Career Counselor

Career_Counsellor_Story_Photo_Web

Career Counselor

By:

Connor McDonough-Flynn

I was sitting in the chair at 10:38am on the nose. I didn’t want to be late. Such an action would be disrespectful, unprofessional even.

The CV’s that I’d printed up especially for the meeting were placed on the table. One artistic. One professional. They’d cost me €2.60. I’d even gone out of my way and changed my daily walking route around to print them.

The printer required resided in an Internet café, where angry Asian lads sat behind massive computer screens playing bohemian rhapsody on their keyboards – staring through imaginary scopes looking for the virtual kill. Not much for conversation these lads, I thought.

When the button was pushed and my Internet privileges allowed, I re-worked the CV’s and tightened them up. Not to say they weren’t presentable before, but I read them through, worked out any kinks, brought a bit of a jig to their step. Was going to pay a euro for an hour anyway, figured I’d use a bit of the time productively and get my money’s worth. Would be disrespectful to not turn up with an edited, reworked, jazzed-up CV for the meeting and future career prospectus.

I was meeting the career counselor at 10:45 in the cafeteria of the government financed college building. Suspecting that this could be the meeting I’ve been waiting for, the meeting where I’d realize my path in life and walk merrily towards the light – fearlessly abhorrent to where or what I was doing beforehand – sprinting forwards to a state of perpetual bliss where monetary petals would rain down upon my barren pockets.

The night before I’d set the alarm clock for 8:00am, 8:30am, 9:00am and 9:30am, to make sure that I didn’t sleep too late. Being late would be disrespectful. Unprofessional even.

The 8:00am alarm got me up, the 8:30am out of bed. My plan was running smoothly. I dusted the morning dew away, made some coffee and wrote for a bit. Read for a bit while taking a shit. I then took a shower, got dressed, did some push-ups, and finished the coffee while listening to some music and once again, writing. The morning was going swimmingly.

I headed out the door leaving myself 45-minutes, knowing, it only took me only 15-minutes to complete the walk. But I didn’t want to be late, that would be disrespectful. Unprofessional even.

I walked the walk I walked 5-days a week, only today there was an extra stop. Normally upon arrival I’d go straight into the classroom and sign the paper to prove my attendance. This action was crucial, not doing so would result in the educational payments that I was receiving to cease post haste. Today, I didn’t go to the classroom to sign on time at all. Instead I went straight to the cafeteria to meet the career counselor about my career. I’d bigger aspirations on my plate. Career aspirations to be exactly precise.

The career counselor meeting: my life changing, future event, that causes the stars to align in a beautiful symphony of structure and solitude. The type of shit that dreams are made of, I thought.

Upon my early arrival to the college cafeteria I looked around and noticed the place was empty, all the chairs free, the vending machine buzzing away. Proper meeting setting, the type of setting that one envisions for a life changing moment with a career counselor. Her name was (and by all accounts remains to be) Helga.

I chose a round table, with five chairs lining the outside; the table had a predestined ability to seat five people comfortably. Perfect. Just in case Helga brought any of her esteemed colleagues along with her to handle this decaying young minds future conquests. Perhaps I could become a case study? One could only hope, I thought.

With my jacket tossed over the back of a chair I sat down and got my CV’s out and placed them on the table, all professional like – taking away any possibility of coming across disrespectful. Professionalism at its finest. With a book in hand I looked at my phone for the time, 10:38am. I was early. Proper style, I said to myself as I began to read.

The book I was reading wasn’t great, hadn’t been great, but I wanted to finish it so I… didn’t have to read it any more. We’ve all been in that scenario. Reading a book that you thought would inspire but it turns out that your intuition was correct from page one and the book’s simply a piece of faeces.

The author had written good books previously, some even turned into movies, so I gave it a go and as I got closer to the end I really wondered how in the hell this book got all these rave reviews, because it was an absolute pile of dog shite. Nobody should pick up this book, I thought. The acid on the shit alone would incinerate any surface that it came into contact with. Causing the shit to smolder deep into the earth’s crust, creating a geyser of oily shit to erupt from the earth’s core. Leading to the fire brigade having to be called and the national guard being brought in to throw explosives into the inflamed surge of shit spewing out a fire ball of excrement – for the sole purpose of putting out the chaotically defecating mess that was bringing danger to the lives of everyone around – on account of the toxic capabilities that the shit could contain when introduced to explosive elements. “Apologies, that ran on a bit, but you know the score. We’ve all been there. Here we go…”

Reading away I looked at the phone again, 11:00am. Not to worry, it’s a Tuesday, probably running a bit late. Looking around, the room was still empty, not a sinner. A lady had come in a while back to get a snack from the vending machine, which rounded off all the action in the area. The vending machine was getting more face time then I was. The area still remained a quintessential setting for a career-counseling meeting, me still sitting at the table with the capability of seating five comfortably, if necessary.

As the book lagged on, the end in sight, two gentlemen walked into the cafeteria and sat at a table wielding two chairs. Perhaps another career counselor meeting? I thought. They both had laptops; I had no laptops, only CV’s, maybe I should’ve brought my laptop? I thought. It’ll be grand a voice inside my head reassured me, It’ll be grand.

Kept reading. Looked at the phone, 11:25am. No big deal, I’m still a few pages away from finishing this book I said to myself.

Before finishing the book I decided I’d go out and have a smoke and call the career counselor Helga to see if she was still coming. I collected my CV’s, pushed in my chair and headed out the gap with a rollie rolled. I gave her a shout when I’d passed through the gap and stood, standing, outside. Voice mail. Ah. I Left a message, finished the smoke and went back inside to the table with the five chairs. I opened my book once again and read on as the setting slowly changed. This time I left the CV’s in my bag.

The cafeteria began to open up and come to life, there were people walking around to and fro too and fro. Places to go, someone to see, the vending machine still buzzing away. The book’s end was even closer when I looked at my phone again, 12:05pm. Helga, the career counselor, was over an hour late. She’d forgotten my career.

The pages of the book dragged on, as the hustle and bustle in the background continued; people getting coffee, no real small chat, just clippity-cloppity. My phone read 12:25pm, it was time to go, I’d had enough. My Career remained in limbo, my mind left racing like a crank addicted butterfly.

I called the career counselor once again, this time she answered: “Don’t worry about it, thanks a million.” I said when her excuses began, and I hung up the phone. Had taken me two weeks to book that appointment.

Gutted, I finished off the book, the last sentence reading: “Raising my hand just a tiny bit higher, so someone might finally look and see me.” And I thought, with my hands down, what a fitting end to a shitty story.

“Lonely Chair” photo by: http://www.artlimited.net/image/en/406021.

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