The importance of being Reis (English)

By Bárbara Matias


Photo credit: Bill Strain – mrbill78636

“What should I do with my hands?”

Until now I didn’t remember that at the end of my arms there were two hands, ten fingers.

They tremble. They intertwine. They move in and out of my pockets. They get lost in my hair that is wet from the rain and has formed rebellious waves.

After remembering my hands, I also remember that I have feet. Those two now beat against the floor, coordinated with the ticking of the wall clock.

I stop and notice that the wall has two cracks.

I take a look at the clothes that I’ve dressed in.  I chose a sweater with a varied palette of colours. That could work against me according to a blog that studies the meaning of colours.

“What is the meaning of so many colours put together?”

I review what I have to say, the appropriate tone of voice for each word. I find myself putting sentences together and trying to avoid clichés.

“What are my faults? What are my virtues?”

I try to choose one of each. I end up selecting multiple and ordering them alphabetically.

I enter the room on my right foot, trying to disguise the superstition in order to not appear weak. Fingers crossed, now with sweaty hands.

With so many questions I forget to say good afternoon, so the interviewer makes the first move.

I speak little, but without haste or mishap. I show my resume, my work, my merits, the recommendations from others about me.

I don’t speak of negative or controversial subjects.

Avoiding “I think”, “I’m not sure”.

The person looks closely at me and I think that I should have brushed my teeth after lunch.

“I had no time”, I say to myself and immediately come back to the conversation.

I say what I want for myself and for them. I say I am limitless.

The person rises, gives me a handshake and says that they will contact me again after seeing all the candidates that, now there, are exactly like me.

I waited for contact. I thought about the sweater. “Would it have made ​​a difference?”

The girl who went in after me got the position. I know from the boy that I gave my mobile number to while waiting.

Though I didn’t give it to him for that reason, but for his eyes. He didn’t realize my second intention, or the colour of mine.

The girl who came after me had the same last name as the person who interviewed me. Reis, according to the boy.

I think it was my multicoloured sweater that confused the person about my intentions … and capabilities.

She, the girl, wore a yellow blouse.


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