My Job Search is Preparing Me For an Arranged Marriage
I rub my eyes as I enter the 7th straight hour of browsing LinkedIn. I’ve lost track of what I was originally doing and am now just staring, semi-paralytic and dribbling down my front.
My MBA degree sits silently in the corner, gathering dust.
I get a notification about a new job posting and immediately click through. Same old story. Associate-level job with a list of requirements longer than my ex’s penis. I feel like I’m in an old-timey arranged marriage situation. My suitor’s family have arrived at my humble home to see if I’m the right fit for their precious son.
The room around me morphs into a cosy living room. The handsome lad sits next to his mother and smiles warmly at me as I serve them tea and snacks. I smile back at him and there’s a connection. This might be the one for me.
“Do you know how to code?” the prospective mother-in-law(MIL) asks me, interrupting my ‘violins-playing-in-the-background’ moment. “Actually I studied banking and finance,” I reply, making sure to keep my gaze lowered.
“My other daughter-in-law knows how to code,” she says with her nose in the air. “It’s a must in this economy.”
I catch on pretty early that she doesn’t know what the fuck she’s talking about. “I can learn,” I say. I want her to accept me because her son is super hot.
“What about project management skills?”
“Yes, I do have project management skills and experience,” I reply brightly. “In my last job I -”
“Yes, yes! But do you have a certificate?” prospective MIL interrupts. “Something to authenticate your claims?”
“Happy client testimonials?” I offer, eager to impress.
“Never mind then!” she says dismissively. “You have sales experience, yes?”
“Yes I do!”
“How many years?” she asks.
“I need at least 7 years of experience.”
My mind reels. “Is-isn’t this an associate level position?” I inquire. “There must be some mistake.”
“Did I stutter?”
I swallow a caustic retort and try to reestablish rapport. “Well, if you can give me a chance to elaborate my work experience, you’ll see that I have all the necessary qualifications. I can give immediate results. I can even create future leaders in 9 months if you need me to!”
MIL narrows her eyes maliciously at me. “I don’t need you to tell me how suitable you are. I know what kind of candidate I’m looking for.”
“Well, no offence,” I say, immediately offending her. “But your standards seem quite impossible. Your son doesn’t need someone who can do 17 different things flawlessly! Such a candidate doesn’t exist! Give me a chance. I know I can make your son very happy and that too with just a couple of tricks. And I can learn so much more along the way.”
I can see prospective MIL consider it for a second. Just a second. “I think I’ll decide what’s best for my son,” she says like the horrible gate-keeper she is.
Suddenly I start noticing the flaws in her son. Slightly misshapen nose. Annoying looking stray hair on his shirt. One zit too many.
“What’s the package like?” I ask.
MIL flinches. Her face flashes a terrible rage as she thunders, “don’t you think that’s a bit too personal?”
The son sits blushing in the corner.
“But I need to know,” I insist. “If I’m going to go above and beyond for this guy, I need to know I’ll get some kind of satisfaction from it.”
“Being associated with him is the reward!” MIL screeches. “How dare you insult us like this? We are a reputed family. And you, uncouth girl with less than 7 years of experience and no certificates, have the gall to ask about his package? In front of everyone??”
“Alright, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” I say hastily, trying to calm her down. “What about an MBA? Is that good enough? I have one from a Prestigious Business School.”
“What’s that?” she asks.
I snap out of the fever dream. The algorithm has already sent an automated email thanking me for my application and telling me to sod off.
My MBA degree sits silently in the corner, gathering dust, looking almost sinister in the semi-darkness. The recruitment algorithm waves a giant middle finger in the air and leaves, taking the sexy job with it.
I rub my eyes again, let out a frustrated sigh and move on to the next suitor.