Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What kind of liquor?

I seem to be somewhat obsessed with having something to say before I blog. When the hell did that happen? You might think that would lead to less frequent, but more substantive writing. If so, you might be someone who hasn't been reading. My regular visitors know that the actual effect has been that I still say nothing of real importance. I just say it less often.

Is that better? I'm not sure.

In truth, there's just a lot going on that I'm not writing about. Interviewing and traveling for interviews, while interesting, left me exhausted. I don't feel like writing when I'm exhausted. Unless, of course, I'm exhausted and inebriated.

Exhausted + Inebriated = Inspired

The times when I wasn't exhausted, I found myself sifting through the pile of things that had happened to me during my interview traveling, left with little to say. I decided that I wouldn't talk about specific places where I interviewed or to say too much about the people who I ran into out on the trail. That just seemed like a recipe for trouble. Or, to be more specific, a recipe for not getting a job. (Although, I have to say, I was tempted to devote a little space here to The Loud Talker. If we end up in the same training program, I am certain that I won't be able to resist that temptation all four years.)

All that said... there are a few stories from my interviewing days that I meant to write about and just never got around to (see above notes re: exhausted). For example, this was sort of amusing...

We were standing in the lobby of an apartment building during a tour of the residency housing. We had just finished a tour of the resident tour guide's own apartment, and one of the applicants asked the resident how he got such a great place. He darted his eyes around like someone looking for hidden cameras and bugs. Unable to definitively rule out the presence of secret monitoring devices, he said, "We'll talk outside, across the street. I don't want to lose my apartment."

By the time we got across the street, we were all salivating for a good story. What they don't tell you when you set out to do all of these interviews is that once you've heard three residencies present their programs, you've heard it all. That's not to say that the programs are all the same. But rather, that they all sound the same. By the time you're on #10, you're so fucking bored with the sales pitch that you're ready to take off your own high heel and stick it in your left eye. Just to mix it up a bit. So, by the time we crossed that street, we were eager for something we hadn't heard in the last dozen power points we'd smiled and nodded our way through.

The resident started, "Okay. So, if you get in here, the first thing you want to do is email a bunch of residents and ask them how they got their apartments. If you're single, they'll stick you in some shitty studio. If you're married, you get a one bedroom, like mine. And if you are married with a kid, you get a two bedroom."

One of the applicants interrupted, "But're living in a one bedroom with your girlfriend. So, as long as you have a partner, you can get a one bedroom?"

"No. See...that's the thing. When I got here, people told me, 'Look, if you want a good apartment, you've got to lie to the apartment lady.' And I was like, I'm not doing that. It's shady, and it's wrong. So for my first year, I lived in some shitty ass studio while everyone else was getting these great apartments. The women in my class were taking these fake ultrasound pictures to the lady, and they were all getting two bedrooms. The funny thing about that is, they were using some ultrasound they found online one night, and it was a picture of an animal or something. Then, when one of them actually did get pregnant and took in her real ultrasound, the lady was like, 'Uh...this doesn't look right.'"

The applicant pool was suddenly sharply divided into two groups: the group shaking their heads in stunned disapproval, and the one digging through their purses and pockets for a pen so that we could write down that farm animal ultrasound link.

Returning to his story, the resident said, "Anyway, I decided I was going to do what I had to do to get a better apartment. First, I went in and told the lady that I was gay and that my boyfriend was moving in with me. I asked if I could have a one bedroom. She looked at me and just said, 'No.' I said, 'So what you're saying is that gay people can't get a one bedroom here like straight married people can.' She said, 'You heard me.'

That sort of pissed me off. I mean, I'm not gay or anything, but come on. I told some of my friends what happened, and they were like, 'Look dude, it takes a lot more than that to get a good place. You have to show her some kind of proof of your life change. And you have to bribe her. She likes cash, gift cards to Macy's, and booze.'

So the next week, I went in prepared. I had a fake engagement ring receipt I made on my computer, a fake wedding invitation I paid someone to make for me, a fifty dollar gift card, and a bottle of liquor."

I stopped him here to ask, "What kind of liquor?" I was honestly thinking, when I blog about this later, it would be good to know that.

Johnny Walker Black. Two people wrote it down.

Then, another applicant asked, "Hadn't you just told her that you were gay?"

He said, "I told her that I found Jesus and repented. People love that shit. Plus, you have to remember, she's mostly interested in the liquor. You'll see...when you go in there, she's all wide eyed and shaky. Lady loves her some whiskey.

Anyway, I went in, handed her the receipt and the invitation and then said, 'Oh, and just to thank you for taking care of this...' and I sat a brown paper bag on her desk with the bottle in it. Her boss was standing right behind her. She got all nervous and fidgety and said, 'You know I can't accept this kind of thing.' And I said, 'Look, it's just a thank you gift. Just to say I appreciate you.'"

As he told us, he reenacted the scene, putting his hands in the air and backing up like he was gingerly walking away from a bomb he'd just dropped.

"A week later, I had that sweet ass apartment."

We walked back across the street and into the hospital. The tour continued, "Those are the ORs. I'm sure you've seen a million of them. They all look the same. Moving on..."


gitz said...

Ok, the dude saying he's gay and a week later finding Jesus and turning straight...

totally makes me think of my friend who was a priest for all of two years and is now living in LA with his boyfriend trying to be an actor.

Not kidding. Guess he found Jesus and turned gay.

dive said...

Hee hee, T!
America is weird. Occasionally charming but weird.

Amanda said...

hahaha.... this is really hilarious!!! I loved how you had to cross the street and everything!!! fantastic!

MmeBenaut said...

Corruption is everywhere ...

Sassy Sundry said...

My god. It would take more than Johnny Walker to get me to give up real estate.

Eric said...

Just in case you ever have to bribe me, it'll need to be Jameson.
Red if you absolutely have to stick with the Walker family.

Terroni said...

Good to know, Eric. Should I ever need to crash on your couch, I'll come prepared.

.j.william. said...

Sounds like apartment hunting in NYC. When Brian applied for his apt, there were fifteen others also applying. Brian brought donuts. Brian got the apartment.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely lie in that case.

Maria said...

Bring a martini shaker and ingredients and make her an appletini right then and there. Voila!