The best places to find financially rewarding jobs in Misamis Oriental are Tagoloan and Villanueva. These two places contain the companies that applicants drool over while half awake beside the telephone on a warm and dry jobless day. Getting into companies like Philippine Sinter, Pilipinas Kao and Steag State Power will not just give employees the feeling of being well compensated; it will also give a view into a distant but secure future, one filled with fat chickens on the table, Tanduay in blue boxes, an air conditioned home in the Estates and the most expensive Magic Sing in the sala.
That’s why my heart jumped when I got a call for an interview from a Tagoloan company. I took out my interview clothes that had been reeking of moth balls, put on my most comfortable pair of fake leather shoes and flew off to the jeepney terminal. It was my first trip to Tagoloan and I had no idea that the sun would be crueler on that part of the world and that the trip would include a free supply of grey face powder that had a peculiar way of coating the insides of nostrils too. But I didn’t mind going through the trip. If I got accepted, I could be sitting on a company bus the following week on a cool morning when both sun and smog are at their kindest.
I got off right in front of the company gate. The company building was still some distance away and I had to walk over cemented paths that looked so warm that they could cook applicants in transit. All of a sudden I knew how the ancient human sacrifices thrown into volcanoes must have felt like on the day they died. But I pushed on, hoping that I would meet with no other form of tragedy along the way except for a splitting headache no pack of Medicol would be able to cure.
But the hammer in my head proved to be the least of my worries. By the time I reached the middle of my walk, I noticed tiny black particles following my every step. I thought the heat had finally gotten the best of me, making me more paranoid than usual. It turned out I wasn’t hallucinating. The little black things dodging my every step came from the bottom of my fake shoes.
I had no idea shoes that hadn’t been used in ages had a way of falling apart under the slightest provocation. The problem was, I was already at the office door. Oh, the shame of it all! I dragged my feet carefully but still left traces of black pseudo leather on the carpet.
I sat through my interview, praying that I wouldn’t leave the remainder of my soles underneath the chair where I had tucked my feet. When it was all over, I limped out as quickly as I could, leaving more of my nasty mystery trail for the janitor to solve. If Cinderalla had fake leather shoes instead of glass, her prince would have found her sooner.
I didn’t get the job. The interviewer must have noticed the way I sat as if I was carrying a liter of urine in my bladder. I learned a valuable lesson that day. Don’t wear fake leather shoes to an interview if you’ve kept them too long. You’ll lose your sole on a warm, unforgiving interview day.