I've been job-hunting since September with no luck.  I started out looking for jobs that were commiserate with my experience and education; namely office jobs in customer service positions.  As time wore on, I became less worried about that, and applied to anything for which I seemed qualified.  I applied for every cashier's position at every Home Depot in the Memphis area.  I applied for seasonal jobs at every retail establishment that was advertising.  The last-ditch effort was applying for a job at Kroger (a chain of grocery stores) as an associate.

In late November I went into my local Kroger for an associate's interview.  While I was hoping for a cashier or front-desk position, my interviewer and another manager instead convinced me that with my experience and education I'd be better suited to a manager's position and should apply duly.  So I took them up on it: I applied for the manager trainee position and about two weeks later received a call for a phone interview.  I passed that phase and moved on to the one-on-one in-person interview on December 18th.

This was my first serious, adult, professional job interview, and I needed a suit.

When I was halfway through my senior year of high school, a girl transferred to our school and took one of my classes (Science Fiction & Fantasy in Literature and Modern Culture).  We became friends over the semester, and when her father came to town to visit her, he wanted to take her and a friend out to eat as a graduation gift, so she invited me.  We were to eat at a place called Emmett's, and they would pick me up… I don't know, Friday or something.  Offhandedly, I was telling Scottish about this, and when I got to the part about where we were eating, he got this very serious look on his face, looked me in the eye, and said, "You don't have to wear what it takes to eat at Emmett's."  Turns out Emmett's is the kind of restaurant with candles on the table, live music in the dining area, and no prices on the menu.  I needed a suit.  Fortunately, Scottish was able to loan me what I needed, and all went well.  I had the filet mignon.

Around the same time, Angelbiscuit's grandparents gave us a cash gift for our graduations (her Ph.D. and my B.A.), so we had the funds available to buy a new suit.  We bought two, actually: a black suit and a charcoal-grey suit.  Four undershirts, three shirts, three ties, two pocket squares, and a pair of dress shoes later, I was ready for a job interview.

I thought I did well, and they said they'd get back to me about moving on to the panel interview before Christmas.  Unfortunately, their response was something along the lines of "we've decided to move on with other candidates."  So I'm back at square-one.  Except now I have a suit, so I guess that's progress.

Daniel C. Hodges