I could barely breathe. It was as if his stare had forced me under a spotlight where I was in complete isolation. Every single flaw of mine perspired from me in beads of sweat. I felt so naked and realized I could no longer move.
"You okay?" He looked at me with a condescending bewilderment.
"Y-yeah. Sorry." I hastened, or so I thought I did, to sit down. It felt like two whole minutes before I had realized that this chair was now struggling to bear the weight of my twitching carcass.
"Okay. So your name is Calvin right?" The man seemed to lack patience.
"Yes. Calvin Chin" I sputtered.
"Alright. I usually ask this immediately before any question so tell me: Why should I hire you?"
The forwardness of his question was yet another blow and I felt myself shuddering even more. Are you serious? I thought to myself. I took a moment to pause--well, maybe it was more like ten minutes. I probably sat there staring blankly at his generic, gray-metal desk. I fiddled with my thumbs, searching as hard as I could into an empty database for files that would tell me that I was worthy of this. After minutes of disappointing searches, I just gave up.
"I'm a hard worker and willing to learn." That's all I could say. At that moment I wanted to slap myself until my cheeks burned of red. You could only give the most jaded answer in the book, couldn't you? Harassing myself both soothed me and convicted me. And of course, as nature always has a funny way of doing, files began appearing inside my head as if they had decided to show themselves after my giving up on hide-and-go-seek. Before I could save myself from my lackluster response, the man cut me off with another statement.
"I see. Well if you want to work here you're going to have to try better than that," he said, "so unless you got something else for me I think we're pretty much done here."
And at that all hopes of redeeming myself seemed to fade away. Yet another spoiled interview from nervousness. Each had added another layer of unworthiness to an already ancient limestone wall of failures. I couldn't believe that my mind could betray me like this every single time, and I hoped at that moment that somewhere out in the universe a voice could hear me and grant me a second chance, or a third chance, or a fiftieth chance--anything. I felt utterly hopeless.