I didn’t get the job. How did you guess? Was it the title that gave it away? Like a fool I pinned my heart to my Facebook sleeve, inviting comments from the world when I wrote with delirious optimism “Decision delayed until Monday – arghhh!”
I guess I was confident. Wrongly so, obvs.
It was not the most glamorous position in the world, but it would have been good. Interesting, varied, different and above all, a change from the old routine. The old routine that involves permanently being the time-keeper, the umpire, the police officer, the witness and the judge, the cleaner, the chauffeur and the stylist. Not to mention the chef and the ass-wiper as well (unsure of official title for this particularly coveted role). All for zero pay. Zero reward. Zero appreciation.
We talked it through, Lovely Daddy and I. Decided that if I was successful we were ready to bite the ultimate bullet and open the doors of our chaotic house to someone else. We were going to shove the babies in together, three of them in an Orphan Annie row, and hand over Smallest Baby’s room to an au pair. Just imagine, that fresh young thing arriving on her ‘cultural exchange’ where I would be sure to teach her an abundance of amazing things about living in the UK.
But more importantly, that bouncy, enthusiastic, full of-of-life 20-year old would have performed light household duties. She would have prepared children’s meals. No longer would I have had to listen to the squawks about who likes what and who can’t abide which. It would have been Juanita’s problem! Wiping up slime, picking up clothes, cleaning teeth. All such fun for lucky Juanita. I would have swanned in at 6.15, my fingers aching a little from all that lovely typing at my desk, and my children would have been lined up in their PJs like a row of Von Trapps.
But I didn’t get the job. Bastards! They don’t know what they are missing. But I sure as hell do.
Or perhaps they do know. Perhaps despite the fact that we didn’t openly discuss the fact that I have children in my interview, the thought of snotty sick days and school assemblies put them off. Or perhaps it was the fact that when I filled in the application form, before I even set foot in the door, I had to tick an ‘equal opportunities’ box that left me feeling anything but equal.
Military spouse: Yes, No or Would Rather Not Say. Lie, tell the truth, or avoid the truth while making it perfectly obvious that you are doing so. Talk about rock and a hard place. Or maybe my two years out of the game having Smallest Baby are the two years that have broken the camel’s back in terms of making my experience seem just a little too shabby round the edges.
Or maybe I just wasn’t good enough, and that’s all there is to it.
I’ve done the grown up thing. I’ve written and asked for feedback, but to be honest, it’s already too late. I’ve had my teeth-gnashing cry, I’ve eaten some cheese and some chocolate, I’ve thrashed out forty lengths in the pool. Facebook has patted my back as best it can. Now it’s time for me to get my rubber gloves on and get back on with the housework. That toilet’s not going to clean itself, now, is it?