I forget how I faked my way into that interview with a European TV personality, except to say that back then I "gave really good interview." I used to go on job interviews all the time in college, just to build my confidence. Then I moved to Zurich with my mother, who had been subcontracted by her U.S. company to design missiles for a Turkish defense project. Eventually I got tired of being 24 with nothing to do but piss off the Swiss by breaking tennis dates all over the place -- which, don't get me wrong, is fun, but it'd been at least a year since I got offered a job, and getting job offers is my favorite pastime.
So I answered an ad in the International Herald Tribune calling for a girl Friday for a financial newsletter located in Monte Carlo. It was run by an American business guru named Schwartz, I think, and operated out of three connected condos overlooking the casino in what I'm almost positive is the same building where billionaire banker Edmond Safra burned to death a few years back. I say that because I keep hoping smoke damage made its way to Schwartz's place.
Anyway, after a phone interview, Schwartz fetched me from Zurich, took me to Cafe de Paris for a tuna salad and told me I would be replacing the soon-to-be-fired redheaded girl in his office. The girl he was firing, by the way, was the same girl he was fucking, and I was literally expected to move into his office and assume all her duties.
Now, I always felt that fucking was work enough. I mean, I personally can't think of a harder job than being a whore, but here this man was asking me to stack an office job on top of that, and it just seemed totally inequitable. So I said no and he sent me on my way.
I went back to Zurich and was offered a job working for a crusty professor named Dr. Bleisch. He was a wretched old alcoholic who headed a diploma mill that provided doctorate degrees at $20,000 a pop for credential-crazy Europeans. Once we traveled to Bern to bestow a doctorate on the president of some company, and Dr. Bleisch, all bleary-eyed and shaking, accidentally tore the document almost completely in half as he handed it over. I couldn't believe that the businessman hardly minded.
Needless to say, I pined for a better job, like television writing, so I finagled a correspondence with a British video jockey named Cedric, which eventually led to a meeting at a pub. Bear in mind that I wanted a job, right? Good, because I still don't know what I was thinking when I walked through the door practically naked in a tight tank dress short enough to give gyno shots if I dared sit on a bar stool and cross my legs -- which, sadly, I did -- but not only that, I wore spiked heels high enough to make my ears bleed, and, unlike Cedric, I am not a short person. When he turned to greet me, his eyes hitting me right at nipple level, his face registered the realization at the same time I did. "Oh, shit," I thought as I tottered on those stupid shoes, "I'm a goddamn groupie."
I should have left right then, but throughout the evening I never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity to salvage my dignity. We got drunk, then took a taxi to his place under the pretense that he would retrieve his car and take me on a tour of London. But no sooner was I inside his door than he began dry-humping me like a fuck-crazed puppy.
We actually ended up struggling on the carpet, and given the smallness of his stature it was pretty effortless for me to pin him to the floor. Unfortunately this seemed to thrill him. "Oh, yes!" he cried. "Dominate me Hollis! Dominate me!" But with his British accent it came out, "Doominate me, Hoolis! Doominate me!"
I had the presence of mind to marvel over the absurdity of my situation, but -- sadly again -- not to leave. In the end, I basically fought him off until he fell asleep (I did not lay him, but there's little pride in that, since it means that ultimately I don't even make a good groupie), then snuck out of his house leaving the door wide open. I haven't heard from Cedric since, but possibly that's because a criminal entered his open door that morning and beat him to death with a fireplace poker. I don't know and I don't care. I crawled back home and confessed everything to my younger sister, who never let me forget it. To this day, she still chirps, "Oh, Hoolis, Doominate me!" into my answering machine, but is always careful to add that she's glad her big sister is such a bad groupie.
Hollis Gillespie's commentaries can be heard on NPR's "All Things Considered." To hear the latest, go to Moodswing at atlanta.creativeloafing.com.
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