhood 24 years ago, but this was the first time I was allowed in after hours (9:00 p.m.). I won’t lie to you that it felt downright weird. I’ve never seen the mall this quiet and empty. Despite the unease I was feeling, an interview was an interview, and to use a young person’s expression, I “put my game face on” and met the man who was going to interview me for the night cleaner’s position.

He was a really nice fellow, soft-spoken and very polite. He told me my hours were from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and that I would be power cleaning the floor, mopping the edges where the power cleaner could not get to, cleaning the windows at the four exit points, vacuuming the carpets, and giving a thorough clean of the washrooms. Not an easy job, but something anyone without any medical issues or disabilities can accomplish. In addition, I’ve done night work before during the 1990’s as a computer operator, so working overnight was not a problem for me.

Throughout the interview, I showed enthusiasm for the job and a genuine willingness to learn what was involved, since I haven’t had a cleaning job since the days I was an usher in a movie theatre.

Thirty minutes later, the interview was over and my interviewer told me he would call me after talking to the owner. I shook his hand and returned home by midnight, slept for about seven hours, and then after getting some breakfast, began the usual job search routine that has been a constant companion since my job search began in 2010. Later in the week, the man who interviewed me called to let me know the owner had already someone in mind. I thanked him for taking the time to see me, and wished his new cleaner good luck with the job.

I was disappointed I did not get the job, as it was an entry level job just down the street from me with a work schedule that fit perfectly around my job search. I was very proud of this particular attempt despite not getting the job, however. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “I dip my pen in the blackest ink, because I’m not afraid of falling into my inkpot”. Night-time is almost as dark as the proverbial inkpot, yes I felt this was one of the times I truly shone as a person who believes in trying anything once.

Thanks for reading!



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