When you put on your resume that you’ve spent the past year backpacking across Europe, people are going to ask questions. What countries did you visit? Which one was your favourite? Were there any that you didn’t like? How was the food? Did you meet any interesting people? What did you learn from the experience? I’ve been asked them all before, so I was fully prepared for my interview at the law firm of Tomlinson and Tomlinson.
“I see by your resume that you spent the past year trekking across Europe. That must have been something,” one of the partners said to me right on cue. “What was your favourite part?”
“Rome, for sure,” I answered.
“Really. What did you like about it?”
“Everything! The food, the wine, the people, the architecture.”
“Did you check out the Sistine Chapel?” he then asked.
“Of course. When in Rome, right?”
That got a chuckle out of him, which was a bit disheartening I must say. If I’m going to get stuck working sixteen hour days here, I’d rather it be alongside someone with a better sense of humour than that.
“The crowds were enormous,” I continued, “but seeing the Creation of Adam was worth the claustrophobia I didn’t know I had until that moment. You look at it and think, will I ever create a masterpiece of my own?
“What about the Trevi Fountain?” he then wanted to know.
“I saw that as well, but I found it to be a little sad. All those people counting on the toss of a coin to bring them back to Rome. It seems to me that if you want good things to come your way, then you need to work for it.”
He loved that keener line, and it may have been what got me the job. I’ll never know, just as the firm will never know that I’ve never actually been to Rome or to any other part of Europe. Truth be told, I spent the past year in a mental institution, but no one’s going to grant an interview, let alone give a job, to someone who puts down on their resume that they’re prone to breakdowns, now are they?
As for all that stuff I told him about Rome? One needs to pass the time somehow when they’re in a psych ward and reading about foreign countries is a great way to do that.