Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Pretending to Be An Adult

The Interview

The interview this morning at the local office of Robert Half International went well.  I spoke with a very gracious administrative assistant / receptionist named Michelle, filled out a couple of forms that reminded me strongly of UoP management courses (strengths and weaknesses, skills assessment), and had a brief but mutually informative interview with a recruiter who then had to rush out to get her sick dog to the doctor. (Poor dog - and good for her, having her priorities straight!)  Before she left, she allayed John's main concern: RHI has never charged the job candidates for their placement services.  The hiring company pays them.  RHI even offers free Excel tutorials and continuing education for CPAs. Well, hooray!  The recruiter (I'm blanking on her name) said she'd start looking for an entry-level position for me, so I guess I'm in.  One hurdle down, anyway.

After the interview, Michelle sat me down at a computer for an online multiple choice test about accounting principles.  I was supposed to take three half-hour tests, but since at that point I was due at work in 40 minutes, we decided that I would take the first test only, and return tomorrow at 7:30 AM for the other two tests.  I rushed through the 47 questions in about 15 minutes, and scored an 86. I should have slowed down; it would probably have helped me get more answers right.  However, Michelle said I did very well. Most candidates score in the 70s.

Same suit, new hair color, new shirt and makeup.The Makeover

I then got to work on time (for a change).  Everyone was surprised and impressed with the suit.  I joked about "disguising myself as a grownup."  Mal pressed me later for a reason for the formal business wear, since I often wear Hawaiian shirts at the office.  (Well, we do sell a lot of Hawaii packages!) When I admitted that I'd met with a recruiter, had done well, and was going back the next day, Mal very nicely said, "Good!" and left it at that.

So now I have another early morning before me.  (I'm starting to think I'll never again get eight hours of contiguous sleep!)  Last night I was too busy trying to even out my accidental two-tone hair, drying laundry, setting up a briefcase, blogging and generally being nervous and excited to get to bed before about, I don't know, maybe 4:30 AM.  I should do better tonight.

The hair thing was kind of tricky, but it kind of worked.  I put a darker shade on my too-bright hair at the roots, and a lighter shade on the rest, and blended them a little bit from there (but not much). The top is definitely darker and less orange, but I'm not sure the bottom is any lighter or redder. Anyway, it's less obviously two-tone, and less likely to clash with pink or red clothing.  In fact, I bought a pink shirt tonight, so I have something else to wear to RHI tomorrow.

The other thing I did at Dillard's after work was visit the Clinique counter and get a sort of makeover thingy.  I have NEVER done anything remotely like this in my entire life, and it's safe to say I more than doubled my lifetime-to-date expenditures on cosmetics.  Normally I go for years at a time without using any makeup whatsoever.  But if I'm going to be a professional CPA (let alone a sexy one) in a professional business environment, I'll probably have to change my ways a bit.

olds and new makeupAnd the truth is, I couldn't very well limp along on my existing stock of cosmetics.  See for yourself.  At the top of the picture to the right are tonight's purchases.  Below all those uniform Clinique boxes are the makeup supplies I used this morning.  With apologies to those of you who are as bored as I am when the subject of makeup arises, what I used this morning was clearly inadequate.  I had somehow managed to put a nice deep scratch down my forehead (while wearing plastic gloves for the hair color - how does that happen?), so I needed to cover both that and my inevitable acne.  (There should be a cosmic rule that nobody over 40 has to cope with acne.) Anyway, I hid these as best I could with the same "cover stick" I always use for such emergencies. Then I tried to combat the paleness of it with some pulverized blush powder that's probably close to 30 years old. I guess I did okay, but it wasn't exactly ideal.  I felt as though I were putting on a Kabuki mask, or maybe whiteface.

old tray of old stuff.My too-light, too-long eyebrows were subjected to some grey or brown pencil, most of which I wiped off immediately.  And the lips - well, I had two colors of lipstick - candy red and something vaguely peach colored.  I used trace amounts of each, hoping they'd add up to a normal color.  Oh, well, best I could do!

Tonight I went digging through my stuff again.  Aside from another 30ish-year-old compact, which I can't find, and some Halloween makeup, here are all my cosmetics.  I think I specifically remember using some of them in high school.  my first eye makeup, circa 1975Sue K. next door, or maybe d. in college, gave me some minimal instruction in how to put on blue eye shadow.  Until then I was putting it on under my eyes!

Since then, today excluded, I've learned nothing about makeup - nothing from my mom, nothing from friends or classes or makeup counters.  I have never used a moisturizer or foundation (as far as I know), much less put in half an hour on all the different creams and powders, pencils and brushes and glosses.  I made some minimal effort during travel school in 1987, but it didn't last.

the new stuff - whatever it is.But be proud of me, Becky.  I bought - well, I don't really know.  Let me inventory it:

  • city stick SPF-15
  • brow shaper
  • dramatically different moisturizing gel
  • blended face powder and brush
  • "tenderheart" glosswear for lips



Not thrilled about the butterlies, but I like the pins.


Do I know what all these things are, are how to use them?  Only vaguely.  But I'll muddle through.  After all, it remains to be seen how long my impersonation of an adult will need to last.


Left: my new pink shirt with the butterfly pins. The bright streak in the hair isn't really there.

Update: I ended up using most of the new makeup, my faithful cover stick (probably two years old or less), and the ancient blush, but not in huge amounts except for the cover stick. It came out all right, I think, and more natural than the 40-minute extravaganza a nice lady named Angel at Dillard's did last night.

I got a score of 89% on General Principles of Accounting, which Michelle said that Gail (the recruiter) will be "very happy with."  Yesterday's test (the 86%) was supposedly in Advanced Accounting, but the two tests were quite similar. 

The third test was in Excel, and I got a 92% on that one. Whoo-hoo! That qualified me to take the Microsoft Certification test in Excel for free.  I could have come back to do that (and probably should have), but I went for it.  Score: 731 out of 1000.  A passing score would have been 770 or better.  I got bogged down trying to figure out a few problems involving things I'd never seen or done before, and ran out of time.

The good news is that I get to take it once more, again for free.  Before that, I'll probably take an Intermediate Excel tutorial that will be available to me online by the end of the week. I've almost never used the chart functions, the Go To function, or the weirder formula functions, and so that's where I got stuck.  Still, it's a good excuse to learn it.  By this time next week, I expect to get that certification.

Meanwhile, back to work!


ryanagi said...

Again, you look good! But...throw away the 30 year old makeup. The oils go rancid and it turns into something toxic inside of 2 years. You'll just make more skin problems for yourself if you use it. Bleh! LOL I have some old stuff to purge myself. Everything will have to go. I don't think I have a single cosmetic item less than 5 years old...wait. I have two. I bought clear gel mascara and a concealer pen a couple years ago for a wedding. LOL

sistercdr said...

You look good, and I'm with Becky.  Throw away that old makeup.  It develops bacteria and the oils go rancid.  I'm a recruiter for a small, local independent, and I know that Robert Half has a good reputation.

deabvt said...

Yea, get that free certification.

jeff466 said...

I'm glad to hear that your interview went well.  You looked great in the pictures!  

Good luck on the certification :)  Jeff