Day 51: Interview madness

For a miserable, rainy day, I was surprisingly productive! I got two major interviews done today – both of them were executive members from my organization, the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association (I feel the need to keep spelling this out with every post. It may be too fully ingrained in my brain, but I’m aware this may not be the case for the general public.) From the very beginning, my day was proceeding with fineness. It’s just too bad the weather didn’t reflect that. It was drizzling steadily all day long and bitterly chilly.

I stopped by Loblaws and picked up a jar of jam on my way back from church so I knew it was going to be a good day. Then the madness began. I was puttering around in my room, preparing for my interview with the CITA president at 2:30 p.m. when I got an email from him at about 1:40 p.m. He was on his way to the coffee shop where we were supposed to meet. “If I don’t make it by 2 p.m., just wait,” he wrote. 2 p.m.? I distinctly sent him an email confirming the time for 2:30 p.m.! I had been planning to get there early, scope out the location and find a good place to conduct the most important interview for my assignment. Instead I ended up running out the door to catch the 1:42 p.m. bus just to get there in time.

Fortunately I made it there before him and managed to snag a table right by the door where there was no way he could miss me as he was coming in. Of course the down side of my table choice was that I didn’t really remember what the president looked like (I saw his photo on the website about a week ago and didn’t get a chance to double check before flying out the door). So I ended up smiling expectantly at every old, balding man who walked through the door. I got a lot of weird looks … especially from old ladies who were right behind their old man husbands. Relax, grandmas, I’m just looking for my interview subject.

When the president finally arrived, I recognized him right away and he seemed to know I was the one he was supposed to be meeting (perhaps the open notebook and digital recorder sitting on the table tipped him off). The interview ended up going really well! I daresay it’s the best interview I’ve had in my short journalistic career. We ended up talking for almost two hours and he gave lots of examples. I think I may actually have something to write about now! It’s a good feeling.

That good feeling came in handy. The reason is twofold:

  1. The coffee shop was a new one that I’d never been to before – Bridgehead Coffee House. All their locations are in Ottawa and I see it everywhere but I’ve just never tried it. And now I can truthfully say I prefer Starbucks. The price is the same but my coffee tasted like prunes. I’ve never had prune juice, but if it was the same consistency as hot chocolate, that is exactly what my coffee tasted like. It was all I could do to keep a straight face as I took tiny sips throughout the interview.
  2. The horrible weather decided to collaborate with OC Transpo and left me standing at the bus stop for a good 30 minutes waiting for a bus back to school. All the while it was windy and drizzling. When a bus finally came, the big orange, glaring letters spelling Out of Service mocked me as it sped by. There may have been fist-waving.

When I finally returned to school, I looked like a drowned rat. But all that could be overlooked because of my killer interview! And my good fortune continued. The chair of CITA’s executive board was jetting off to Alberta this afternoon but scheduled a Skype interview with me … for 10:30 p.m. I’ve never had a Skype interview, but I do have a bedtime. But alas school outweighs my need for sleep, so I was all showered and ready for bed – well my bottom half was anyway. My top half was still all business. I just decided I wouldn’t be standing up during that interview.

10:30 p.m. came and went. Finally I sent out an email and it turns out the chair was sitting in Alberta waiting for me and I was sitting here, three time zones away, waiting for her. I ended up calling her (Thank goodness I invested in a phone card. Bless you, 20 20. Bless you.) So I still have never had a Skype interview, but I did get a decent interview that would have otherwise gotten away. It’s a small price to pay, I suppose. My beauty sleep for an extra interview. Tell that to me when I’m 25 and the bags under my eyes have become jowls.

Despite the madness, I think it was a pretty productive day. I don’t understand how the weekend is already over, but I suppose that’s not a new phenomenon anymore. I find myself spending the whole week waiting for the weekend, and yet when it’s here, it doesn’t really feel like one. So much for the day of rest.


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